Mission & Vision
People’s Memorial Association (PMA), works to be the trusted resource and thought-leader for funeral choice, education and advocacy in Washington State. We envision a future where everyone has access to after-death arrangements that reflect their personal values and resources.
Founded in 1939, PMA serves its members and the general public throughout Washington. PMA was created in the height of the co-operative movement in the U.S. in order to establish an alternative to the high prices and predatory sales practices of the funeral industry. PMA founders set out to provide affordable funeral services that honored the deceased’s social and spiritual values.
In 1962, PMA and its affiliates nationwide established the Funeral Consumers Alliance (FCA) to function as a unifying force at the federal level. In the early 1980′s, the FCA was instrumental in getting the Federal Trade Commission to adopt a set of standards for funeral home pricing called The Funeral Rule (1984). PMA's biennial Funeral Price Survey was a key component of this successful effort. The Funeral Rule standards were revolutionary in enabling consumers to get accurate price information from funeral homes. PMA and the FCA are now working to update the Funeral Rule to the 21st Century, by requiring funeral homes to post their pricing on their websites.
In 2007, the members of PMA voted at their annual meeting to open a cooperative funeral home in Seattle. Over the past decade, PMA merged with its sister organizations, the Memorial Society of Central Washington and the Spokane Memorial Association, expanding our reach statewide.
Advocacy Wins in Washington State
- Played a key role in changing Washington law to place the funeral industry under the state’s Consumer Protection Act (2002) and helped pass another law legalizing the scattering of ashes of the deceased.
- Succeeded in protecting the rights of families to care for their own dead (2005).
- Successfully advocated for the right of religious and cultural minorities to have up to 24 hours to perform religious or cultural rituals with an unembalmed, unrefrigerated body (2007).
- PMA worked side by side with the funeral industry to bring about passage of Designated Agent legislation, once again benefiting consumers (2011).
For history buffs, a longer version of PMA's history is available here.
Respect: Serve the residents of Washington State with dignity and care. Honor the diversity of those we serve.
Compassion: Seek to understand the circumstances and needs of families at time of loss. Provide Professional services that are appropriate, supportive and caring.
Effect positive change to benefit funeral consumers with accessible, efficient and quality services.
Cooperation: Work together with consumers, industry and government to strengthen the rights and expand the choices for end-of-life.
Advocacy: Lead and be a voice for the rights and needs of all funeral consumers.
Sustainability: Conserve resources and respect the environment to ensure affordability and long-term viability.
Ethics: Maintain the highest standards. Be democratic, transparent and accountable in all aspects of our operations