You could call it a life-changing event that was caused by the way in which someone else chose to have their body handled after death. About a year ago, Hunter Beattie and his wife were working on a renovation of a house near a cemetery. While Beattie was taking a break from the project, he read an article about South Africa’s Bishop Desmond Tutu, who died in 2021, and who chose the lesser-known body disposition method of aquamation over the more traditional ways of burial or cremation.

Even though he had created a successful career in real estate, Beattie felt unfulfilled in his work pursuits, and what he read about the environmental benefits of aquamation aligned with his own thoughts on being conscientious of his impact on his earthly surroundings.

“There was something about the environmental benefit, as well as just the profound nature of working with people who are dealing with grief and loss,” said Beattie, who lives in Hillsborough with his wife. “And I was looking for something that was my offering to this community that would feel meaningful. And this resonated with me on so many levels.”