Local funeral home sells college-themed caskets

- It is something you may have never seen before. Now, you can live and die with your favorite college teams with new college-themed caskets.
 
“We look at every life being unique, and therefore every funeral being unique,” said Justin Baxley, Senior Vice President at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services.
 
That next unique funeral could be with a brand new Florida State University-themed casket or one with the University of Florida.
 
With more than 40 colleges and universities to choose from, it’s something Ocala’s Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services has offered for a little over a month now.
 
Baxley said people already seem to like the idea.
 
“We’ve already had a University of Florida-themed funeral with a University of Florida-themed casket,” Baxley said. “The family and friends, as you can imagine, were blown away that anything like this even existed.”
 
They have partnered with a company to create college-themed caskets, urns, register books and thank you cards.
 
The caskets have the bold colors of your school of choice, like FSU’s Garnet or UF’s blue.
 
Baxley said,  “When you think about that season ticketholder that would never miss a home game, you think about that.”

He went on to say, “We know that people love college football, particularly folks that are alumni. They’re very dedicated to their school.”
 
Baxley said they wanted to do something different and memorable, yet tasteful and deeply personal.
 
“For me, to see a family that is able to really tell their loved ones life story in a way they didn’t even know they could, there’s nothing more gratifying than that," he said.
 
They cost around $4,000 and the only funerals homes selling them in Central Florida is Hiers-Baxley funeral homes, according to Baxley.
 
Scott Walston, owner of The Memorial Licensing Company, which manufactures the college-themed caskets said he is considering adding more colleges and universities to the list, pending licensing.
 
For more information, call Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services at 352-629-7171, or visit their website at www.hiers-baxley.com.

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