News and Blogs

My Passion: Consumers need to know about the cost of funerals

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Salem OR
Aug 27, 2012

Ken McGhehey of McMinnville is semi-retired from the funeral industry.

Recently I conducted a survey of six area funeral homes. The survey resulted from my desire to see consumers become better educated about funeral costs.

I spent 40 years in the industry, and I know from experience that investigating and planning for funerals usually is put off until the need is unavoidable.

After a death has occurred, the next step is often to call a funeral home. Sometimes it is a business recommended by a friend; sometimes it is whatever name we remember or whatever advertisement we see in the phone book.

But the public has options, and it’s wise to look into them ahead of time.

Read the full article at

Thanks to the DeathCare Discussion List for alerting us to this article.


Being Hung out to Dry : The Pennsylvania Board of Funeral Directors

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Death Care Law Blog
Posted on August 26  2012

Federal Judge John Jones III has teed off (again) on the Pennsylvania Board of Funeral Directors. Awarding attorneys fees of more than a million dollars and issuing a permanent injunction against the State Board  Judge Jones rebuked Board members for their failure to show initiative towards a legislative fix to a Truman era problem.

And  the situation for the State Board is about to get worse. Judge Jones will also preside over Rabbi Wasserman’s lawsuit against the State Board.

Read the full article at Death Care Law Blog


Rabbi sues over Pennsylvania law on funeral directors last rites

The Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors Needs a Shorter Leash


Funeral frustration

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Gainesville FL
August 23, 2012

Ninety-four years-old and still lively, Marjorie Berger made decisions now so her funeral arrangements could be put to rest for her family.

"Because I didn't want to leave them a bunch of trouble," Marjorie says. "I wanted to know it would be paid for, and the kids wouldn't have any problems."

However, Marjorie wound up with a problem anyway. She spent $9,000 dollars on a funeral package from Lohman Funeral Home in Ormond Beach, including a vault at Volusia Memorial Park.

Days later, Marjorie remembered she had already bought a vault directly from the same Volusia cemetery 35 years ago, in 1977. "I had put the papers away I had kept from my first husband," Marjorie explains. "And there it was in black and white that I had bought and paid for the vault."

Marjorie's daughter Marcie was excited to hear that news, "And I said, 'well great! Did you call Lohman's?' She said, 'Yes, but they're not going to do anything.'" Marcie recalls, "because they claim it was after 30 days after she signed the contract."

Read the full article and see video (3:39) at WOGX-FOX 51

Thanks to the DeathCare Discussion List for alerting us to this article.


Take Back Your Dead, New York!

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A letter to activists in New York State. Do you want to help? Write us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it !

Dear friends, 

This letter is going to all volunteers with the Funeral Consumers Alliance groups in New York State as well as to advocates for the right to family-directed funerals around the country. It's time for the citizens of the Empire State to take back an important right. 

New York is one of only nine states that prohibit families from acting as their own funeral director. Yes, I mean an undertaker-free funeral where the family prepares the body, files the paperwork, and completes the arrangements. Some choose this because they want to continue caring for someone who meant a great deal in life. Others may not be able to afford even the most basic services of a funeral home. But New York says, No. Your dead are the property of the commercial funeral industry. 

We need your help to change that. And before you stop reading and say, "Oh, well, I'm not interested in that or my group isn't interested in that," take a moment to remember: the foundation of funeral consumer rights includes the right not to be a consumer at all. Even if a home funeral isn't right for you, without us families who want this option have no one to stand up for them. 

So what can you do?

For now it's enough just to get the conversation going, so I look forward to hearing from you! As the issue develops we can work out a strategy to move forward. I know New York's dedicated FCA leaders have the talent to get it done!

Best wishes,

Josh Slocum, Executive Director

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 December 2012 17:19 )

The Green Burial of Steve Sall

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August 2011

Steve Sall was an avid outdoorsman before he was stricken with Lou Gehrig's disease.

As death neared, he chose a "green" burial. These burials are a small but growing industry. With these burials, people chose to be laid to rest in the most natural way possible - no concrete, vaulted coffins or chemicals. Just the body and the earth.

See the video (5:50) at VIMEO

Thanks to The Good Funeral Guide Blog for alerting us to this video.


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