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No. 5

December 2006

Americans spend about $38.4 billion a year on pet care, services and products. Our pets have become part of the family and as such, their passing is being given more special attention.

When Pets Cross The

Rainbow Bridge By Sylvia Heidemann NCBVA Staff Writer umorist/actor W.C. Fields, who is often quoted as saying "Anyone who hates children and animals can't be all bad," certainly wasn't speaking for the majority of the people in the United States. Quite the contrary. If ownership statistics alone are any indication, we love our pets. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA), 63 percent of all U.S. households (which translates roughly to 69 million households) own pets. Some 45 percent of all U.S. households own more than one pet. Dogs and cats top the list, respectively, at 73 million and 90 million. Other "pets" include birds, fish, reptiles and horses. The American Horse Council says there are 6.9 million horses (for commercial and recreational use) in the U.S. Of this nninber, 725,000 are involved in.racpg and race horse breeding; 1;§74,000 in showing; 2,974,000 in recreation; and 1,262,800 in farm and ranch work, rodeo, polo and police work. Of course, the fact that we love our pets is reflected best in how much money is annually spent in the pet industry, 'including food, treats, toys, special products, visits to the veterinarian, and (more. That's an astounding $38.4 billion/year, according to the APPMA. Continued on page 4

Her kitten was so special during its lifetime. There are now special ways to preserve her memory after she crosses the rainbow bridge, such as placing her cremains in an attractive ceramic urn in the shape of a sitting or reclining cat.


December 2006

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December 2006


National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. P.O. Box 917525 Longwood, Florida 32791 (800) 538-1423 Fax: (407) 774-6751 President Darren Baxter Baxter Burial Vault Service Cincinnati, OH President Elect Martin Begun American Vault & Concrete Products Corp. Detroit, MI -

Secretary/Treasurer Todd Swihart Saginaw Wilbert Vault Corp. Saginaw, MI Immediate Past President Graham MacLeod Detroit Wilbert Vault Co. Detroit, MI Directors Michael Crummitt Crummitt & Son Vault Co. Martins Ferry, OH James Curran Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. Forest Park, IL Linda Darby-Sempsrott Trigard Vaults / Greenwood Plastics Danville, IL Doug Evans Carolina Doric, Inc. Florence, SC Aaron Gilmer Eagle Burial Vault Association Perry, GA Stephen Hatfield Hicks Industries, Inc. Mulberry, FL Hubert McQuestion Lakeshore Burial Vault Co. Brookfield, WI Jerry Russell Southern Ohio Vault Co. Portsmouth, OH Steve Vincent J.P. Vincent & Son Galena, IL Scott Watts Watts Vault & Monument Co. Des Moines, IA Executive Director Thomas A. Monahan, CAE Certified Association Management Co. Longwood, FL Legal Counsel J. Scott Calkins, Esq


We Ran a Good Race in 2006; Look Forward To Challenges of '07


enry Ford once said, "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you

take your eyes off your goal." I'm proud to say that over the course of the past year, we have not taken our eyes off the goals that we have set for the NCBVA, and, as a result, have been able to avoid having to deal with many obstacles. Thanks to the diligent work of all of the board members and the committees, we have run a good race and had a successful year. Let's look at a few of the highlights: Our upcoming convention (February 18 — 25, 2007) has been sold out for months. Some members are on a wait list in hopes of attending the Caribbean cruise. We have taken a step in the right direction to attain our goals by promoting attendance and participation in our professional association. Our relationship with related organizations is extremely important, and our participation and involvement in FAMIC continues to be bolstered. Earl Brutsche has conducted many plant certifications in 2006 and already has many more scheduled for the upcoming Baxter year. J. Scott Calkins, Esq. has kept us abreast of legal issues and has offered invaluable advice to the association and its members. Our interests with the ASTM International continue to be pursued. We continue to provide advertising opportunities through the NCBVA Bulletin and our Web site ( ), and are always researching ways to improve members' sales. One of our most important goals has been the improvement and protection of our industry standards. It is a great sign of how important our association is when others try to emulate us. The competitive producers and resellers choose not to let their potential customers know that the standards they try so desperately to achieve are the minimum standards that we have set forth for the product. The list of people who deserve the credit for all these accomplishments is astonishingly long, but a few people deserve extra thanks. To the Board members who spent many hours on conference calls and in meetings: Your diligence is never underappreciated. To Earl Brutsche and J. Scott Calkins, Esq.: The effort you put forth far Index of Advertisers exceeds your compensation. Finally, I'd like to offer special thanks to Tom and Jan 17 American Brilliance, Inc. Monahan and their employees to whom American Cemetery Supplies, Inc. 11 this association and this president owe an Axis Corporation 21 abundant amount of gratitude. Crescent Bronze Powder Co. 9 I hope to continue to lead this association to the best of my ability and 9 D & C Supply Co., Inc. look forward to seeing everyone at our Doric Inc. 17 convention. I wish everyone a fantastic Edgmont Metallic Pigment Co 7 holiday season and a happy new year. Long Machine Co. 15 Your suggestions, questions or Matthews Cremation 2 concerns are always welcomed. Please feel Mixer Systems 22 free to contact me personally at Baxter Plastic Plaque, Inc. 17 Burial Vault (513/641-1010) or Bell Vault and Monument (937/866-2444). Romix Chemical & Brush 8 Trigard Vaults 10 Best regards, W. C. Cardinal 20 Darren Baxter Wilbert, Inc. 16 NCBVA President


Pet Death Dilemma The sad fact of life, however, is that our pets don't live forever. They have dangerous encounters with automobiles and other animals, they develop life-threatening illnesses, and some just die of old age. What about a pet's remains? The dilemma facing pet owners is that as our country grows in population, more village, town and city ordinances prohibit the burial of pets in one's backyards or common rural areas. Pet cremation and burial services are increasing as proper options for the disposition of a beloved and respected family member. Ceremonial or ritual burial of animals is not a new thing, however. Dogs have evidently been considered family members as long as 14,000 years ago and were buried with their owners, as evidenced by archeological sites everywhere in the world except Antarctica. According to the April 4, 2004 edition of the National Geographic News, the oldest known pet cat to be buried with its owner was interred some 9,500 years ago in the Neolithic village of Shillourokambos. This archeological discovery was a surprise, because it precedes by some 4,000 years the depiction of cats in early Egyptian art. As we know, the ancient Egyptians not only kept cats to keep the rodent population controlled, they also worshipped them and thought they brought good luck.


Photos courtesy of Matthews Cremation

Decorative boxes for pet cremains in a variety of woods that can be customized

Pet Cemeteries & Crematoriums According to the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories (IAOPCC), there are more than 600 active pet cemeteries in the U.S. today. Most operate in cooperation with veterinary hospitals, kennels, training centers and grooming salons. Some cemeteries have set aside a portion of their grounds for pet burials, while there are cemeteries specifically dedicated to the burial of pets. Through these service providers, owners may arrange for individual cremation and return of the animal's ashes in an urn for further disposition, or the pet may be

This pet cremation facility represents the norm that would be used by veterinarians or other related businesses that offer pet cremation services. Photo courtesy of Matthews Cremation.

December 2006

cremated along with other animals and buried in a common grave. A wide range of product lines (urns, caskets, burial vaults) has sprung up in response to the need. A search of the Internet reveals that in certain areas there are also individuals who will perform eulogies or conduct a funeral service for a deceased pet. Cost of Cremation According to information posted on , prices for cremation services, through a veterinarian's office or through private crematoriums, vary greatly. Private pet cremation (meaning the owner's pet and only the owner's pet), can cost between $150 and $350, dependent upon the size of the pet. Individual cremation means that the pet will share his space with others, but they will be separated. One is still assured of receiving his pet's remains after. This generally costs around $75 to $200. Mass cremation is the cheapest option, but the pet's ashes will not be returned. This option is available for $30 to $100, and not \.) recommended if one wishes to keep the pet's cremains, or spread them.

December 2006 Pet burial: As stated on , prices for burying a pet in a pet cemetery vary greatly, and r loptional add-ins can make the price go higher. Once again, prices are based on the size of the pet. Most pet cemeteries have a transport service, and will pick up the deceased from one's home or veterinarian's office. The Oldest Operating Pet Cemetery Hartsdale Pet Cemetery The oldest operating pet cemetery in the U.S. is Hartsdale Pet Cemetery in Hartsdale, NY. Since 1896, more than 70,000 pets have been buried there, including famous pets (performers in the movies) and pets of famous people (actresses and royalty). One of the most famous working dogs buried at Hartsdale is Sirius, a working dog used by the Port Authority in New York City. He was the only canine to lose his life in searchand-rescue efforts following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Sirius was buried in conjunction with the cemetery's 2002 War Dog Memorial Celebration. Hartsdale's Web site ( ) )provides a wealth of information on the cemetery and the animals that are interred there. One of the site's highlights includes an interesting article on the history of pet burial, written by Mary Thurston, an anthropologist who specializes in the shared history of people and their pets. Special events that underscore the connection and special bond between animals and people are held often at Hartsdale. The War Dog Memorial Celebration, which was first established to honor military canines, is held in mid-June. The Celebration now also honors pets that have been of service to humanity, such as dogs that assist police and fire dogs. The second Sunday in September is National Pet Memorial Day, and includes a blessing of the animals by an interfaith minister. All wellbehaved pets are welcome to participate.



The Largest Operating Pet Cemetery The largest pet cemetery in the U.S. belongs to the Bide-A-Wee humane organization ( One of Bide-A-Wee's early activities was the placement of water troughs around New York City for the refreshment of riding and carriage horses while they worked. The organization serves

NCBVA BULLETIN the New York metropolitan area with three adoption centers that place approximately 5,000 animals per year. Thousands of animals are buried at Bide-A-Wee's two Pet Memorial Parks in Wantagh and Westhampton. Checkers, the Nixon's famous spaniel, is buried in the Wantagh's park. Bide-A-Wee has an extensive range of

5 entry levels of involvement. A Basic Package consists of in-store information and promotion items to generate awareness, and Web e-commerce sales that allow the professional the tools to gauge the interest level and participation in pet loss memorialization. An Advanced Package adds an in-store display case with direct sales. The Total Package rounds out the

". .it's about establishing a meaningful and appropriate way to say goodbye to this important family member. We are witnessing a service revolution that has barely scratched the surface." .

services, including pet education through presentations at schools, volunteer programs that include pet therapy visits to senior centers, AIDS facilities, schools and youth centers, and bereavement counseling for people who need support after the loss of a pet. Share Your Grave? Because of high interest on the part of pet owners, Internet postings are indicating that at least two Chicago-area cemeteries are now offering pet owners the opportunity to be buried with their pets. An area for pets and owners to be buried together has been set aside on the cemetery grounds. This information could not be confirmed at the time of this writing, however. If it's true and the trend catches on, watch for more of these developments across the U.S. Providing Quality Care In an effort to provide high-quality products and trustworthy service to bereaved pet owners, Matthews Cremation, the world's largest manufacturer and distributor of cremation equipment and products, carries a complete line of cremation equipment, urns and related pet burial/cremation products. The company has introduced a program called "Faithful Forever Pet Loss Care." This is a first-to-market program that delivers a turnkey pet-loss marketing package to veterinarians, funeral homes, humane societies, retail stores, pet cemeteries and other pet loss providers. (See information at .) The program offers professionals in related pet care areas to choose various

offerings by adding an on-site pet crematory that allows the local professional to be recognized as the "local pet loss care professional." "Matthews Cremation has been supporting the animal care industry with crematory equipment for more than 50 years," says Steve Schaal, Division Manager for Sales and Marketing for that company. "Animal care products and services have grown 100 percent in the past 10 years and it represents one of our fastestgrowing business segments. Pet memorial services are evolving and companion pet owners are speaking louder than ever that it's about establishing a meaningful and appropriate way to say goodbye to this important family member. We are witnessing a service revolution that has barely .scratched the surface." Over the Rainbow Bridge Magazines and books geared to pet owners often refer to a pet's passing as "crossing the rainbow bridge." Like people, pets today are reaping the benefits of better nutrition and a healthier lifestyle and are living longer. They enjoy having a special place in our hearts, as well as their roles as furry-coated members of the family. Whenever our pets cross the rainbow bridge, they deserve to be mourned and eulogized, and have a right to a respectful treatment of their earthly remains. Options abound, and the bereaved owner can choose from a wide variety of pet burial products and memorials as extravagant as the ache in his heart and his budget permits.



Industry News 'n Notes German Clock Urns Added to Wilbert's Cremation Collection Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. has added The Hermle Black Forest Series TM clock urns and mementos from Germany to its growing gallery of cremation choices by celebrated artists and manufacturers. Hermle is regarded as the world's largest producer of mechanical clocks and movements. Each Hermle Black Forest Series memorial timepiece is made of hardwood with a resplendent cherry finish. The series' two clock urns, the Bracket and the Barrister, both

December 2006

2007 Industry Calendar ,January 19-22

February 18-25

Monument Builders of N. America 98th Annual Convention and Monument Industry Show Hyatt Regency Cincinnati and Cingery Convention Center Cincinnati, OH NCBVA 'Convention Cruise

Freedom of the Seas Departing from Miami

include a 200–cubic inch bronze urn for permanent possession of a loved one's cremated remains. Families can also choose from three clock mementos: the Bracket, the Barrister, and the Tambour. Each comes with a brass cylinder for a lock of the loved one's hair or a portion of the cremated remains. Axis Introduces New Web Site Axis Corporation has been offering its line of Logan vault handlers to vault manufacturers, cemeteries, funeral homes and monument companies since 1958. Now, in an effort to provide expanded information to customers, Axis has created a new Web site with enhanced features. "We wanted to provide our customers with easy access to information about our vault handlers and all available options, so they can easily custom-build their own handler based on their particular needs," said Matt Oldiges, Sales Manager. Axis offers over 20 custom options for their handlers and these are described on the new site. Also featured on the site is a Request for Quote — a short series of questions that helps Axis determine what options will be best for the customers' circumstances. View the new Axis site at . Cremation Added to ICFA Name As of January 1, 2007, the International Cemetery and Funeral Association will change its name to the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association. The new name reflects the organization's mission to "represent the entire profession with one voice," said Tom Roberts, CCE, ICFA President. Along with the name change, the ICFA plans to expand its range of cremationrelated benefits and programs. "Just as many of our members have

March 1-4

Casket and Funeral Supply Association of America, Inc. Winter Seminar Ocean Reef Club Key Largo, FL

\ larch 20-23

Int'l Cemetery & Funeral Association Annual Convention & Exposition Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Las Vegas, NV

April 18-21

International Order of the Golden Rule InterContinental Hotel Boston, MA

added 'crematory' or 'cremation garden' to their company names, the ICFA Board felt it was time to add 'cremation' to the association's name." Handling Grief During Holidays This joyous time of the year can be particularly painful for those grieving a loved-one's death. The authors of a series of grief support booklets recognized the need for something similar to help people grieving during holidays and other special days. Barbara Moore and Dennis Williams have written "Holiday Grief: Preparing for Holidays and Special Days." Managing stress while planning and experiencing these days is a key topic of the booklet. As contributors to the grief category as writers of four, wellaccepted grief support booklets for caregivers and numerous articles about grief support, Moore and Williams are especially qualified to provide this compilation of thoughts. The Grief Resources Catalog has over 20 different publishers of 50 different booklets, books tapes and DVDs about grief and grief support.

We Want to Hear From You!! We at the National Concrete Burial Vault Association Bulletin would love to hear from you. Please take a few minutes and send us a press release about your happenings. We're interested in details about special events, individuals who deserve recognition, awards, and new services you are providing. Suppliers: let us know about your new products and services. Color or black and white photos are also welcome. Send


December 2006



Share Information About Cemetery Practices By J. Scott Calkins, Esq. NCBVA Counsel


n the last issue of "The Bulletin," I reviewed a couple of court decisions regarding cemetery practices that have an impact on burial vault operations. I planned to follow up with a few more articles about cemeteries and their invalid policies and practices. However, I am having a temporary problem finding suitable and appropriate court decisions or governmental edicts about any confrontations between cemeteries and concrete burial vault manufacturers. Thus I am asking input from you, the members, about legal issues and/ or legal confrontations between cemeteries and vault men in your part of the country. It still surprises me that after all the various court decisions throughout our country, as well as advice and counsel from attorneys representing the cemetery associations and myself, there are many Calkins cemeteries still attempting to implement policies that are clearly illegal and void. Almost all of such confrontations are settled when the cemetery hears from its counsel, the counsel for the cemetery association or from me on behalf of a member of NCB VA. )

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Let me ask you the following questions: Do you know of any cemetery in your trading area that by written or unwritten policy specifically prohibits you from bringing competitive vaults into that cemetery? Do you know of any cemetery in your trading area that charges exorbitant fees (beyond the normal average cost for labor and services) to install your vault? Is there a cemetery in your trading area that has told you that you cannot install your own vault? Is there a cemetery in your trading area that charges the family, through the funeral director, several hundreds of dollars to install your vault but much less than your charge or even nothing for installing their own cemetery vault? Does a cemetery in your trading area require you to stop at the gate so that the superintendent or other cemetery employee may accompany you and direct you to the appropriate grave and supervise your installation procedures and charge you a reasonable fee for such services? We all recognize that court challenges are costly but sometimes unavoidable. Thus as Counsel to NCBVA, I have advised several vault manufacturers to personally meet with cemetery officials and tell them why such invalid policies should be terminated. If you find yourself in such a position, you should point out that the cemetery is in violation of state and federal court decisions. Over the years, I have advised members and cemetery officials of specific decisions that render certain cemetery policies void. NCBVA is here to help, but you must be aware that when I send a letter as NCBVA Counsel to a cemetery that is involved in illegal practices, it doesn't carry as much weight as having your local attorney send a letter, with my help if necessary. Once more I will ask for your help in sending me information regarding cemetery/vault manufacturing legal confrontations in your trading area. What occurs in your trading area may have a profound impact on your fellow vault men in other parts of the country. If you have any knowledge of such confrontations, please give the information to Tom Monahan, NCBVA Executive Director, who will forward them to me.

Hospice May Offer Funeral Service A Florida Hospice organization could be the first in the nation to offer funeral services if state regulators grant approval to its plan. Fort Myers-based Hope Hospice submitted an application to the State Board of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services and has leased a building for its funeral program, which would include cremation and burials. According to the president and chief executive officer of Hope Hospice, patients and families have asked for the service because of the bond they develop with the hospice team. The nonprofit hospice directors began talking two years ago of adding funeral services that will focus on a celebration of the person's life and help them in the healing process. The services will primarily be utilized by hospice families and there are no plans for it to be a commercial home. Other hospice organizations around the country have been considering offering funeral programs, but it is believed that this could be the first program to actually begin.



December 2006

How Prepared is Our Industry For the Next Big Pandemic? By Tom Monahan NCBVA Executive Director Is your company prepared for a pandemic? Do you know what Bird Flu really is? Or, Mad Cow Disease? Flu pandemics have occurred throughout history. Most experts agree that the question is not if another flu pandemic will occur, but when. Unfortunately the governments of North America are currently ill equipped to handle a pandemic and are also ill equipped to handle the millions of deaths that will occur as a result. In 1918, in the last year of World War I, soldiers on both sides of the battle suddenly faced a new threats—Spanish Flu. What started as an influenza outbreak in Kansas's army barracks soon spread through U.S. military bases and then to the world along the trenches of the war and trade routes. In Philadelphia alone, more than 12,000 people died within a month of the outbreak reaching the city. Eventually, the virus infected more than one-third of the U.S. population and one-fifth of the world's population, and 20 to 40 million lives were lost, more than three times the number that died in the war. Subsequent influenza outbreaks in 1957 and 1968, while not as severe, still caused immense social disruption and economic losses. Despite much-improved public health infrastructures, the 1957 Asian Flu claimed 70,000 lives in the U.S. alone and the 1968 Hong Kong outbreak claimed between one and four million lives worldwide. Simultaneous Epidemics Outbreaks of this magnitude are called Pandemics: a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity, resulting in several, simultaneous epidemics worldwide with widespread illness and enormous numbers of deaths.

No one knows just when the next influenza pandemic will hit, but public health experts agree that another pandemic is a nearcertainty. The World Health Organization (WHO) has even made elaborate pandemic preparations, setting-up a Global Influenza Surveillance Network of 112 National Influenza Centers to monitor for any unusual influenza viruses. Such planing is imperative, as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and WHO estimate between 89,000 and 207,000 American deaths and up to 650,000 deaths in industrialized countries alone from the next pandemic. Most higher education experts peg the loss of life between three and five million people in the United States alone, because of this country's inability to produce the needed vaccine that is not expected to be ready until 2011. The impact will be even greater in developing countries where healthcare resources are strained and the general population is weakened by poor health and nutrition. Unprecedented Spreading If and when the next pandemic hits, an efficient global transportation system and increased urbanization will push the spread of the disease in a way not seen in previous pandemics. Thanks to modern aircraft a single individual leaving China in the morning, with no symptoms, could infect Los Angeles, Chicago and New York by evening. Therefore, the ability to respond quickly to disease outbreak will be critical, especially considering that public health leaders have already identified a potential candidate for the next pandemic avian influenza, currently simmering in Asia. According to Michael Osterholm, Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and professor at the University of Minnesota, avian influenza is the perfect storm. The only question now is: Will this Continued on page 9


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December 2006

Pandemic continued from page 8 set of circumstances be sufficient to push the microbial genetics over the edge and Are) create a new strain of influenza virus that rivals past pandemic strains? Deathcare Considerations Much of the available government resources, including the Department of Health and Human Services, are now geared toward prevention without much consideration to handling the high emotional individual and family impact of people losing loved ones to the pandemic. The Healthcare Sector Coordinating Council (HSCC) officially convened October 27, in Washington, D.C., to develop recommendations for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security. HSCC is composed of nine subgroups, of which the Fatality Services Sub-Council is co-chaired by the National FuneraI Director Association's (NFDA) John Fitch and the International Cemetery and Funeral Association's (ICFA) Bob Fells. Other deathcare industry organizations participating in the conference are the National Concrete Burial Vault Association (NCBVA), the /.INCasket and Funeral Supply Association


In an age of "just in time" delivery, no manufacturer in the death care industry, and that includes casket and burial vault manufacturers, could carry enough inventory to service that many deaths in a short period. (CFSA), Matthews Corporation, and the Catholic Cemetery Conference. Additional industry groups have expressed interest in supporting the work of the Sub-Council. The goal of the Fatality Services subcouncil is to arrive at a consensus on the top three to five priorities, develop action steps for implementing the top priorities, and convey those plans to the responsible federal agencies. Of particular importance is the goal of incorporating the sub-council's recommendations for mass fatalities management into the Government's Sector Specific Plan for Critical Infrastructure Protection. The current edition of the plan does not specifically address fatality

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services, thus the work of the sub-council is both timely and important. The basic question on hand is what do you do with three-to-five million dead in a short period of time. The death numbers will certainly be exceeded by those who fall ill to the virus, thus preventing a lot of assistance especially first-line healthcare professionals. In other words, New York can hardly send in massive assistance to Chicago, if that city is fighting its own pandemic battle. In an age of "just in time" delivery, no manufacturer in the death care industry, and that includes casket and burial vault manufacturers, could carry enough inventory to service that many deaths in a short period. Combine this with the psychological trauma of having to resort to mass grave sites. The University of Minnesota also has developed a web site as part of it Center for Infectious Disease and Research Policy program (CIDRAP). Other areas you can check on how to prepare for the pandemic can be found at a site called "Pandemic Toolkit" http:// sponsored by the Roche Corporation. .

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December 2006

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December 2006



Creter Vault Corporation

eel' So Id Experience & Integrity Guide Five Generations

The company has also diversified into providing architectural and landscape pieces.

A 21-ton concrete artificial reef module is

By Sylvia Heidemann NCBVA Staff Writer

Soon it will be six generations of Creters involved in the family business: Dick (right), son Rich and grandson Sean, who's the rising sixth generation. 2006 Hanley Wood, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Republication or dissemination of "Youth Movement" (The Concrete Producer, December 2006, cover) is expressly prohibited without the written permission of Hanley Wood, LLC. Unauthorized use is prohibited. NCBVA Bulletin is publishing "Youth Movement" under license from Hanley Wood, LLC.

ighty-eight years ago (1918 to be exact), a stonecutter and concrete mason started an original business that's survived and thrived for five generations. That was Richard ("Dick") Creter Sr.'s great-grandfather, who carved out a monument and burial vault company in Irvington, NJ. The company has since diversified, expanded, changed locations and has been handed down from family member to family member. Dick's sons Rich and Matt now represent the fifth generation in running the business. Dick Creter, president, originally had no plans to enter the family business, however. When he graduated from Monmouth University with a degree in accounting, he joined a large accounting firm, stayed on for five years and earned his CPA. When his father Frank asked him to help out for a couple months, Dick agreed, grudgingly. Somehow a couple months stretched into 30 years. Carrying on today in Dick's footsteps are sons Rich, vice president and general manager (a graduate of Fairfield University who's been with the company for 13 years) and Matt, project manager (recently graduated from University of Connecticut), who have degrees in business. Each has been working in the company since they were 14 years old. Experience, integrity and service have been the watchwords of the family enterprise. In addition to the Creter father and sons team, approximately 80 people are employed by the company. The average seniority is 18 years, and some employees are second generation. Shown at right: 15,000 pre-installed triple interment lawn crypts for the Archdiocese of New York.

ek • Frank Creter moved the operations of the parent company, Creter Vault Corporation, (a Doric franchise), to Garwood, NJ, which was still considered "country" more than 75 years ago. Dick then relocated the business to Flemington, NJ 30 years ago and opened an additional site in Calverton, NY 28 years ago. The manufacturing plants and main businesses in the two locations service highly populated areas, but the nature of the business varies somewhat in each location. As Dick explains, "In New Jersey, 100 percent of our customers are funeral directors, because in this state, burial vaults can only be sold by funeral directors. In New York, however, 100 percent of our sales are to cemeteries." Space is at a premium in densely populated areas, and cemeteries are taking initiatives to maximize the space available. Creter Vault has been

moved across the precast yard by a 50-ton travel lift.

working with veterans' cemeteries and large, private cemeteries, for example, pre-installing burial crypts two- and three-deep that only require a top cover of two feet of soil. Dick estimates production of lined and sealed vaults at about 8,000/year, and crypts to cemeteries in New York and Pennsylvania at about 9,000/year. "The burial vault industry is tapering off because of the increase in the number of cremations," says Dick. "We are all aware that traditional funerals are on the decline. The death-care industry is slow to change, though, and we have time to diversify our product lines. Changes evolve over about a 10-year time period. Right now, cremation is at a 30 percent level in the eastern U.S. In California, the percentage is already much highe—about 50 percent." Continued on page 14



December 2006

Creter. continued from page 13

NCBVA Programs Benefit All Space Conservation Efforts Dick Creter believes Creter Vault has been a member of the NCBVA Create Need for Columbaria for more than 40 years. (His father, Frank Creter, was a past More than two years ago, Creter Vault became a master distributor president.) "One of the best things the NCBVA did," says Dick,d for Infinity Memorial Systems, a company that produces a line of "was to create the industry standards for the manufacture of niches, urns and related products that reduce the space needed to concrete burial vaults. These have been widely accepted, and it's install columbaria. As many as nine niches can occupy the space significant that the Veterans' Administration supports them. The formerly used for one traditional-sized, 12-in. X 12-in. niche. In plant certification program is another important program. The addition, the niche units are modular and allow for phased NCBVA is an excellent resource for those of us involved in the expansions, and can be moved burial vault and deathcare without high reconstruction costs. industry. The organization We are all aware tha t traditional funerals are Creter Vault assists customers provides an invaluable with planning, designing, installing on the decline. The d eath-care industry is slow opportunity for us to get and promoting their columbaria. together regularly as a group. to change, though, an d we have time to diversify Churches are the customers for the We share our problems and our product lines." new mini-columbariums, which can our successes, and learn from be used as a fundraiser for each other." them. The churches are thereby provided with a new God & Family First source of revenue, and their Obviously, the managers parishioners have the option of any business that's of a desirable place on church had staying power for 88 property for burial of family years know the many members. Creter employs a nuances of good former minister as a sales customer relationships. person to be the liaison to Dick Creter states franldy churches in establishing the that his biggest columbaria. managerial battles are control issues. "When Company Diversifies ever I try to micro-manage With Flemington Granite and control everything, Another company division that's when there are makes up the family business: problems. Control is Flemington Granite & pretty much written into Creter Vault and Flemington Granite use state-of-the-art equipment. Architectural Supply offers an accountant's job Here, a 10-ft granite island countertop is completely cut and finished services in the manufacture, description, but I find by a 5-axis cnc machine. This equipment can also be used to carve supply and installation of things go a lot better if I and sculpt monuments and architectural pieces. today's finest in kitchen and just put my faith in God, bathroom countertops, interior stand back and let other and exterior architectural products, and landscape products. very capable people do their jobs." Co-existing on location with the Creter Vault facility, Remington Dick and his wife Camille have been married for 37 years, and Granite occupies more than 25,000 sq ft of space and utilizes statefeel blessed that their five adult children (only Rich and Matt work of-the-art cnc equipment. Some of the 80 people employed by the in the business) and seven grandchildren live within five miles of parent company in the New Jersey and New York locations make up them. "Sundays are big family days," says Dick, "and everyone an educated sales and design team that works with customers to gathers here for dinner." tailor and customize specific project needs. Every phase of a stone The Creters are well grounded professionally and in their family job is done by in-house staff (estimating, templating, fabrication ties. If business continues as it has, it looks like the future is rockand installation), using no sub-contractors or outside workers. solid for upcoming managers in the sixth generation. In addition to countertops, Flemington Granite can also design, manufacture and install fountains, columns, arbors, benches, tables, and balustrades of natural stone. This winter the company will be featured on the "Moving Up" program on the TLC channel. Creter Vault Corporation A visit to the Web site ( ) provides 417 U.S. Highway 202 information on several types of natural stone (marble, granite, slate, Flemington, NJ 08822 etc.) available through the company's import connections, selection of the most appropriate stone for a particular application, and how Phone 908-782-7771 to care for the stone to keep it looking its best through years of service.

December 2006


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December 2006

NCBVA Certified Vault Manufacturing Plants NCBVA proudly recognizes the following companies that have a current standing in the Plant Certification Program A D & Sons Vault Co. Suffolk, VA Abel Vault & Monument Co. Canton, IL Abel Vault & Monument Co. Pekin, IL American Concrete Industries Veazie, ME American Vault Co. Cleveland, OH American Wilbert Vault Corp. Forest Park, IL Arnold-Wilbert Corp. Goldsboro, NC Arrow Vault Co., Inc. Lafayette, IN Atlas Concrete Products, Inc. Orlando, FL Babylon Vault Co. New Windsor, MD Badger Burial Vault Co. Eau Claire, WI Baumgardner Products Co. Akron, OH Baxter Burial Vault Cincinnati, OH Baxter Vault Co. Baxter Springs, KS Beck Vault Co. Rome, NY Brewster Vaults & Monuments Millville, NJ Brown-Wilbert, Inc. Morris, MN Brown-Wilbert, Inc. St. Paul, MN Bruns Norwalk Vault Co. St. Louis, MO Brutsche Concrete Products Battle Creek, MI Brutsche Concrete Products Benton Harbor, MI Buckeye Vault Service Mansfield, OH C & M Precast Kerrville, TX Calumet Wilbert Vault Co. Inc. Gary, IN Carolina-Doric, Inc. Florence, SC Central Burial Vaults, Inc. Marlow, OK Central Burial Vaults, Inc. Oklahoma City, OK Central Burial Vaults, Inc. Tulsa, OK Central New York Vault Co. Cortland, NY Century Vault Co., Inc. West Barnstable, MA Charleston Wilbert Summerville, SC

Cheboygan Cement Products Co. Cheboygan, MI Chesapeake Burial Vault Co. Ingleside, MD Christy Vault Co., Inc. Colma, CA Columbus-Beier Vaults Columbus, WI Cooper Wilbert Vault Co. Middletown, DE Cordeiro Vault Co., Inc. Vallejo, CA Costello & Company Vaults Smith Falls, Ontario, Canada Creter Vault Corp. Flemington, NJ Crummitt & Son Vault Corp. Martins Ferry, OH D.G. Robertson, Inc. Williston, VT Dardanelle Vault & Monument Dardanelle, AR Delaware Valley Vault Co. Philadelphia, PA DePue Wilbert Vault Savannah, GA Deihl Vault & Precast Co. Orangeville, PA Detroit Wilbert Vault Corp. Detroit, MI Doody Burial Vaults, Inc. Winchendon, MA Doric Concrete Vaults Inc. Garden City, KS Doric Concrete Vaults, Inc. Great Bend, KS Doric Concrete Vaults Inc. Osage City, KS Doric Huntingburg Vault Co. Huntingburg, IN Doric of Kansas Vault Iola, KS Doric of Nashville, Inc. Nashville, TN Doric of Northeast Arkansas Jonesboro, AR Doric Concrete Vaults Limon, CO Doric Concrete Vaults, Inc. Newton, KS Doric Manufacturing Co. Boaz, AL Doric Mississippi, Inc. Vicksburg, MS Doric-South, Inc. Demopolis, AL Doric Vault of Eastern NY, Inc. Hudson, NY Doric Vault of Western NY, Inc. Depew, NY Doric Vault Co. Griffin, GA

Dura Vault North Bend, OH Eagle Burial Vault Co. of LA Ruston, LA Eagle Burial Vaults Perry, GA Esterly Burial Vault Co. West Reading, PA Evans Eagle Vaults, Inc. Leola, PA Everlasting Vault Co. Randallstown, MD Florida Wilbert, Inc. Jacksonville, FL Fon du Lac Wilbert Vault Fon du Lac, WI Forsyth Bros. Fithian, IL Fort Myers Wilbert Vault Service Fort Myers, FL Forsyth Bros. Concrete Prod. Terre Haute, IN Gettysburg Burial Vault Co. Gettysburg, PA Golden Eagle Vault Co. Rocky Mountain, VA Grable Vault Co. Logansport, IN Graffius Burial Vault Co. Sinking Springs, PA Granite State Doric Newport, NH Gray Bros., Inc. Kansas City, KS Gross Vault Co. Thomasville, GA Hairfield Vault Co. Hickory, NC Hardy Doric, Inc. Chelmsford, MA Barn Vault Service Massillon, OH Harris Precast Laporte, IN Hicks Industries, Inc. Miami, FL Hicks Industries, Inc. Mulberry, FL Horton Precast Gerard, PA J.P. Vincent & Son, Inc. Galena, IL Jacson, Inc. Henderson, TX Jefferson Concrete Corp. Watertown, NY Josten Wilbert Vault Co. Sioux Falls, SD Kansas City Wilbert Grandview, MO Lakeshore Burial Vault Co. Brookfield, WI

For information on NCBVA's exclusive Plant Inspection and Certification Program, please contact NCBVA Headquarters at 1-800-538-1423 or use application form on the next page.

Lavaca Vault Co. Lavaca, AK Louisell-Davis Vault Service Chattanooga, TN Lycoming Burial Vault Co. Inc. Montoursville, PA Marion Vault Works Marion, IN Master Grave Service Athens, GA McDowell Doric Vault Co. Fletcher, NC Memphis Burial Vault Co. Memphis, TN Mercer Vault Company Fredericksburg, VA Milan Burial Vault, Inc. Milan, MI Minnick Services Corp. Fort Wayne, IN Montgomery Vault Co. Woodsboro, MD Montgomery Vault Co. Rockville, MD Moore Wilbert Vault Co. Evans, GA Neher Burial Vault Co. Springfield, OH Nor-Don Vault Co. Inc. Strafford, MO North Central Mich. Vault Srvc. Cadillac, MI Norwalk Vault Co. Johnstown, PA Odon Vault Company, Inc. Odon, IN Omaha Wilbert Vault, Inc. Omaha, NE Ostwalt Vault Co. Concord, NC Palm Vault Co. Ada, OK Patriot Vault Co. Park Hills, MO Panhandle Vaults Wellington, TX Pennsylvania Concrete Vault Co. Greensburg, PA Perfection Vault Woodson, IL Phenix Vault Phenix City, AL

continued ...

December 2006



Plant Certification Program Grows in 15 Years By Earl J. Brutsche NCB VA Plant Inspector Since January of 1992, when NCBVA conducted the first official plant inspection as part of the Plant Certification Program, we have certified 350 facilities! In 15 years, many of our members have been through their second and some have already completed their third round of inspections. (Certifications are good for five years.) Through the inspection program, most of our members are achieving much better results the second time around.

the best concrete possible. This calls for quality raw materials, a good mix design, a minimum of 700 pounds of cement per yard, and just the right amount (not an excessive amount!) of water. The proper use of additives, and proper finishing and curing must also be included. Members who are considering an inspection should contact the national headquarters office by phone, FAX or e-mail and arrange early for a date in 2007. (See the applications form on the next page of this newsletter.) Please call or write to me for information on mix designs, finishing or curing. There is no charge and we are ready to help anytime.

The Inspection Process The plant inspection takes a full day and can be worked conveniently into your schedule. Before we arrive on site, we will send you a book, Concrete Mix Designs, and a booklet, "Concrete Earl Brutsche during an on Information." You will find those most helpful in getting prepared for my visit. These may stay in your library for as long as you produce concrete. High-quality concrete can be produced with no more work than concrete of poor quality, so it's only good common sense to produce


site plant inspection

Earl Brutsche 217 Bradley Battle Creek MI 49017 Ph 269-965-1550 Cell 269-969-1492 Email:

NCBVA Certified Vault Manufacturing Plants (Continued) Pioneer Vault, Inc. Doylestown, PA Poplar Bluff Doric Vaults, Inc. Poplar Bluff, MO Precast Concrete Products, Inc. Blissfield, MI Precision Precast Inc. Pittsfield, MA Quality Burial Vault Co. Houston, TX Rex Vault Service Newton, IL Rocky Mountain Monument/ Vault Sandy, UT Roland-Wilbert Vault Co. Marion, IA Saginaw Wilbert Vault Corp. Saginaw, MI Sam Green Vault Co. Lynchburg, VA St. Louis Wilbert Vault Co. St. Louis, MO Saline Vault Co. Sweet Springs, MO Santeiu Vaults Inc. Livonia, MI Sheldon Vault Co. Sheldon, IA

Shore Vault & Precast Co. Exmore, VA Simerly Concrete Products, Inc. Bristol, TN Simerly Vaults, Inc. Knoxville, TN Southern Ohio Vault Co. Portsmouth, OH Southern Vault Service Blakely, GA Spoerr Precast Concrete Sandusky, OH Suhor Industries Cedar Hill, TX Suhor Industries Parsons, KS Suhor Industries San Antonio, TX Sunnycrest, Inc. Auburn, NY Superior Burial Vaults, Inc. Salt Lake City, UT Superior Vault Co. Bryantown, MD Superior Vault Co. Charlestown, IN Superior Vault Co., Ltd. Mississauga, Ont. Swan's Concrete Products Westbrook, ME

Tennessee Vault & Grave, Inc. Dechard, TN Turner Vault Company Toledo, OH Vanden Boomen Burial Vaults Inc. Appleton, WI Vanden Boomen Burial Vaults Inc. Wausau, WI Vault Service Griffin, GA Washington Wilbert Vault Works Inc. Laurel, MD Warga Concrete Products Inc. Fort Wayne, IN Watts Vault & Monument Co. Des Moines, IA Wayne Burial Vault Co., Inc. Indianapolis, IN Welte Vault Co. Danbury, IA Western Carolina Vault Co. Fletcher NC West Plains Vault & Mfg. Co. Pomona, MO Whitman Vault Co. Whitman, MA Wicomico Vault Co., Inc. Salisbury, MD

Wieser Precast Stewartville, MN Wieser Doric Vault Co. LaCrescent, MN Wilbert Burial Vault Co. Atlanta, GA Wilbert Burial Vault Co. Muskegon, MI Wilbert Burial Vault (The James Co.) Waycross, GA Wilbert Services Lancaster, NY Wilbert Vaults of Houston, Inc. Houston, TX Willbee Concrete Products Jackson, MI Williams Wilbert Des Moines, IA Williams Vault Company Emporia, VA Willmar Precast Co. Willmar, MN Zeiser Wilbert Vault Co. Elmira, NY



December 2006

National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. Name of Plant Plant Mailing Address Plant Street Address Plant Telephone

Fax Number

Owner's Name

Evening Phone

Plant Manager/Contact Person

Evening Phone

Types of Outer Burial Receptacles Produced 71 Top Seals 11 Air Domes 71 Sectionals Other Please return this application with full payment to: The National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. P.O. Box 917525 Longwood, FL 32791 (800) 538-1423 Fax (407) 774-6751

For a NCBVA member in good standing, the Plant Certification Inspection fee is $1295.

To answer the question "How High can you Go? We must 1st ask . .

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December 2006




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Mixer Systems Econobatch plant is: nexinie - wide range of component choices and configurations to fit your EXACT need. Accurate a Consistent - state-of-the-art load cells and computerized control means no more rejected batches. LOW

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December 2006



National Concrete Burial Vault Association "Serving the death care industry with the very best"

Dues Schedule Manufacturer Member Dues are based on total units sold for all locations of the company. Please check appropriate level: 1-999 Units $170 1000 - 1999 $260 2000 - 3499 $350 3500 - 4999 $435 5000 and more $525 Associate Member


Franchise Group


Payment Information Include payment with this completed form. We accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express Check is enclosed Please charge my Visa MasterCard


Account # Expiration date

Mailing Information NCBVA P.O. Box 917525 Longwood, FL 32791 (800)538-1423 Fax: (407) 774-6751



Title Company Name Street Address City



Zip Fax

E-mail Company Web Site

[71 Check here if you prefer to have your mail sent to your home. Home street Address City State Zip Home Phone Home Fax

COMPANY INFORMATION Burial Vault Manufacturer Crematory Doric Con-O-lite Metal Vaults Offer sizes for

Funeral Director Cemetery

Wilbert Other

Eagle Trigard Provide Graveside services

Plastic Vaults Children

Fiberglass Vaults Adults Oversize

Associate Member: Tell us in 25 words or less about your product/services

Please enroll me in NCBVA today! Signature indicates that you have read and agree to abide by NCBVA's Code of Ethics and the rules which govern the National Concrete Burial Vault Association. Signature is required before this application can be processed. (Signature)


CODE OF ETHICS We believe that concrete is an ideal material for the construction of burial vaults for the interment of human remains and that a properly constructed concrete burial vault is worthy of acceptance by the public. Our sales and advertising policies will be governed by standards acceptable by the public and the funeral profession and by principles advocated by the National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. We pledge fair trade practices to our competitor whose product we will not disparage. We shall conduct our business on sound business principles, striving to build a relationship of respect and confidence for the burial vault industry with the public, with the funeral director and with the cemeteries management. We will abide by the rules and regulations of the National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc., thereby contributing to a stronger and greater national industry.

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1 VA 1.10111-


National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. P.O. Box 917525, Longwood, FL 32791

FIRST CLASS Address Correction Service Requested

Let There Be Peace On Earth The Board of Directors and staff of the National Concrete Burial Vault Association wish you a joyous holiday and prosperous New Year

Row after row of bleached white stones with evergreen wreaths is a stirring image.

Wreaths Honor Veterans This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Arlington Wreath Project, a dream that began with one man to honor our country's veterans. In what has become an annual event, the folks at Worcester Wreath Company in Maine make and decorate wreaths that will adorn over 5000 headstones of our nation's fallen heroes. The project is coordinated by the Cemetery Administration and the Maine State Society. Row after row of bleached white stones, with evergreen wreaths and red bows â&#x20AC;&#x201D; it is a stirring image to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Humbled by the impact the Arlington Wreath Project has made, not only in honoring the dead, but recognizing the sacrifices of the living, Morrill Worcester, President of Worcester Wreath Company, committed himself to doing more. This year he expanded the idea with Wreaths Across America. Worcester solicited assistance from the Civil Air Patrol and its members to help place memorial wreaths during a special ceremony on December 14 at each of the over 230 State and National Cemeteries, and Veterans Monuments across the country. Worcester explained, "Our goal is to expand the recognition of those who serve oui country, both past, present, and future, as well as their families who deserve our support. Without the sacrifices of our veterans, there would be no opportunity to enjoy the freedoms, the life we live today."

Bulletin 2006 December  

Bulletin of the National Concrete Burial Vault Association

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