Helping final thoughts take flight

Would you like to be buried or cremated? A fancy casket or a biodegradable coffin? Ashes sprinkled over the Puget Sound or launched into space? A somber church service or a party with live music?

Anna Copley

Couple’s web encourages creative funeral planning

Would you like to be buried or cremated? A fancy casket or a biodegradable coffin? Ashes sprinkled over the Puget Sound or launched into space? A somber church service or a party with live music?

These are all questions you now can answer – long before you kick the bucket – on a new Web site,

“This sort of picks up on a trend we’re seeing, how so much of a person’s life is impacted by the Web these days,” said David Johnson of Kent, who owns the online company with his wife, Anna Copley. “We’re just sort of bringing that over to the funeral-planning side of things. It’s sort of a last frontier of the Internet.”

The couple launched the site last October and now operate it full time out of their Kent home. Planning one’s own funeral is only part of the comprehensive site, which also provides tools and resources for funeral planning and one of the first online, local funeral guides in the country.

Johnson said his wife got the original idea for the site when she met an elderly woman with an unusual line of work in the industry. The woman was a “death doula,” a traditional helper for families tending to the body of a deceased member in the home, without the use of a mortician.

“It just got us thinking about the industry and what we could bring to it,” Johnson said.

Johnson worked in the software industry and his wife was a public defender, but as parents of two children, the couple always wanted to start a business were they could work from home. They saw this as a perfect opportunity.

The main site links users to providers of all funeral-related products and services and offers reading material and other types of funeral-planning tools. All the site’s features are free for users, the site generating revenue from funeral businesses who pay to be linked to its pages.

After launching in October, Johnson and Copley decided to give the site a more local focus, creating the Seattle Funeral Guide, which can be accessed on the main site or separately at

“As we worked through and talked to vendors, we found that there was a great need for a local-focused site,” Johnson said. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first local site in the U.S., and certainly the first in the Seattle area.”

The guide, which covers the area from Everett to Tacoma and the Kitsap Peninsula to North Bend, connects users with funeral resources in their own backyards.

The couple also recently added the self-planning feature, called “My Funeral,” which allows users to create a profile and guides them through questions to help them map out their own ceremony.

Users then can e-mail their final plans to family members to serve as a guide when the time comes, he said.

Another unique facet of the site is its “Go Green” feature, which outlines the increasingly popular “green funeral” and provides resources to plan an environmentally friendly funeral. The feature can be accessed through the main site or by visiting

A green funeral includes practices like putting the body on dry ice instead of embalming it with chemicals, and burying the body in a simple, biodegradable casket.

The Funeral Site

Kent-based online company providing local resources for funeral planning. Visit or

Daniel Mooney can be reached at 253-437-6012 or

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Business

Sound Publishing operates the following titles in King County: Federal Way Mirror, Auburn Reporter, Kent-Covington Reporter, Renton Reporter, Enumclaw Courier-Herald, Kirkland Reporter, Bellevue Reporter, Snoqualmie Valley Record, Issaquah Reporter, Redmond Reporter, Bothell-Kenmore Reporter, Mercer Island Reporter and the Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber.
Bellevue Reporter to suspend print publication

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to rapidly evolve across the globe, the… Continue reading

COVID-19 gathering restriction delays funerals

For one funeral home owner, the confusion came to a head after a recent service.

For sale sign hanging in front of house. File photo
Open houses close due to coronavirus concerns

Northwest Multiple Listing Service halts large group home tours amid pandemic.

A Boeing 777X during a taxi test. (Boeing Co.)
Companywide, Boeing reports 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19

Boeing will equip more employees to work remotely, but for now factory workers will stay on the line.

A shot of downtown Kirkland. Samantha St. John of the city’s chamber of commerce said that Kirkland’s business community is likely being more detrimentally affected than others on the Eastside due to the city’s often being deemed the epicenter of the coronavirus epidemic. Blake Peterson/staff photo
‘We’re just kind of in limbo’: Eastside businesses feeling significant economic effects amid coronavirus pandemic

Eastside chamber representatives discuss the states of their business communities.

Bellevue skyline. File photo
Amid coronavirus concerns, Eastside cities are taking preventative steps

Most Eastside cities are following recommendations from county officials.

A flight takes off at SeaTac International Airport. Photo courtesy Port of Seattle
Port of Seattle, airlines respond to COVID-19 with new health measures

Changes at Sea-Tac Airport include more hand sanitizer, training for biohazard cleaning.

Mitchell Atencio/Staff Photo
                                A customer orders a drink at the drive-thru of Megan’s Coffee Corner in Bellevue on Feb. 25.
Megan’s Coffee Corner closing at the end of Feb., will be replaced by Starbucks in the summer

The local shop, which started in 2001, will close and be replaced by a drive-thru Starbucks this summer.

With Mount Baker and Jetty Island in the distance, a container ship approaches the Port of Everett. (Port of Everett photo)
Senate Dems: $5 million to help businesses disrupted by coronavirus

Overseas port closures hurt WA companies that depend on international shipping.

Robo investment advice has drawbacks | Business advice column

A monthly business advice column by a Mercer Island financial adviser.

Pinnacle Development proposed two 26 story buildings for the downtown Bellevue area

The proposals are for mixed-use buildings that include residential, shopping and other facilities.

Photo by Claire Albright
                                The Bellevue Ice Rink has various events throughout the season, such as stroller skate days, free skate lessons, Husky Skate Day, and Jedi Skate Night. These help switch up the typical skating experience.
Time to say goodbye to Bellevue Ice Rink for season

Taking a look behind-the-scenes of the Bellevue Ice Rink as the break-down process begins