Monthly Archives: February 2019

funeral homes in San Leandro, CA

The History of American Funeral Homes

There are lots of funeral homes in San Leandro, CA, but where did they come from? Most people are unaware of America’s rich funeral home history, but it’s actually quite fascinating.

Almost everyone stayed close to home before the mid 1800s, so when they died their bodies could be displayed in the family parlor until it was time for burial. Since there wasn’t any delay from death to display to burial, the bodies didn’t need any sort of preservation. In fact, this tradition of hosting funerals in the home’s parlor is where the term “funeral parlor comes from.”

This all changed in 1865 when President Lincoln was assassinated. Due to his nearly nationwide popularity, heads of state decided to bring his body on a national funeral procession. Since this trip took several weeks, his body had to be embalmed to slow decomposition. After seeing President Lincoln be embalmed, people all across the USA decided embalming was a good idea.

With embalming popularity growing, people were given the opportunity to expand their funeral traditions outside the home. Bodies were more easily transported and displayed, so funerals could be held later after death allowing for more people to attend. Since more people attended, it was easier to host the service in a neutral place.

The Bucktrout family in Virginia witnessed a growing need for places to host funerals, and rose to the occasion. Originally coffin and cabinet manufacturers, this family expanded their business to include funeral home services, just like those we have today. The Bucktrout family opened America’s first modern funeral home. Funeral homes were labeled as such because undertakers, or funeral directors as we now call them, usually operated their business out of their home.

The 1900s saw even more growth in the funeral home business. This large expansion called for formal training for funeral directors in order to streamline the business model and help the businesses grow by changing the conversation. The National Funeral Directors Association was formed in the early 1900s to help consumers view the members as professionals.

Coffin makers, florists, life insurance agencies and other connected fields also blossomed, helping funeral homes become what they are today. By 1920, there were around 24,469 funeral homes in the United States, showing a 100% growth in less than 80 years.

Like many other United States institutions, funeral homes grew out of Christian roots. Immigration laws began to relax in the 1960s, and other cultures slowly became more accepted. This influx of new beliefs created a market for funerals, and once again funeral homes stepped up. They began offering services for other ethnic and religious groups from Vietnamese and Eastern European to Buddhism and Hinduism.

Deer Creek Funeral Service, located at 1700 Norbridge Ave Ste D Castro Valley, CA 94546, continues this long funeral home tradition. We offer a range of San Leandro, CA funeral home services, and would love to serve your family during your time of loss. Give us a call at (510) 317-7890 to learn more.

funeral homes in San Leandro, CA

What Do Funeral Homes Do?

Everyone knows about funeral homes. However, very few people can say exactly what funeral homes in San Leandro, CA do. Funeral homes offer a wide array of services, but they have a singular goal: helping people in their time of loss. Grief can make it hard to get through everyday tasks, much less plan a funeral service. That’s where funeral homes come in.

The main way funeral homes help people during their time of loss is by helping make arrangements for the deceased and the funeral or memorial service. This includes more menial tasks like processing the death certificate as well as more involved services like planning the funeral.

You can rely on the right funeral home to provide the clear-headed logic you need to stay organized and deal with the more menial, legal steps surrounding a death like:

  • Gathering information for the death certificate like full name and address, date and city of birth, marital status, and occupation.
  • Recording and collecting documents like account statements, loans and leases, beneficiary information, tax returns, last will, and bill copies to file the death certificate and other legal paperwork.
  • Filing the paperwork and certificates.
  • Making contact with legal counsel if needed.

A funeral home will also usually assign you a funeral director. The funeral director will sit down with you and discuss the deceased’s final wishes and how best to memorialize his or her life. You may discuss ways to personalize the funeral, from the deceased’s favorite sports team, music or hobbies to his or her special memories or accomplishments. A funeral home can help you arrange many funeral details such as:

  • Choosing and contacting a religious official for the service
  • Finding a cemetery or crematory
  • Sending out Obituary and Death notices
  • Purchasing a casket, vault, urn or headstone
  • Choosing and buying books, flowers, registries or cards
  • Hosting the service

A good funeral home can even help you better personalize the funeral arrangements by helping you plan and execute things like:

  • Dove or butterfly releases
  • Monument sales
  • Memorial shirts
  • Customized photos or video presentations
  • Limousine services
  • Burials at sea

Some funeral homes also offer continued support and help with grief. Funeral homes often have accesses to grief resources such as contact information for support groups and councilors, articles and information on grief and the best ways to deal with it, and more specific help for special grief situations like losing a child or a traumatic or unexpected loss.

Are you looking for a San Leandro, CA funeral home? Deer Creek Funeral Service, located at 1700 Norbridge Ave Ste D Castro Valley, CA 94546, offers services such as these. We would be more than happy to help you in your time of loss. If you want to learn more about funeral homes in general, or want more information about our particular services, please give us a call at (510) 317-7890.

cremations in Walnut Creek, CA

4 Ways to Save Money On Cremations

Losing a family member or loved one is never easy. The high cost of cremations in Walnut Creek, CA and the rest of the country often compounds the stress and pain of a death. Even simple cremations can be expensive, not including the costs of services and other products. There is no shame in looking for help with paying for or lowering the cost of cremations. Here are 4 ways to do just that:

  • Preplanning – Check the deceased’s papers and information to see if they made any plans to help pay for their cremation. They might have put in place things such as:
    • Prepaying programs
    • Funeral insurance
    • Life insurance
    • Payable-on-death bank account
  • Fund Raising – Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your community, neighborhood, friends or other family. You’d be surprised how quickly people will chip in. Get creative with fund raising like:
    • Car washes or bake sales
    • Church groups or donations
    • Memorial funds at the deceased’s workplace or bank
    • Crowd funding websites like GoFundMe.com or GiveForward.com

Social media is also a great tool to make your need known and get more people involved. Don’t be afraid to share any fund raising, or write posts about your need.

  • Government Assistance – Local, state and even federal government programs can help pay for funerals and cremations. Check with your local social service, county treasurer, or public fiduciary to see if any systems are in place. These programs have varying requirements, especially since local government budgets are tight and they are making such programs more difficult to qualify for. Be sure to double check that you are eligible.

The Social Security Administration can also provide assistance. Call to report a death and you may be eligible for a lump sum of $225 or other survivor benefits. Other federal programs that can help are:

    • Medicare, Medicaid and the Veteran’s Administration
    • The Bureau of Indian Affairs
    • The Railroad Retirement Board
  • Low Cost Options – If you still can’t get enough funding, there are tons of low-cost cremation options you can choose from, including:
    • Host the memorial service at home, the community center, church or other religious establishment
    • Bring pot-luck food for the service
    • Choose body donation to a medical school or other organization (Science Care is the world’s largest body donor program)
    • Look into direct cremations
    • Bury the cremains on family land or a family plot

If you need more information on any of these 4 tips, or would like to learn more about Walnut Creek, CA cremations, Deer Creek Funeral Service can help. We strive to offer well-priced and expert services to make a time of loss easier and less stressful. Please pay us a visit at 1700 Norbridge Ave Ste D Castro Valley, CA 94546, or give us a call at (510) 317-7890 to learn more about what we can do for you.

cremation in Castro Valley, CA

Cremation Products to Know

As with anything these days, cremations can come with lots of different products. From caskets and urns to much more, you can purchase just about anything to go with a cremation in Castro Valley, CA. Some products, however, can make your loved one’s cremation and service much more unique, memorable and creative. This creativity helps make the services respectful for the deceased and meaningful for the living.

Some of these products are used before the cremation takes place:

  • Thumbies: A Thumbie is a custom jewelry or pendant piece that creates a lasting imprint of the deceased’s fingerprint, footprint or handprint. Special Thumbie artists use a cast or image of the actual print to create these lovely keepsakes. You can choose different finishes including silver or gold to make the piece even more unique.
  • Remembrance Jewelry: Similar to Thumbies, remembrance jewelry holds part of the deceased inside, so you can carry it with you wherever you go. You can use a small lock of hair, cremated remains, or even soil from somewhere meaningful to be placed inside a locket, bracelet or other jewelry piece.
  • Cremation Caskets: You do need a rigid container in which the body will be cremated. Crematoriums provide a basic container, but you can opt to purchase a more elaborate or special cremation casket to make the cremation more special.

You can also find products that allow for personalization after the cremation like:

  • Urns: You may choose to keep the deceased’s ashes in an urn. There are many different shapes, styles, colors and sizes of urns to choose from, so it’s not that hard to find one that suits your preferences and needs. Some urns are basic but dignified, while others are personalized with engravings, paintings and other decoration.
  • Memorial Stationary: Make the cremation service itself even more special with custom stationary featuring photos of the deceased, meaningful quotes, or a simple decoration. You can use this stationary for the guest book at the service, or to write thank you cards on later. You can also find memorial folders, registry books, bookmarks, prayer cards, acknowledgement cards and more.
  • Final Resting Place: There are lots of creative and special ways to put a cremated loved one to rest. These include:
      • Scattering: Scatter your loved one’s remains freely outdoors. You may also hire a specialist to scatter them in the ocean or even in the sky.
      • Columbarium: You may house the deceased in an outdoor niche above ground designed to hold urns.

These are just a few of the many cremation products available that make it easy for you to plan a creative, respectful and personalized cremation and memorial for your lost loved one.

Deer Creek Funeral Service, located at 1700 Norbridge Ave Ste D Castro Valley, CA 94546, can help you with all of your Castro Valley, CA cremation needs. We have years of industry experience, and can recommend products such as these and many more. Please give us a call at (510) 317-7890 for more information.