Michael Neddo, co-owner of Lowe-Neddo Funeral Home, has witnessed the impact of COVID-19 on families in Mint Hill. Not only has it claimed lives, but it’s also placed financial hardship on some survivors needing to bury their loved ones who succumbed to the illness.
“As a family-owned funeral home and a member of the community, we were trying to figure out what we could do,” he says.
Neddo spoke with Angela Chance at Sunset Memory Gardens cemetery, who told him that Sunset was donating a grave to any family burying a victim of COVID-19. After that, Lowe-Neddo began donating caskets to the loved one who died of COVID-19. So far, the funeral home has donated caskets for two adults who died of COVID-19; the most-recent donation was two weeks ago.
Neddo says the cost of traditional funerals and burials in the Charlotte area can reach at least $16,000. However, at this time, “We can do a simple burial – our services plus the casket – the entire burial including the grave space, the digging and the vault would come to $4,500.”
He adds: “We’re going to continue the program until this epidemic has settled down.”
Neddo and his wife, Julie Watkins-Neddo (the funeral home’s other owner), purchased the business from former owner Jim Lowe in 2008. Michael Neddo and Lee Dixon are the business’ funeral directors.
Michael Neddo, who’s been in the industry since 1994, says “there are misconceptions about what can be done (about funerals, burials, and social distancing) during the pandemic. We’re here for people to call us to ask questions, at no obligation.”