The J. Herman Humphrey Dignity Cremation Center
Our center is named after the first-generation Humphrey, Herman, who was the father of Jim Bob Humphrey and grandfather to James Humphrey. Herman became a partner to the Gardner Funeral Home (established in 1933) and eventually its full owner. He built and dedicated our existing facility on West Main Street in 1974. It seemed only fitting that our cremation center would be integrated in this same facility in 2020.
The designation of "dignity" comes from the value we hold for life & legacy. While too much of the funeral industry generally offers cremation as basically a body disposal service, we will always treat & regard your loved one's remains with greater compassion, respect, and dignity. Once we receive your loved one into our care, we will bathe & sanitize his/her body, and set basic cosmetic features.
When your family comes to the funeral home arrangement meeting, we will ask you to bring a full set of clothing (including undergarments) so that we can dress your loved one. We will then place them in a special container that is designed to be cremated with them and place their body in our "Chapel of Light" that adjoins the cremation unit. There, you and your family members may have a private (not public) gathering to see your loved one prior to their cremation. You may even want to invite your minister or a family member to share a brief committal service at that time.
It is a comfort to the families we serve in this way to know their loved one never leaves our facility from the moment we receive them into care until the moment we return their cremains to your care. We even provide your family with an official "Chain of Custody" certificate verifying the care your loved one has received from our staff each step of the way. Many families choose to hold a public memorial service in our large main chapel at a later time.
Our new Chapel of Light that graces the J. Herman Humphrey Dignity Cremation Center offers individuals & families a quiet, peaceful and reflective place to see their loved ones prior to their cremation. Here, family members gather for a private time to share memories, honor the life of their loved one, and hold a private committal service.
Families have consistently expressed to us how special & meaningful this time & place is, and how much they appreciate having had this unique opportunity prior to cremation. They also express their comfort in knowing that their loved one never leaves our cremation center from the moment we received him or her into care until we return their cremains to the family.
No other facility in our region offers families this kind of unique environment and opportunity.
Our Dignity Cremation approach is unique from the funeral industry in general which unfortunately is more characteristic of a body disposal business than the care & respect of a deceased loved one.
Once our care team receives your loved one into care, we carefully & respectfully bath and sanitize the body, and shampoo hair and set basic cosmetic features. When your family comes to the funeral home to finalize arrangements, we ask you to bring your loved one a full set of clothing including undergarments (shoes are optional). We completely dress your loved one and place them in a special container designed to be cremated with them.
Family members find special meaning in taking colored markers and writing on the unfinished wooden surface a memory, a commemoration message, or just a simple farewell as they see their loved one a final time prior to cremation.
Immediately adjoining our Chapel of Light and Dignity Cremation Center is our newly expanded and remodeled family room, where members may lounge and visit. Beverages and light refreshments are always on hand to enjoy.
The family room also adjoins our larger chapel when families choose to hold a public memorial service for their cremated loved one. Our main chapel is fully-equipped for live-stream podcasting in high definition so that no one in your family need ever miss the services.
Some families choose to share a meal together either before or after committal and memorial services. Our new Kate Humphrey Dining Room is equipped to host your family group of 25-30 in having a catered or pot-luck style meal gathering. It is just right down a corridor from our family room and the Dignity Cremation Center and Chapel of Light.
Families have expressed their appreciation for having a place to gather without having to leave and find a restaurant, home or other facility to share their fellowship & meal time together.