Heartland funeral homes see increase in business

Heartland funeral homes see increase in business

SIKESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - The pandemic is affecting a lot of industries and that includes the funeral business.

As the US averages over 4,000 deaths each day to COVID-19 some funeral homes are having a hard time keeping up.

“We’ve had an increase of about 15% of COVID-related deaths,” said Danny Kuykendall, Nunnelee Funeral Chapel manager in Sikeston.

He said their cremation rate has nearly doubled, and has seen immediate burials without any service at all.

“The peak time for us was the last part of November and the whole month of December,” said Kuykendall.

Howard Crawshaw, owner of Crawshaw funeral home in Murphysboro said, “We’ve had very few funeral services here in the building.”

They have serviced their community for over 90 years, and is the first-time so many turning to unconventional services.

“Predominately graveside and people putting off celebrations until they can gather safely,” said Crawshaw.

Terry Parker, the Mississippi County Coroner and manager of McMikle Funeral Homes said he’s witnessed COVID-19 related deaths not only in older adults.

“We’ve had some younger deaths that maybe could have been prevented,” said Parker.

He said there has not been an overflow at the funeral home, but that could be possibility.

“If it continues to rise it could come to that,” said Parker.

“It’s just my plea that somewhere in the future we can provide families that opportunity to be with a loved one once again like they did in the past,” said Kuykendall.

All funeral home workers said they follow COVID-19 guidelines for families and services.

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