ENID, Oklahoma - A funeral home in Enid is offering a unique way to help families of veterans avoid some of the costly expenses of a funeral.

Bill Stittsworth, a funeral director and embalmer, said many people chose cremation nowadays, but still want a full funeral service. This means families will still buy a casket for their loved ones. Stittsworth said often times, the casket will be disposed of once the memorial service is over.

“The idea came up, what if we donate the casket to a veteran?” asked Stittsworth. 

He passed on the idea to a Ponca City family going through that experience. 

Linda Cremers’ husband, Ronald Cremers, was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. They were planning ahead. Ronald Cremers told Linda Cremers he wanted cremation, but she still wanted a formal funeral service. The idea of donating his casket to a veteran was just the right fit.

Ronald Cremers was a Korean War veteran in the U.S. Army. He served his country proudly. When he heard about Stittsworth’s idea, he was completely on board and happy to take part.

Ten days after Ron Cremers’ diagnosis, he passed away.

“He died totally at peace,” said Linda Cremers. 

Stittsworth is calling his project “Canteen to Casket.” 

“In the battlefield, you shared your canteen. Now, it’s the family’s choosing to share their casket,” he said.

For more information on how to receive or donate a casket, contact Amy Stittsworth Funeral Services in Enid at (580) 233-9500.