At Jefferson Memorial, we own and operate our own crematory on cemetery grounds so that your loved one never leaves our care. We take ownership of the body and control all aspects of the cremation process. You can be comforted and assured that your loved one is always with us and cared for until returned to you. You may choose to witness the cremation or arrange for the cremains to be returned to you for personal use or memorialization in the cemetery.
If you would like to learn more about cremation or view our crematory please call 412.655.4500 to arrange a tour and learn more about cremation memorialization and interment at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery.
Cremation by definition is the process by which the remains of a body are reduced to its basic elements - bone fragments, not ashes - through a process of heat and evaporation. Cremation is carried out by placing the Decedent’s remains in a casket or alternative container, which is then placed into a cremation chamber where intense heat and flame is applied. Afterwards, the cremated remains are removed from the chamber and placed into a temporary container unless an urn or other receptacle has been provided by the family.
When a death has occurred and cremation has been decided upon, a positive identification viewing is required first and foremost by closest next of kin. You have the option to oversee the cremation of your loved one at the crematory by witnessing the cremation container be placed into the cremation chamber from the viewing window. Furthermore, a family member has the option to start the cremation process from the remote start button. After the cremation has been completed, cremains are returned in a temporary, non-decorative plastic or tin container. As such, it is very common for family to place cremated remains in a decorative urn before interment or burial which we can provide if you would like to purchase a memorial urn.
We truly believe a cremation should be treated like a traditional burial with a viewing or service that gives the family a chance to mourn and say goodbye to the loved one who has passed on. At Jefferson Memorial, nearly 50% of our cremations choose to hold a viewing or memorial service either before or after cremation. It is our deepest belief that having a chance to gather together with family, friends and community to share memories and remember the life of the deceased is the best method for beginning the grieving and mourning process. There are many options available for cremation services, from traditional visitation and viewing services, to graveside memorials and celebrant services. Let our licensed staff help you choose the best option for your family and give yourself the peace of mind knowing you made the right decision.
At Jefferson Memorial, memorialization means having a final resting place to visit a loved one, where the mortal remains of someone important to us are interred and will be visited and remembered. Cremation, like traditional burial, should not be considered an end but a beginning, the first step in the process to create a lasting tribute and a place of honor for the present generation to pass on your story to the next generation.
Our cemetery is a memorial park, where bronze markers are used instead of tombstones to memorialize our dearly departed. Like traditional ground burial, cremated remains may be interred in the ground, indoor or outdoor mausoleum, niche or your mantel at home.
Generally, niche units and ground space are designed to hold two cremations. However, some large niches will accommodate up to four cremations. At Jefferson Memorial, we believe in how you should be remembered, and are here to help you make the best decision possible.
At Jefferson Memorial, we do not allow scattering within our cemetery due to environmental effects as cremated remains are not simply ashes, but fine bone fragments that do not biodegrade easily. However, we are working towards developing a cremation garden where scattering and other methods of disposition can be applied.
When a death has occurred and cremation has been chosen, a positive identification must be made before the cremation process can begin by the closest next of kin, referred to as the Authorizing Agent. A spouse, followed by children and then parents are approved to act as an authorizing agent. If all surviving heirs are deceased then a next degree of kinship must be proved.
All remains must be cremated in a combustible casket or alternative container. Our licensed staff members can go over the requirements for any cremation container and in the event that a casket or container does not meet the requirements for cremation the Authorizing Agent will be notified.
After the cremated remains have been processed, they will be placed in an urn provided by the family, or, a temporary container provided by the Crematory. We recommend for an adult cremation that the urn or temporary container be at least 200 cubic inches. In the event a provided urn is insufficient to accommodate all of the cremated remains a secondary container will be provided.
Witnessing a cremation can be an emotional experience, but also provide a sense of closure for a family. Authorized persons are permitted to be present for witnessing the cremation, and a designated family member has the option to start the cremation process using the remote start button.