Cremation Services

BONNEY WATSON has offered cremation as a disposition option since our first crematory was built in 1912. Back then, families who chose cremation represented only a small portion of all families in the area. Today, however, Washington has one of the highest cremation rates in the country; about 75% of people here are cremated. To best serve our families opting for cremation, BONNEY WATSON maintains a modern crematory facility at our SeaTac location with a number of affordable cremation options.

Why Do Families Choose Cremation?

For increasingly more families in Greater Seattle, cremation seems a simpler, more economical alternative to traditional burials. People choose cremation for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Environmental considerations, feeling cremation aligns with their beliefs about nature and the outdoors. 
  • Flexibility of placement, enabling families to choose unique locations for scattering or urn placement.
  • Philosophical or religious reasons to opt for cremation, commonly seen in such religions as Hinduism or Buddhism.

Cremation is recognized as an acceptable form of disposition by most major faiths, including Roman Catholics. It is not currently allowed, however, by the Orthodox Jews, people of Islamic faith, Eastern Orthodox religion and some Fundamental Christian sects. 

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A woman in mausoleum looks down lovingly at framed photo of deceased loved one

Why Choose BONNEY WATSON for Cremation Services?

Your Loved One Never Leaves Our Care

BONNEY WATSON is unique from other providers because we have on-site crematory facilities. This means your deceased family member never leaves our care, reducing chances for error.

We also encourage families to personally inspect our crematory facility, and we strictly adhere to a code of ethics that assures you of our commitment to dignity, honesty, and trust.

Cremation Placement Options

BONNEY WATSON offers a full range of placement options for cremation at Washington Memorial, including burial in one of the cemetery’s urn gardens, placement in a scattering garden or boulder estate, or above-ground placement in a niche wall or columbarium.

With an Asian-influenced architectural design, the Mountain View Columbarium offers both indoor and outdoor niches, as well as a stained-glass feature which highlights the Northwest landscape, including the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker and Mount St. Helens.

The Lake Urn Boulder Garden gives families a unique way to create a permanent memorial for cremated remains by placing them in a private boulder near the cemetery’s water feature.

Flexibility for Unique Celebrations

Cremation offers a variety of options for planning a ceremony. You can honor the life of someone who has been cremated with or without a visitation, funeral, or committal service. Or, you can have a memorial service at one of BONNEY WATSON’s two funeral homes (in SeaTac or Federal Way), a local church, or other venue. Some families hold a small, private reception — often called a celebration of life — at home or at a favorite locale, such as a beach or park. 

Whatever you decide, BONNEY WATSON can help make all of the arrangements. Contact us today to tell us how we can best serve you and your family.

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Questions About Our Cremation Services?

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Cremation Services – Frequently Asked Questions

What is cremation?

Cremation is the process in which a body is reduced to bone fragments using high heat and flame.

Is a casket needed for cremation?

No, a casket is not required for cremation. All that is required in Washington State is an alternative container constructed of wood or cardboard, which is cremated with the body.

Is embalming required prior to cremation?

No. In fact, it is against the law for a funeral home to say or imply that it is.

Can the body be viewed without embalming?

Yes, BONNEY WATSON allows immediate family members to view the deceased prior to cremation.

How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?

BONNEY WATSON has developed rigorous sets of operating policies and procedures to maximize the level of service and minimize the potential for human error. In addition, we differentiate ourselves from other cremation providers because we have on-site crematory facilities. This means that your deceased family member never leaves our care, reducing chances for error. We also encourage families to personally inspect our crematory facilities, and we strictly adhere to a code of ethics that assures you of our commitment to dignity and honesty.

How long does the actual cremation take?

It depends on the weight of the individual. For an average size adult, cremation takes from two to three hours at normal operating temperature between 1,500 degrees to 2,000 degrees F.

What happens after the cremation is complete?

All organic bone fragments and non-consumed metal items are ‘swept’ into the back of the cremation chamber and into a stainless steel cooling pan. All non-consumed items, like metal from clothing, hip joints and bridge work are separated from the cremated remains. This separation is accomplished through visual inspection as well as using a strong magnet for smaller and minute metallic objects. Items such as dental gold and silver are non-recoverable and are commingled in with the cremated remains. Remaining bone fragments are then processed in a machine to a consistent size and placed into a temporary or permanent urn, selected by the family.

Can two cremations be performed at once?

Never. Not only is it illegal to do so, our modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size to accommodate more than one adult. Thus it would be a practical impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.

What do cremated remains look like?

Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an average size adult usually weigh between four and six pounds.

Will all of the cremated remains be returned to me?

With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family.

Do I need an urn?

An urn is not required by law. However, you may want an urn if you will be holding a memorial service or if the remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not purchased through BONNEY WATSON, the family will need to provide a suitable container prior to the cremation being scheduled.

Can my family witness the cremation?

Yes, BONNEY WATSON allows family members to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber. In fact, some religious groups include this as part of their funeral custom.

Is cremation accepted by all religions?

Today most religions allow cremation except for Orthodox Jewish, Islamic, Eastern Orthodox and a few Fundamentalist Christian faiths. The Catholic Church accepts cremation as long as it is not chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teachings.

May I bring an urn into church?

Nearly all Protestant Churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service. Most Catholic Churches also allow the cremated remains to be present during a Memorial Mass. In fact, if the family is planning on a memorial service, we encourage the cremated remains be present as it provides a focal point for the service.

What can I do with cremated remains?

You have many options available to you. Remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, inurned in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered.

In the State of Washington, you may scatter cremated remains on:

  • National parks, after receiving permission from the Chief Park Ranger.
  • State trust uplands, after receiving permission from the regional manager. However, scattering by commercial scattering services isn’t permitted.
  • Public navigable waters under state control, including Puget Sound, the Pacific Ocean within the 3-mile limit, rivers, streams, and lakes.
  • The Pacific Ocean beyond the three-mile limit. These scatterings must be reported within 30 days to the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10, 1200 Sixth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101.
  • Private land, with the permission of the land owner.
Do people choose cremation only to save money?

While some people select cremation for its economy, many choose this option for other reasons. The simplicity and dignity of cremation, environmental concerns, and the flexibility cremation offers in memorial service planning and final disposition all add to its increasing popularity.

Don’t most funeral homes have a crematory?

No; most funeral homes subcontract this delicate procedure out to a third-party provider in another location where the funeral home has little or no control over the crematory’s operating procedures. By contrast, BONNEY WATSON operates our own cremation facilities at SeaTac.

How much does cremation cost?

Currently at BONNEY WATSON, general cremation costs start at $2,395.00. For more specific information related to your unique preferences, view our full General Price List.

BONNEY WATSON will do whatever it takes to serve your family in the most personal way possible. As a family-owned company, we have never been unable to serve a family due to limited resources. If for any reason we are unable to uphold this promise, we will take responsibility for finding someone who can.