Hall now offering cremations

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 29, 2006

PROCTORVILLE — Hall Funeral Home has been in business for nearly 75 years and has seen many funeral traditions and customs come and go. Now, they are hoping to keep up with one of the latest trends in after-death services with the addition of a crematory.

Funeral Director Ernie Hall Jr. said his latest venture was something that he and his other family members who work at the funeral home have been discussing for a while. Cremation has become increasingly popular, he said, and is an affordable, practical option for many people.

“The cremation rate is really going up. I think right now it’s about 15 percent locally. In larger areas such as Columbus, that rate is about 20 or 25 percent,” Hall said.

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Hall’s son, Ernie Hall II, also a licensed funeral director, said cremation is sometimes about half the cost of a traditional burial.

The Halls have the funeral home and also own Miller Memorial Gardens.

“Really, there is not a much space in many of the cemeteries as there used to be,” Hall II said. “That makes it more expensive.”

Contrary to many people’s beliefs, there are a wide variety of options when have a cremation, Hall II said. Loved ones can still have a visitation with a viewing of the body, a funeral service and any other memorials they want to have. There also direct cremations, Hall II explained, where there are no services.

“It really depends on what the family wants,” he said. “We can do a wide variety of things. We offer a lot of different options that many people don’t know we have.”

The crematory itself is state-of-the art, computerized piece of equipment in the rear of the funeral home that has been inspected and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, Hall said. There are no emissions and each person is cremated separately so there is no chance of ashes being mixed or misplaced.

“The body is never unsupervised,” Hall II said. “It gives the family piece of mind that we are with the body during each process.”

His father added, “They can trust that their loved one is constantly in our care.”

Hall said he used to be “dead set” against cremation but now realizes that it can be a viable option to the traditional burial.

“It’s an ever-changing field. When I took over the business in 1969 I never thought cremation would catch on around here,” he said. “Now, you see more and more people doing it, even people in their 80s and 90s.”

Hall’s other children Ericca, 28, and Evan, 26, and their mother, Clorinda, are all also licensed funeral directors and are certified to perform cremations.

For more information about cremation services call Hall’s at (740) 886-6164.