Kavod v'Nichum and Gamliel Institute provide resources, education, and training along the Jewish end-of-life continuum: from visiting the sick and pre-planning, to care for the body after death, to providing comfort to the mourners.
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WellsphereOct2009California Man Receives Sentence For Falsifying Records For Harvesting And Selling Human Tissue For Medical Implants
FindACaseSep2009DEBORAH PRISE AND HEATHER RADY, PLAINTIFFS, v. ALDERWOODS GROUP, INC., BURTON L. HIRSCH FUNERAL HOME, INC., H.P. BRANDT FUNERAL HOME, INC., AND H. SAMSON, INC., DEFENDANTS.
Washington PostJul2009Worker Fired For Describing Conditions at Funeral Home
Palm Beach Post NewsApr2009After 8 years, 350 victims’ families share $40 million from Menorah Gardens cemetery scandal
Times PublicationsJul2008Dead Wronged and Dead Wronged II
AZCentral.comMay2008

Funerals: Inconsistent costs, wide confusion

WTAE.com PittsburghAug2007Corpse Abuse Alleged After Man Found Near Coffin
New Jersey RecordJan2006“Funeral homes in N.J. tied to probe” – “A Fort Lee biomedical company under investigation for allegedly harvesting body parts illegally from a Brooklyn funeral home worked in New Jersey funeral homes as well, a spokeswoman for the state funeral directors association said Wednesday.”
Motley FoolDec2005“Do You Need “Pre-Need” Funeral Insurance?” – “The downside, and a reason to think twice before plunking down pre-need money, is that it tends to be a lot of money. And that pile of money will be out of your hands and earning interest — for the people you paid, not for you.”
Motley FoolDec2005“Death: Get Over It” – “When you die intestate, you’ve passed on to the great beyond without leaving behind a will or trust. …When someone dies intestate, that’s lawyerese for, ‘Oh boy, let’s see how much I can get out of this!’.”
Oklahoma City Journal RecordDec2005“Oklahoma funeral directors respond to casket controversy” – “Oklahoma funeral directors routinely mark up the retail price of caskets by as much as 600 percent above wholesale cost.”
Pittsburgh Post GazetteNov2005Ex-funeral home employee files discrimination suit “The recently fired supervisor of the Burton L. Hirsch Funeral Home has filed a federal complaint alleging religious harassment and discrimination against the facility’s parent company.
Globe and MailNov2005“Plan ahead, yes, but prepaying may not add up” – “At the advice firm Kerr Financial, they suggest clients prearrange, but not prepay.”
CNN MoneyOct2005Body snatchers tied to allograft firms? Alleged New York-area ring investigated for selling parts to corpse tissue harvesters.
Crain’s New York BusinessOct2005“Funeral homes dig in; Discounters pose grave new threat; putting an end to cheap burials. – The recent emergence of discount casket retailers is putting many of New York City’s 300 independent funeral homes, which have long relied on caskets as their big earner, in grave peril.”
Daily Record, The (Baltimore)Oct2005“Commentary: Explore options to prepay a funeral” – “Preplanning your own funeral, while difficult for most of us, can help ease the emotional and financial burden for your survivors at a stressful time. But should you pay in advance for your funeral”?
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Oct2005“Helping a Surviving Spouse Carry On” – “…there are some things you can do now to help make your passing easier for your surviving spouse and heirs.”
Birmingham Post; Birmingham (UK)Aug2005“Personal Finance: Pre-Paid Funerals Are Grave Concern”
Motley FoolJul2005“Saving Money on Funerals” – “Here are some smart ways to go about funeral planning.”
St. Petersburg TimesJun2005‘Personal feeling’ wins out
CBS Evening News May2005“Friday Consumer Alert: Group Sues Funeral Homes, Casket Maker” – “A consumer group is suing the nations three biggest funeral home chains and a leading maker of caskets, accusing them of conspiring to fix casket prices.”
Consumers’ ResearchMay2005“Are Consumers Getting Fair Funeral Deals?” – “The following provides two perspectives that serve to outline areas of concern and offer some data on the overall consumer experience with the industry.”
ReasonApr2005“Coffin break: funeral home protection” – “MEMORIAL CONCEPTS Online sells an oak coffin for about $2,000, roughly half the average price at funeral homes in Oklahoma, where the company is based. But in Oklahoma, where only licensed funeral directors are allowed to sell caskets, such competition is illegal.”
Kiplinger’s Retirement ReportDec2004“Make Sure Your Estate ‘Team’ Knows the Plan” – “…have you given your estate plan a “test drive” to make sure it runs smoothly in accordance with your wishes”?
Motley FoolDec2004“What Funerals Cost” – “The average cost of a funeral, as of July 2004, is $6,500 ….you can spend a lot more or a lot less, depending on the decisions you make.”
Motley FoolOct2004“The Facts of Death” – “However, you can save a lot of money on funeral arrangements if you do a little research. Here are some smart ways to go about funeral planning.”
CBS Interactive Business NetworkAug2004Last Wrongs
Indianapolis Business JournalAug2004“Adding personal touch to the funeral service”
Journal of Consumer AffairsJun2004“The economic burden of health care, funeral, and burial expenditures at the end of life” – “Discussion focuses on what role consumer educators can play in helping families better manage end-of-life expenditures.”
Kiplinger’s Retirement ReportMay2004“If You Want to Donate Your Body to Science” – “The donation of a human body for humanitarian and scientific study is a noble act….”
Financial PostMar2004Funeral home giants forced to retrench – Chains that spent freely to acquire assets now find themselves in a cash crunch
Episcopal Life ArchivesFeb2004Why the steep prices?
Womens Wall StreetFeb2004“Plan your own funeral?” – “Many don’t want to think about it, but a little advance work will give both you and your family some peace of mind — and save money.”
Globe SyndicateJan2004“The Sandwich Generation . . . Helping Your Aging Parents: DON’T PREPAY FOR YOUR FUNERAL” – “…Now the funeral home claims she only put down a substantial deposit; she didn’t pay for it all; and we owe them $2,800. What should we do”?
USA WeekendJan2004“Plan your own funeral?” – “Many don’t want to think about it, but a little advance work will give both you and your family some peace of mind — and save money.”
Chattanooga Times/Free PressNov2003“Head of National Funeral Home Group Expects Consumers to Be Price-Conscious” – “If you’re in the market for a new Crown Victoria, you’re not going to stop at the first place you visit and pay $26,000… You’re going to go to two other dealers and see what they’re selling… Why not do this with a purchase that may top $10,000”?
Montana JonesSep2003Canadian Corporate Predator – The Alderwoods Group formerly The Loewen Group
Forbes.com Jul2003Six Feet Under – Service Corp. International made a pile selling “pre-need” funerals and caskets. Competition, debt and the growing trend of cremation nearly buried the company. Now, how to dig itself out?
Kiplinger’s Retirement ReportMay2003“ESTATE PLANNING, Making Final Plans” – “TELLING YOUR FAMILY what kind of final ceremony you want can enable those you love to focus on remembering you. …shield your spouse or children from dealing with funeral salespeople who may push products and services on them at a vulnerable moment. … resist the temptation to pay for funeral expenses in advance – that’s generally not a good idea.”
Operations & FulfillmentMay2003“‘Overpaying Is Not Dignified’ (online marketing of low-cost funeral supplies) ( Funeral Depot Inc.)” – “…low-cost distributors of funeral supplies are finding that consumers are more than willing to flock to the electronic medium.”
Business Record (Des Moines)Apr2003“Lower mortality rate killing funeral business. (Money)”
Kiplinger’s Retirement ReportApr2003“Create an Estate Plan to Put Your Faith In” – “…your plan can do much more. PLAN YOUR ESTATE to honor the goals of your heart, and cherish your family by letting them know what’s important to you. … I’ve seen fist fights over which funeral customs to observe…”
Motley FoolApr2003“Tough Talk” – “It seems like human nature to wait to tell people our true feelings until they (or we) suffer a near-death experience — or a really, really bad haircut. …Life is full of difficult conversations. One of the toughest is talking to a parent or older relative about their final financial wishes.”
National Catholic ReporterApr2003“Do-it-yourself funerals. (Letters). (Letter to the Editor)” – “…start thinking outside the box. For example, you don’t need a priest to do your memorial service. …Plan to have a celebration of life or fond farewell party at a hotel, (or) a family member’s home….”
Kiplinger’s Retirement ReportMar2003“Sensible Ways to Get Organized” – “For Heaven’s Sake, Get Organized. Whatever your motivation, it pays to centralize and organize estate papers and personal collections.
RegulationMar2003“Breathing life into the funeral market: are state regulations impeding innovation and harming consumers in this very meaningful sector of the economy? (Deregulation)” – “…regulatory-protection of rents and the status quo can happen in almost any market… One such example is the market for funeral-related goods and services.”
Motley FoolJan2003“Prepare for Your Demise” – “You can save …a lot of trouble by writing down …information. Your after-death preferences: …buried or cremated? A fancy, plain, or very plain casket? A memorial service or a funeral? Flowers or donations to a charity? “Amazing Grace” or “Muskrat Love”? Who should be invited to various services”?
Federal Trade CommissionOct2002“Are State Funeral Regulations Burying Online Casket Sales? “
PR NewswireOct2002“Consumers to Benefit in Settlement of Funeral Abuse Lawsuit” – “194 pre-need funeral contract purchasers — potential victims of funeral home abuse — will benefit under the settlement of a lawsuit brought by outraged family members of a deceased victim.”
Star-Telegram (Dallas)Sep2002“Burying on a budget eases financial grief” – “The 57-year-old entrepreneur is an industry maverick, in his words a “black sheep” of the family, because of his unorthodox merchandising and outspoken criticism of what he calls funeral homes’ predatory pricing.”
Motley FoolAug2002“Save on Funeral Costs. What should I know about cremation?” – “Funerals are difficult enough without managing the financial burdens of traditional burials. Consider cremation. It’s much less costly than traditional burials and is more environmentally sound, too, using less land.”
Motley FoolJun2002“Saving Money on Funerals” – “Take the time to get informed about the industry now.”
Seattle TimesApr2002“Consumer Group Keeps Watch on Funeral Industry” – “As the cremation rate increases and they’re not getting the funerals, they’re finding other ways (to make money).”
Motley FoolMar2002“How Much Does a Funeral Cost?” – “Here’s a breakdown of average costs, nationwide, according to a 1999 National Association of Funeral Directors survey.”
Kiplinger’s Personal FinanceFeb2002“Give Pre-Need Funerals the Last Rites” – “That fellow on the phone in the middle of your dinner trying to sell you your “memorial estate” is a not a funeral director, although he may pretend to be one.”
Fox NewsDec2001“Gruesome Photos, Video Show Bodies Discarded in Woods Behind Cemetery” – “Funeral Operator Accused of Dumping Corpses in Woods.”
Dallas NewsNov2001“Revenge of the Casket King” – “Bob Davis thought his dad’s funeral was a rip-off – and he did something about it.”
Kiplinger’s Personal FinanceOct2001“UNTIL DEATH DO US PART, ER, PARTY. (funeral services)” – “SPENDING, More Americans plan for happier endings, pulling the plug on traditional FUNERAL SERVICES. LEAVE IT to babyboomers to flout convention….”
Utah State University, Financial FitnessOct2001“Preplanning a funeral” – “While consumer advocates acknowledge the value of advance planning, they caution that handing money over to a death-care provider rather than saving or investing it may be unwise.”
Mother Earth NewsAug2001“The LAST THING you want to do” – “Guess what? You’re going to die. Not today (with luck), not tomorrow (you hope), but some day. …let me tell you the problem with death denial (those undertakers who happily profit on death fears can stop reading now). Ignorance may be bliss when it comes to mortality, but it’s going to cost you.”
Virginia PilotAug2001“FUNERAL HOMES HAVE THE LAW ON THEIR SIDE, VIRGINIA STATUTES LIMIT CONSUMER CHOICES, DRIVE UP PRICES” – “When the end came, she did what a lot of people do, …and called the closest funeral home. The hospital wanted him removed right away. A few hours later, she found herself battling over a $6,000-plus bill.”
USA TodayJul2001“Taking the Mystery Out of Funeral Costs. (Industry Overview) (Statistical Data Included)” – “FUNERALS are expensive. They don’t have to be, but most of them are.”
ABCnews.comJun2001“Adding Expense to Grief” – “License Requirement Keeps Casket Prices High.”
Consumer ReportsMay2001“Final arrangements” – “Our investigation shows that you’ll probably pay top dollar for a prepaid funeral. There are much better ways to plan in advance”
Consumer ReportsMay2001“How to Buy a Funeral” – “With so many quick decisions to be made at the worst time, how can consumers protect themselves”?
Courier-JournalMay2001“Readers’ Forum; Prepaid Funerals” – “To be unprepared in this day of funeral conglomerates, for whom the bottom line counts more than the customer, is to risk being taken advantage of in a very big way.”
NewsNet5 (Cleveland)May2001“Prepaying For Funerals May Be Bad Idea” – “Americans have already spent billions on prepaid funeral contracts, but Betcha Didn’t Know prepaying for funerals could cost you more in the long run. …the very companies that are pushing the prepaid plans, are actually charging hundreds to thousands of dollars more than independent funeral homes or small chains.”
Insight on the NewsDec2000“Lifting the Lid on Competition (retailers of funeral caskets seek to overrule trade restrictions law) (Brief Article).”
Insight on the NewsDec2000“Funeral Industry Colludes With Clergy to Fleece Laity (Brief Article) (Industry Overview).”
Consumers UnionOct2000“Texas problems WITH PREPAID FUNERAL SERVICES” – “Consumers Union SWRO reviewed nearly 300 consumer complaints related to funeral services and found a pattern of problems in the sale of funeral services, as well as problems with the enforcement of existing laws.”
Center for Regulatory EffectivenessSep2000When it Comes to Monopoly-Busting, There is No Resting in Peace for the Feds (Even if the Target Happens to be Involved in a Piously Inclined Business)
AssurantJul2000Fortis and Service Corporation International agree on terms of sale of American Memorial Life Insurance Company
Harper’s MagazineJun2000“Last Rites (the art and business of death)” – “When existential becomes the retail .”
JetJun2000“Funeral Viewing Of Georgia Man Is Held In His Bedroom (Donald Trimble) (Brief Article).”
Federal Trade CommissionMay2000Service Corporation International Divests Roswell, New Mexico Funeral Home As Part of FTC Settlement
Alberta ReportMay2000“Victory over the grave.(Serenity Funeral Service)” – “A group of Edmonton churches unites to provide low-cost funerals”
CFSA NewsletterMay2000“Gasketed Metal Caskets: Let’s Revisit the Question”
NewsweekMay2000“Of Death and Rent Seeking” – “If only licensed morticians can sell caskets, perhaps only podiatrists should sell shoes.”
SojournersMay2000
“We all have to die. But does it have to COST SO MUCH!?” – “The funeral director kept “upselling”–pressing her to consider more expensive alternatives. To be manipulated in that way at that time was one of the most obscene things I’d ever experienced.”
Capitol Hill Press ReleasesApr2000“GRASSLEY TO FUNERAL, BURIAL CONSUMERS: SHOP CAREFULLY” – “Funeral and burial consumers should shop carefully for what will be one of their largest lifetime purchases…”
Kiplinger’s Retirement ReportApr2000“Funerals: Preplan but Don’t Prepay” – “Unfortunately, …it always pays to plan ahead, and it almost never pays to pay ahead,…”
PR NewswireApr2000“California Department of Consumer Affairs: Cemetery Funeral Bureau Revokes AAA Cremation Services’ Funeral Establishment License” – “…gross negligence, gross incompetence, unprofessional conduct and other violations.”
USA TodayApr2000“Funeral abuses probed Elderly victim paid $132,000; [FINAL Edition]” – “Senate investigators have uncovered what they say are ongoing, widespread abuses in the death-care industry.”
Money MagazineMar2000“The Truth About Funerals” – “Take the time to evaluate the choices, and prearrange the details and tasks.”
National Catholic ReporterJan2000“LETTERS. (Letter to the Editor), Being in charge” – “You do not need people in dark clothes telling you how to bury your dead.”
National Catholic ReporterDec1999“Rituals of grief drained of power. (personal account of a death in the family, and of the following funeral)” – “We’re going to do this our hometown way,” promised Scott, my husband’s oldest and best friend.”
Money MagazineNov1999“Planning your funeral” – “Preparing for the inevitable can relieve emotional, financial stress later.”
USA TodayOct1999“Funeral homes fight for life” – “Already burdened by declining profit margins and stable death rates, the funeral industry is facing increased competition …from discount casket stores that began springing up about three years ago.”
Wired NewsOct1999“Abra Cadaver: A Fight for Bodies” – “…but if they go online, they can find a casket at a fraction of the (funeral home) cost. Increasingly, that’s just what they’re doing.”
Salon.comSep1999The Dying Giant
MSN MoneyCentralSep1999“Sickly funeral industry on death’s door” – “Fewer acquisitions and more cremations are killing the top funeral companies.”
PR NewswireAug1999“Newsweek: Lawyer for Texas Funeral-Home Chain Under State Investigation Says George W. Bush Popped in Meeting and Asked, ‘Are Those People Still Messing With You?'” – “The state’s former chief funeral regulator, Eliza May, has sued the state, SCI and Waltrip, charging that Bush’s aides repeatedly pressured her to end the probe — and that when she resisted she was fired.”
Salon.comAug1999“The funeral scandal time line” – “A chronology of the battle between the Texas Funeral Service Commission and Service Corporation International.”
PR NewswireJun1999“Parents Sue Two Funeral Homes Over Local TV Celebrity Interment; Wichita Falls News Anchor’s Body Improperly Embalmed by SCI” – “suing the world’s largest funeral company after their entombed son’s body began emitting odors and oozing fluids that drew swarms of gnats, as reported by the Associated Press yesterday.”
Good HousekeepingMay1999“Funeral Finances, You Can Spend Less” – “The problem is, when you’re grieving and vulnerable, it’s easy to forget that funeral directors are salespeople; the more you spend, the better it is for their business.”
Health and Social WorkMay1999“What families know about funeral-related costs: implications for social work practice” – “Results reported here suggest that social work’s role be expanded to provide basic information about local final arrangement options and costs, …half the survivors responsible for final arrangements had no idea what to expect in terms of costs.”
National Catholic ReporterMay1999“Funeral ripoffs, a diva and a great teacher. (organizations that provide information for affordable funeral services; other brief items)(Brief Article)” – “It is no secret that exorbitant prices and fantastic profits are the rule rather than the exception in the funeral industry.”
Sacramento BeeApr1999“Funeral cost: How to survive the maze”
Sacramento BeeApr1999“Picking a resting place not easy”
Sacramento BeeApr1999“Changing views on death spur new funeral traditions”
Sacramento BeeApr1999“What to think about in planning a funeral”
Sacramento BeeApr1999“Compare: Non-Declinable Fees”
Sacramento BeeApr1999“Compare: Cremation”
Sacramento BeeApr1999“Compare: Direct Burial”
Sacramento BeeApr1999“Compare: Steel Casket”
Sacramento BeeApr1999“Compare: Embalming”
Sacramento BeeApr1999“Compare: Hearse Rentals”
Sacramento BeeApr1999“Compare: Dressing and Casket”
Competition CommissionApr1999Summary Service Corporation International And Plantsbrook Group Plc: A Report On The Merger Situation
Austin ChronicleMar1999“Buried in Scandal – Funeral Industry Troubles Could Land Regulators at Death’s Door”
Sun SentinelMar1999In Surprising Numbers, Chains Are Buying Up Funeral Homes But Keeping The Names, Making It Difficult To Tell The Chains From The Independents.
Tampa Bay Business JournalFeb1999SCI must divest two facilities
Business Wire Jan1999“State Suspends 16 Loewen Funeral Home and Cemetery Operations” – “… books and records were not brought into compliance, … businesses were operated incompetently, negligently, and in violation of numerous provisions of the Florida Funeral and Cemetery Services Act”
New York Daily News OnlineNov1998“City Scrutinizing Big Funeral Corp” –
New York Daily News OnlineNov1998“Fighting the Hard Sell” – “A guide to keeping funeral costs down.”
New York Daily News OnlineNov1998“Huge Firm Accused of Bias” – “SCI has taken over so many Jewish funeral chapels that it has a virtual monopoly on that business in Manhattan, according to Consumer Affairs Commissioner..,.”
New York Daily News OnlineNov1998“Why It Costs So Much to Die in N.Y.” – “Global firm is buying funeral homes, raising prices.”
TrialNov1998“Advocates for reform of funeral, cemetery industry are never at rest” – “Funeral industry abuses are the focus of litigation by Florida plaintiff attorney Thomas Carey who states that this industry is terribly underregulated and has business principles that no US retail outlet would be permitted.”
Intellectual Capital.comOct1998The Cost of Death – by Robert Bryce – A review of The American Way of Death Revisited by Jessica Mitford (Knopf, 1998)
ShootSep1998“Saatchi goes Down Under with P.O.V. on cost of R.I.P – TV commercial for funeral company No Frills Funerals & Cremations” – “Sydney Agency Employs Humor For No Frills Funerals & Cremations.”
Profits of Death NewsletterAug1998The Blind Spot
USA TodayAug1998“Changes forecast for 21st century. (new funeral industry services) (Brief Article)” – “Predictions call for a major change in customs and education, as well as who controls the businesses and how they will be run, all of which greatly will shape funerals in the next century.”
Profits of Death NewsletterJun1998The Commerce Of Corpses
Medical EconomicsApr1998“What I’ve learned about life – in funeral homes” – “I remind myself of the good, simple lessons I learn from my visits to funeral homes: Life is short. Enjoy the people you love, while you have them. Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Profits of Death NewsletterMar1998The Art of Restoring Consumer’s Last Rights or.. . Embalmer, Pickle Yourself!
US News & World ReportMar1998“The Deathcare Business” – “Wasielewski is a connoisseur of the techniques many funeral directors use to take advantage of vulnerable people, from exorbitant markups to deceptive sales practices.”
US News & World ReportMar1998“Opting Out – A Home Funeral for Her Husband” – “On a winter’s night in March 1981, Vermont housewife Lisa Carlson, mother of two young children, was in terrible straits….”
US News & World ReportMar1998“Useful Tips for a Tough Time” – “1. Plan Ahead, 2. Don’t Prepay, 3. Take your Time, 4. Buy the minimum, 5. Don’t be bullied….”
Washington Jewish WeekFeb1998Funerals are big business – Local ‘Jewish’ homes no longer Jewish-owned
Profits of Death NewsletterFeb1998Grave Concerns – A local author exposes the darkest side of the mortuary business
National Catholic ReporterJan1998“Critics recommend alternative funerals. (unethical practices and commercialization in the funeral business spurs Arizona-based Interfaith Funeral Information Committee to offer other suggestions)” – “Exposes of unethical practices in the funeral industry and critiques of the commercialization of the rites surrounding death have, in recent years, prompted campaigns for more careful regulation of the business and for alternatives in death care.”
National Catholic ReporterJan1998“‘Death care giants’ team up with church: relationship raises issues about church role in bereavement” – “The leasing of land for mortuaries by the Los Angeles Catholic archdiocese to the funeral conglomerate Stewart Enterprises Inc raises doubts in the minds of some about the rightness of the alliance which should be lucrative for both concerns. Arguments for and against the scheme are discussed.”
Money MagazineSep1997“The Final Payment – The Funeral Industry is Greedier Than Ever, Here’s How to Avoid a Gouging On….” – “The typical adult funeral now costs around $4,783 and cemetery costs can push that figure as high as $8,000. …a decent funeral should cost less than half that figure.”
National Catholic ReporterJun1997“Buying the dead a dubious undertaking. (greed in the funeral industry)(Inside NCR)(Editorial)” – “Marketing in the undertaking business is built on the weakness and ignorance of the bereaved. An industry of local family-run businesses has now become merger-created giants with revenues in the billions of dollars. Churches must distance themselves from this commercial side of dying.”
Kiplinger’s Personal FinanceMay1997“Paying for the funeral. (Dealing With Dying, part 2) (includes related articles on cemetery plots; family finances)” – “Emotionally vulnerable funeral customers are loathe to comparison shop, but can save substantial sums by being prepared. Tips on keeping costs reasonable, such as shopping for lower professional service fees, and ordering caskets directly.”
Kiplinger’s Retirement ReportMay1997“Estate Planning, You’re the Executor, Now What”?
Kiplinger’s Personal FinanceApr1997“Dealing With Dying – a terminal illness can obliterate the best-laid financial plans. But sometimes there’s help in unexpected places. (includes related articles)(Family Finances)” – “Resources to investigate when a terminal illness threatens. Tips are given on planning for the future including what issues to see a lawyer about, and the kinds of lists to leave behind for surviving family members.”
Money MagazineApr1997“Don’t Prepay For Your Funeral”
Florida TrendFeb1997“Fight to the death: Florida is a major battleground for two corporate giants struggling to dominate the nation’s funeral business. (SCI; Loewen)” – “…while the chapel, and many similar Florida funeral homes, still look like local businesses, their ownership, price structure and profit margins are no longer mom-and-pop.”
New StatesmanJan1997“It’s my mum’s funeral, so no jokes please, Dad” – “A writer’s personal experience while on a motoring trip to his mother’s funeral is narrated. The writer’ grief was overwhelmed by the mechanical problems affecting his car.”
Insight on the NewsDec1996“While grim reaper toils, corporations reap big profits. (funeral and cemetery industries).”
Time MagazineDec1996Fight To The Death – A Battle Between Rival Funeral-Home Dynasties Puts The Spotlight On A Vast But Quiet Transformation In The Way We Bury Our Dead
American DemographicsSep1996“Bargain pine boxes. (funeral arrangements; Family Funeral Care)” – “Funeral-home operators are offering discounted products and services for price-conscious consumers”
National Catholic ReporterSep1996“Priest puts funeral prices on the Internet. (‘Funerals and Ripoffs’ web site)”
Profit MagazineFeb/Mar1996“The Trial of Ray Loewen”
Consumer’s DigestSep1995“Fraud in the Funeral Industry” – “…your final arrangements are among the most expensive consumer purchases you’ll ever make. But there’s no need to spend thousands if you have the right information and plan ahead”
Consumers’ ResearchAug1995“How to cut funeral costs” – “prepayment for a funeral represents a major financial commitment and, in our opinion, generally is not a good idea”
Houston Press NewsFeb1994Dying for Dollars
BC BusinessMay1992“Entrepreneur of the year (Ray Loewen of the Loewen Group Inc., largest funeral service organization in Canada)”
Money MagazineDec1988“Paying for the big chill. (includes related article on how to arrange a funeral service)” – “But sooner or later you almost certainly will plan a funeral. And most people arrange funerals at the worst possible time: on short notice, with little information and after someone close to them has died. Too often, in the interest of expedience, they make decisions that they may later regret.”
Money MagazineMar1985“10 questions to ask your parents (about their financial situation and funeral wishes)” – “Raising these subjects, however, requires delicacy. One way to initiate the conversation is to talk about your own financial situation and what you would want your parents to do should you meet an untimely death.”