Ultimate School Spirit Pride

Vaultless Casket Co. begins producing collegiate themed caskets in Chickasha under a manufacturing license with Collegiate Memorial Caskets.
The first casket off the production line was a crimson and cream model designed for University of Oklahoma fans.
The Collegiate Memorial Casket line has been a big seller among college fans of teams such as Tennessee, Florida and Georgia in the Southeastern area of the country, said J.D. Field, Vaultless Casket Co. founder and CEO.
With the launch of casket production in Chickasha, Field expects the collegiate-themed caskets to become big sellers in Oklahoma and surrounding states.
“One of the biggest sellers in this part of the country is Nebraska,” Field said. “Here in Oklahoma I anticipate that University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University will do extremely well.”
Vaultless Casket also manufactures and distributes high-end composite caskets under its own brand, in addition to those manufactured under the Collegiate Memorial Caskets license agreement.
All Vaultless caskets use the Northstar Vaul-Cas System Unit design patented by Field in 1998. Vaultless produces the units using a proprietary, high-end composite formulated by Field. The combination of design and materials makes Vaultless Casket’s products state of the art.
“It is a casket and vault combined into one product that looks like a casket but has the structural strength of a vault,” Field said.
Vaultless Casket Co.’s production process creates a totally sealed unit with a blemish-free finish that eliminates the problems of chipping and peeling. The result is a strong, light-weight casket comparable to high-end, 16-gauge steel caskets, yet does not require purchase of an additional burial vault.
Field created the process and a casket production company in Georgia, where the Oklahoma native had successfully built and sold an Atlanta-based masonry company. He eventually brought the patented casket production system to Oklahoma in 2005.
“I came back to Oklahoma to take care of my mother’s estate, and I met Bob Rader at Capital West Securities,” Field said. “I had been thinking about locating the manufacturing operation in Red River County, Texas, but Bob put me in touch with the folks at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, which made us some very attractive incentives.”
The company was reincorporated as Vaultless Casket and established as a Chickasha-based corporation in 2008.
“As the state’s lead economic development agency, the Oklahoma Department of Commerce diligently works to ensure business startups succeed. Entrepreneurs and small businesses owners are the heart and soul of the Oklahoma economy,” said Natalie Shirley, Secretary of Commerce and Tourism.
“Vaultless Casket owner J.D. Field is creating new jobs in Chickasha and bringing a cutting-edge product to the Oklahoma market.”
The Chickasha Economic Development Council also worked with Vaultless Casket to locate operations in an unoccupied armory facility near the Chickasha airport.
“We are excited that we were able to cooperate with them and arrange a facility that will allow them to grow and create jobs for area residents,” said Max McKnight, president of the Chickasha Economic Development Council. “They have a great product and a great plan.”
The Chickasha plant is capable of producing eight caskets per week, a number that will grow as more casket molds are put into production. The company employs nine production people, which Field said also will expand to as many as 350 to 400.
“We’ve been training those people for the past three months, so when we start bringing more people on board those nine are going to be the supervisory positions for Chickasha,” he said.
Field built a steady demand for the high-tech caskets in the southeastern United States before relocating to Oklahoma. He anticipates growing demand in Oklahoma and the surrounding states.
“We’re positioning ourselves to expand into a bigger market area geographically, but we want to focus on this market right now,” he said. “We will grow pretty quick from here on out.”
All of which means that for some die-hard fans, college rivalries will continue to the grave.

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