NewsCovering Kern County


Cremation rates on the rise according to the National Funeral Directors Association

Posted at 7:18 PM, Aug 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-23 22:18:47-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Cremation rates tend to be on the rise compared to casket burials says the National Funeral Directors Association. The NFDA says that over the next few years majority will choose to be cremated.

Cremation over the past 20 years according to Jim La Mar, Greenlawn Cemetery's president, says it is becoming more of a common request than burial plots.

"If they want a more permanent memorialization they can have an ossuary in the ground burial, a mausoleum niche, a glass front niche, or a fountain niche," La Mar said.

A niche is a small space in a wall that will hold an urn.

At Greenlawn, they provide a glass front niche where they allow family members to customize the inside to reflect their loved ones.

"In some cases, you can run under a $1,000," said La Mar. "The average is around $1500 and then you have a service and you can be up to $2200 or $2400 just depends on what the family wants." 

La Mar says urns these days are now designed to blend into household items that reflect the story of the passed individual. Some of them resemble jewelry boxes and even biodegradable urns.

"To fully embrace cremation we thought 'how can we do so in a cemetery' and one of the things that we have done is that we have built these hexagon niches," La Mar said. "And with one of these niches if we were to place two in each section it can accommodate 120 cremation individuals."

According to the 2019 NFDA Cremation and Burial Report, "the 2019 cremation rate is projected to be 54 percent and burial rate is projected to be 39 percent."

"Now the majority of casket manufacturers are offering equally 50 to 50 casket and urns, and that wasn’t always the case," La Mar said.

La Mar adds that they are constantly trying to evolve with the need of consumers as a majority are starting to choose cremation options but still keep traditions.

"Eventually as we indicated the cremation rate will far out see casketed and we have to listen to the consumers want and forever evolve and stay in tuned with them," La Mar said.

Soon Greenlawn will be offering a scattering ground for those wishing to spread their loved ones remains.