Funeral Home Services
Growing Cremation Option and New Memorial Technology
In the late 1980’s a pair of college roommates from the University of Georgia often went diving off the Keys in Florida on breaks. Over the years of diving they saw significant deterioration and degradation of the reefs they were visiting. Don Brawley, founder of Eternal Reefs realized the reefs needed help.
The Reef Ball
The concept of new memorial technology options, such as the Reef Ball, was formed to directly rehabilitate and rebuild the dying reefs – and to add new habitat to the marine environment. Patented mold systems were developed to create reefs that closely mimic natural reef formations. Special design features were included to make it easy for sea life to attach and grow on these designed reef structures. An environmentally friendly concrete formula was developed that would be attractive to the microorganisms to make the new reefs, and reef balls were born.
Reef Ball to Memorial Reef
In 1998, Carleton Glen Palmer, Don Brawley’s father-in-law, talked about having his cremated remains put in a reef. As Carleton put it, “I can think of nothing better than having all that action going on around me all the time after I am gone – just make sure that the location has lots of red snapper and grouper.” Shortly after Carleton made this request, he passed away.
“Until the funeral director put his remains in my hands, I had forgotten about this casual conversation we had over dinner,” says Don Brawley. Don quickly set to work mixing the remains into the reef ball concrete to add to a placement they had planned in Sarasota, Florida. On May 1, 1998 a reef of ten Nautilus and twenty Aquarius Memorial reefs were cast. The reefs were soon placed to create a beautiful natural memorial setting. Carleton got his wish, and his reef is now teaming with sea life. Eternal Reefs was born.
Memorial Reefs – A Growing Trend
People soon started hearing about Eternal Reefs and their memorial reefs,and they have been growing naturally ever since. Now, working closely with a host of federal, state and local regulatory agencies, Eternal Reefs has grown to a choice made by many when selecting their final resting place.
The reasons for choosing an Eternal Reef as a final memorial are as varied as the individuals and families making the choice. Rather than passing an cremation urns down to future generations, or taking space in a cemetery, this memorial is a true living legacy.
Military veterans, environmentalists, fishermen, sailors, divers, and people who have been active all their lives or whose lives has been cut short, are all comforted by the thought of being surrounded by all that life and action going on around them. It’s really more like – look at what they’re doing now.