An inside look: Don Catchen reveals what it's like to work with the deceased

The Catchen Crematory and Hillside Chapel

At 71, Don Catchen doesn’t fear death. In fact, it’s all he’s ever known.

Between his 21 years of work with the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office, owning two funeral homes and prior law enforcement experience in Fort Wright, Catchen has seen death in all of its forms. He’s seen unfortunate deaths – the ones that were taken too soon – and he said it’s sometimes a tough business to be in.

In an interview with WCPO, Catchen discussed some of the nitty-gritty details of his work. 

From embalming bodies, to sifting through ashes by hand to hosting services for mourning families, Cathcen does it all when it comes to death.

"I have hooks and I go in and down the incision, and I've done it so much that, with the tip of my instrument, I can feel what I'm touching. I can feel the artery and I will hook it. They stretch a little bit," Catchen said of part of the embalming process.   

 

 
   

 

 

Click here for an inside look of the Catchen Crematory.

Become a WCPO Insider to find out more about what Catchen does when working with the dead.


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