Most people come to us not knowing what questions to ask. We've compiled this list of common questions for people navigating these unfamiliar waters. We believe the more people know and understand this process, the less scary it will be.
If you can’t find the question you wanted to ask, don’t hesitate to contact us.
- What is The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial?
- Why a co-op?
- Do I have to be a member to use The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial?
- How do I become a member of The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial?
- How is The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial different from other funeral homes?
- Can we use a traditional cemetery?
- What's the difference between a funeral home and a cemetery?
- Can The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial provide open-casket burial with viewing?
- What if I want to be buried out of state or out of the country?
- What is green burial? How does The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial provide it?
- What is aquamation?
- What is carbon-neutral cremation?
- What happens to the gold dental fillings when someone is cremated?
The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial is a licensed full-service funeral home located on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle. It is owned by the 71,000 living members of People's Memorial Association. Any profits that the business makes are reinvested back into the funeral home to better serve our members and the general public.
The Co-op 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. Seattle is home to many co-ops, credit unions, and several industries, including PCC Natural Food Markets, REI, Central Co-op, BECU. 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.
No, The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial is open to the general public; however non-members pay a higher price for our services. Whether a member or non-member, The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial offers excellent value and prices that are well below other funeral homes in Seattle.
Submit the membership application for People's Memorial Association, along with payment of $50 for lifetime membership. This entitles you to discounted prices at The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial.
As a member-owned funeral home, The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial 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” 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. Our goal is to provide a dignified farewell to your loved one with the best value anywhere.
We can arrange for burial at any cemetery, but People's Memorial members receive a 15% discount at a few contracted cemeteries. 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.
In Washington these are two separate businesses. A funeral home (also called a mortuary) is responsible for preparing a body for burial, cremation, or aquamation. A cemetery (or graveyard) is the place where a burial or interment takes place. Some older funeral homes may also have their own cemetery, but any funeral home can work with any cemetery.
The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial 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 for such occasions. If you are part of a faith community, we can arrange for viewing and services in your house of worship. A hearse and limousine 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.
The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial 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. It's important to know that you will need to work with two different funeral homes during this process: the funeral home responsible for shipping your loved one's remains and a funeral home to receive their remains. The receiving funeral home will be responsible for the final disposition of the body.
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 Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial 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. For more information on green cemeteries, visit the Green Burial Council's website.
The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial is proud to be one of the first Seattle funeral homes to offer aquamation as an eco-friendly and greener option to our members and community.
Aquamation is a gentle process that uses water, temperature, pressure, and alkalinity to reduce the body to bones. Those bones are then processed into "ashes" and returned to the family in an urn. Cremation does the same reduction using flame.
For each cremation or burial The Co-op Funeral Home of People's Memorial handles, we send a donation to Forterra to support land conservation projects in the Pacific Northwest. Forterra's mission is to innovate and scale land-based solutions to address the climate crisis and support equitable, green and prosperous communities. In 2021 TCFH's donations supported their forest restoration project.
We get asked this question on a daily basis. We wrote a whole blog post about it! You can read it here.