Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve provided a list of answers to questions we frequently receive regarding our services and other activities related to funerals. If you don't see the answer to your question here, feel free to contact us. We'd be happy to give you more information and clarify any of your concerns.

What is a memorial service?

A memorial service is a ceremony as casual or as formal as you choose to remember your loved one and share memories and moments. A service/visitation can be as personalized as the family desires, and the body or cremated remains may or may not be present.

After you select the location, date, and time of the service, you can choose readings, musical selections, food or beverages, decor, and activities, as well as the people you'd like to participate. The staff at our funeral homes are happy to assist with these arrangements.

What if we’re not religious? Who can help with the ceremony?

A celebrant is a layperson, not clergy, who has been trained to conduct formal ceremonies, such as weddings, baptisms, and funerals. A celebrant works closely with surviving family to create a ceremony that reflects the beliefs, cultural background, values, and aspirations of your deceased loved one and your family. Call one of our funeral homes to get more information.

Which type of funeral or memorial service is right for my family?

While we are happy to explain the many options, we cannot determine the best choice for your family and its needs. Through our explanation of the options, we hope to empower you to make the best decision for your family.

How much will a memorial service cost?

Cost varies with the options selected during the arrangement conference. The General Price List that our funeral homes provide will detail the cost of our basic professional services, as well as the cost of any ancillary products or services you select. We promise price transparency and will be forthcoming with the information you request, and there is no obligition to call and check pricing!

Are there any extra fees?

Purchases of items or services from outside vendors—such as the cost of publishing a newspaper obituary or fees for musicians or flowers—incur extra charges. Your funeral director will provide a detailed invoice for all such items, which must be paid in advance.

Since vendors require payment at time of delivery, we must charge for them at the close of the arrangement conference. Expect to pay at the time the service contract is signed (at the time of the arrangement conference, or soon afterwards). If special financial arrangements are needed, speak with a funeral director.

Can we write our loved one’s obituary?

Yes; we strongly encourage families to write their own obituaries since they are such a personal memory of the loved one. They can be short and to the point or more lengthy and creatively crafted, but be aware that most newspapers charge—often by length—to publish obituaries.


Cremation FAQs

How do we arrange cremation for our family member?

When you call the funeral home after the loss of your loved one, we must obtain authorization for cremations from the legally identified next-of-kin, as well as those from any necessary agencies, such as the medical examiner. During the mandatory 48-hour waiting period in Wisconsin, the deceased will be held in a secure, dignified environment.

Does choosing cremation mean we don’t need to plan a memorial service?

Memorial services are meaningful events designed for the living, so you can hold such a service—before or after the cremation. We are happy to explain the benefits of honoring someone's life.

If we choose cremation, does my loved one have to be embalmed?

No; however, if you want to have a public viewing or visitation, our funeral home policy requires embalming in the interest of public health.

Can we place special items in the cremation casket?

We do our best to accommodate the wishes of surviving family members. Most commonly, families will ask to place notes, children's drawings, or other personal messages of love. However, we do not cremate valuable jewelry or metallic objects that may interfere with the equipment used for cremations.

Can we view the cremation?

Yes. Among the families we serve, nearly 30% choose to view or be present for the cremation. Families that have experienced cremation at our cremation center have compared the process to that of watching a vault go into the ground at the cemetery or watching a casket go into a mausoleum crypt.

How long does cremation take?

There are many variables, including type of cremator and size of individual. The process usually takes 2 to 2-1/2 hours, followed by a cool-down period. Then the cremated remains are processed for a uniform appearance. Since we own and operate our own crematory, our turn-around time is superior to funeral homes that outsource cremations.

Can we purchase an urn from another source?

Yes, you may! However, we recommend you consult a funeral director for assistance in choosing the correct size of urn before ordering.

What should we do with our loved one’s ashes?

There are many options. Some families take them home for remembrance and safekeeping. You may decide later if you’d like to scatter them on land or sea or use the cremated remains in keepsake jewelry or to create meaningful pieces of art.

Can we bury the ashes in a cemetery?

Yes; remains can be buried underground in an urn or placed above ground in a columbarium, which has smaller niche spaces, large enough for one (or maybe two) cremation urns.

How much does cremation cost?

The cost of cremations can vary, so we encourage you to speak with a funeral professional for more details. We promise to be transparent and forthcoming with the information you ask for, and there is no obligation to call and check prices!

Is cremation safe for the environment?

Our cremation equipment runs on extremely clean-burning natural gas, and our process surpasses even the most stringent environmental requirements.

Cotter Funeral & Cremation Care Locations



Allouez/De Pere

860 N. Webster Avenue
De Pere, WI 54115
Phone:(920) 375-5439

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536 County Road R
Denmark, WI 54208
Phone: (920) 863-2411

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Cremation Center

115 N. Erie Street
De Pere, WI 54115
Phone: (920) 375-5439

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