Drive-thru funeral parlor: "It's a convenience thing."

Here lies the late Robert Sanders, 58, at the Robert L. Adams drive-through funeral parlor in the Los Angeles area city of Compton. The funeral parlor has been in business since 1974, and is believed to be the only drive-through funeral home in southern California, according to office manager Denise Knowles-Bragg. She says the parlor offers a convenient alternative to older people who find it hard to walk, those who want to make a quick stop during the lunch hour, and the families of well-known deceased people who expect many visitors.

Here are more photographs.

The Los Angeles Times profiled this establishment in an article last year. Snip:

"You can come by after work, you don't need to deal with parking, you can sign the book outside and the family knows that you paid your respects," said [owner Peggy Scott Adams]. "It's a convenience thing."

The venue provides a speedy way for well-known community folk to be viewed en masse. Seniors don't have to leave their cars. Those who can't stomach stepping inside a funeral home don't have to. Families can avoid the complications of hosting a formal indoor viewing. And the disabled can roll through in their own wheelchairs — as one woman recently did.

In the 1980s, cemetery shootouts made gang members reluctant to gather for graveside services. The drive-thru's glass partition is bulletproof, Scott Adams said, and so for a while the mortuary became a popular location for gang funerals.

(REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson, photo taken February 8, 2012)


  1. From the city that brought you drive-by shootings, drive-in theaters, drive-up restaurants, drive-thru convenience stores, custom car culture, the annual Blessing of the Cars, drive-in churches (and that’s just off the top of my head), it’s sadly perfectly fitting.

    1. drive-by shootings

      Hardly an American innovation.

      drive-in theaters

      Camden, NJ.

      drive-up restaurants

      Springfield, IL.

      Maybe the word you were looking for is “embraced?”

  2. I just had a fantasy of driving up, saying “It sure is dead in here!”, then leaving.
    Am I a horrible person?

  3. People who can’t even be bothered to  find a parking space and get out of their damned car to view my rotting corpse can just stay the fuck away as far as I’m concerned. Or not, of course, since I’m not likely to care any more anyway…

  4. Maybe the next thing will be a funeral parlor at Walmart. “Drop off your dead loved ones before the weekend grocery shopping, all in one convenient location!”

  5. You know, I’d always heard that this was mostly used because of retaliation and follow-on gang killing. (1) shoot down one banger. (2) wait for the funeral, when the gang congregates so you can shoot more of them. (3) profit! Staying on the move makes this a little harder to do.

  6. “Yeah – uh – I ordered my mother, who is a 78 year old white female, and what I got in my box is a black male, looks to be mid 50s…”

    “Sorry for the mix up, sir, we will be right out with your correct order.”

    “OK thank you.”

    “Would you like extra packets of holy water?”

  7. This was done about 20-25 years ago in Atlanta. I think it failed within a year. There, the casket was inside a window, like a drive thru bank, and the cars passed (no pun intended) on the outside. As for me, I have made it plenty clear that I will be cremated.

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