What is PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ Funeral Co-op?
PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ Funeral Cooperative (Funeral Cooperative) is a licensed full-service funeral home located on Capitol Hill in Seattle. It is owned by the 80,000 living members of PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ Association (Association). Any profits that that the business makes are reinvested back into the funeral home to better serve our members and the general public.
Why a Cooperative?
As a cooperative, the funeral home is wholly owned by the members of PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ Association for the members’ mutual benefit. A co-op is a democratically run organization that allows the members to pool resources and share the benefits. Owning our own funeral home enables us to better control prices and quality of service as well as assure the long-term financial viability of PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™. Seattle is home to many cooperatives and credit unions, including Group Health, PCC Natural Food Markets, REI, Madison Market, Boeing Employees Credit Union to name a few. Most residents are already a member of at least one co-op or credit union.
May the general public use the Funeral Cooperative?
PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™Funeral Cooperative is open to the general public, however non-members pay a higher price for our services. The low cost of joining PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ and the resulting savings makes it a smart choice for anyone. Nonetheless, whether a member or non-member, the Funeral Cooperative offers excellent value and prices that are well below other funeral homes in Seattle.
How is the Funeral Cooperative different from other funeral homes?
As a member-owned funeral home, PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ Funeral Cooperative has a totally different feel than most mortuaries. Families know they will be treated with respect and caring. There is no pressure to upgrade your choices and there are no surprises about the bottom-line cost. We do not have a huge “brick and mortar” edifice of a traditional funeral home, nor do we have money tied up in an expensive hearse and other equipment. As a result, we pass the savings on to you. We have a very comfortable arrangements office where you meet with a funeral director to plan a cremation or burial. We don’t have the funeral home smell nor the creepy music of your grandmother’s day. Our staff is focused on serving you in your time of loss and in providing arrangements that are within your budget. You will not receive any pressure to upgrade the services or merchandise. Our goal is to provide a dignified farewell to your loved one with the best value anywhere.
Can the Funeral Co-op provide open-casket burial with viewing?
The Funeral Cooperative can provide any type of burial or cremation service. If you wish to have a viewing or chapel service, we have several churches and other venues we contract with for such occasions. If you have a faith community, we can arrange for viewing and services in your house of worship. A hearse and limosine can also be arranged if you desire. We offer a rental casket for those who wish to have a viewing or service with the body present, followed by cremation. We also offer a full line of caskets at a better value than Costco or WalMart.
What is green burial? How does the co-op provide it?
Green burial is a return to the natural burial practices of our ancestors. An unembalmed body is enclosed in a cloth shroud, simple wooden box or woven casket and placed directly into the soil with no concrete vault or liner. The Funeral Cooperative is proud to be the first funeral home in Seattle to be certified by the Green Burial Council to provide such arrangements. There are currently two natural burial grounds in Washington state that are certified by the Green Burial Council–White Eagle Memorial Preserve, near Goldendale and The Meadow Natural Burial Ground in Ferndale. In addition, Woodlawn Cemetery in Snohomish has a hybrid green burial section that is also certified by the Green Burial Council. PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ member receive a 15% discount at The Meadow and Woodlawn.
What is carbon-neutral cremation?
What kind of footprint do you want to leave behind? While cremation is considered to be more environmentally friendly than conventional burial, PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ seeks to minimize the impact of cremation on the environment. For each cremation we handle, the Funeral Cooperative invests in natural, clean solar and wind power through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. In addition, for each cremation or burial the Funeral Co-op handles, we plant a tree through American Forests. This way, you can be assured that your final act will not negatively impact life on this earth for your children and grandchildren.
What about traditional cemeteries?
The Funeral Cooperative can arrange for burial at any cemetery. While some cemeteries have an onsite funeral home, you do not need to use that funeral home to be buried in their cemetery. PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ currently has one contracted conventional cemetery, Moles Greenacres Memorial Park in Ferndale where our members receive a 15% discount. In addition there are several municipal and independently-owned cemeteries in the Puget Sound area which can offer affordable burial options. PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ also contracts with a direct-import monument company, Pacific Coast Memorials, who offers monuments at significantly reduced prices. PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ members receive a 15% discount off their already low prices.
What if I want to be buried out of state or out of the country?
PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™Funeral Cooperative routinely arranges for the preparation and shipment of bodies all over the globe. We do this at a price that is far less than other funeral homes in Seattle.
How do I become a member of the Funeral Cooperative?
Simply complete our membership application for PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ Association, along with payment of $25 for lifetime membership. This entitles you to discounted prices at the Funeral Cooperative or any of our more than 25 contracted funeral homes around the state of Washington at time of death.