Archive | October, 2009

Illinois Cemetery Reform not til 2010-YourFuneralGuy

31 Oct

iStock_000000136233XSmallIllinois Cemetery reform has put been put on hold till 2010 by the Illinois Senate. The Illinois Senate wants to hold it’s own hearings on Cemetery reform. This legislation was approved by the Illinois house  and submitted to the Illinois Senate.

On Friday the Illinois Senate President called for more hearings responding to private cemetery objections. this reform is desperately needed and as up to 300 graves were desecrated at Burr Oak Cemetery near Chicago

CBS 2 Political Editor Mike Flannery reports that the proposed reforms were buried on Friday amid concerns from private for-profit cemeteries who wanted to be excluded from many of the requirements in the proposal.

On Thursday, the reforms passed overwhelmingly in the Illinois House and the sponsors predicted it would also pass easily in the State Senate.

But Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) did not allow that vote on Friday. Instead, he planned to call another round of public hearings on cemetery reform — time and place still uncertain.


Illinois Representative Bill Black R-Danville came out on the side of the cemeteries and spoke out against the reform.

Funeral Industry|Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy

Walmart Selling Caskets drawing fire-YourFuneralGuy

30 Oct

800px-Walmart_exteriorWalmart  selling caskets is drawing fire from the Funeral industry. This should be expected as there prices are far less than you will find at the Funeral Home. First in the AP Story the President of the NFDA dismissed the concept  of selling caskets online. This is disputed here.

Some are calling Wall Mart selling caskets a beta test. This is not the case. The original Associated Press Story released to the media addressed the beta test issue. One Wall-Mart spokesman called it a beta test(Ravi Jariwalla) while the Star Legacy Casket CEO said there was a deal(contract) and not a simple test.(the lower level spokesman Ravi may have had incomplete information.) See the AP Story .

Many Funeral directors are trying to dismiss Wall-Mart selling Caskets at a discount  as not useful and meaningless.

Other are engaging in direct attack and putting out the lie that WalMart is selling Chinese Caskets.

This is not the case, the Caskets Walmart is selling are made in the NORTH AMERICA..

Funeral Industry|Funeral blog by Your Funeral Guy

walmart picture from wikipedia under the creative commons license

Chimp Funeral humanlike-Your Funeral Guy

30 Oct
Chimp Funeral photo

Chimp funeral photo

What is stunning about the chimp funeral is the reaction of the chimp community and how the reaction to the funeral is similar to humans.

The story behind the Viral Chimp Funeral photo is quite interesting, an abused chimp enters a chimp recovery program and  then Dorothy begins taking care of the other chimps endearing her to the fellow chimps in the community.

“The November issue of National Geographic Magazine features a moving photograph of chimpanzees watching the burial of one of their own. Since it was published, the picture and story have gone viral, turning up on websites and TV shows and in newspapers around the world.” via”

The similarity between the Chimp and human Funeral is unsettling.

Szczupider, who had been a volunteer at the center, told me: “Her presence, and loss, was palpable, and resonated throughout the group. The management at Sanaga-Yong opted to let Dorothy’s chimpanzee family witness her burial, so that perhaps they would understand, in their own capacity, that Dorothy would not return. Some chimps displayed aggression while others barked in frustration, but perhaps the most stunning reaction was a recurring, almost tangible silence. If one knows chimpanzees, then one knows that [they] are not [usually] silent creatures.”


Funeral industry|Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy

Photo credit Monica Szczupider from

originally submitted to “Your Shot”

Illinois Proposes Cemetery Reform-YourFuneralGuy

29 Oct

thumbnail (6)Illinois has proposed Cemetery Reform. Legislation has passed the Illinois House of Representatives Executive Committee. The Legislation is set to go to the full Illinois House. The legislation was developed in reaction to the Burr Oak Cemetery Scandal near Chicago.

The legislation introduces background checks, licensing and registration  at cemeteries. The proposed law requires cemeteries to have maps and burial records. Cemeteries must be properly maintained.  Managers are to provide key info to state database that will keep track of who is buried where.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, unveiled the legislation as proponents contended it would “put teeth” in lax state oversight laws that contributed to the Burr Oak tragedy, where graves were desecrated. Several Burr Oak workers were charged in a scheme to dig up as many as 300 bodies and resell burial plots…..via

Funeral Industry|Funeral Blog By Your Funeral Guy

Wal Mart Casket Story draws web reaction-Your Funeral Guy

29 Oct

489771072_4c6148aed5Walmart selling caskets(an AP story) on line has drawn some interesting Web Reactions. From just in time for Halloween, to a suggested new Wal Mart Slogan- “Save Money: Live Better,Die better” to the more political spin “Walmart selling caskets online-just in time for government health care.”

Wal Mart Seling Caskets  has been called impersonal, and not a threat to the funeral industry.The story covered by the Associated Press has been carried by major news organizations around the world.

From Mashable: “But, if you simply want to save a few dollars at the end, well, now you can.”

The National Funeral Directors Association  new president Pat Lynch implied it is really not a big deal to the funeral industry, but it is.

Funeral Industry|Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy, R.Brian Burkhardt-Funeral Director, Illinois, Virginia

Service Corporation International to pay 4 million in damages-yourfuneralguy

28 Oct

iStock_000001148760MediumThe World’s Largest Funeral Corporation is to pay 4 million in damages for moving a body from one grave to another. This case was upheld on appeal but the amount of the Settlement was reduced. NYSE:SCI, Service Corporation has been involved in multiple Funeral Scandals and financial difficulty in 2009.

SCI will have to pay nearly four million dollars in damages. That’s two million dollars less than the original settlement.

The 13th Court of Appeals upheld the verdict, but it lowered the pay out for mental anguish.

SCI can still ask for another appeal.


The Service Corporation International, SCI  also known as Big Death dug up and moved the Body of Marcos Guerra without his family’s permission.

Marcos Guerra was buried at Mont Meta Memorial Park in San Benito, Texas.

More Info

Funeral Industry | Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy-

Washington State Funeral Survey-Your Funeral Guy

28 Oct

iStock_000006074264XSmallThe Peoples Memorial Association has found a great disparity in funeral prices in Washington State. Cremation prices vary by 700% and burial prices vary by 400% according to a recent survey. Shopping around is extremely important if you want to come in under the average cost of a funeral. It is key to a lower cost funeral.

It is my belief that the same situation is true across the country.

The PMA Education Fund conducted a survey of cremation and burial prices at 226 Funeral Homes throughout the state of Washington.  This is the largest funeral home price analysis ever completed in Washington and shows a broad range in prices.  Cremation prices vary by as much as 700% and burial prices over 400% depending upon the choice of funeral home.  The study reinforces the importance of consumers shopping around and planning ahead to assure that they receive the final arrangements that they want at a price they can afford.


It is very important to shop around for a funeral to save on cost. The costs vary quite a bit which makes shopping around key.

Funeral industry|Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy