While Carmichael-Whatley Funeral Directors has always had cremations as one of their services, it was not something they were able to do in-house locally.
That was until last month. Adding the crematory was a six-month process, but now, the funeral home’s new facility is operational and ready to go.
“We had to get air permits, get it ordered and get the building built,” owner Brad Pingel said. “It came out of Florida and it weighs about 24,000 pounds. It’s a heavy piece of equipment.”
Carmichael-Whatley had to add a new building, gas lines and ventilation for the crematory and air permits for Environmental Protection Agency. But this was more than an investment in Carmichael-Whatley’s own business.
“It’s an investment in our community that we serve,” Pingel said. “This is the only one in Pampa and previously we had to send family’s loved ones off to a crematory out of town.
“We trust that crematory, but the benefit of having it here is the family’s loved one is here all of the time. We control when the cremation takes place. We’re not having to depend or wait on anybody else and then get them back to us.”
Pingel said he has seen cremations rise on the East and West Coasts, and is now seeing it rise in the Midwest.
“Part of it is financial,” Pingel said. “I think another part of it is the generation and the times we are living in. People don’t want to make it a big production.”
If a loved one does choose cremation and would still like a memorial service of some kind, there are many options available.
“The funeral industry as a whole has adapted and changed to that,” Pingel said. “Now you have cremation graveside, cremation memorial, cremation with viewing (with a rental casket) and you can still have a traditional style service without going to the cemetery.”
After cremation, families can choose to bury the remains, scatter them or keep them at home and put them in an urn or accessory.
“I’ve got different keepsakes,” Pingel said. “Not everyone wants to have a charm or necklace because if you lose it, it’s devastating. But with some keepsakes you can keep them at home, display them and someone wouldn’t know they were cremated remains if it wasn’t brought up.”
As usual, Carmichael-Whatley offers the same great traditional services they have for decades.
For more information on Carmichael-Whatley and the funeral services they offer, call 806-665-2323 or stop by at 600 N. Ward Street.