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Florida, St. Petersburg Lead National Cremation Trend
Date:3/24/2010

Why the increased interest in cremation? Several reasons, experts say: convenience, creativity, cost, comfort. Florida leads these trends nationally with 55 percent of deaths were cremated and 70 percent in St. Petersburg. It is a tidal-wave movement within the memorial industry.

(PRWEB) March 24, 2010 -- When Jana Kivland of South Tampa was widowed four years ago, she had husband Gerry's body cremated, as they planned. Then she faced the question: What to do with his ashes?

"We had some of the ashes scattered in the Gulf of Mexico, off Sand Key," Mrs. Kivland said, "and then I flew back to Seattle, where we had lived for 20 years, and had more ashes scattered there," off Marrowstone Island, a place the couple had loved.

But that still left most of her husband's cremains. "I went to cemeteries around Pinellas County, trying to like the idea of having a stone in a cemetery with a marker, but I just couldn't warm up to it," she said.

Then she saw a newspaper story about plans to turn the former First Baptist Church sanctuary in downtown St. Petersburg into a columbarium called the City Peace Garden. Urns containing cremated remains will be placed in niches in the walls of a gated garden or inside the sanctuary, a city historic landmark built in 1924.

"It was just what I was looking for," said Mrs. Kivland, 66. "We both loved gardens, and my husband loved working in the garden, and that's where his ashes will be placed" – in a niche in the garden with a fountain, labyrinth and beautiful landscaping.

Jana Kivland's choices – cremation and placement of the ashes in a columbarium – are in line with a growing national trend. Currently 39 percent of deaths in the U.S. resul
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