Rising trend prompts opening of new cremation center in Ammon

Business & Money

AMMON – Funeral homes nationwide are seeing an increase in the number of people choosing cremation for their deceased loved ones.

The same is true in eastern Idaho. Wood Funeral Home in Ammon just opened Eagle Rock Crematory, a brand new cremation center, which aims to keep up with this trend.

“We now have as many families choosing cremation as we do a burial,” Wood Funeral Home Owner and Funeral Director Brian Wood tells EastIdahoNews.com.

Cremations have surpassed traditional burials on the national level, but Wood says the rise in cremations is due to several factors. One of those factors is cost.

“Cremation is less expensive than burial, generally. The reason for that is because when you choose a traditional burial, you have to purchase a casket. When you purchase a casket, you have to purchase a plot at the cemetery, which requires you to also purchase a vault to place in the plot and then they place the casket in the vault. So, the cost adds up quick,” says Wood.

Cremations, however, do not require a casket, a vault or a cemetery space.

Other factors contributing to the rise in cremations, Wood says, is an increasing acceptance of cremations among churches and religions, as well as society’s desire to part with tradition. There is also a belief that cremations are better for the environment than a burial.

Prior to opening a cremation center, Wood says families in eastern Idaho seeking cremation were not being served as well as burial families. Burial families, for example, have the option of being involved in the preparation process, whether it’s helping to dress the body or help with cosmetics.

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“We’ll have them involved for this whole process all the way up to the funeral and then they have the funeral experience and they get a lot of healing from this service,” Wood says. “Then you have a family who chooses cremation. They ask when they can come get the urn. Two days later they pick up the urn and they’re gone.”

Wood says the new cremation center was built specifically to offer more services to cremation families and give them a little more healing that hadn’t previously been met. Those options include being there for the cremation or helping to place the body in the crematorium and turning on the machine to start the cremation.

“I pushed the button (at my father’s cremation),” says Idaho Falls resident Wayne Erbe. “Partaking in the cremation was something I felt like I needed to do. It was a great experience and (the staff at Wood Funeral Home) made me feel like family.”

You can see how the cremation process works in the video above. Once it’s complete, families have the option of burying the ashes at a cemetery, storing them in their home or scattering them.

Urns provided by Wood Funeral Home following cremation | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

“The families we’ve served so far have wanted to be involved all the way to the end,” says Wood. “All these things are very therapeutic and we offer them a better opportunity to have a healing experience after losing someone they love.”

Wood Funeral Home is the first funeral home in Idaho offering this service to families. The Eagle Rock Crematory was completed last month and is located at 963 S. Ammon Rd. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

They also have an Idaho Falls location at 273 North Ridge Ave.

To learn more, call them at (208) 522-2992 in Ammon or (208) 522-2751 in Idaho Falls. You can also post an obituary by clicking here.

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