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Cremation Questions

A Tradition of Service

To help you better understand the cremation process, we have provided some information that will answer some of your questions. Please feel free to contact us at 641-423-0924 if you have further questions.


Who owns the crematory?
Major Erickson Funeral Home

Where is it located?
On-site at 111 N. Pennsylvania Avenue, Mason City

When can I visit?
Anytime, please call 641-423-0924 to schedule a visit.

What is cremation?
Cremation is a process in which the human body is reduced to bone fragments with the use of intense heat. For an average size adult to be cremated, the process is performed in two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of 1,500 degrees F to 2,000 degrees F.

Can the family witness the cremation?
Yes. For those family members that wish to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber, they are more than welcome to do so.

How can I be sure I receive the correct cremated remains?
Major Erickson Funeral Home & Crematory adheres to strict policies and procedures throughout the cremation process. Positive identification of the deceased along with stainless steel identification discs accompany and identify the remains throughout the cremation process. Also, licensed funeral directors and a licensed crematory operator monitor the process from start to finish.

Is a casket needed for cremation?
A casket is not required for cremation; however, it is required by Major Erickson Funeral Home & Crematory for a body to be placed in a rigid container, such as corrugated cardboard.

Is embalming required prior to cremation?
No. Embalming is not required for cremation.

Can the body be viewed without embalming?
The immediate family members may view the deceased without embalming. However, under certain circumstances, such as a visitation with an open casket, embalming may be required.

In what kind of container are the cremated remains returned?
If you do not wish to purchase an urn, the cremated remains will be returned in a sealed plastic bag that is placed in a plastic or cardboard holding container.

Are there laws governing cremation?
Yes, cremation regulations vary from state to state. Our staff can inform you of the regulations in the state of Iowa.

Are cremated remains permitted by law to be scattered?
Though there are currently no state laws which prohibit the scattering of cremated remains, scattering may take place at a designated place on land or water in accordance with state and local laws. Scattering cremated remains on someone's private property requires their permission. It is not recommended to scatter on personal property or on public property where others may come into contact with the cremated remains.