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Funeral Services

When you need funeral services in Dover and Wilmington, DE, we’ll be there.

Funerals are meant to commemorate a lifetime of loving memories. These heartfelt rites of passage offer a special opportunity for grieving family members and friends to comfort one another, begin the healing journey, and celebrate a life well-lived. At Evan W. Smith Funeral Services, helping your family plan a funeral that is deeply meaningful and memorable is our greatest priority. Whether you already know what elements you wish to include or are unsure how to structure the service, our caring team of professionals is here to gently guide you through every step of the process. We strive to deliver superior care and funeral services that consistently exceed all expectations. This unwavering commitment to service has earned our funeral services in Dover and Wilmington, DE an unsurpassed reputation for excellence throughout the region.

 

We artfully blend time-honored details with individual preferences.

At Evan W. Smith Funeral Services, we believe that each funeral represents an immense personal loss. Our Delaware-based funeral home excels in designing exclusively-tailored events that celebrate the life of the departed and pay tribute to their special qualities. Whether you are seeking to arrange a lavish traditional funeral, a simple cremation, or something completely unique to honor your loved one, we are here to fulfill your wishes. The choice is always yours. It is important to note that whether you choose burial or cremation, you can still hold a funeral service to honor your loved one. We also recognize that many cultures and religions adhere to specific funeral customs, and we do our best to accommodate every request. From basic planning to selecting a permanent resting place to deliver comprehensive grief care services, the staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services will be with you throughout your loss journey.

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Traditional Funeral Services

An important first step in the journey toward healing

Traditional funerals are long-standing rituals that pay tribute to the one who passed on, bringing together close friends and family members and allowing them to move forward in the grieving process. Funeral details vary throughout the United States and may reflect diverse cultures and customs, but the structure remains largely the same. These ceremonies are often held at a funeral home or place of worship and they are frequently presided over by a religious officiant or a funeral director. Usually consisting of a visitation, a funeral or memorial service, a committal service, and a reception, traditional funerals are an iconic symbol of respect for a beloved family member or friend.

 

Visitation

Also called the viewing or wake, the visitation takes place prior to the funeral service. At this event, guests gather to pay their respects to the departed and offer condolences to the grieving family. If the body is available for viewing, the casket is generally placed at the opposite end of the room as the entrance. Once you have extended your sympathies and viewed the body, you may leave the visitation. The visitation may last for several hours and you are not expected to stay for the entire event.  

 

Funeral Ceremony

The funeral ceremony usually takes place at the funeral home, church, or gravesite. It may include music, readings of literary or religious passages, a eulogy, prayers, and the singing of hymns.

 

Committal

Also called the burial service or interment, this brief but time-honored ritual involves a graveside gathering following the funeral service. Family and friends assemble near the open grave into which the coffin is partially lowered and the committal is spoken. Petals or floral tributes may be placed on the casket as loved ones pay their last respects before it is lowered.

 

Reception or Repast

This post-service gathering serves as a time to share fond memories of the departed and demonstrate support for those left behind. Familiar rituals like these can be deeply comforting during times of loss. Families often choose to host the reception at a local restaurant, hall, or banquet facility.

 

The compassionate professionals at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services will help you plan a distinctive service that honors the memory of your loved one. Rely on us to create a fitting celebration that fulfills your wishes and meets your budget.

 

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Burial Services

Among the world’s oldest rituals, burial offers a traditional final farewell.

Evan W. Smith Funeral Services holds deep reverence for this time-honored practice and we offer a number of affordable burial service options. Ranging from simple burials with interment, to immediate burials without a public service, to graveside services led by a minister or celebrant, to traditional funeral services followed by interment, our burial service offerings can be tailored to your family’s unique needs and preferences. We believe that how you pay your final respects should be entirely up to you.

 

What's involved in planning a burial service?

There are three primary elements to burial services, as described below:

 

Cemetery and plot selection

You or another family member may have already purchased a burial plot or mausoleum crypt. If no such plan is in place, you will need to take this step and select the cemetery and plot. The purchase of cemetery property isn’t a common transaction, so our seasoned staff is here to assist you through this complex process. We have strong working relationships with local cemetery administrators and can facilitate the selection details.

 

Choosing a casket and vault

The casket is often the most expensive element of a funeral. However, caskets come in a range of styles and price points, and you should not purchase something that exceeds your budget. Evan W. Smith Funeral Services offers a wide variety of caskets and burial vaults from which to choose. We carry caskets crafted from walnut, cherry, maple, oak, pine, and other species of wood. Metal varieties are available in varying thicknesses and finishes. From the economical to the lavish, we can assist you in finding the ideal elements to keep the cost of your loved one’s burial within your family’s budget.

 

Planning the graveside service

The format of the graveside service depends largely on your emotional needs and preferences. For instance, if you are seeking a simple burial service, it will look different from one guided by formal religious doctrine. Our seasoned experts can work with you throughout the planning process, helping you determine everything from the date and time to selecting meaningful readings, songs, and activities. Your funeral director will explore your loved one's life with you to craft a perfect and memorable graveside service.

 

We understand how important these end-of-life decisions are. If you have questions about burials or funeral services in Dover and Wilmington, DE and the surrounding area, our compassionate funeral directors are always here to assist you.

 

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"Evan W. Smith Funeral Services created an unforgettable farewell for my beloved wife. The service was touching, meaningful and personal. I am very grateful to Evan and Laura for their compassion, professionalism, and thoughtfulness."


- Mr. Norman Griffiths, Former President, Wilmington City Council

Funeral FAQs


Helpful answers to your questions about funerals.

What does it cost to bury a person in a cemetery?

What does it cost to bury a person in a cemetery?
First is the purchase price of the "right to use" the burial plot (unlike a real estate purchase, where you buy the land and all the structures on it; here you are only purchasing what is called the "interment rights" to the land). In addition, there are fees for the "opening" and "closing" of the gravesite; and any fees required to obtain the necessary permits and to maintain cemetery files and records. In addition, there's the fee for the use of any special equipment (such as a casket-lowering device); as well as the costs for any other services or items purchased. There's also the headstone or grave marker installation fee, and a one-time "perpetual care" fee paid to ensure your loved one's burial site continues to be well-maintained.

Does my loved one have to be embalmed prior to burial?

Does my loved one have to be embalmed prior to burial?
This is a question we hear a lot. Many funeral homes suggest (and may even go so far as to require) embalming if you're planning a viewing or visitation. That's because they want the experience to be as good as it can be for those in attendance, and proper embalming can ensure the deceased looks as good as possible. But as a general rule, embalming is not necessary or legally required if the body is cared for in a relatively short amount of time. Please contact us for specific state or local requirements.

How much will a casket cost?

How much will a casket cost?
The Federal Trade Commission states that the average casket costs around $2,000. If you are concerned about casket costs, speak with your funeral director who can advise you on the most appropriate casket for your situation and your budget.

What is a burial vault, and why do I need to buy one?

What is a burial vault, and why do I need to buy one?
Today, modern cemetery grounds are well-groomed, with vast expanses of green grass. A burial vault protects this pristine view, ensuring there is no sign of burial plots "settling". Certainly, the vault also protects the casket; but the primary role of a burial vault is to protect the beauty of the cemetery environment.

What's involved in a cemetery burial?

What's involved in a cemetery burial?
If your loved one has not made previous arrangements for their burial, leaving you to pick the location of their interment, the first thing you'll need to do involves the selection of the cemetery and burial location within the grounds. You'll also choose the most suitable casket and burial vault, and provide us with the clothing you'd like your loved one to wear (and any 'special items' you'd like us to place in the casket). Once payment is made, the date and time of interment are agreed upon. At that time, the cemetery grounds keepers will take care of the "opening" and "closing" of the grave and the proper placement of the casket in the burial vault.

Do I have to buy a headstone or grave marker?

Do I have to buy a headstone or grave marker?
The cemetery will put a temporary identification marker on your loved one's grave, but it is only intended as a placeholder until a permanent headstone or grave marker is set in place. Without one, your loved one's burial site will, when this temporary marker becomes illegible or is somehow removed, appear "unmarked".

Where do I purchase a headstone or grave marker?

Where do I purchase a headstone or grave marker?
We, and the cemetery where your loved one will be interred, have strong working relationships with trusted monument companies. When you are ready to order a granite headstone or bronze grave marker, we will come together to orchestrate its selection, manufacture, and placement. Speak with your funeral director to get the details.

What is "direct burial"?

What is "direct burial"?
When we make arrangements for the direct burial of an individual, we are expediting their interment. There will be no funeral, memorial service or celebration-of-life; instead, we provide the physical care of the deceased (perhaps embalming their body, but certainly dressing and casketing) and then escort the casket to the cemetery for immediate burial.

Is direct burial right for our situation?

Is direct burial right for our situation?
It's very hard to know without having the opportunity to speak with you. Direct burial works well when there are few mourners or if your loved one's wishes were for a simple interment. It's done quickly and professionally, without ceremony of any kind. With that said, what do you think? Does direct burial feel like the right course of action for you? Speak with a funeral professional to further explore the idea.

What services do you provide when I choose direct burial?

What services do you provide when I choose direct burial?
Your funeral director will complete and file the death certificate, obtain signatures on any required permits or authorizations, helps you select a cemetery in which to inter your loved one, as well as a casket and burial vault. He or she will oversee the physical care of the deceased: they will be dressed in clothes you've provided (or purchased from us), casketed, and then escorted to the cemetery for immediate burial. This same individual will witness the burial and provide you with copies of all pertinent papers for safekeeping.

What is a graveside service?

What is a graveside service?
Rather than having a service in a church or funeral home chapel, and then adjourning to the cemetery for the burial, some families choose to gather solely at the cemetery. There, they are led through a ceremony prepared by a clergy person or celebrant and witness the in-ground committal of their loved one's casket. If the idea of a graveside service appeals to you, speak with your funeral director about your options.

What "extra" fees or charges will I need to pay?

What "extra" fees or charges will I need to pay?
Some of the things you'll discuss with your funeral director involve purchases made from outside vendors, and you will be asked to pay for those items at the time of the arrangement conference. One of the most common is the fee charged by a newspaper to print your loved one's obituary. Another cash advance charge could be for clergy or musician's fees, floral arrangements, reception necessities, such as food/beverage or facility rental. Your funeral director will provide you with a detailed invoice for all cash advance items.

When do I pay for a funeral service?

When do I pay for a funeral service?
The exact answer to this question largely depends upon the services, products, and cemetery you've selected; but a good rule of thumb is to expect to pay at the time the service contract is signed (at the time of the arrangement conference, or soon afterward). Speak with your funeral director to learn more.

Who will write my loved one's obituary?

Who will write my loved one's obituary?
We're tempted to answer this with another question: who would you like to write it? Perhaps you'd like to ask a friend or family member to do so, or maybe you're thinking it's something you would like to do. Or perhaps you'd rather turn the duty over to your funeral director. He or she is experienced in obituary writing, and would be delighted to relieve you of the task; so don't hesitate to ask them to craft a suitable obituary.

Should we request memorial donations instead of flowers?

Should we request memorial donations instead of flowers?
We don't like to use the word "should" when we speak to families about this issue. So the question becomes one of assessing your heart's desire: what do you really want? Then there's the question of your deceased loved one's wishes; exactly what would he or she think or feel? Most commonly we advise families to offer their community as many caring options as possible; some will send flowers, some will send donations, and some will even do both.

 


 

Whether you need to plan a funeral for a death that has occurred or are seeking to preplan arrangements, our staff is always available to assist you. Please contact us anytime.

Recent Blog Posts


In our blog, we share resources and information that families in our community can use to cope with their loss or better understand their grief. We also write about ways we have been involved in the community. Check out our latest posts.


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Evan W. Smith Funeral Service - Wilmington
Phone: (302) 377-6906
201 N. Union St., Wilmington, DE 19805

Evan W. Smith Funeral Service - Dover
Phone: (302) 526-4662
518 S. Bay Rd., Dover, DE 19901


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