Over the past few years, a transformation has taken place at Coble Funeral & Cremation Service at Greenlawn Memorial Park with the addition of a new funeral home, mausoleum and on-site crematory.
The result of more than $3 million in improvements to the property, these new amenities allow for a wider range of options and in-house services for families planning end-of-life arrangements, said Daniel Ensor, market manager for coastal North and South Carolina at Dignity Memorial. Dignity Memorial is a Texas-based organization that oversees a network of more than 1,900 funeral, cremation and cemetery providers across the county, including the Coble facilities at Greenlawn Memorial Park.
“That’s what our goal is: a customized, personalized experience for the families that they never dreamed they could have when they come to the funeral home,” Ensor said.
Many of these new options center on those who choose cremation, which according to a release from Coble, is becoming a more popular choice for North Carolinians with 51% now opting for cremation over burial.
Before the multimillion dollar investment, Coble didn’t provide as many possibilities for families choosing cremation.
“For many years, all we had were the niches on the front of our older mausoleums. They were limited, and a lot of cremation families wanted something better,” said Barbara Tyndall, general manager for the cemetery. “They wanted something pretty, and they wanted options.”
The new Garden of Hope mausoleum offers 200 additional niches for urns, and in an adjacent garden, families can utilize sites for upright granite memorials and flat bronze memorials, both similar to styles of headstones commonly selected for burials. Another option is a columbarium. These structures can commemorate the remains of individuals, couples, families or even a church congregation or other organization that wants to secure multiple spots for a group.
Additionally, the campus now offers an on-site crematorium, which includes a small space where about 15 people can gather to be present for the cremation of loved ones.
“It’s a private area for the family to witness cremations, if they wish to,” Ensor said.
A cremation does not preclude the possibility of a traditional viewing or funeral ceremony, which Ensor said is a common misconception. Some families choose to have a traditional viewing and funeral service with the body present before cremation, he noted.
The Coble Funeral Home, which opened in 2020, was designed to accommodate more creative or personalized services as well. Instead of a chapel room with pews, the facility offers a multi-use room with chairs. This room allows for many possible configurations. It can be set up with tables and centerpieces, like a ballroom, according to Ensor, and the staff can facilitate a catered meal before, during or after services.
The new mausoleum can also host services, Tyndall noted, either in the wide, open corridor at the center of the facility or on the lawn outside it.
An open house for the campus’s new facilities at 1155 Shipyard Blvd. is scheduled for April 15-16 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.