Historic Pinellas funeral home demolished - WFLA News Channel 8

Historic Pinellas funeral home demolished

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Pinellas County -

Built in 1939, as the first stand alone funeral home in Pinellas, the Moss Feaster Chapel on Fort Harrison Road in Clearwater is now an empty lot.

Crews demolished the building Monday.

It's a sign of changing times in the funeral industry, said Rick Chesler, Moss Feaster Funeral Home Director. "Its been here a long time, funeral services have changed, area has changed and a lot of things have passed thru here, a lot of history," said Chesler.

One big change is the popularity of cremation.  In the past 40 years, the number of cremations have gone from 20% to about 65% of local funerals, said Chesler.  Cremations are simple and less expensive, about $3000, but many families still want a memorial service.

To accomodate the more contemporary service, at the newer Moss-Feaster Funeral Chapel on Indian Rocks Road, tables replace traditional pews and the large gathering rooms can be decorated for a reception.

"If an individual is an avid Bucs fan, there've been several occasions where we have decorated the room and themed the room to emulate attending a football game," said Chesler.

Technology is also a part of funerals today, large video screens can show a video montage of photographs of the person's life, and many homes also provide a web site tribute that anyone from around the country can access.

When Verena Schillmoller's husband Charles passed away last month, she chose cremation and played a DVD with live music for his celebration of life memorial.

"My husband would've liked it this way because he was not a very traditional person in that sense,"said Verena Schillmoller.

Depending on what the family wants prices for funerals range from a couple of thousand for basic cremation, to more than $20,000.

Meantime, Moss Feaster has no plans to rebuild at the Ft. Harrison site. The property is up for sale.

 

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