Let us help you design a loved one's memorial service to be as unique as the life they lived. Nearly a century of serving the needs of families and friends has taught us that we all share something we can keep forever: our memories, the experiences we shared...the story of their life and ours. Each life is a story of its own. As such, we are in the business of helping people tell and remember stories. The staff of Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory has dedicated themselves to assisting people through one of life's most challenging times.
We consider it a privilege to assist you during those difficult hours. Rest assured we will be with you through every step. We believe that the experience of a loved one's death is a deeply meaningful time -- our commitment to you is to come along side and help you grieve, cope and move forward.
Fitzgerald's Signature Services:
Our 10-Step Cremation Process
"We believe in our cremation process so much, that we exclusively offer the
We understand, due to national scandals, that those who choose cremation might have concerns about the process and procedures of cremation. Our 10-step cremation process guarantees that your loved one never leaves our care and that the cremated remains returned to you are those of your loved one. This brochure will help answer any questions you may have about our 10-step cremation process, and the commitment we have to every family we serve.
Every family we serve, and every service we conduct is custom designed by each family when working with our licensed funeral arrangers. For clarity and ease of understanding, we have summarized the types of services most of our families ask us to perform... but each service is different; each life is unique; and each family chooses to honor those lives in a manner appropriate to them.
purpose does a funeral serve?
The funeral ceremony is a customary way to recognize death and its finality. Funerals are recognized rituals for the living to show respect for the dead and to help survivors begin the grief process.
2. What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters, caregivers and administrators. They make the arrangements for transportation of your loved one, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link survivors with support groups at the funeral home or in the community.
3. Do you have to have a funeral director to bury my loved one?
In most states, family members may bury their own dead although regulations vary. However, most people find it very trying to be solely responsible for arranging the details and legal matters surrounding a death.
4. Why have a public viewing?
Viewing is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is encouraged for children, as long as the process is explained and the activity voluntary.
5. What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.
6. Does a dead body have to be embalmed, according to law?
No. Most states, however, require embalming when death was caused by a reportable contagious disease, when remains are to be transported from one state to another by common carrier or if final disposition is not to be made within a prescribed number of hours.
7. Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
No, cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the body's final disposition and often follows a traditional funeral service.
8. Why are funerals so expensive?
When compared to other major life cycle events, like births and weddings, funerals are not expensive. A wedding costs at least three times as much; but because it is a happy event, wedding costs are rarely criticized. A funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.), these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details. Our funeral homes are independently owned and operated with a modest profit margin.
9. What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
A funeral director is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You should feel free to call us at any time.
10. Will someone come right away?
If you request immediate assistance, yes. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good bye, that is also acceptable. We will come when the time is right for you.
11. If a loved one dies out of state, can Fitzgerald Funeral Home still help?
Yes, we can assist you with out-of-state arrangements, as well as transferring your loved one to/from another state.
12. So, I've decided on cremation. Can I still have a funeral or a viewing?
Yes, quite often some sort of viewing precedes the actual cremation. Your Funeral Home can assist you with the necessary information for a funeral with a cremation following or a memorial service.
13. What government agencies help defray final expenses?
Usually, Funeral Directors will help gather the necessary information to apply for funds that may be available (typically around $200) from Social Security, Veterans, retirements and any others.