Newspaper and Magazine Articles


All are full text taken from the NHCPL catalog keyword search or the NCLive Database (accessible free through the internet with you North Carolina Public Library card number) or from general keyword searches. I have limited the search to items from 2010 and later (no more than 5 years old) in an attempt to survey the most current developments on the issue, unless the item has historical or unique information.

“91-Year-Old Meditation Master: Ruth Denison” by Caroline Ryder. Spirituality and Health Magazine July-August, 2013

“AARP North Carolina: End of Live Care Survey” (July 2003) [NHCPL Cat]

“American Way of Death – Still” by Craig Matters. Money November 2012.

“Antitrust Lawsuit Shakes Up Funeral Industry” by Talea Miller Corporation Legal Times July 2005. Reports on the class action lawsuit filed in San Francisco May 2, 2005 against the three largest US funeral homes and the largest casket maker. [NCLive]

“As Roadside Memorials Multiply, A Second Look” by Ian Urbina. New York Times February 6, 2006. Discusses the growth of, and state regulation of the growing number of “shrines” that are springing up alone US roadsides. [NYTimes]

“Attorney General, Connping Offers Checklist to Avoid Funeral Ripoffs” Fairfeld County Business Journal April 28, 1997. Reports on a survey done bny Connecticut Attorney Geral Richard Blumenthal and the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group. [NCLive]

“Author to Speak on Death Expenses at Library.” By Cece Nunn. Star-News May 17, 2011. Features the book by Karen Jones, Death for Beginners. [NHCPL Cat]

“Board Revokes License for Niles Funeral Home, Funeral Director” by Ed Runyan. Vindicator (Youngstown) August 14, 2013. Misappropriation of more than $150,000 in pre-paid funeral expenses for more than 50 customers. [NCLive]

“Body and Organ Donation, Funerals, and Burials” Chapter 27 Legal Information Resource Center May 2012 pg. 413-425. [NCLive]

“Breathing Live Into Caskets” by Jason Daley. Entrepreneur January 2012. Details Nathan Smith and his custom casket store, “’Till We Meet Again.” [NCLive]

“A Business of Life and Death” by Meribah Knight. Crain’s Chicago Business August 5, 2013. Tells the story of a family owned funeral on Chicago’s South Side that handles many funerals of homicide victims “due to its philosophy to ‘turn away no one’ even if that means reducing the cost of the funeral, offering extended payment plans and, and at times, burying someone at no charge.” [NCLive]

“Cemetery’s Fees Rub Funeral Homes Wrong Way” by Roselee Papandrea. Times-News (Burlington, NC) August 25, 2011. Beware of “overtime” costs on top of other cemetery costs. [NCLive]

“Ceremony Honors Loved Ones No Longer with Us” by Bryce Alderton. Laguna Beach coastline Pilot November 1, 2013. Memory JAR, a San Clemente nonprofit has raised more then 100,000 for bereavement services.

“Cloquet Planning Commission Oks Bio-cremation Option at Funeral Home” by Jana Peterson. Pine Journal (Colquet, MN) January 13, 2012. Discusses “alkaline hydrolysis” process of bio-cremation. [NHCPL Cat]

“Colorado Casket Business an Independent Alternative” by Claire Martin. Denver Post November 3, 2012. “When Sue Fletcher was helping her husband arrange his grandmother’s funeral, she was astonished at the casket’s cost more than $3,000. Then, when her mother-in-law found the same casket online for $1,000, Fletcher got mad. ‘Sometimes there’s a 600 percent mark-up,’ she said. ‘I know that there are caskets made in China for $400 or $500 that are sold here for thousands.’” [NCLve]

“Death Comes to the Mall as Funeral Outlets, Casket Stores Seek a Livelier Sales Environment” by John Rogers. The Canadian Press February 3, 2014. (Actually about Los Angeles Area) [NHCPL Cat]

“Death in the Family” by Josh Moss. Louisville Magazine, September, 2012. Chronicles the workings of a family owned funeral home that serves the Louisville, Kentucky Black community. [NCLive]

“Death Project” by Daniel D. Williams. Senior Market Advisor July, 2013. [NCLive]

“Don’t Mourn the Loss of Bereavement Airfares” by Justin Bachman. February 28, 2014. Discusses American Airlines discounting of “bereavement fares” and proposes a national standard that would help much more. [NCLive]

“Don’t Pay Too Much for a Funeral” by Anthony Giorgianni. February 26, 2014. What to do it you feel “pressured” at a funeral home. [NCLive]

“Dying to Be Green: by Suysan Tweit. Audubon September, 2010. [NHCPL Cat]

“Elder Care” Chapter 7 in Legal Answer Book for Families by Emily Dosko and Marcia Stewart. NOLO, 2014. Covers topics including Documents, Conservatorships and Guardianships, Medicare, Medicade, Long-Term Care Insurance and Residential Care. [NCLive]

“Emergency Rooms Are No Place for the Elderly” by Pauline W. Chen, M.D. The New Your Times March 13, 2014. Discusses the development of quality emergency care in relationship to the needs of the elderly. [NCLive]

“End of Life Planning Advice for LGBT Couples” PR Newswire June 18, 2013. [NCLive]

“Father and Son Plead Guilty in St. Louis Prepaid Funeral Scam Case” by Robert Patrick. St. Louis Post-Dispatch July 4, 2013. Chronicles a 600 million Ponzi scheme. [NCLive]

“The First Week” by Mary Randolph. The Executor’s Guide Chapter 3. February 2013. [NC Live]

“Funeral and Memorial Services” by Melanie Cullen and Shae Irving. Get It All Together: Legal Information Reference Center 2012. Succinct and current, excellent resource for planning services. [NCLive]

“Funeral Costs Challenge Low-Income Budgets” by Cynthia McCormick. Cape Cod Times July 21, 2013. [NHCPL Cat]

“Funeral Costs Up 17.5 Percent” by Rick McCrabb. Dayton Daily News June, 4, 2012. “Average funeral cost ($6,550) does not include cemetery fees ($2,500), headstone ($2,000), or grave marker ($1,000). [NHCPL Cat]

“Funeral Homes Go Digital” by Rebecca Olles. Crain’s New Your Business March 19, 2012. Greenwich Village Funeral Home installs a system to live stream memorial services. [NCLive]

“Funeral homes will have to cover some losses from troubled Wisconsin Funeral Trust” by George Hesselberg Wisconsin State Journal (Madison) October 14, 2012. Discusses the “collapse” of the Wisconsin Funeral Trust. {NCLive]

“General Price Lists Demystified” From web site:

“Good Grief: Is There a Better Way to be Bereaved?” by Meghan O’Rourke The New Yorker February 10, 2010. A fascinating look at Kubler-Ross and how she developed her “stages of grief” as well as reviews much of the research that has come since her time. [NCLive]

“The High Cost of Death” from BLACK ENTERPRISE October 2010. Clara Bell’s young nephew died suddenly and with her sister in no shape to make plans she set about making decisions and plans. “We had to weed through everything that was being thrown at us to find someone who could meet our needs.” Includes practical steps to keep costs down while still honoring the loved one. [NC-Live]

 “How a Funeral Giant Overcame Antitrust Concerns and Gobbled up its Rival” in BUSINESS WEEK January 1, 2014. “SCI owns and operates more than 1,449 funeral-services locations and 374 cemeteries, including 213 combined funeral-services/crematory locations, as well as 100 crematories. Its total revenue for 2012 was approximately $2.41 BILLION. Stewart is the second-largest funeral and cemetery services provider in the nation with 217 funeral homes and 141 cemeteries in 24 states and Puerto Rico. For the year ending on October 31, 2013, Stewart’s total revenues were approximately $524.1 MILLION.”   [NC-Live]

“Improving End of Life Care: Why Has it Been so Difficult?” ed. by Bruce Jennings, Gregory E. Kaebnick and Thomas H. Murray The Hastings Center. November/December 2005. A Collection of articles on the “state-of-end of life care” aimed at medical providers and policy makers the articles are generally readable by the general public. [NCLive]

“A Little Planning Goes a Long Way: Making Your Wishes Known Ahead of Time Can Help Avoid Sticky Issues in Funeral Arrangements” by Jay Ashley. Times-News (Burlington, NC) May 19, 2010. [NCLive]

“Living Well at the End of Life: Adapting Health Care to Serious Chronic Illness in Old Age” by Joanne Lynn, David M. Adamson. 2003. Available at: [NCLive]

Looking Away: Funerals Aren’t What They Used to Be” by Paul Schaefer. Commonweal August 16, 2013. Discusses how funeral rites have changed, particularly from a American Catholic perspective. [NCLive]

“Making Arrangements” from Coping w ith Grief and Loss Harvard Health Publications, 2010. [Includes simple form for planning a funeral or memorial service. [NCLive]

“Markets: Preserving Funeral Markets With Ready-to-Embalm Laws” by David E. Harrington Journal of Economic Perspectives Fall 2007. Surveys how the Funeral Rule has impacted the “death care” industry and the future of State funeral regulations. [NCLive]

“Medical Home Model of Patient-centered Health Care” by Sandra Berrymen, Sheri Palmer, James Kohl, and John Parham. MEDSURG Nursing May/June, 2013. Discusses current research centered around the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model. [NCLive]

“MEGADEATH” by Paul M. Barrett. Bloomberg BusinessWeek October 28, 2013. “America’s biggest undertaker is buying a rival to get even bigger. But is its growth coming at the expense of grieving families?” An important article that explains much about the SCI/ Stewart Merger. [NCLive]

“Mourner’s Bill of Rights” by Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D. grief.comIntended to empower you to heal and to decide how others can and cannot help. [Internet]

“Nail in the Coffin: Can Elderly Americans Afford to Die?” by Elizabeth Howell Boldt. Elder Law Journal 2013. The article explores the U.S. Funeral Rule, the Bereaved Consumer’s Bill of Rights Act, and the Indigent Funeral Expense Reimbursement Act, to evaluate misrepresentation of costs in funeral industry. It informs that the U.S. Congress must consider price impact of funeral regulations on low-income consumers, with special focus on minority cultural or ethnic groups. The Indigent Expense Reimbursement Act focuses on people who are unable to afford funerals but does nothing to abate funeral costs. [full text not seen – citation from NCLive]

“New American Way of Death” by Josh Sanburn. Time May 24, 2013. Excellent article on the “current” state of funerals and cremation in the US as of 2013. [NCLive]

“Obituary” by Melanie Cullen and Shae Irving. Get It All Together, 2012. [NCLive]

“Oy Gevalt! Jews with Caskets Protest Funeral Merger” by Paul Barrett., November 20, 2013. Reports the protest of Synagogues and Jewish community groups against the pending acquisition of SCI and Stewart Ent. [NCLive]

“Paying for the Funeral” Kristin Davis and Brian Knestout Kiplinger’s Personal Finance May 1997. Explains the difference between independent funeral homes and the chains. Also includes tip on planning ahead and details funeral expenses, such as embalming and transportation. [NCLive}

“Patient Choice at End of Life: Guidelines for Nurses” Vermont Nurse Connection January, February, March, 2014. [NHCPL Cat]

“Personal Health: Medical Due Diligence: Living Will Should Spell out the Specifics” by Jane E. Brody New York Times November 28, 2006. Discusses the limitations of a living will and how it may be interpreted/miss-interpreted by medical staff.

“Physicians Should ‘Assist in Suicide’ When It Is Appropriate Timothy E. Quill. Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics Spring, 2012 [NCLive]

“POLST Legislative Guide” February, 2014 by the National POLST Paradigm Task Force. Access at: Aimed at medical professionals the currency of this report is worth taking a look at by anyone interested in the issue of Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment.   [NCLive]

“Promises to Keep” (2000) a report that is a collaboration of the National Coalition on Health Care and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. Download from: Somewhat dated but worth looking at. [NHCPL Cat]

“Rethinking the Law of the Land” by Tanya D. Marsh. Wake Forest Law Review Winter, 2013. Topics discussed include the comparison between the laws related to the for-profit and non-profit funeral services provider, economic growth of the funeral service industry and various modern laws related to the death and the dead people. It also discusses various profitable death rituals and the methods of disposition. [NCLive]

“Saying Goodbye” in Money November 2012, p108-116. “The high cost of laying a loved one to rest typically costs $10,000 or more – Sometimes much more.” The article details many of the corrupt practices funeral homes and cemeteries employ of “upsell the client.” [NCLive]

“Six Feet Under” by Kristen Davis and Matt Popowsky Kiplinger’s Personal Finance February 2002. Story on Thomas Lynch, in defense of the Funeral Industry. [NCLive]

“Survey Finds Vast Range of Prices at Ventura County funeral Homes” in Ventura County Star April 1, 2012. Though the funeral homes surveyed are in Southern California the disparity in prices for comparable products and services applies to our local market as well. [NCLive]

ÚS Funeral Firm Agrees to Sell Assets as Part of $1.4 Billion Deal” by Ros Krasny. Reuters December 23, 2013. Discusses FTC ruling on the Service Corporation International acquisition of Stewart Enterprises. [NCLive]

“Using Skype to Support Palliative Care Surveillance” by Jacqueline Jones. Nursing Older People February, 2014. The aim of this article is to demonstrate how a novel yet important tool can facilitate family involvement in person-centred care, despite geographical distance. The author presents a case study as an in-depth example of the use of Skype in the context of palliative care at home. [NHCPL Cat]

“You’re Dead? That Won’t Stop the Debt Collector” by David Streitfeld. New York Times March 2009. Discusses the newest frontier of debt collecting – often from heirs who have no obligation to settle the deceased bills. [NYTimes]

“10 Facts Funeral Directors May Not Tell You” by Terry Sheridan April 11, 2013. Excellent basic introduction in how to save money on a funeral. [NCLive]

Questions or for more copies contact:
Rebecca Taylor, President
Funeral Consumers Alliance Coastal Carolina
P.O. Box 4262
Wilmington, NC 28406