First crematorium in Lenoir County to open soon
From left, Bill, Kendall and Briley Taylor of Howard-Carter Funeral Home discuss the plans for the upcoming crematorium. Photo by Michelle Taylor / Neuse News
Lenoir County will soon have its first crematorium.
“We wanted a better way to serve our families and our community,” Kendall Taylor, a funeral director at Howard-Carter Funeral Home, said.
Currently, all Lenoir County funeral homes have to send cremations somewhere else. Briley Taylor, a funeral director at Howard-Carter, said having the crematorium would offer a quicker turnaround and also reduce liabilities.
“We don’t know exactly 100 percent what could be going on at the other facilities but if we have it right here on site, their loved one stays under our care 100 percent of the time,” he said.
The idea for the crematorium started last year when the directors at Howard-Carter saw a rise in cremations.
“We’re having to send a lot of money to these third-party organizations out of the county and this way the money will stay here in Lenoir County,” Kendall Taylor said.
The crematorium should be operating at the beginning of the year, with the actual units being delivered at the end of September.
“I feel confident by January we should be operational,” Kendall Taylor said. “The contractor gave me a five- to six-month time frame on the building.”
The $500,000 project has been completely funded in-house.
While the idea sprouted last year, the Taylor’s said they began researching the project in January.
“We had the opportunity after looking at several different manufacturers of cremation units and this company really stuck out to us,” Briley Taylor said. “They flew us out to Florida and we sat through a class where we learned all about the units."
While learning about Matthews Environmental Solutions, out of Florida, both Kendall and Briley began sketching the idea for the new operation on napkins.
“We wanted to bring back the respect in cremations,” Kendall Taylor said.
The new operation will be staffed with current employees who are certified to run the crematorium.
Staff at Howard-Carter said the reaction to the new crematorium has been positive.
“The people we’ve talked to have been excited or they did not realize there wasn’t another crematorium here,” Kendall Taylor said.”They’re excited that their loved one will stay local and not have to sent somewhere else.”
In the crematorium building itself, people will be able to watch their loved one be placed in the unit. This is different from other facilities.
“There will be a room for memorial services, a viewing room and an area for people who want to come in and view their loved one, one last time,” Briley Taylor said.
The building will also house the county's largest mortuary cooler. The cooler will be able to hold a minimum of nine bodies and up to 14 with racks.
Memorial items will also be available for purchase through the crematorium. Items range from urns to rings, necklaces, knives and many more.
“We have a fingerprint machine that we can put on knives, rings, bracelets, and necklaces,” Kendall Taylor said.
Bill Taylor, funeral director at Howard-Carter, said they can also scan in a signature along with the fingerprint.
The crematorium will be in conjunction with Howard-Carter and Garner Funeral Home.