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Vol. 14

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LLETIN U

No. 2

April 1999

Baxter's Celebrates 75th Year! BY HOLLY BAXTER BRMGERS

Director, District 3 We are very excited to host the NCBVA Annual Convention in Cincinnati this upcoming June. On Friday, June 18 you will have the opportunity to tour Batesville Casket Company, Baxter Precast and Baxter Burial Vault Service. This is the 75th Anniversary year for the Baxter Companies. In 1924, Don E. Baxter and Lowell Huber started the Huber-Baxter Burial Vault Company in Northside, Cincinnati. With the death of Lowell Huber right after World War II, Don

purchased the remaining interest in the company and renamed it the Don E. Baxter Company. In 1950, he decided to diversify into precast concrete products and began the

Baxter Step Company. Don's two sons, Don II and Doug entered the business, and the company became Baxter Concrete Products. Doug ran the burial vault side of the business, and Don ran the precast side. In 1969, Baxter Concrete Products purchased the Schreck Burial Vault Company in Hamilton, Ohio, and became a Wilbert licensee. They began offering cremation service in 1982. Then in 1990, Schreiner Vault Company in Bromley, Kentucky was purchased and a new precast plant was built in Hamilton, Ohio. Don's sons, Peter and Andy, work with him at the Hamilton location. Doug's kids, Holly and Darren, work with him on the vault side of the business in St. Bernard. In 1997, the burial vault and precast business split into two separate companies: Baxter Precast, Inc. and Baxter Burial Vault Service, Inc. Baxter Precast employs 30 people, and Baxter Burial Vault Service employs 24 people plus an English Bulldog named Winston. The precast plant specializes in retaining walls and architectural and utility precast products. The burial vault plant specializes in concrete Wilbert burial vaults, cremation urns and urn vaults, marker bases and cremation service. Please feel free to ask any questions while you tour our plants. We are planning to have a special area of the burial vault plant set up where Earl Brutsche will demonstrate some of the tests performed in the NCBVA Plant Certification Program. We look forward to seeing all of you, and welcome you to our manufacturing facilities!

1999 Convention Plant Tour will in chide Baxter Burial Vault Service

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NCBVA Annual Convention & Exposition June 17-19, 1999 The Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, Ohio See pages 6-7 for Program and Registration Form


ta"-I CREMATION IS EXPECTED TO DOUBLE... Pouvr Pak-11

Let IEE Show You How To Meet The Demand... Profitably!

Research Shows The Demand For Cremation Rapidly Increasing Within the next ten years cremation is expected to double. More and more companies are recognizing the growing trend towards cremation, IEE can Show you how to turn that demand into increased business and profit.

Investment Analysis This free analysis will indicate if a crematory is a profitable venture for you. We consider your individual. circumstances and evaluate vital information on costs, depreciation, tax savings and estimated profits.

The Power Pak ll Cremator -

The most cost efficient model of its size on the market, this system offers the ciuickest cremation time for its size, two hours or less, including preheat, while its cost per use remains the lowest in the industry. Other features include: a pollution monitoring system, a maintenance free stainless steel stack, fully automatic operation and, as with all our cremators, it's guaranteed to exceed all environmental requirements.

Purchase Any Cremator, And We'll Include A Hydraulic Lift Table— Absolutely Free This device allows for one-man casket loading, as well as general lifting and transport. Its hydraulic pump handle and swivel casters offer maximum convenience for easy positioning of heavy loads.

The ECP-200 Electric Cremains Processor Is Engineered To Reduce Volume To Less Than 200 Cubic Inches... We Guarantee It! The ECP-200 is the most advanced processor on the market, with a processing time of less than one minute. Its quiet, dust proof, fully automatic and built for dependable, long lasting performance. Its the perfect accessory to any crematory. E CP- 200

In Mexico Contact Lucas DePalacio m„ico , DA: I'lione 598-91 l I • FAX ;03-1-03

Crematory Supplies We offer the widest variety of cremation supplies available, from I.D. Tags to Urns, and everything inbetween. Call for your free catalogs. Hydraulic Lift Table

Tags, Brush, Urn

Setting Industry Standards IEE's technological advancements have been influencing the cremation industry for many years. Quality equipment, unsurpassed service before and after the sale and our "client first" policy— TEE keeps working for you.

INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT & ENGINEERING CO.

- In Canada Contact Bill Bowes The Eckels Company • Guelph, Ontario, Canada

P.O. Box 547796 • Orlando, FL 32854-7796 In Florida 107) 886-5533 • FAX (407) 886-5990

Phone i19-82-1-8020 • FAX .S19-824-7161

Toll Free 1-800-327-2831


April 1999

NCBVA BULLETIN

National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc.

900 Fox Valley Drive, Suite 204 Longwood, Florida 32779-2552 http://www.ncbva.org (800) 538-1423 Fax: (407) 774-0751

3

Platinum Service Isn't New Idea To the Burial Vault Industry BY DANIEL J. HICKS

President

Hugh McQuestion Lakeshore Burial Vault Co., IncBrookfield, WI President-Elect and District 2 Director

Warren Chandler Master Grave Services, Inc. Bogart, GA Secretary/Treasurer

Timothy Brutsche Brutsche Concrete Products Battle Creek, MI Immediate Past President

Jim Wiens Doric Concrete Vaults, Inc. Newton, KS Directors, District

1

Paul E. Cooper Cooper Wilbert Vault Co., Inc". : Barrington, NJ Robert Hardy Hardy Doric, Inc. Chelmsford, MA Directors, District 2

Warren Chandler Master Grave Services, Inc. Bogart, GA Dan Hicks Carlton Wilbert Vault, Inc. Miami, FL Directors, District 3

Bob Donate!' i Baumgardner Products Co. Akron, 014 Holly Baxter Bridgers Baxter Burial Vault Service Cincinnati, ()II Directors, District 4

Timothy Brutsche Brutsche Concrete Products Battle Creek, MI Jack Swihart Saginaw Wilbert Vault Corp Siginaw, MI Director, District 5 Richard Cooper

Central Burial Vaults, Inc. Tulsa, OK J.C. Clifton Quality Burial Vault Co. Houston, TX Executive Director

Thomas A. Monahan, CAE Certified Association Management Company Longwood, FL Legal Counsel

J. Scott Calkins Calkins & Campbell Harrisburg, PA

Director, District 2 Credit cards such as American Express, Visa and MasterCard can't come close to the level of service the concrete burial vault industry gives to its customers. Platinum service always has been given with the concrete burial vault business. What industry in the world has given more to its customers for less? We need to look back once in awhile and be proud of what we have accomplished. Some examples of our Platinum service include 24-hour service, emergency assistance, day or night. If our customers forgot to place an order, we will be there at a moment's notice. If the family gets there first, we will take the blame in front of the family. We provide a wide range of service to our customers in order to meet everyone's needs. We offer everything from small personal orders to full service. We are able to provide a one-stop shopping site where customers can choose from a variety of sizes, colors, emblems, extra tents, chairs, blankets, urns, urn vaults, literature, transfers within the state as well as other states, and disinterments. We also offer time capsules, which can last for the next 100 years. We provide free samples and displays to aid customers in the sale of different products. Our industry has warranties that last from 50 to 100 years. What other industry will match that? Whether we are dealing with small or large customers, we give the same degree of respect and quality. Our industry is driven by personalized service. But we also understand the increased demand on our time. Therefore we also are willing to work with last minute orders that may be faxed in. Our tradition of reaching to our community has not been lost over the years. We provide vaults for charity or indigent cases at little or not cost, and our customers take the credit. In the field of continuing education, we provide CEU credits. We offer tours of our facilities and help describe our products. We distribute training bulletins and publish additional information on the web. We participate in trade shows geared to our industry. And, we also need to have some fun, so we sponsor golf outings, awards programs and parties. If there is anything else that we in the industry can or should do? The answer is, yes. We can always strive to do more for our customers. As a vault person you only know one way of doing business—that is making the families the driving force. We always have to keep in mind that if it's not good enough for our own family member then it's not good enough for our customer's!

Please Note the Change of Address for the Headquarters of the National Concrete Burial Vault Association 900 Fox Valley Drive, Suite 204 Longwood, FL 32779-2552 Phone and fax numbers have not changed.


4

NCBVA BULLETIN

April 1999

National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. Member Application for Plant Inspection

Name of Plant Plant Mailing Address Plant Street Address Plant Telephone Fax Phone Number Owner's Name Evening Telephone Plant Manager/Contact Person Evening Phone Types of Outer Burial Receptacles Produced 0 Top Seals 0 Air Domes 0 Sectionals Other Please return this application with full payment to: The National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. 900 Fox Valley Drive, Suite #204 Longwood, FL 32779-2552 (800) 538-1423 Fax (407) 774-6751 As an NCBVA member in good standing, the total of your Plant Certification Inspection will be $750. Full payment should be enclosed with your application.


A p ril 1999

NCBVA BULLETIN

NCBVA PROUDLY RECOGNIZES THE FOLLOWING COMPANIES WHICH HAVE A CURRENT STANDING IN THE PLANT CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

American Concrete Industries Bangor, ME American Vault & Concrete Prod. Detroit, MI American Wilbert Vault Corp. Forest Park, IL Arnold Wilbert Corp. Goldsboro, NC Atlas Concrete Products, Inc. Orlando, FL Automatic Wilbert Vault Tacoma, WA Babylon Vault Co., Inc. New Windsor, MD Baumgardner Products Co. Akron, OH Baxter Burial Vault Cincinnati, OH Binghamton Burial Vault Binghamton, NY Brown — Wilbert, Inc. Fargo, ND Brown Wilbert Vault, Inc. St. Paul, MN Bruns Norwalk Vault Co. Saint Louis, MO Brutsche Concrete Products Battle Creek, MI Carlton Wilbert Vaults Inc. Miami, FL Carolina-Doric, Inc. Florence, SC Chandler Wilbert Vault, Inc. LaCrosse, WI

Childs Eagle Vault Co. Anderson, SC Clinton Wilbert Vaults, Inc. Clinton, IA Cooper Wilbert Vault Co. Barrington, NJ Crummitt & Son Vault Corp. Martins Ferry, OH Detroit Wilbert Vault Corp. Detroit, MI Doody Burial Vaults, Inc. Winchendon, MA Doric of Northeast Arkansas Jonesboro, AR Doric Concrete Vaults, Inc. Newton, KS Doric Manufacturing Co. Boaz, AL Eagle Burial Vaults Perry, GA Esterly Burial Vault Co. West Reading, PA Florida Wilbert, Inc. Jacksonville, FL Fond Du Lac Wilbert Vault Fond Du Lac, WI Forsyth Bros. Concrete Prod. Terre Haute, IN Hairfleld Vault Co. Hickory, NC Hardy Doric, Inc. Chelmsford, MA Harris Precast, Inc. La Porte, IN

Heilman — Wirtz, Inc. Cedar Hill, TX Jefferson Concrete Corp. Watertown, NY L-D Vault Service Chattanooga, TN Lakeshore Burial Vault Co. Brookfield, WI Marion Vault Works Marion, IN Master Grave Service Athens, GA Milan Burial Vault, Inc. Milan, MI Milwaukee Wilbert Vault Co. Milwaukee, WI Odon Vault Company, Inc. Odon, IN

Omaha Wilbert Vault, Inc. Omaha, NE

Ostwalt Vault Co. Concord, NC

Peoria Vault Co. Peoria, IL Pioneer Vault, Inc. Doylestown, PA Quality Burial Vault Co. Houston, TX Rex Vault & Mausoleum Svc. Newton, IL Riefler Concrete Products liamburg, NY Ringtown Wilbert Vault Works Ringtown, PA

Roland — Wilbert Vault Co. Marion, IA Saginaw Wilbert Vault Corp. Saginaw, MI Santeiu Vaults, Inc. Detroit, MI Scranton Wilbert Vault Jessup, PA Simerly Concrete Products, Inc. Bristol, TN Simerly Vaults, Inc. Knoxville, TN Sterling Unlimited Inc. Woodsboro, MD Suhor Industries, Inc. Oklahoma City, OK Superior Burial Vaults, Inc. Salt Lake City, UT Swan's Concrete Products Westbrook, ME Turner Vault Company Toledo, OH Wayne Burial Vault Co., Inc. Indianapolis, IN West Plains Vault & Mfg. Co. Pomona, MO Wieser Precast/Doric Vault Co. La Crescent, MN Wilbert Burial Vault Co. Atlanta, GA Winchester Building Supply Winchester, VA Zeiser Wilbert Vault Elmira, NY

For infirmation on NCBVA's exclusive Plant Inspection and Certification Program, please contact NCB V4 Headquarters at 1-800-538-1423 or see application firm on the adjacent page.

A


6

NCBVA BULLETIN

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April 1999

NCBVA Annual Convention & Exposition June 17-19, 1999 The Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, Ohio

Registration Form Make a copy of this form as necessary

Name of Company Mailing Address City, State, Zip Code Telephone Number

Fax Number

Registrants: (Please indicate which registrants are children.)

First Name

Last Name

Nickname (for name badge)

Registration fees per person (Indicate number of registrants per rate) Before May 1 Member Adult Member's Child (under 12) Non-member* Adult Non-member's Child Exhibitor Comp Optional Reds

After May 1

x $300

After June 1

x $400 x $250

x $350 x $225 x $450 x $275

x $400 x $275 x $500

x $20

x $20

x $20

x

$200

x $325

Baseball Game

Exhibitors! New this year... One complimentary full registration is included per paid exhibit booth. Additional representatives please register at the appropriate rate.

Total Registration Fees

*Non members who join NCBVA within 30 days of the convention may apply the $100 non -

-

member difference toward their annual dues.

PAYMENT INFORMATION -- in order to process your registration, we need either a check for payment in full or credit card information. All NCBVA credit card charges are processed by Certified Association Management Co., which will appear on your statement. I hereby authorize NCBVA to process my registration for the NCBVA Convention on the credit card listed below. 171 Check (Make check payable to NCBVA, mail with this completed form) 0 MasterCard CI Visa CI American Express Card Number

Expiration Date:

Print Name (As It Appears on Card) Signature

HOTEL RESERVATIONS

Special Needs It is important to us that you enjoy NCBVA's conference. If you have any special needs, please contact us and we will do our best to assist you.

NCBVA CONVENTION RATE: $119 SINGLE-QUAD Hotel arrangements should be made directly with the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati Hotel by May 24, 1999. After that date, reservations will be accepted on a space and rate availability basis. Please be sure to mention that you are attending the

NCBVA Convention in order to get the convention rate. PLEASE CONTACT THE HOTEL DIRECT

(513) 579-1234

Ask for Reservations Dept.

Mail or fax (credit card registration only) this form to:

NCBVA* 900 Fox Valley Drive Suite 204, Longwood, FL 32779-2552 * Phone: (407) 788-1996 * Fax: (407) 774-6751


April 1999

NCBVA BULLETIN

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7

NCBVA Annual Convention & Exposition June 17-19, 1999 The Hyatt Regency Cincinnati, Ohio

Preliminary Program* Thursday, June 17, 1999 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. 5:30 p.m.

6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m.

Exhibitor setup (optional) Registration & exhibits open Board busses for Cincinnati Museum Center Meet old friends and some new ones, too, at our welcome reception and dinner held in the Cincinnati History Museum one of three museums at Museum Center. There will be time to brouse among the exhibits and then dine on the cobblestone streets at Public Landing, a re-creation of the city of Cincinnati in the 1860s. Cocktail reception and view museum exhibits Dinner at Public Landing Board busses for return trip to hotel

Public Landing is a re-creation of the streets of Cincinnati in the 1860s

Friday, June 18, 1999 7:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. 9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Registration and continental breakfast Opening General Session "Creating Meaningful Experiences" Jeffrey Seeley Batesville Casket Company Jeffrey Seeley is vice president of sales and marketing at Batesville Casket Company. Exhibitor setup Plant tour Board one of three busses for educational plant tours of Batesville Casket Company, Baxter Burial Vault Services and Baxter Precast. The busses will rotate to all three sites. Box lunches will be provided. Cocktail reception/Exhibits Open Busses depart for Cinergy Field (Optional Event) Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers (Be sure to include this on your registration form)

Saturday, June 19, 1999 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. 10:00 a.m.- 10:30 a.m. 10:30 a.m. - Noon

Noon - 2:30 p.m.

2:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.

Breakfast/exhibits open Annual Meeting Refreshment break (Exhibits open) General Session "Trends in the Death Care Industry" Speaker TBA Luncheon and Exhibitor Spotlight/ exhibits open New this year! Each exhibiting company will be given an opportunity to take a few minutes at the microphone to introduce their representatives and talk about their products and services and how they can help vault manufacturers. Afternoon free Installation Reception Installation Banquet with entertainment by the Radioland Performers Dancing will follow.

*Times and speakers are subject to change

Jeffrey Seeley of Batesville Casket Company will speak at Opening General Session


8

NCBVA BULLETIN

Vt/Weome New Members Mike Barber President Barber, Inc. 419 Fowler Rd. Martin, TN 38237-5529

8961 Hwy. 49 N. Jackson, MS 38209 Patrick Keenan Product Manager Cargotec 307 Broadway Swanton, OH 43558

Bobbie J. Bell Co-owner Bell Burial Vaults PO Box 1129 Rains, SC 29589

Phil Weide, St. President D of K Vaults, Inc./Gray Bros. 301 South Portland Iola, KS 66749

Michael Fields President Doric Mississippi, Inc.

April 1999

CENTER-RITE VAULT MESH 2 X 2 1/2 xl 6ga. GAL. 28" X 300' ROLL

12.5 ga. TANK MESH many other sizes and gauges also available

1/4" DEFORMED PENCIL ROD for VAULT LIDS EDGE-RITE SYNTHETIC FIBER STEEL FIBER All available from

D & C Supply Company, Inc. In Memoriam

Bob Woodard, 71, longtime NCBVA member died on January 24 following heart problems. He was also a founding member and former president of the Eagle Vault Association. Bob was owner of Woodard Burial Vault Co., in Tampa, FL Woodard completed his second and final term as mayor of Temple Terrace, Fla. last November. He was a tireless worker for the community. He is survived by his wife JoAnn; two sons, Rob and Kevin; and two grandchildren.

335 Washington Ave. Bridgeville, PA 15017 Phone: 1-800-234-5781 or 412-221-1191 Fax: 412-221-9206

Your Source For Concrete Reinforcements

Lease-Purchase Plan Now Available

The VAULT-MASTER has variable speed hydraulic drive, hydraulicly raised and lowered front steering axle, roll-back CraneWay beam with adjustable support legs, and an 9,000 lb. hydraulic vault lifting hoist. Will handle straight or cross grave settings. The Crane-Way beam is a 5" I-Beam and is 14 long with heavy-duty, adjustable support legs. The beam is carried on large flat rollers with heavy duty bearings. There is a hand crank system to roll beam back and forth. The vault lifting winch is swivel-mounted to the beam trolley. This prevents trolley wheel binding due to sideways shifts of the load. Hand operated back winch at the rear of the Crane-Way beam allows safe loading of a vault from a truck or trailer bed onto the Vault Handling Trailer. Rear hydraulic leveling jacks enable easy leveling of the whole machine on almost any terrain They make off-loading a vault from a truck bed easier and safer. We have a long list of options and will do custom options. For more information contact: Don Long Long Machine Co. 519 N. Main Ave. Maiden, NC 28650 (Ph) 704-428-2648 (Fax) 704-428-8606


THE LOGAN VAULT HANDLER By Axis Corporation

PROVIDING SERVICE AND REALIBILTY FOR OVER 40 YEARS THE LOGAN VAULT HANDLERS ARE MANUFACTURED WITH ONLY NEW BRAND NAME PARTS窶年OT USED OR RE-MANUFACTURED. This gives you better dependability and longer life of your Handler. Our new 3/4 ton axle is manufactured narrower than the standard 3/4 ton truck axle to allow for more maneuverability in the Cemetery. The Logan Vault Handler can handle both straight and cross grave settings. The Logan is equipped with hydraulic variable speed Forward and Reverse, also a High and Low range gearbox STANDARD. STRENGTH IS NOT IN THE STEEL ALONE IN A VAULT HANDLER; IT IS IN THE DESIGN The Logan was designed to withstand the stress of a heavy load and yet light enough not to tear up turf in the Cemetery. The Logan was designed over 40 years ago and has seen many improvements in maneuverability and efficiency. The Logan Vault Handler is designed to give you optimum power using reliable parts and durable construction. It has been tested, beaten, used and abused for over 40 years. The Logan always was and still is the benchmark of Vault Handling equipment, And that is why we are the

Standard of the Industry AXIS CORPORATION P.O Box 668 BELLEFONTAINE OHIO 43311 1-800-422-AXIS(2947) FAX 1-937-592-5230 axisabriqht net www.brightnet/n,axis

CALL FOR INFORMATION ON OUR NEW OPTIONS LIST AND OUR DISINTERMINT MODEL


10

NCBVA BULLETIN

Attention! Exhibitors and Sponsors The 1999 NCBVA Annual Convention and Exposition is the perfect opportunity for you to showcase your company's products and services to the leaders in the burial vault industry. To maximize your exposure and visibility as an exhibitor or sponsor, NCBVA offers the following benefits: New this year - Exhibitor Spotlight where each exhibiting company will have time on the microphone to showcase products and services.

April 1999

LAKESHORE BURIAL VAULT CO., INC

12780 W. Lisbon Rd. Brookfield, WI 53005 414/781-6262 Fax: 414/781-6280

DORIC !Immo

NCBVA MEMBER SINCE 1929

Brief descriptive listing in the Convention Program Book Signage in the registration area acknowledging your support. Program sponsors will receive a sign at the entrance to the event or educational session. Acknowledgment of your support during the opening remarks (and for program sponsors, at the beginning of the event or educational session). Listing on exhibit advertising done during the 2000 convention solicitation effort.

D ORI C

M•b•R•

THE LARGEST SELECTION OF BURIAL VAULTS IN NEBRASKA! (402) 768-7251

Fax: 768-6180

WWW.BOBREINKE.COM

Ctontact NCBVA at (407) 788-1996 for more information on how you can participate

Vault manufacturer members: reserve your "Business Card" Ad today! Call NCBVA - 1-800-538-1423 X 102

Crescent Bronze Powder Co., Inc.

VAULT DECORATION SPECIALISTS

QUALITY • SERVICE SELECTION - SINCE 1922

Featuring

VAULT MASTER New Improved Water Base Formula

PLASTICP SINCE 1948

LAQUE

METALLICS WHITE AND BLACK WE OFFER SAME-DAY SERVICE

1635 Poplar St. P.O. Box 610964 Port Huron, MI 48601 810-982-9591 1-800-875-9591 FAX 810-982-1182

ALSOGlitter Metallic Powders and Pastes Bronzing Liquids - Spray Cans Non-Bleeding Black Sealer CALL OR WRITE TODAY FOR OUR NEW METALLIC VAULT COLOR CARD SAMPLES FURNISHED UPON REQUEST Crescent Bronze Powder Co. Inc. 1-800-445-6810 2400

"Over 50 Years of Business"

N. Avondale Chicago, ll 60618-5433 Fax: (773) 539-1131


April 1999

NCBVA BULLETIN

Plan now for the 2000 Convention Cruise

Join the National Concrete Burial Vault Association for its Millennium Year cruise aboard the "Majesty of the Seas" The Majesty of the Seas is one of Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's premier megaships with luxurious staterooms, fabulous food and entertainment, and activities for the whole family. Sail away with your NCBVA friends to ports of call in Nassau and Coco Cay, Bahamas, and Key West, Florida. Cabins are limited so make your reservation early! The registration fee includes your choice of cabins, all the food you can eat and all NCBVA educational programs.

Call NCBVA at

1-800-538-1423 and request an information packet

MIX EDUCATION WITH PLEASURE ---JUST ADD WATER!

11


First Class Mail_ U.S. Postage PAID PERMIT #20 APOPKA, FL

National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. 900 Fox Valley Drive, Suite 204, Longwood, FL 32779-2552

Court Rules a Liner is Not a Vault Substitute A state of Washington Court of appeals upheld the findings of the Cemetery Board of the Washington Department of Licensing, saying that a cemetery breached its prearrangement contracts by substituting a grave liner for a vault. The Blue Mountain Memorial Gardens in Walla Walla, WA was owned by Bill and Virginia Walsh until 1989. They also manufactured concrete vaults and liners. From 1962 to 1971, they entered into preneed contracts where the deceased would be placed in an "interment vault." This term was not defined in the contracts. Lloyd and Virginia Mahan purchased the cemetery in 1989, and manufactured the vaults and liners until 1991. In 1991, the Mahans stopped making the vaults and liners, and began to use commercially manufactured grave liners to fulfill contracts calling for "interment vaults." The Mahans claim they told clients the liners were superior to the old Walsh-made vaults, and

that clients could upgrade to a commercial vault for $300. Louis Murray sued the cemetery and the Mahans, claiming breach of contract relating to the burial of his mother. He said that numerous funeral directors and cemeterians told him there is" a dramatic difference" between a vault and a liner. The Mahans responded by saying that the terms were undefined when the contracts were written and are meaningless marketing words. They also said they the Walsh vault did not have an inner lining and was rarely sealed. The Board found there was a difference between the protection of vaults and liners in the cemetery industry. The Mahans had their license suspended for 24 months, which would be stayed if they paid a $15,000 fine and replaced the liners with vaults upon request. The Mahans appealed, the Superior Court overturned the findings. Then the

Cemetery Board Appealed. The Appeals Court sided with the Board, saying that it was the perception that if a product did not offer airtight and watertight protection, it could not be called a vault. The liners did not. Also, the Mahans consistently failed to notify families of the switch to the contract. The court ruled that the contracts were

not followed, the clients were given a product that was not equivalent and failed to protect the caskets as a vault would. (Blue Mountain Memorial Gardens v. Wash. Dept. of Licensing, Wash. Ct. Ap., N097 2 00211-8, 2/4/95)

Reprinted with permission from Death Care Business Advisor copyright 1999 by LRP Publications, 747 Dresher Road, Horsham, PA 19044-0980. All rights reserved. For more information on Death Care Business Advisor or for a free 30-day trial subscription, please call 1-800-341-7874, ext. 310.


Bulletin 1999 April