ALBURGH, Vt. — A local funeral home has opened its own crematory.
Mountain View Crematory is the latest addition to the Brown Funeral Home group of businesses. It opened in October in the hamlet of Alburgh, Vt.
Ryan and Michael Bennett, licensed funeral directors at Brown Funeral Home, said the new crematory is one more way a family can rest assured the staff at Brown Funeral Home will be at their loved one’s side every step of the way.
“The big thing is being able to serve families with their full confidence and be able to fulfill all of their wishes,” Michael said.
State rules differ
Ryan said it is located in Vermont because in New York, a funeral home is not allowed to own a crematory or cemetery.
In addition, there is a moratorium on building new crematories in the state, he said. Michael said the Alburgh location is about the same distance from their business as the nearest crematory in New York.
“We were lucky to find a place to have this and still have it close to home,” he said.
All four funeral directors at Brown Funeral Home, owner Warren Bennett, his sons, Ryan and Michael, and Stephen LaPointe, have completed their Certified Crematory Operator training.
Michael said that while many families still choose a traditional funeral and burial, the number of requests for cremations is growing.
Mountain View Crematory consists of a large room where the retort, the machine that is used in cremation, is situated. It also has an attached garage and a smaller office space with a window where families can watch the process.
The computer system is tied into Brown Funeral Home in Plattsburgh. The equipment is also monitored by the manufacturer, Matthews Cremation, a division of Pennsylvania-based Matthews International.
Ryan said he went to their site in Orlando, Fla., in January and March to learn more about the equipment.
The propane-fueled retort can take a couple hours to complete the process, which varies based on factors such as the type of casket or container in which the body resides. Once complete, the ashes are placed in an urn and are ready for the family’s choice of final resting place, whether that be in a columbarium or in the home.
Michael said they used to use an outside provider for cremations.
“Now, it’s all within our company,” he said.
Available to all
The crematory is available to all faiths and individuals who choose cremation, not just those who have made arrangements through Brown Funeral Home.
Mountain View Crematory is the culmination of two years of planning and construction. The project needed nine permits for final approval, including meeting the stringent provisions of Vermont’s Act 250.
Brown Funeral Home was founded by Eugene Brown in 1892. Warren Bennett, a native of West Chazy, received a degree in mortuary science from Hudson Valley Community College in 1979. He started to work at Brown Funeral Home in 1980 and acquired the business in 1989.
Stephen LaPointe earned a degree in mortuary sciences from SUNY Canton in 1985. He started working at Brown Funeral Home while in high school and has been a licensed funeral director since 1986.
Ryan and Michael grew up helping in the family business and later joined the team.
Ryan graduated from SUNY Canton with a degree in mortuary science in 2007. He started his residency shortly after and became a licensed funeral director in 2008.
In 2008, Ryan started Adirondack Memorials and Granite Works, which offer monuments, memorial benches and columbariums. It is located next to their main funeral home on Broad Street in downtown Plattsburgh.
Michael graduated from Hudson Valley Community College with a degree in mortuary science in May of 2011. He started his residency that June and became a licensed funeral director in August 2012.
Has multiple locations
Brown Funeral Home has additional funeral home locations in Cadyville and Altona.
The Brown Funeral Home Web site, www.brownfuneralhomeinc.com, contains contact information for the three locations, information on the services provided, links to other services such as local florists, a place to submit on-line tributes, guidance through the grieving process and even a description and pictures of the Plattsburgh location.
Email Dan Heath:email@example.com