Pictured: Trent Black, Funeral Director, Black-Epperson Funeral Home, and Chuck Fair; President.
Trent Black, Funeral Director at Black-Epperson Funeral Home in Byesville, explained that funeral planning requires many choices. Family members, grieving over the loss of a loved one, often find that making these choices is difficult. Many people choose to preplan their own funerals in order to spare their family the stress. The preplanning process also gives family members the opportunity to share their ideas about what they want for a funeral.
Black stated that the most common questions include how much a funeral will cost, how people pay for a funeral, and what options are available. Costs can vary widely depending on the options chosen. Planners begin by deciding if they want burial or cremation. Decisions need to be made about where the service is to be held—at home, church, or the funeral home. Are flowers wanted or donations to a favorite charity preferred. Every funeral can be customized to meet the needs of the individual and the family.
Individuals can decide to have a “green” funeral. Black said that in a “green” funeral a biodegradable casket is used. The casket is not encased in a vault and no embalming is done. However, “green” funerals are permitted only on family owned property, and the grave site or family cemetery must be indicated on the deed.
Black pointed out that cremation is becoming more and more popular. When he started as a funeral director, about 10% of his clients asked for cremation. Today, cremation in the USA has risen to 45%. Cremation costs vary widely in the US. In Nevada, 75% of funerals are cremations.
In Ohio, only 30% chose cremation. Black thinks that the trend toward cremation may be influenced by the relative costs of cremation. A basic cremation is $1000. With extras the cost can rise to about $4500. In comparison, the cost of a traditional funeral averages $8300 which covers casket, minister, obituary, flowers, etc.
Black has been in the funeral business for 25 years. In order to qualify as a funeral director he had to have 2 years of college followed by two years of study at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He then served a one year apprenticeship. Before he could practice on his own, he had to pass the state examination for an embalmer’s license.
The speaker for the September 16 meeting will be a representative from Alcohol and Drug Services of Guernsey County who will speak about the new HOPE program.
Connect with Byesville Rotary at: www.Byesvillerotary.blogspot.com or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Byesville-Rotary/256548047818283. The club meets 7:30 am, Tuesday at the Stop Nine Senior Center at 60313 (GPS use 60299) Southgate Road, Byesville. Call Membership Chair Jim Vaughan, 740-432-5605, to learn more about how to join.