Steward & WIlliams Tribute Center
All businesses face change. Technology advances, trends come and go, and those that fail to adapt are ultimately left behind. This applies even to the business of end-of-life, explains Rob Goff of Seward Williams, which has been at the corner of 3rd and Ruby in Ellensburg since 1929. No longer a “funeral home,” Seward Williams today is a Tribute Center that focuses of the celebration of life rather than on mourning its loss. Similarly, the “chapel” is now a Gathering Space, a place for reflection and even laughter. It’s also available as a venue for outside events.
Funeral director and manager Goff has overseen many of these changes, including the crafting of unique and memorable services involving Harley Davidsons and even bowling balls. “If we can get it through the door we’ll use it,” smiles Goff. He has also arranged services in homes and even bars, unique celebrations of unique lives.
Another significant change for Goff’s industry is the transition from burial to cremation. The reasons for the shift include costs (cremation is significantly less), more diverse cultures, and especially the preferences of Baby Boomers. In fact, Kittitas County now has the highest percentage of people choosing cremation in Washington (95% compared to 75%). While the transition away from burials has hit cemeteries hard, it’s actually been beneficial for Seward Williams because it’s the county’s only crematory. Again, change is inevitable. It’s what we do with it that’s important.
301 E 3rd Ave