The Cremation Process

Iowa Cremation has two state-of-the-art cremation facilities in Iowa serving over 17,000 members statewide. Our crematories are operated by Iowa licensed funeral directors, and most directors have completed or are working towards completing the Crematory Operations Certification Program from the Cremation Association of North America (CANA).

Our exclusive Cedar Tracking process and software are a proprietary set of procedures that are used and strictly adhered to in order to securely safeguard each loved one’s identity.

When a death has occurred, a licensed funeral director will go to the place of death and record statistical information; name, date of birth, date of death, social security number and the cremation provider's name and license number.

That information, along with the information received from the deceased’s family, will be entered into our tracking software, and a unique cremation ID number will be issued. This unique ID number is stamped into a stainless-steel identification tag that follows your loved one throughout the process to ensure proper identification.

All personal effects of the deceased are inventoried and placed in a labeled container for return to the family, and a digital fingerprint is taken and stored in a secure digital vault. The deceased is then placed into the cremation container that has been selected. Iowa code requires the body be placed into a leak-proof container; this is most typically a corrugated box called an “alternative container,” but there are wood cremation caskets as well. After the at-need arrangement has concluded and all permits and authorizations have been obtained, the cremation is scheduled.

At the crematory, all the required documents and items are placed on the exterior wall of the retort, the name of the equipment in which the deceased will be cremated. The retort is then initialized and the startup cycle will begin to ensure proper temperatures for processing of any possible emissions. Once the emissions chamber has reached a specified temperature, the container holding the deceased will be carefully placed into the cremation chamber. The retort will begin the prescribed cycle based on information entered by the licensed funeral director at the start of the process. Our advanced, and computer controlled crematory will self-regulate as needed to ensure a safe and efficient process. As an added safeguard, Iowa Cremation will always have our crematory monitored by a licensed funeral director.

After the cremation has been completed, a particular amount of time will be needed for proper cool-down procedures to take place. Once the crematory has cooled to the prescribed level, our licensed funeral director will begin the process of removing the cremated remains from the cremation chamber, using various instruments and tools specifically designed for this purpose.

The cremated remains are then taken to a processing room, where they are further cooled before being reduced into smaller particles. The cremated remains are then transferred into a plastic shipping container or an urn selected by the family.

For more specific information about the cremation process, please contact us at 1-888-871-3361.


"Iowa Cremation gave me extraordinary support when my husband passed away. Everything was handled with compassion and respect, and for that I am forever grateful."

- Barbara B. from Clive, Iowa


"Iowa Cremation's service was incredible and I tell everyone they should preplan with their staff."

- Patti B. from Muscatine, Iowa


"The compassion and professional care extended to us by Iowa Cremation was very consoling and deeply appreciated by our family."

- Mary Ellen M. from Lansing, Iowa