Up in smoke: Amid $10,000 funerals, Cave Hill Cemetery cremation rates have soared

Only 10 years ago, just 3% of the internments at storied Cave Hill Cemetery involved cremations. Today, the cemetery estimates the rate has soared to 37%. The statewide rate is lower: 22%, but across the U.S., it’s nearly 47%.

UrnNo wonder. A traditional funeral in the U.S. costs $8,000 to $10,000, with the single-biggest expense being a casket, averaging $2,300 — a pricey item cremation doesn’t require. Urns for ashes, on the other hand, are a lot cheaper, such as the $139.95 one pictured, left.

The cemetery’s more famous permanent residents include KFC founder Harland Sanders.

Related: Read more about Louisville cemeteries, and funeral homes. Much of the state’s funeral industry is regulated by the state Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors; the board publishes industry laws and regulations, including requirements for inspections and publicly available price lists for caskets and other merchandise, plus services.

Photo, top: the cemetery’s iconic entrance at Broadway and Baxter.

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