Tags: drive-thru | funeral | home | viewing

Drive-Thru Funeral Home Viewing Caters to the Car-Bound

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 01:07 PM

A drive-thru funeral home viewing of the dearly departed may sound disrespectful to some, but Michigan undertaker Ivan E. Phillips of the Paradise Funeral Chapel in Saginaw said the service sprang out of respect for the families he serves.

Phillips told the Saginaw News that a growing elderly clientele who can't leave their vehicles to make it into his funeral chapel led him to think of more creative ways to offer visitation for loved ones. He recalled one woman who left a nursing home to attend her husband's funeral but was too ill to actually come into the chapel.

"She would've got a chance to see him if we had this, so I knew we had to move forward," Phillips told the newspaper. "Considering the elderly generation that we service, so many people are afraid of funeral homes. So why not be able to do it from your car?"

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Drive-thru funeral homes are not a new idea, but they're still rare. There are a handful  that offer the service in California, South Carolina and Virginia, according to ABC News.

Phillips told ABC News his funeral home constructed a new window specifically for the drive-thru service which will be optional and free for families.

"Some people don't like funeral homes," Phillips said. "They think they're gloomy or dark. And then you have those who are in wheelchairs. I thought a drive-thru would be a perfect place for those individuals. … When you come onto our premises, there are arrows leading up to the drive-thru. You pull forward and the drapes begin to open and you will be able to view the loved one."

There are some downsides. Jeanette Williams, operator of Gatling's Chapel in Chicago, told the Saginaw News she ended its drive-thru funeral service after more than 20 years recently because of vandalism.

Williams told the newspaper that her chapel used video cameras to allow passengers to view loved ones inside the chapel at the drive-thru and while the service was popular, damage to the outdoor projector screen made continuing the service too costly.
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A drive-thru funeral home viewing of the dearly departed may sound disrespectful to some, but Michigan undertaker Ivan E. Phillips of the Paradise Funeral Chapel in Saginaw said the service sprang out of respect for the families he serves.
drive-thru, funeral, home, viewing
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2014-07-17
Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 01:07 PM
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