Air-Conditioned Chapels & $100k Niches | 4M #128

Funeral Industry News Morticians' Monday Morning Mashup March 8, 2024
4M 128

Air-Conditioned Chapels & $100k Niches | 4M #128

Welcome to the hundred-and-twenty-eighth edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #128, 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!

Building honor

Students in an Iowa high school shop class are exercising their skills on more than just bird feeders and end tables. Thanks to an ongoing partnership with The Final Salute, an area nonprofit supporting veterans, shop students at Prairie City – Monroe High School in Monroe are building urns for the cremains of unclaimed veterans. The local American Legion post connected the shop teacher with the owner of a construction company who donated enough wood for at least 40 urns.


The mortuary science program at San Antonio College in Texas will soon be providing students a unique opportunity for hands-on training: an onsite, customer-facing mortuary on campus. Students will work with “real, paying” families and offer services and merchandise at prices that will be “comparable to other funeral homes in the area.”  According to a local news report, this is the first such facility in the country. 

Sign of the times

Last year, the renovation of an apartment building in trendy lower Manhattan eradicated a piece of history: a fading painted-on advertisement for Peter Jarema Funeral Home. Located just a block away from the building bearing the old sign, Jarema Funeral Home was founded in 1906 and is still in operation. After noticing that the renovation had removed the original ad, an anonymous benefactor who was “motivated by his love for classic New York signs” reached out to the funeral home’s new owner to arrange for a replacement. The new ad, printed on a huge canvas banner, relays much of the same information for the funeral home, with some notable omissions. For example, the phone number with the 10-number format has replaced the original number, OR 4-2568, and the “air-conditioned chapel” feature has been removed.

Recently reduced …

Looking for a bargain? Well, search no further, as this listing for one of San Francisco’s most sought-after properties has just been slashed by a cool $2,000. Yes, you too (well, your cremains, anyway) could one day rest in the lush privacy of a double niche in San Francisco’s “exclusive” Columbarium. This historic property, built in 1898, features a neoclassical domed structure and nearly 80,000 units. Some spaces in this property retail for $100,000, so this niche on the much-sought-after first floor is an absolute steal at $38,000. The seller’s loss (due to divorce) could be your gain. Don’t lose this opportunity to be one of the last humans to be legally disposed of in San Francisco proper (the city no longer allows burials within its limits)! Just check out the listing on Facebook Marketplace to learn more.

Hallford update

Carie Hallford, the wife of Jon Hallford and former co-owner of Return to Nature green burial funeral home in Penrose, Colorado, has finally scraped together enough money to satisfy her $100,000 recently-reduced bond. Her husband was released on the same bond amount in January. There’s no word on their current whereabouts. However, the Hallford’s Penrose facility where authorities discovered nearly 200 decomposing bodies — 20 of which have still not been identified — is still standing, despite efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency to raze the building. Demolition has been delayed twice by weather, as well as hindered “due to challenges with locating suitable landfill facilities for the building materials.”