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A local business owner explains how a weighty issue has supersized the demand for larger than life after death accomodations...
Sunday, August 8, 2010 - 6:05pm
EL PASO - A tisket, a tasket, an oversized casket.
"This is 30 inches inside width and this one is 38 inches inside width which is better than 14 inches wider than the standard casket."
Business is always dead for John Kulhanek... owner of J&M Casket Company... but he says the need for plus size coffins is very much alive.
"The last couple of years we've seen the manufacture increasing their line of caskets in the 26, 28 inch range which seems to fit right into where the demand is starting to show up."
As more Americans live life in "the flab lane"... Kulhanek has noticed this "growing" problem locally.
A recent study from Men's Health listed El Paso as the nation's third fattest city.
"Three or four years ago we didn't even stock this one. You would have to special order it. it would be special-delivered out and an additional cost of 6 or 8-hundred to the funeral director because it was so rare."
Kulhanek says these plus size units cost more... and they don't exactly allow those who need them to think outside the box.
"We inventory maybe 50 or 60 different styles, colors, gauges, hardware, interiors of the standard unit. We have from 26 inches, the first oversize, up to the 38 inch, we only have 14 total units available."
Kulhanek delivers 2,000 caskets to funeral homes in the el paso area each year... of those... about 50 are over-sized.