Pine Box Casket to the Queen City of Charlotte, NC

RaymerKepner CharlotteI drove a wooden-doweled coffin to the Queen City this past week and delivered it into the hands of the courteous folks at Raymer Kepner Funeral Home in Huntersville, NC.

The deceased was Elizabeth, and her family was on hand to line the coffin with pine shavings, a blanket, and a pillow. A friend took home the lid of the coffin that night to paint it with flowers. After a memorial service the next day, Beth’s husband and brother were to drive her for interment to a cemetery near the family farm in Missouri.

I made a point of telling the family how much I admired their active involvement in Beth’s arrangements.

Later, I lingered for a few extra moments and found myself in an extraordinary conversation with Mr. Helms, the funeral director who kindly helped us that evening. I say extraordinary for the topic:  home-churching and the socio-spiritual reasons for choosing such a path. Now, I could see two people who have just met over a pine box coffin discussing joinery details or historical accuracy, but to head straight to the territory of deep topics like religion and church politics — I call that unusual.

To me, it’s one more example of the liminal zone that is end-of-life care. In proximity to death and dying, I say, much artifice falls away and we go straight to what really matters. I have seen this time and again, and it’s one of the unexpected gifts of working with Piedmont Pine Coffins.


  1. What were the religious issues? Did the folks at Raymer Kepner worry about what will become of their corporeal remains when Jesus returns?