Funeral homes help families struggling to get loved one’s bodies

Posted at 7:31 PM, Jan 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 19:31:09-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Good Samaritans have come forward to help two families struggling to get the bodies of their loved ones cremated because of financial woes and issues with state law following a CBS 6 Problem Solvers report.

When the Hutchins and Ward families reached out to CBS 6 about their dilemma, they had no idea that some good-hearted people would be watching and would step up so quickly to help.

Lisa Hutchins lost her 35-year-old disabled brother J.D. and could not claim his body because they had no way to pay for funeral expenses.

The Colbert-Wiley Funeral Home in Fluvanna has stepped in and will take care of the arrangements for the Hutchins family.

The news was a major relief for Alease Ward, whose daughter, Crystal, died last month.

Ward said there was no life insurance for her daughter and she was unable to claim her body.

When a woman at Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in Petersburg saw the story, she took it to her pastor, who also owns J.L. Dodson and Sons Funeral Home.

Mrs. Ward said her she cried when she received word the funeral home would help.

“I was so happy,” Mrs. Ward said. “Like I said, it restored my faith in humanity. There is someone that cares.”

“Everyone is going to have a low time in life and I just felt… God, he’s going to provide, not only for her, but also for our ministry,” Jeffrey L. Dodson Sr. said.

Mrs. Ward met with folks with J.L. Dodson and Sons Funeral Home Wednesday to arrange her daughter’s cremation.

The Hutchins family will meet with Colbert-Wiley Funeral Home Thursday to finalize plans for their loved one.

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