SARASOTA, FL— The Bathey family will give final tribute to beloved dad and grandfather, Richard “Dick” Bathey, on November 2. Dick, a former University of Florida football player, accomplished pilot and engineer, lived all over the United States but always came back over the years to the Fort Myers/Naples/Cape Coral area to snorkel, boat and deep sea fish in Florida’s waters with his father, son and daughter and even his grandchildren. The family has chosen to honor him in a private placement by Eternal Reefs when they will mix Dick’s cremains to form a large reef to attract the larger marine wildlife he so loved.
A memorial reef is comprised of many Eternal Reef balls of varying sizes. An Eternal Reef is an alternative to ash spreading in which cremated remains are incorporated into huge, hollow, structures that look like whiffle balls and quickly foster new marine growth, replenishing the world’s diminishing natural reef systems.
Eternal Reefs developed the Private Placement option in 2011 in response to families who prefer not to honor their loved ones in a group setting with two to ten other families participating. Private Placements can be accommodated in any of the more than 20 locations where Eternal Reefs operates memorial sites and has permitted sites for reef placement. Often, the Private Placements are facilitated by a funeral home partner; in the case of Dick Bathey, Mullins Memorial Funeral Home in Cape Coral, Florida brought the option to the family. The Eternal Reefs program offers families a rewarding, highly participatory way to give back to the environment even after death, whether with a standard, group placement or in private as the Batheys have chosen.
“When this family came to me and described their long-time love of the sea and how they enjoyed their fishing adventures together, I immediately thought of Eternal Reefs,” said Shannon Mullins, owner at mortician at Mullins Memorial Funeral Home and Cremation Service. “The Batheys wanted a reef site that would attract not only the small marine life, but all the larger fish that were so important to them… a private placement was just right for their vision and wishes.”
According to Dick’s son, Dan Bathey, family members including Dan’s three young daughters will decorate Dick’s Eternal Reef by pressing meaningful objects into the damp concrete of his reef ball – these objects include a beloved blackberry phone, pictures, music CDs and special fishing lures.
“What we do is such an intensely personal experience that many families like the Batheys want to take the journey in private and we are happy to accommodate their request,” Eternal Reefs CEO George Frankel, said.
An Eternal Reefs memorial reef is specially engineered to entice fish and other forms of sea life into the reef, building new habitats in and around the uneven structure. The Eternal Reef (which can weigh between 600 and 4,500 pounds and stand two to four feet tall) quickly becomes a permanent part of the marine seascape. Dick’s Eternal Reef will be seven Eternal Reef Balls.
Eternal Reefs, Inc. provides a creative, environmentally enhancing way to memorialize the cremated remains of a loved one. The company incorporates cremated remains into a concrete mixture used to cast artificial reef formations. The artificial reefs are dedicated as permanent memorials while also bolstering natural coastal reef formations. Since 1998, the company has placed more than 1,500 Memorial Reefs in 20 locations off the coasts of Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey, Texas and Virginia, substantially increasing the ocean’s diminishing reef systems. The reefs are engineered to last forever and withstand hurricanes and other natural disasters. Memorial reefs can only go in properly permitted locations by the United States Government. Contact Eternal Reefs for pricing on Private Placement and partner programs on any reef sale. More information can be found at www.eternalreefs.com or on Facebook.