At 65 years old, Charles De Christopher is a third-generation gravestone carver, in love with the simple beauty of the monuments that once had a monopoly in burial gardens.
Yet these days, he often finds himself selling headstones in the shape of motorcycles, automobiles, and teddy bears – what he calls “tacky” memorials that defy what his heart tells him is beautiful and sacred.
As the owner of the successful Philadelphia-based memorial dealer De Christopher Bros. Inc., he knows the industry is changing. Modern headstones featuring etchings of the deceased, or perhaps fashioned in a shape evoking their favorite pastime, are all part of what the business is calling “personalization.”
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