The obituary for my mother this past year had an "in lieu of" statement. Some people chose to contribute to similar charities, such as St. Jude's, other than the one listed (American Cancer Society). Others chose to send mass cards or similar. Each and every one of those was appreciated, and honored her memory.
I, in the past, have chosen to include money in a card to the family, when I wasn't comfortable making a donation to the charity of their choice. It was then up to the family (and none of my business) to choose what to do with that money, whether it be to help with the funeral costs, put it toward their charity of choice, or whatever.
The point is, every donation, every gift of food, every card, every thought and prayer was done in in my mother's honor, and with the intent to ease the suffering of the family in whatever way the well-wisher could.
If someone wants to somehow find offense in that honor and intent, then so be it.