History of Peoria Wilbert Vault Company

While it has been in operation for decades prior, Peoria Wilbert Vault Company was incorporated in 1989 by then owner Bill Buren. In 1994, the operations were moved from downtown Peoria, IL to its current location in Metamora, IL. Peoria Wilbert Vault Co., Inc. has also sold monuments in central Illinois under the name Mastercraft Memorials since 1994.

In 1999, Mr. Buren sold the business to Bryant DeFrance who had been managing the business since 1985. In 2001, Peoria Wilbert added crematory operations to its facility in Metamora and currently provides cremation services to area funeral professionals under the name Heartland Cremation Services. In 2005, Bryant’s son Jeff returned to the business and assumed management of the day-to-day operations. In 2014, Jeff, along with his wife Kelley, became the owners of Peoria Wilbert Vault Co., Inc. In 2014, Peoria Wilbert Vault purchased the assets of Unit Step Company of Peoria, adding precast step units, handrails, and other smaller precast items to its product offerings. In 2019, Peoria Wilbert Vault purchased the assets of Farmington Wilbert Vault Co. in Farmington, IL and Abel Vault Company in Pekin, IL from Prairieland Funeral Supply. The Pekin location was consolidated to the Metamora location, while the Farmington location remains in operation producing burial vaults and wastewater systems.

Contact us to learn more about Wilbert funeral services or to request a schedule of the upcoming continuing education classes for funeral professionals.

Areas Served

Peoria Wilbert Vault Company offers burial vaults and cremation urn products to these counties in Illinois: Ford, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Knox, Marshall, Mason, McClean, McDonough, Peoria, Tazewell, Warren, and Woodford.

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Wilbert Way Installation

The purpose of a Wilbert Way Installation is to ensure the vault is sealed properly giving you maximum benefits of the vault. Wilbert Way Installation is a respectful grave side service that consists of an above ground seal over the grave. The family can be present for the sealing and lowering of the vault providing closure and peace of mind. Additionally this service provides bottled water (seasonal), lap blankets (seasonal), heaters (seasonal), individual tissues, register stand, and American Flag (for veteran’s services).


Wilbert offers two types of burial set ups, Wilbert Way (WW) and Ovation. The difference in the two set ups is in the placement of the vault and the vault cover during the funeral service. With the Ovation set up, the vault cover is displayed in front of the family. The Ovation display is available for personalized vaults.

Tents, Grass & Chairs

One 15x15 tent plus an awning, grass, and 12 chairs are set by Peoria Wilbert at the gravesite for funeral services. The tent covers the burial area and provides a comfortable place for families to gather during the funeral. Several pieces of grass and up to twelve folding chairs will typically cover a gravesite area and will be neatly arranged under the tents. Peoria Wilbert Vault manages the delivery, setup, and removal of the tent, grass, and chairs.


Nameplates give burial vaults a personalized touch and are available for all vaults except the concrete box. The nameplate includes the name of the deceased and the birth and death years.

Vault Transfer

Vault Transfer is a service available between Wilbert licensees and dealers. Wilbert Burial Vault uses the vault transfer service when a burial request has been made outside of the licensee territory. The location of the cemetery is needed to determine the appropriate Wilbert licensee or dealer. Since the services offered by each Wilbert licensee vary, the licensees work together on a per burial basis to determine the services, such as tents, grass, chairs, and grave digging that each licensee will provide for the burial.

First Responders

When a hero falls, Wilbert is there.

Our “Commemorating First Responders” program provides families of firefighters, law enforcement officers and emergency medical personnel who have died in the line of duty with a tribute worthy of their valor and sacrifice.

At no charge to the family, Wilbert and our licensees donate a customized Wilbert Stainless Steel Triune® burial vault. If the choice is cremation, we offer a selection of four urns, as well as a Stainless Steel Triune urn vault for memorial tribute. If permitted, a WilbertWay® graveside service may also be included.

Join us as we help families honor heroic lives, sacrificed in valiant service to neighbor and community.

Contact your local funeral professional for more information.

Ultimate Service Provider

Wilbert Funeral Service in Chicago (corporate HQ) has awarded Peoria Wilbert with "Ultimate Service Provider".

There are four service levels: Minimum Service, Basic Service, Premium Service, and Ultimate Service Provider. Compliance with WFSI vault manufacturing specifications and procedures are evaluated as well as graveside service components such as highly-polished lowering devices and well-maintained tents and chairs, all of which contributes toward a positive experience for families. Service vehicles are also inspected for cleanliness as they may also be seen by the public as well as cemeteries served. A Licensee must receive at least eight points out of ten in each and every category that is scored in order to be designated Ultimate Service Provider. Peoria Wilbert passed the re-certification with a perfect score. Although we are proud of this accomplishment internally, it pleases us most that funeral professionals and local families are the recipients of this service.