Detroit is a city with a long history, and while it is not longer the same city it was during its prosperous peak, it still has many local family businesses that have remained for generations. While many families who settle in the area have moved away, there are still some who have lived here and continue to work here. Today we are going to examine the history of some of the funeral homes in Detroit.
Oldest Black Owner Funeral Service
The James H. Cole funeral home in Detroit can trace its origins back more than a century, to 1919 when it was founded in the African-American community known as black bottom. The funeral home has the honorary distinction of being the first black owned funeral home in the Motor City. The tradition has been passed down through generations as the funeral parlor is still owned and operated by the kids and grandchildren of James H. Cole. To learn more about the history of this historic Detroit business, check out this article in the Michigan Chronicle.
Another Centennial Funeral Home
While it is no longer technically within the Detroit city limits, the Verheyden funeral home in nearby Grosse Pointe has been serving the greater Metro Detroit area for more than one hundred and twenty years. The funeral home was founded by Charles Verheyden on Mack Avenue in the year 1908. It moved from Detroit to its current nearby location in 1941. With such a long and storied history, the Verheyden family continues to provide funeral, cremation, and memorial services to the citizens of Detroit and nearby communities.
Cremation Trends in Detroit
As cremation has become an increasingly popular option in recent years, how has this trend impacted the funeral home industry in Detroit? In 2008, the owner of the now closed down Jarzembowski Funeral Home stated that one quarter of his business now involved cremations, but back in 1981 his funeral service provided 325 traditionally funerals and only one cremation. And in the more than decade since then cremation has only become increasingly popular. More and more Detroit funeral homes are finding that they continue to generate more and more of their business through the much more affordable cremation packages than their more traditional funeral packages.
Different Types of Funeral and Cremation Services
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of researching funeral homes or looking for direct cremation services in Detroit, you may be confused about what some of the options are. A traditional funeral package will include everything that is normally associated with funerals. It will involve embalming the deceased, having a viewing of their body displayed in a casket, and a traditional funeral service followed by a burial. A simple or traditional cremation still involves the process of embalming and displaying the body and holding a memorial service, but rather than burying the deceased they are cremated. A direct cremation is where the body is not embalmed or displayed and is simply cremated. At this point a memorial service is optional.