Iowa City Funeral Director Answers Questions - "Glad you asked" Ask Dan Ciha

Funeral pre-planning?

Iowa City Funeral Pre-planningQuestion: 

I’m confused. Do you help families with pre-planning?


Yes, we do. In fact one of our funeral directors will sit down with families when they want to talk about their wishes, explaining the many options and facts about funeral services for the future.

Please feel free to call 319-338-1132 or stop in to talk with us about pre-planning services that we offer.


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Catholic church forbids cremation?

Iowa City Catholic church funeralQuestion: 

Does the Catholic Church forbid cremation at the time of a death?


No it does not. In years past, as it was throughout this country, the practice of cremation was not generally regarded as a choice at the time of a death. In our society today this has changed, along with the many choices one’s family has at that time. As with all important decisions, it is best to consult with those involved before making a final decision. By talking with family members, members of your clergy, and a funeral professional, one can make these difficult decisions before a death occurs.


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What can we do with old glasses?

What to do with prescription glassesQuestion:

After my mother died, we had all her pairs of old glasses she had worn throughout her lifetime.
What can we do with them now?


Many families allow us to donate these glasses to the Iowa Lions Eye Bank, who in turn give them to those in need of glasses in our country and other countries. Some families will want to keep these glasses as a memory of their loved one, and some choose to bury them with the deceased. Of course, the choice is yours.


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Can women be casket bearers?

Glad You Asked: Can women be casket bearers? (Iowa City Funeral Home)Yes, women can be. Grandchildren can be. Anyone you designate can be a casket bearer. What’s cool is it involves the family. Even though it’s very difficult emotionally for people to carry their grandpa or their father, or whomever, to the grave it’s also something they can do that nobody else can do for them. I like to relate it to your father carried you, your mother carried you, and you have the opportunity to carry them this last time.

Once you explain that to families, they fight over who can do it. Who is going to get to do it, and you don’t have to have to limit it to just six people. When my grandparents died, all 12 of the grandchildren carried our grandparents to the grave. We were tripping over each other! We were cursing each other because our feet were too big and we were walking on each other, but none of us would have traded it for the world. My dad and my two uncles were in tears watching us carry our grandpa and grandma to the grave.

My son Adam was only four when grandma died. Since I was the funeral director he was tagging along, holding on to me, as I was carrying grandma’s casket. It reminds you of the John F. Kennedy picture where Jacqueline was holding the kids hands and they are holding each other. It’s one of those moments. It was cool.

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Funeral Procession

Glad you asked a funeral director - funeral processionWhen I see a funeral procession coming down the road, while I’m driving, should I pull over to the side of the road?

Yes, out of respect for the person who has died and also for their family, pull over. It means a lot to them to know that the community cares enough to stop their busy worlds just for a moment as the procession passes.



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No Soliciting

We don't solicit funeral arrangements at Gay & Ciha Funeral and CremationsWhy am I receiving postcards in the mail and solicitations to make funeral arrangements from funeral homes that I am not familiar with?

Some funeral homes have prearranged funeral counselors on staff. It is their job to go out and contact people through mail, telephone or in person and solicit future business. Some funeral homes feel that it’s a service to those families. I think it’s a service to those families by helping them make funeral pre-arrangements, but I don’t think it’s our place to be out there soliciting because it is just that – soliciting!

I think we’re blessed with the families that come to us. I appreciate the fact that we don’t go out and solicit for their business. They come to us when there is a need or when they want to make funeral pre-arrangements. A lot of families will contact us before the death to make their own arrangements, but we are not out there seeking that.

In our funeral home only licensed funeral directors make those arrangements with you, not a sales person.

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2720 Muscatine Ave.
Iowa City, IA 52240
319-338-1132 or 1-866-338-1132

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