Stillwater News Press


September 30, 2012

Stillwater funeral home installs cremation chambers

STILLWATER, Okla. — A Stillwater funeral home is beginning to offer a service previously unavailable in Payne County.

Strode Funeral Home recently installed two retorts for human and pet cremation services. Strode Funeral Director Mike Chace said the previous cremation process was a long process.

“All our cremations had to be done in Tulsa or Oklahoma City in the past,” he said. “We’d transfer people there to be cremated, but now it’s all in-house.”

A number of reasons allowed for the new services to be put in place.

“We’ve been wanting to put in a crematory since (2006) when I bought the funeral home and finally had the opportunity with our cremation rates rising and out pet services rising,” Chace said.

He said he believes it’s important to be all-encompassing with the funeral home’s services to a family.

“We wanted to take care of our families from beginning to end,” he said. “We didn’t want to have to keep transferring them to Tulsa, out of our care and then back into our care, so this way everything stays in Stillwater. We are here to take care of families and their loved ones.”

Chace said it took six to eight hours to get the retorts in place and then another day and a half to get them installed. They are located in a new portion of the cemetery office at 6500 S. Perkins Road.

“It’s expensive to put one in and that’s a lot of reasons you don’t have them scattered across the state is because of the cost of putting one in,” he said.

There are other services available to those who chose cremation.

“We added a viewing room onto the crematorium,” he said. “We thought it was important if families wanted to come out and be present for a cremation, that they have a nice place to wait and view if they want to, so we have a viewing room available, as well.”

Chace said the funeral home has seen a small increase in those choosing cremation over burial every year.

“I think it’s a lot of reasons,” Chace said. “I think part of it is financial. I think part of it is that we are such a mobile society now that people aren’t in one place all the time so they don’t want to have a burial place here and maybe cross the United States the next time.”

Sometimes, he said, it can be an easier process than burial.

The funeral home also offers cremation for pets.

“We opened a pet funeral home two years ago and our pet services increase every year,” he said. “I think we did 127 pet calls last year; all of them cremations.”

He said it’s a growing trend nationwide.

For more information, visit Strode Funeral Home online at

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