Why More Milwaukeeans Than Ever are Choosing Cremation


Being part of the Milwaukee landscape for more than 80 years has given our Krause Funeral Home staff a unique perspective on the end-of-life choices that families make.

Not long ago, many of our Milwaukee, Brookfield, and New Berlin friends and neighbors followed this tradition: After a death, loved ones would host a visitation, a funeral, and a graveside burial, often at the family plot.

Oh, how things have changed – and in a fairly short span of time.

In only a few decades, trends have shifted, and more people in our area and across the U.S. are choosing cremation than ever before. According to a 2019 report by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the cremation rate in the U.S. is projected to be 78.7% by 2040, while the burial rate is predicted to be just 15.7%.[1]

Why the dramatic change? Reasons vary but include the following:

Matters of finance. Cremation is typically less expensive than a traditional burial. It’s important to remember that we still offer the majority of services available with a traditional funeral service, such as a visitation, a memorial service, a catered reception, and even a graveside burial.

Convenience. With an increasingly transient population, choosing cremation offers flexibility because a family can wait weeks or even months before holding a service. Also, instead of selecting a permanent final resting place, loved ones can transport an urn or other keepsake with them wherever their journey takes them.

Environmental impact. Many Milwaukeeans want to make the smallest impact on the environment as possible in both life and death. Cremation uses far fewer resources than almost any other disposition option. When cremated remains are scattered instead of buried, no casket or space in the ground is required.

Greater religious acceptance. Throughout most of its history, the Catholic Church took a strong stance against cremation. This changed in 1963 when the church lifted its prohibition on cremation. It is now acceptable for Catholics to be cremated but entombment or burial still remains the recommended method of final disposition.

Fewer adherences to family traditions. Milwaukeeans want their final farewell to be as meaningful as possible, and this looks different for everyone. While some prefer sticking to tradition, others choose cremation and want their cremated remains to be scattered at a location that is special to them. As of 2019, approximately 42% of cremated remains are returned to families, 35% are buried at a cemetery, 16% are scattered at non-cemetery locations, and 8% are placed in a columbarium.

Whether you choose cremation or traditional burial, our professional and caring staff can help you understand your options and make decisions. If you have strong opinions on the topic, we recommend that you preplan your own arrangements so your family is perfectly clear on what your wishes are.

Rest assured, if you choose cremation with Krause, you’ll have peace of mind knowing we adhere to the highest professional and ethical cremation standards. While many funeral homes and cremation societies outsource cremation to third-party providers, your loved one remains within our care at our on-site crematory. Our rigorous process enables us to be the only Milwaukee cremation provider to offer the exclusive Cremation with Confidence™ Guarantee.

No matter what your preferences are, the Krause Funeral Homes family will make sure you’re confident in your decision and that your final farewell is as special as your life.

[1] https://www.nfda.org/news/media-center/nfda-news-releases/id/4395/cremation-is-here-to-stay-aging-baby-boomers-proved-catalyst-in-shift-beyond-traditional-burial

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