Once rare, cremation is becoming the new norm

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

When Scott Beinhauer’s forebears expanded their funeral business in 1921 with a location just south of the then-new Liberty Tunnel, they added a rare piece of equipment: a crematory.

For nearly a century it stood as the second-oldest crematory in use in the nation, although it would have received only occasional use for its first few decades, when more than 95 percent of Americans were still opting for burial.

That began to change in the 1960s, and now the nation has reached a cultural tipping point, with cremations out numbering burials. The Memorial Day tradition of paying respects for the departed are increasingly taking place in columbariums rather than graveyards.

The Beinhauer funeral home on the Dormont-Beechview line has responded to the trend by replacing its historic crematory with a state-of-the-art one with computerized controls — and by expanding the chapel and family waiting area around it so that relatives can be there during the process and participate if they choose.

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Categories: America, The Muslim Times, USA

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