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

d, or in beautifully landscaped cremation gardens that are popular in some locations, with rocks, trees, butterfly gardens, elaborate flowers and shrubs and water features. Cremation also allows families to divide the ashes among several locations that were meaningful: divided among relatives, buried or scattered at a favorite vacation spot or near the grave of parents or other loved ones.
 
  • Cost, typically lower than traditional casket burial in a cemetery. Depending on the level of services selected, cremation will average between $1,500 and $6,500 locally, McQueen said. A traditional burial service, including casket and vault but excluding the cemetery plot, is in the range of $9,000, he said.

 
  • Comfort. So widely accepted is the idea of cremation and placement in a columbarium that the University of Florida is creating a columbarium on its Gainesville campus. Other institutions of higher learning, including Notre Dame, the University of Virginia, and the U.S. Naval Academy, offer columbariums for their alumni.

Last year in Florida, 55 percent of deaths were cremated, almost twice the rate of the Midwest and rest of the Southeast. In St. Petersburg, cremation demand is even higher than national statistics indicate. Seventy percent of deaths here result in cremation. &quo
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