If you don’t want anyone to pay attention to a piece of news, be sure to put out your press release just before the biggest holiday of the year. On December 23, the Federal Trade Commission released the news that it has given its blessing for the largest company in America’s “death care” industry, Service Corporation International, to go ahead and acquire the second-largest company in the same business, Stewart Enterprises, Inc. [More]
Service Corporation International
A traditional Jewish funeral and burial occur soon after death, and is simple, avoiding many of the excesses of the American funeral industry. To make planning easier and simpler, Jewish groups in the nation’s capital have an agreement with a local funeral home: all of the services for one set price for members of any affiliated organization. Thanks to the Service Corporation International-Stewart Enterprises International merger, that agreement is at risk. [More]
Back in 2008, Service Corporation International, the nation’s largest funeral-service company, made a bid to acquire the second-largest company, Stewart Enterprises Inc. The smaller company rebuffed its suitor, but reconsidered after an offer this year. The two companies will now form one large mega-death-services-corporation just as baby boomers are about to consider planning–and more importantly, pre-paying for–their funerals. [More]
The National Funeral Home in Falls Church, Virginia stores unrefrigerated corpses, including some bound for Arlington National Cemetery, in hallways and garages for months on end, according to embalmer-turned-whistleblower Steven Napper. The Funeral Home’s owner, Texas-based Service Corporation International, told Napper that they were unwilling to pay for refrigeration, which would prevent corpses from leaking and growing mold.
The Mount Auburn Funeral Home in Stickney, Illinois, mixed up the tags on a couple of bodies, so that when mourners showed up to view 91-year-old Lillian Grogan on Monday, they instead saw a different lady wearing Grogan’s clothes and jewelry. When a granddaughter tried to find out what the funeral home had done with the real Grogan, she discovered the woman had already been buried. She was exhumed and reburied yesterday. Hey, at least cremation wasn’t involved.