A crane lowered a 22,000-pound cremation chamber into Cleveland Funeral Home this week, launching more options for crematory services around White County.
The funeral home is one of three McDonald Family Funeral Homes, and can be found at 2721 U.S. Highway 129 in Cleveland.
“This is the first and only crematory in White Country,” said Bubba McDonald, owner of McDonald Family Funeral Homes. “It will serve Lumpkin, North Hall and the surrounding area.”
He said the new crematory will help take the load off McDonald & Son Funeral Home in Cumming, which originally acted as the business’s sole crematory. His other funeral home is located in Dahlonega.
In an eight-hour business day, he said the Cumming crematory can only perform an average of four cremations.
“In cremation, you would think you could do one back to back,” McDonald said. “But, that’s not the way it works. You do a cremation and then you have to wait a while for cooling. Over a period of time, running my crematory with three funeral homes is overtaxing.”
Jordan Dawson, manager of Cleveland Funeral Home, will serve as the location’s certified cremation service provider and operator.
He said installing a crematory in the Cleveland operation has always been a long-term goal of the business since it opened two years ago.
Through having this new crematory, Dawson said cremation services will become more convenient for those who live in Lula, Clermont, Dahlonega and surrounding areas.
“One thing that’s better is that whenever somebody’s loved one passes away, we don’t have to pick them up, bring them here, then take them to Cumming to be cremated,” he said. “This makes the entire process easier. In the long-term, I hope it lowers the cost of cremation all around because we’re not having to drive.”
McDonald said over the years he has seen a rise in the need of cremation services. Since the Cumming operation opened around 19 years ago, he said it has competed over 3,500 cremations.
Dawson said the Cleveland crematory should be operational by the end of March.
For more information about Cleveland Funeral Home’s crematory services call 706-865-1500.