City of Olathe, KS

738 N. Chestnut
Olathe, KS 66051
Telephone: (913) 971-5226
Email: bnilges@olatheks.org

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us or call us at (913) 971-5226.


What is a funeral?
The funeral is a ceremony of proven worth and value for those who mourn. It provides an opportunity for the survivors and others who share in the loss to express their love, respect and grief. It permits facing openly and realistically the crisis that death may present. Through the funeral, the bereaved take that first step towards emotional adjustment to their loss.

What type of service should I have?
Only you can answer that question. The type of service conducted for the deceased, if not noted in a pre-plan, is decided by the family. The service is usually held at a place of worship, at the funeral home, or at the cemetery grave site. The service may vary in ritual according to religious denomination or the wishes of the family. The presence of friends at this time is an acknowledgment of friendship and support. A private service is by invitation only where selected relatives and a few close friends attend the funeral service. A memorial service is usually a service without the body present and can vary in ceremony and procedures according to the family's community and religious affiliations.

Can I personalize my funeral service?
Absolutely, in fact, we recommend it. After all, the funeral is a celebration of life. Funeral directors are happy to discuss all options and ensure your funeral is tailored to your wishes. It may be personalized in many unique ways. Contact your funeral director to explore the possibilities.

Why should we have a public viewing?
There are many reasons to view the deceased. It is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions, and many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process, by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is even encouraged for children, as long as it is their desire to do so, and the process is explained well.

Why do we need an obituary notice?
It is helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary notice published announcing the death and type of service to be held. Many times family members will return to an obituary to gain information on an ancestor and it is a good way to preserve the memories and history of a loved one for future generations. A notice can be placed in a local newspaper, on the Internet, or funeral home or cemetery web site.

What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors are both caregivers and administrators. In their administrative duties, they make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body. As caregivers, funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link survivors with support groups at the funeral home or in the community.

What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
The funeral director is usually available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All you need to do is place a call to them. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good bye, it's acceptable. Then they will come when your time is right.

What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
Your funeral director can assist you if a death occurs anywhere on the globe. Contact your hometown funeral director of choice immediately. They will assume responsibility and coordinate the arrangements for the return of the deceased person to their community. They may engage the services of a funeral director in the place of death who will act as their agent.

What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, slows the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. It makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them. Embalming the body enables mourners to view the deceased if they wish. The emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are enormous, particularly to those having difficulty dealing with the death.

Is embalming mandatory by law?
Certain factors of time, health and possible legal requirements might make embalming either appropriate or necessary. Please note that embalming may be required if the deceased is being transported by air to another country where local laws need be observed.

Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
Cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the body's final disposition and often follows a traditional funeral service. We can assist you with the necessary information for a funeral with a cremation following or a memorial service.

Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
Visitation period and a funeral service are certainly options when cremation is chosen. Cremation is simply an option for final disposition of the body.

How much does a funeral cost?
Funerals can cost as little as $1000 for a direct disposition. (Direct disposition includes registering the death, a basic casket or container, and transporting the deceased to a cemetery or crematorium) For an adult, full-service funeral, consumers choose to spend an average of $5,000-$10,000. This includes all professional services, including transfer-of remains, embalming, and other preparation; use of viewing facilities and the facilities for the ceremony; hearse, limousine, and the purchase of a casket.

Who pays for funerals for the indigent?
Other than the family, there are veteran, union, and other organizational benefits to pay for funerals. Most funeral directors are aware of the various benefits and know how to obtain them for the indigent. However, funeral directors often absorb costs above and beyond what is provided by agencies to insure the deceased a respectable burial.

Common Cemetery Questions

What is the capacity of Olathe Memorial Cemetery?
Just like other open spaces, cemeteries are impacted by increased population density in both urban and rural areas. Cemetery spaces are a finite resource, and as such, are at a premium in some regions. We at Olathe Memorial Cemetery have planned for this and have set aside available space for years to come.

Are there vaults for cremated remains?
We offer urn vaults, designed for in-ground burial of cremated remains.

Can two cremations be performed at once?
It is illegal to cremate the remains of more than one individual at a time. Most modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size.

Can the family witness the cremation?
Contact your funeral director to make arrangements for family members to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber. Some religious practices include this as part of their funeral custom.

Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried?
Embalming is not required for burial. It is always your choice. Your decision may depend on the following factors:

  • A public viewing of the body with an open casket has been selected by the family.
  • The deceased's appearance can be enhanced for a private viewing.
  • The body is going to be transported over a long distance.
  • The funeral director may recommend embalming due to the time period before burial.

Must I purchase a burial vault?
Olathe Memorial Cemetery requires that you have an outside container so the ground will not sink. Either a grave liner or a burial vault will satisfy this requirement.

What is a columbarium?
A columbarium, often located within a mausoleum, chapel or in a garden setting, is constructed with numerous small compartments (niches) designed to hold urns containing cremated remains. Our Columbarium Wall is located in a garden setting and is an affordable way to honor the memory of your loved one.

What is the cost of opening and closing the grave?
Interment fees include labor and materials to dig, set up for the casket or urn, and fill in. It also covers the cost of sodding and watering the grave until the sod is established.

How do I find burials within the cemetery?
Our Online Burial Search is a GPS driven site with an interactive map enabling you to research information including the location of your friend or loved one.

Do you sell monuments?
Monuments are available. Contact us or call 913-971-5226 to schedule an appointment to discuss your options. After you have made your selection, Olathe Memorial Cemetery staff will be happy to work with the contractor to insure quality installation within a reasonable time frame.

How do I choose a cemetery space?
Contact us at the cemetery office or call 913-971-5226.

Olathe Kansas