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

Why clothing for a cremation?

Clothing for Cremation Iowa City funeralQuestion:

My friend’s father recently died, he wanted to be cremated at the time of his death. The funeral director asked his family for clothing, why would they need clothing?



Often times, family will see their loved ones before the cremation process takes place, out of respect we encourage families to bring clothing in for this purpose. Many times family will have them dressed in a favorite pair of pants, special sweater or dress, creating a lasting special memory for them.


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Who notifies Social Security, after a death?

notifying Social SecurityQuestion:

After a death, who takes care of notifying Social Security, the Veterans Administration, insurance companies, the attorney, etc.?


One of the many services that we provide to families is to assist them in the filing and notification process for the business affairs of the deceased. Although this may seem overwhelming to the family, we have had many years of experience in assisting them after the funeral.


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

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