Saginaw, Michigan Funeral Home Offers Drive Through Viewings

A funeral home in Saginaw City, Michigan realizes that many families lead busy lives, don’t always get along together, or don’t want to break down in front of friends and family during a viewing. In a creative attempt to solve those issues, Paradise Funeral Chapel’s owner, Ivan Phillips, opened a drive through viewing window.

Phillips thought the drive-thru window would be a creative way to bring something different to the funeral industry and adapt to ever changing times.

“You may find people who are afraid of funeral homes, now they can view their loved ones from the convenience of their car.”

He went on to say.

“We wanted to provide convenience and accessibility for our customers for the times and days they don’t want to get out of their vehicle.”

Despite the ingenuity of combining a common fast food convenience with the reflective nature of a funeral viewing, Phillips has received quite a bit of negative feedback on the new addition to Paradise Funeral Chapel. However, he disagrees with the feedback and feels that is a fantastic way to present the deceased to those that prefer some one-on-one time with the loved one, regardless of regular viewing hours.

“When you enter the drive through you’ll drop a memorial into the memorial box, sign the register book, drive forward and you’ll be able to sit in the privacy of your vehicle for three minutes.”

The service cost the funeral home $300,000, but Phillips offers it to his clients for free. So far only a handful of families have taken advantage of the option.


Phillips expects that the popularity of the drive thru viewing window will increase in popularity as time goes on. The ever increasing limit of time throughout one’s daily commotion and the convenience that he is offering are expected to meet in the middle and become more accepting. Regardless of the current views from the public, Phillips feels that his drive through funeral home is the perfect way to honor a loved one and allow those that might not be able to make it to the viewing an opportunity to pay their last respects in private.

The three minute time limit to view the loved one may be an issue when attempting to say a few final words and there is no current plan to alter the viewing time. However, that may be a feature that is looked at in the future as popularity is gained in the service.

[Photo Courtesy: World Now]