GREENVILLE, Mich. – A local couple is offering families a bit of hope during some of their darkest times, making handmade caskets for people who can’t afford a commercial one.
Mary Smith and her husband Rob understand firsthand how painful loss can be, especially for families who can’t afford the cost of a burial.
The couple lost their 30-year-old son Jared after he was hit and killed by a car near Chicago Drive in 2015. Unable to cover the cost of his funeral, they had their son cremated and built him a unique urn in the shape of a casket.
“They put him in a ceramic urn and that just didn’t feel right to me,” Smith said. “It was cold and I wanted something warm, and wood is warm. So I had him [Rob] build him a small one for his ashes.”
The project inspired them to help other families, now building life-sized caskets for people who can’t afford a commercial one. An average casket costs about $2,000, but Smith says theirs go for about $700.
Each one is handmade with pine wood and can be custom made to order.
"We found a lot of people are forced to go against their beliefs and cremate because of the price and we want to eliminate that a little bit,” said Smith.
There’s no website for their company, Handmade Caskets For Less, but you can place an order by calling (616) 824-8927.