The natural choice for green funeral products

Customer Spotlight: Olson Funeral & Cremation Services

Address: 1001 Second Ave, Rockford, IL. 61104
Phone: (815) 963-6521


Olson Funeral & Cremation Services


  1. PI: How long has your firm been a Passages customer?
    Olson: Since 2005.
  2. PI: What led your firm to offer eco-friendly choices to families?
    Olson: We started with a few offerings back in 2005. Our goal was to provide an environmentally friendly alternative to the existing options available. We are not in close proximity to a “green” cemetery and travel to one would have increased the carbon foot print of what we were hoping to do; therefore, we needed to think outside the box. We decided to meet with a local land conservation organization, The Natural Land Institute, to see what we could come up with. They were in the process of restoring an old oak savanna on a conservation easement called The Nygren Wetlands. We came up with a win/win idea that would help the organization and give the families we serve an environmentally friendly option. After the family makes a donation to NLI (to cover the cost of the tree) is made, we place a Passages biodegradable urn in the hole prior to the installation of the oak tree. The family has a committal service in a beautiful setting that is protected from development.
  3. PI: How have families responded to these alternatives?
    Olson: The Nygren Wetlands “Honor Grove”, as it is now called, has been a very popular alternative since its inception with both pre-need and immediate need families.
  4. PI: What is the most popular Passages product that you offer?
    Olson: The most popular Passages products we offer are the Scattering Tubes. We often hear families joke about wanting to avoid a “Big Lebowski” moment. They are popular with both our urban and rural families. I met with a family recently who selected 10 mini tubes for their father. Back in his RV days, he had identified 10 different locations where he wanted his ashes scattered and they thought this was a perfect option for them. We now have as many, if not more, environmentally friendly options as we have traditional offerings.
  5. PI: What is your favorite Passages product and why?
    Olson: My favorite Passages products by far are the caskets. We have placed them on our section room floor and they have evoked great conversations. They are aesthetically pleasing, interesting, different, and they are a great value to the families we serve. Also, we’ve had them selected for both burial and cremation services.
  6. PI: Do you have any feedback from families or your staff in regards to Passages products?
    Olson: About a year ago I met with the family of a woman who loved their family vacations in the Bahamas. After listening to some of their ideas for how they wanted to create a meaningful tribute, I suggested one of the “Shell” urns. We don’t have a shell urn on our floor because of our Midwest location, however they were excited when I showed them the brochure. When I presented them the urn, they were impressed with the packaging, they commented that it looked like it was designed for air travel. About a month later I received a call thanking me for the suggestion and complimenting the packaging. They said everything went perfectly.