A casket for all occasions

How prepared do you want to be for what’s coming?

In New York Mills, Minnesota, Patrick Kilby is making a pretty decent living in the dying business. He makes pine boxes for caskets.

He’s profiled in the latest segment of The Really Big Question.

Patrick Kilby made his first casket about eight years ago. That one was for his mother. She was dying of cancer, so Kilby and his siblings had started to make preparations.

“We went and started doing some shopping and trying to figure out, what does this cost?” Kilby says.

They were looking at caskets that ranged in price from $3,500 to roughly $10,000.

“What was available to buy just didn’t seem like it fit somehow,” Kilby says.

Kilby says his mother was “conservative.”

“You would maybe say a salt-of-the-earth kind of person,” he says. “And what was available was real fancy, beautiful caskets. And I know that if my mom saw them she’d say, ‘Don’t bury me in that.’”

Then Kilby’s sister had an idea.

“My sister just off the cuff said to me one day, ‘You’re a woodworker. Why don’t you build a casket?’”

Kilby’s caskets come in kit form. With just an Allen key, people can assemble the casket of their dreams.

“They will buy kits from us and say, ‘We’ll just keep these, store these, and when we need one, we got it,’” he says.

(h/t: Chris Julin)

Archive: The do-it-yourself coffin (MPR News).