The number of families in Maine cremating their loved ones’ remains is on the rise. Forty-four percent of deceased Maine residents were cremated in 2000. In 2010, the rate had grown to 64 percent, well above the national average of 41 percent, putting the state’s cremation rate the sixth-highest in the U.S. and the highest in the eastern half of the country.
In reporting the story, the Portland Press Herald spoke with Karin Anderson, whose husband Steve Fisk, a math professor at the College, died in early 2010 after a long battle with leukemia. Anderson talks about her husband’s wishes to donate his body for medical research before being cremated — a choice she calls a practical option that suited his lifestyle.