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Death might be inevitable, but loved ones spending the national average of $7,300 to commemorate it? Not so much. "I don't think 'recession-proof' is really the best word for us," says J. Michael Krill, an association spokesperson and owner of Krill Funeral Service in Edgerton, Ohio. While families still want to memorialize their loved ones, he says, many are cutting costs by having a briefer service or cremating rather than burying. John Chasca, president of the Cremation Association of North America, estimates that cremations are up about 5 percent, compared with a year ago.
The recession is hurting many families and companies across the country, but there are a few bright spots. Who do you think is a recession winner? And who are the biggest recession losers?