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July 28, 2009

Bookcase Coffin: Life/Death Mashup Extraordinaire


Long story short: In Katie Zezima's eye-opening July 21, 2009 New York Times front page story about the rise of home burials, I happened on a singular piece of furniture (above and below): a bookcase coffin made by Waterville (Maine) home funeral proponent and coffin builder Chuck Lakin.

Wrote Zezima, "Mr. Lakin, a woodworker, makes coffins specifically for home funerals. Ranging in price from $480 to $1,200, they double as bookcases, entertainment centers and coffee tables until they need to be used."


"He became interested in home funerals after his father died 30 years ago and he felt there was a 'disconnect' during the funeral process. Mr. Lakin is now a resource for funeral directors in central Maine and a local hospice."

"His coffins are sold to people like Ginny Landry, 77, who wants a home funeral one day but is content to use her coffin to showcase the quilts she makes. It once stood in her bedroom, but her husband, Rudolph, made her move it to a guest room because he pictured her in the coffin every time he laid eyes on it."

Zezima noted that "Advocates say the number of home funerals, where everything from caring for the dead to the visiting hours to the building of the coffin is done at home, has soared in the last five years, putting the funerals 'where home births were 30 years ago,' according to ... Lakin."


Lakin's Bookcase Coffin along with his other offerings are available at his website, Last Things.

July 28, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink


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My father, being a scholar gathered a large library. As he moved, he would build bookcases for his library.
He also did this for the temples and churched he and his wife attended.
As we were making preparations for his burial, I remembered that in older days, the desk that talmud scholars was often included as part of their coffin.
When they got to heaven, the others would look to see how much time he spent at it.

Posted by: itsrichard | Jul 29, 2009 7:42:03 PM

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