Cremation expected to eclipse traditional burials in North Carolina

North Carolina News

(WJZY) – A new way to say goodbye to a loved one. In 2020 in North Carolina, less than half of all the funeral services were a traditional burial. Funeral directors said people are changing the way they live, so it makes sense that they’re changing the way they want to be buried too.

Though he’s been in the business for decades, Ken Poe isn’t about doing what’s always been done.

“What I tried to do is design a business that more closely reflected what the consumer was asking us for,” said Ken.

The funeral director of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Service said he designed his business without a traditional chapel or a traditional sitting room. He said it’s because people are saying goodbye to their loved ones in a way that’s not traditional at all.

“We’re doing 65-75 percent cremation,” said Ken. He expects in 10 years, they’ll be doing 85 percent cremation.

In North Carolina in 2020, more people were cremated than buried. That’s the first time that’s happened.

“The quick answer is to say that it’s all about cost and ease, but truthfully it’s a lot deeper than that,” said Ken.

Ken said, more people are moving around and away from hometowns. He said, look at the population of Charlotte over the last 15 years. People have been moving to the Queen City from all over the country. So, many people don’t have traditional hometown ties anymore.

“We’ll have people who say they’re going to go visit this place, this place, and this place. And they want to take their ashes to those places,” said Ken.

Ken said, when he started out in the funeral business 40 years ago, they maybe did one cremation a year. Now, he expects cremation will be the majority of all their services moving forward.

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