Funeral home opens drive-thru window

Paradise Funeral Chapel, seen in a Sept. 9, 2014 photo in Saginaw, Mich., just added a drive-thru viewing area. (AP Photo/The Saginaw News/MLive.com, Jeff Schrier)

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A Saginaw funeral home is offering an unusual new convenience for mourners — a drive-thru viewing window.

Paradise Funeral Chapel has installed a window that displays a body inside the building, The Saginaw News reports curtains over the window automatically open when a car pulls up, and mourners get three minutes to view a body as music plays overhead.

President Ivan Phillips says many people are afraid of funeral homes. He says his drive-thru allows people who might not otherwise visit the funeral home to honor the deceased.

Click picture to view photo gallery. (AP Photo/The Saginaw News/MLive.com, Jeff Schrier)
Click picture to view photo gallery. (AP Photo/The Saginaw News/MLive.com, Jeff Schrier)

Phillips says it’s up to each family to decide if they want to use the window. His business also offers a silver, horse-drawn carriage to bring the dead to nearby cemeteries.

At least three other U.S. funeral homes offer drive-thru service.

Phillips said he’s had the idea for years, but a particular incident pushed him to make it reality. An elderly woman in a nursing home could not make it inside the chapel to attend her husband’s funeral.

“She would’ve got a chance to see him if we had this, so I knew we had to move forward,” Phillips said.

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