Scrapyard Rescues & ScareBnbs | 4M #86
Welcome to the eighty-sixth edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #86, where we’ll serve up bite-sized, easily-digestible nuggets of the deathcare news you need to crush conversations in the week ahead. Bon appetit!
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Shades of Sunset Mesa
An Arkansas crematory worker has been arraigned in federal court for allegedly selling parts of bodies intended for cremation — via Facebook Marketplace. The woman is charged with 12 criminal counts including conspiracy to commit mail fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property. If found guilty, she could face 5 to 20 years in prison for each of the 12 counts. The purchaser, a 40-year-old Pennsylvania man who is facing charges in his home state, kept the parts in five-gallon buckets in his basement.
A crushing discovery
Kudos to Justin Grassano, co-owner of a Vermont scrapyard, who recently rescued cremains he discovered in the trunk of a car that was headed to the crusher. After exploring other items in the vehicle, including a folded American flag and several identification cards, Grassano realized the deceased was a Vietnam War veteran. He turned the cremains over to another of the scrapyard’s co-owners, Steve Heffernan, who just happened to be a master sergeant with the Vermont Air Guard with 31 years of service. Together, these gentlemen are diligently searching for relatives of the deceased in the hopes they can provide a proper burial. Until then, the late veteran’s cremains are safely ensconced in a place of honor in Heffernan’s’ office.
Piecing together a memory
For more than 20 years, a Wisconsin funeral home has hosted a unique workshop that offers families the opportunity to create a huggable keepsake in memory of a deceased loved one. Last weekend Waid Funeral and Cremation Service in Vermont held its popular memory bear workshop, where staff members guide participants through crafting a teddy bear from items of clothing that belonged to a late loved one. Families are asked to bring the clothing, stuffing and any accessories they may want to add to the bear, but sewing skills are not a requirement, and the workshop is free to all who attend.
A decrepit former funeral home that was last inhabited more than 20 years ago was recently sold at auction — for more than twice the asking price. Apparently, the price escalated as enthusiastic potential buyers, many of whom had plans to rehab the run-down mortuary and rent it out as a “spooky-themed Airbnb,” sparked a bidding war. It won’t be the first former deathcare space to be given new life as a home, but surely it ranks among the creepiest.
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