July 2024

July 2024 Family Owned & Operated Since 1974 • www.NomisPublications.com • 1-800-321-7479 Previously Published as the YB News ... Still the Place for Your News! News FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NOMIS PUBLICATIONS, INC. CELEBRATING OUR FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY PO BOX 5159 Youngstown, Ohio 44514 TRADITIONAL CREMATION FIRELESS CREMATION® G. Lester Daniels in the carport. Daniels & Hutchison Funeral Home Celebrates 100 Years 100 Years and Five Generations Reger Funeral Home in Huntington The portraits in the back: (L to R) Henry Reger (1st generation), George Reger (3rd generation), and James Reger (2nd generation). Standing: (L to R) Andrew Reger (5th generation), Patrick Reger (4th generation), and George M. Reger (4th generation). HUNTINGTON,WV— The Reger Funeral Home is celebrating 100 years and five generations in the industry. The home, originally in Martins Ferry, OH in 1903, was run by Henry Reger. Henry served as both the funeral director and coroner of Belmont County for ten years. Then he moved to Spencer, WV, where he practiced as a funeral director until 1923, when the decision was made to go to Huntington, WV, where the Reger Funeral Home was established on Jefferson Avenue. The following year, a move was made to the current location of Adams Avenue. In 1927, Henry’s son James became licensed. The two quickly established ties to the community and continued to improve the funeral home. In 1947, Henry and James decided to build a 250-seat chapel on the west side of the funeral home that still stands today, improving the quality of service offered to their families. James’ son George attained his funeral directing license in 1957 and joined the family business. George served as the President of the West Virginia Funeral Directors Association in 1986 and was named “Funeral Director of the Year” by the West Virginia Funeral Directors Association in 1995. In 1987, Patrick “Pat” Reger, George’s son, became the fourth-generation funeral director at Reger’s Funeral Home. He followed in his father’s footsteps by serving as the president of the West Virginia Funeral Directors Association in 1996. Starting in 1999, George Michael became a licensed funeral director and joined his brother Pat on the staff of the Reger Funeral Home. Andrew, Pat’s son, graduated from Marshall University before going to the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. In 2017, he graduated and became a licensed funeral director and the Continued on page A25 Continued on page A22 MIDDLETOWN,DE— Daniels & Hutchison Funeral Home is celebrating their 100th anniversary. As a cornerstone of the MOT community (Middletown, Odessa & Townsend), the home is also announcing fourth generation stewardship of Owen and Cole Hutchison. The funeral home was established in 1924 by G. Lester “Ted” Daniels, who was an entrepreneur who focused on a variety of business ventures which involved many aspects of community service. He served as a member of the Levy Court and distinguished himself as the inaugural general manager of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, playing a significant part in New Castle County’s local government activities. Daniels ran a refrigeration locker plant in Townsend, responding to the era’s lack of household freezers during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1944, Daniels expanded his funeral service operations by opening a second location in Middletown, at 212 North Broad Street. He PRE-CONVENTION HIGHLIGHTS BEGIN ON PAGE A15 See Page B17 First Female President at DIFS See Page B1 Lamcraft 50th Anniversary See Page A6 Ruby Davis Expands Service See Page A13 Visiting Our Australian Customer Classified Ads Shipping Directory Index of Advertisers

Page A2 july 2024 Published monthly by: Nomis Publications, Inc. PO Box 5159, Youngstown, OH 44514 1-800-321-7479 • fax 1-800-321-9040 www.NomisPublications.com info@NomisPublications.com Subscription: United States $30.00 - Canada/Mexico $60.00 - Outside North America $75.00 Circulation 21,000 per issue. Deadline for Press Releases: 5th of the Previous month. Advertising: Display Ad rates sent upon request. Classified and Shipping Directory rates published in each issue. All advertising must be received by the 5th of the previous month. Due to the vast amount of sources, the publisher is not responsible for the content of any news articles or advertisements. Nor is the publisher responsible for any loss of revenue by failure to insert an advertisement. The contents of any advertisement submitted for publication are only the publisher’s responsibility if the error is made by the publisher’s typesetting department, and then only to the extent of the typesetting charges. Advertisers are responsible for adhering to individual state regulations regarding advertising. The contents of any news article submitted for publication is subject to editing and is published at the sole discretion of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any news article or advertisement. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or part, without the exclusive consent of Nomis Publications, Inc. Editor: Margaret (Peggy) Rouzzo © 2024 by Nomis Publications, Inc. ISSN 1944-1126 Funeral Home & Cemetery News online at www.NomisPublications.com Online Directories US & International Funeral Homes • Supply Companies Cemeteries • Pet Memorialization Companies Trade Associations • Plus Much More... www.NomisPublications.com NOTICE The FUNERAL HOME AND CEMETERY NEWS is sent in two parts. Section A, which includes pages A1-A32 and Section B, which contains the Classified Advertising and consists of pages B1-B28. If you do not receive both sections please call 1-800-321-7479 or email info@nomispublications.com. Like @Nomis.Publications FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS 800-321-7479 ~ www. NomisPublications. com SEND US YOUR NEWS We welcome news of the industry Send us information on your firm today! FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Need Help Putting Your Press Release Together? Call Peggy at 800-321-7479 ext. 220 email Peggy@NomisPublications.com fax 1-800-321-9040 mail PO Box 5159, Youngstown, OH 44514 Send us any press release related to your firm which would be of interest to your fellow industry professionals. All press releases are published free of charge and at the discretion of the publisher. Be sure to include any photographs. Staff additions... Staff promotions... Anniversaries... Apprenticeships... Remodeling... Moving... New Ideas... Community Service Projects... Graduates... Obituaries... etc. Columns Critical Thinking by Jon O’Hara.....................................................................A10 Embalming 101 by Wally Hooker......................................................................A8 HearseHub by Mike Jamar................................................................................B6 Klicker’s Krossword Korner.............................................................................B4 Last Writes by Jim Kurtz.................................................................................A22 Memoires des choix des Jacque by Kate Frediani-Gorman..........................B10 Museum Corner...............................................................................................A28 Musings with Marika by Marika McMeans......................................................A14 Observations by Steven Palmer.....................................................................A12 Powerhouse Marketing With Welton by Welton Hong.....................................A6 Random Musings by Nancy Weil......................................................................A4 Share This With Widowers by Fred Colby......................................................A26 Monthly Features Association News.......................................................................................... A26 Death Notices. ............................................................................................... A30 Suppliers News................................................................................................ B1 Educational News.......................................................................................... B14 Shipping Directory........................................................................................ B18 Classified Ads. .............................................................................................. B21 Correction Letter to the Editor “American Unity on Display on Wreaths Across America Day” from the February 2024 issue is corrected. Team Dodge Is committed to the Arlington Wreaths across America Project. If you are interested in joining the group in 2024 reach out to Sally Belanger at sbelanger@dodgeco.com. The following letter was sent to the Governor of New York on May 15, 2004. The author, Vincent C. Carey, has asked us to reprint it here. Dear Governor Hochul: Recently, I attended an industry meeting wherein some leaders spoke about the possibility of loosening national licensure requirements, thus making a national funeral board exam redundant. Many seasoned funeral directors were in attendance and all had opinions. Currently, in New York State, to become a licensed funeral director, an individual must attend an accredited mortuary school, register with the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Funeral Directing, pass the National Board Examination (administered by the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards), and serve a 12-month post-graduate residency at a New York State registered funeral firm under the supervision of a licensed and registered New York State funeral director. Eight months into the residency, the New York State Funeral Director Law Examination may be taken. Upon passing this exam and completing the aforementioned residency, an individual is then deemed a licensed funeral director in the state of New York. Conversely, to become a funeral director in the state of Colorado, prior education or experience to enter the funeral service profession is not required. An individual may acquire on-the-job training in funeral directing, embalming and/or cremation under the supervision of an experienced funeral professional at a licensed funeral establishment or crematory. There is NO state license for funeral service practitioners in Colorado, voluntary certification is available through the Colorado Funeral Service Board in lieu of licensing. Passing the national board exam is required for mortuary science practitioners (under title protection statute) and for Certified Mortuary Science Practitioner (CMSP) certification. According to The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), each state has its own apprenticeship and licensing requirements. So why does it matter if a funeral director possesses National Board Certification. National Board Certification is “…specifically designed to provide licensing boards with a content-valid examination of applicants for licensure in the funeral service profession” by “determining which candidates possess the minimum knowledge necessary to perform tasks on the job safely and competently as an entry-level practitioner, evaluating whether or not a candidate meets the threshold of knowledge required to serve the public safely as one competent of the licensure process.” National Board Certification would likely have helped the consumers of Apollo Funeral and Cremation Services, Sunset Mesa Funeral Home, and Return to Nature Funeral Home- all located in the state of Colorado. Miles Harford was the owner/ operator of Apollo Funeral and Cremation Services for ten years before his business license expired in May 2022. According to his aunt, Donna Pilcher, Harford embalmed bodies himself though he had no formal training, ordering formaldehyde solution online. He is charged with two counts of forgery, one count of theft, and one count of abuse of a corpse stemming from the discovery of a dead woman’s body left inside an inoperable hearse for two years. Cremains of at least 30 people were found in his rental home after his eviction. Additional charges are expected. Megan Hess, former director of the Sunset Mesa Funeral Home and her mother, Shirley Koch sold body parts from their funeral home via their business, Donor Services, to customers who used the remains for scientific, medical, or educational purposes. Reportedly, some remains were tracked to the United Arab Emirates and others were plasticized for museums and medical students. Initially charged with 18 counts of frauds and swindling, six counts of mail fraud and two counts of shipping hazardous materials, both women eventually pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud each and received the maximum penalty. In November of 2023, Jon Hallford and his wife Carie were arrested upon the discovery of 189 decomposing bodies improperly stored at their funeral home, Return to Nature Funeral Home. They are now charged with 190 corpse abuse counts, over 50 forgery counts, 5 theft counts, and 4 money laundering counts. Hallford was never a licensed funeral director. Colorado is a state with weak funeral home oversight providing no routine inspections or qualification requirements for funeral home operators. A report from the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies’ Division of Professions and Occupations states, “It is clear that the public is harmed by the general lack of regulation of the funeral service professionals in Colorado.” In light of this national attention, Colorado lawmakers plan to propose a bill that would require people in the industry to be licensed. Certification can assure a funeral service consumer that the funeral director has been vetted and has met the requirements of the profession. An active license in good standing indicates that the funeral director has demonstrated the knowledge, skill, and abilities to perform the services and has agreed to abide by the laws and regulations governing the profession. A certification board is responsible for vetting all applicant qualifications, issuing licenses, holding all licensees accountable to the laws governing that profession, investigating consumer complaints and sharing valuable information to protect the public and their health and safety. By using licensed professionals, consumers are assured that regulation is there for their protection and that the professional completes ongoing competence, maintains high standards of practice, and serves the best interest of the consumer and the profession. A licensed professional is also answerable to the governing body and subject to sanctions (including forfeiture of license) for violation(s) of the standards of professional conduct. The NFDA currently has more than 20,000 members with each state ordaining its own apprenticeship and licensing requirements. Most states also require funeral directors to graduate from an accredited college or university program. But these recent headlines point to an industry that is vulnerable, especially in states with limited oversight. Disparity, in the different regulatory bodies of each state, makes consumers vulnerable to predators since protections are not uniform. The recent suggestion that New York’s mortuary students graduate from programs and start working without being required to pass the National Board Exam is dismaying, in my opinion. I also wonder who is most likely to benefit from such a suggestion. Independent brick and mortar funeral homes have vested interest in the communities that they serve, their local citizens, and the local economy and therefore take pride in boasting nationally certified owners and funeral director employees. Continued on page A21

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Page A4 july 2024 800-535-8667 www.cherokeechildcaskets.com Receive 10% off when you buy 10 or more caskets and/or vaults By Nancy Weil Last month I shared the story of how my son became an unofficial funeral celebrant at his best friend’s memorial service. Having a mother who has worked in funeral service for a long time and is a Certified Funeral Celebrant, I was able to help him and his friends put together a service that was personal and healing. I want to share with you some of what we did, so that you can do an honest comparison of the funerals you hold. Are you asking the right questions of your direct cremation families? Are you giving suggestions on how to turn something simple into something memorable? Do you have on your staff or in your town a trained funeral celebrant? Can you give families that desire something “more” what they are looking for? • Family and Friends: Those closest to the deceased came together to offer their talents in order to pull together this event. One person gathered photos and put together a slide show. One played guitar as the service began and ended. Others offered to speak at the service. One was a graphic designer who made memorial cards to hand out. By working together and planning the event, they began to mourn their loss together in community and feel like they were doing something to honor the person they loved so much. • Speakers: When a family says they have some people who want to share a few words, we cringe a little bit inside. How long will they speak? Will they ramble on and on? Will it become a disorganized free for all? In this ceremony, each speaker was given guidelines and asked to write down their thoughts prior to the service. I coached my son on what to do if they broke down in tears and struggled to speak. I let him know how important it was for a person to look back at the service and remember the part they played in it. • Transitions: Rather than just some people going up one after the other to talk, this became an actual memorial service. Quotes, poems and words to link one speaker to the next all took shape as my son and I worked on the script. Once finRandom Musings Serving as Member Resources Director at the International Order of the Golden Rule, Nancy Weil brings her years of experience working in the funeral industry to funeral directors across the globe. Her professional experience includes serving as Director of Grief Support and Community Outreach at Veterans Funeral Care in Clearwater, FL and at eleven cemeteries in Western New York. Nancy travels throughout the country offering presentations on how to reduce stress, combat compassion fatigue and offer support for those who are grieving through her company, The Laugh Academy. With certifications as a Grief Services Provider and Grief Management Specialist, Funeral Celebrant, Soul Injury Ambassador and Laughter Leader, Nancy is uniquely qualified to bring new perspectives into how to best meet the needs of the families you serve. For more information on how Nancy can help you and your company grow, visit her website: www.TheLaughAcademy.com or email Nancy@ TheLaughAcademy.com. FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS www.NomisPublications.com Monthly Columnsonline at Funeral for a Friend (Part 2) ished this was printed to give to the family so they could remember what was said that day. • Focal Point: Creating a spot in the front for people to focus on is important. This used to be the casket, but more and more it is an urn on a pedestal. For the services I run, we usually have a table in front filled with photos and memorabilia that the family provides. • Ceremony: My son’s friend was very spiritual and so is his wife. I created a ceremony for the end of the service and built it into the script. We placed five bowls of various crystals in the front along with an explanation of what each one does (amethyst is for healing, jade for serenity, etc.) Next to this was a heart-shaped vase. Each person was asked to come forward and select a crystal and place it into the vase. Their energy would be held in the crystal and fill a vase the widow could take home with their loving thoughts and prayers. It also allowed each person to walk by the family in an informal receiving line. • Remembrance Gift: Rainbow colored bracelets were custom designed and given to each person who came to the service. This honored their friend’s favorite color (all of them!), line of work, name and what to do next: Spread Love. I always try to have something for people to take home with them to remember the service. Not just a prayer card, but a tangible item that reflects their loved one’s life. • Book of Stories: Every person was asked ahead of time to write down a favorite memory and place it into a book that the family could read in the years ahead. For those who did not bring one with them, there was time, along with specially designed paper, for them to write it down during the reception. • Blanket of Love: Funeral Home Gifts makes beautiful blankets filled with special photos and words to provide comfort on those long, lonely nights. Having worked at a funeral home where these are displayed at funerals, I have ordered them through the funeral home and they are always appreciated. When my mom died, my dad placed his blanket on their bed in the spot where she used to sleep. When my daughter’s elderly cat died, a blanket was made with her favorite photos of him. For this service the widow was surprised by the “friend group” with a blanket containing photos of special times so that she could wrap herself in their love. My son’s best friend died suddenly and tragically. We (me, my son, family and friends) put together a memorial that honored the person who died, provided a time to gather and share memories and helped each heart to heal a little bit. This special service should not be special. It is what each person deserves when they die. I urge you to be a part of providing personalized services to each family who wants one and to ask the right questions to find out if they do. Join Wreaths Across America’s Annual Giving in July Celebration COLUMBIA FALLS,ME— Wreaths Across America (WAA) has announced the kickoff of its annual Giving in July campaign! For WAA, this annual celebration is dedicated to local groups and individuals participating in the organization’s sponsorship group program. Through this unique program, supporters can help local programs make a difference in their communities with each $17 sponsorship to WAA. Since its founding in 2007, WAA has collaborated with hundreds of charities, community programs and civic groups nationwide to remember and honor our nation’s veterans and active-duty military all year. Giving in July celebrates these groups and highlights the opportunity to give back to them by sponsoring veterans’ wreaths. WAA has given back more than $25 million in local contributions through this national program over the last 16 years! “I have long said it would be disingenuous for us as an organization whose mission is to remember the fallen, honor those who serve, and teach the next generation the value of freedom if we do not support other like-minded programs doing just that in their communities,” said WAA executive director Karen Worcester. “Our sponsorship group program is a year-round effort, but through ‘Giving in July,’ we hope to remind people that veterans and our current military serve and protect us 365 days a year, and it is never too early to make a difference in your own community.” Follow the hashtag #GivinginJuly to learn the impactful stories of volunteers and sponsorship groups doing good in their communities and benefitting from dollars raised through wreath sponsorships. To locate a group in your community visit https://learn.wreathsacrossamerica.org/giving-in-july-2024. More than 4,250 locations will participate in National Wreaths Across America Day this year on Saturday, December 14, 2024. This free event is open to all, and the organization encourages community members to participate by volunteering locally or sponsoring a wreath for an American hero. Tune in to Wreaths Across America Radio to hear their stories, available on the iHeart Radio app, TuneIn, and the Audacy app, or at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/radio. @Nomis.Publications Like us on Like

Page A5 july 2024

Page A6 july 2024 1-888-792-9315 • mymortuarycooler.com Scan QR for our website Cots not included MODEL # TR3 Triple Cot Roll-In Mortuary Cooler AMC N W FAST SHIPPING AVAILABLE ON SELECT PRODUCTS 2024 INTERNATIONAL EMBALMING & RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGERY CONFERENCE FOR PROFESSIONAL EMBALMERS Register to attend the professional conference entirely focused on Embalming & Specialized Reconstructive Surgery Techniques and dedicated to the Value of Open Casket Viewing. Embalming and reconstructive subjects will be presented by multiple speakers, providing information on the latest and best techniques to deal with difficult and special cases. Open to all licensed, qualified and apprentice embalmers as well as Mortuary Science students. Attendance is accepted on first-come-first-served basis and limited to first 150 registrants. Fees are refundable if you cannot attend. Register online at FNACADEMY.COM or for more information contact: Vernie R. Fountain, Embalmer, Reconstructive Surgery Specialist, CFSP vrfountain@earthlink.net or (417) 833-5130 By Welton Hong Say goodbye to Google’s Business Profile Chat; Google announced it will discontinue the feature by the end of July. You’re probably wondering why that matters to you—especially if you’ve never used it. Believe it or not, it’s still a significant development that warrants attention from funeral directors and cemetery owners. Even if you haven’t utilized the Google Business Profile Chat feature, its removal highlights a broader principle: the importance of maintaining open and clear lines of communication with the families you serve. In an industry as sensitive and personal as yours, ensuring every potential client can reach you easily is critical. Understanding the Change Google’s Business Profile Chat feature allowed businesses to interact directly with clients through a messaging system integrated into their Google profiles. It was a convenient tool for businesses to answer questions, provide information and engage with clients in real-time. However, Google has decided to discontinue this feature, prompting businesses to adapt their communication strategies. The Importance of Communication For funeral homes and cemeteries, the essence of service is rooted in compassionate and timely communication. Families seeking your services are often navigating some of the most challenging moments of their lives. Ensuring they can reach out and receive responses promptly is not just good business practice; it’s a fundamental aspect of the care you provide. Even if your funeral home or cemetery did not use Google’s chat feature, this change is a reminder to evaluate and enhance your communication channels. Potential clients should have no trouble finding your contact information and reaching you through various platforms. Keeping Contact Information Updated With the removal of the Business Profile Chat feature, it becomes even more important to ensure your contact information is accurate and up to date across all platforms. Here’s a few steps I recommend: Google Business Profile: Make sure your phone number, email and address are correct. Use other available features such as the Q&A section and Google Posts to keep clients informed. Website: Your website should be a central hub of information. Ensure your contact page is easy to find, and that it includes multiple ways to reach your firm. Social Media: Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn can be valuable tools for engagement. Regularly check and update your contact details on these platforms. Staying Accessible Adapting to Google’s Business Profile Update Powerhouse Marketing with Welton Directories and Listings: Many families may find you through online directories or local listings. Periodically review these entries to ensure all information is current. Leveraging Other Communication Tools Without the Google chat feature, consider integrating other communication tools to fill the gap. This might include adding a live chat or chatbot powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) to your website to offer instant support to your visitors. An AI-driven chatbot can be available 24/7 to answer the most commonly asked questions without requiring a staff member. If you’re not doing it already, make sure you’re taking advantage of the messaging features on all of your social media platforms. Potential clients should receive a response to their message within no more than two business days— preferably sooner. Lastly, ensure you have a system in place to respond to emails and phone calls promptly. The key to all of these communication tools is minimizing the time that passes between the moment a potential client contacts your business and when they receive a response. While Google’s decision to shut down its Business Profile Chat feature is a significant change, it also presents an opportunity. By reassessing and updating your communication strategies, you can ensure your funeral home or cemetery remains accessible and responsive to those in need. Welton Hong is the founder of Ring Ring Marketing® and a leading expert in creating case generation from online to the phone line. He is the author of Making Your Phone Ring with Internet Marketing for Funeral Homes. For more information, visit www.FuneralHomeProfits.com. FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS www.NomisPublications.com Monthly Columnsonline at wanted to be able to accommodate the needs of her community. “I wanted both human and pet, I think there are more people cremating pets than when I first opened up, but I know the pets will come. I did not want to have to turn people away if they asked.” Dr. Davis’s passion for the funeral industry originated from a devastating loss. In 1986, when Davis was 18 years old, her mother and younger sister died in a car accident near her hometown of Ruleville, MS. Davis, living in Springfield at the time, returned to Mississippi for the funeral, unable to recognize her mother or sister. “I didn’t like the way they looked,” Davis remembers. From then on, Davis decided that she wanted to dedicate her life to the mortuary science industry. Starting a long line of educational achievements, beginning with graduating from Cosmetology School, moving on to the mortuary science program, Davis also earned her bachelors degree in health care leadership and masters and doctoral degree in business administration. Dr. Davis’s commitment to serving her community has only blossomed over the years. “What sets my funeral home apart is, all the families that choose to use my services get the exacts same thing for their funeral services, regardless of costs or whether they have the funds. I do not discriminate when it comes to funerals, everyone should get everything that is needed to provide the service. Everyone that gets cremated automatically gets a permanent urn for burial versus a cardboard or plastic box, even pets,” Davis stated. The crematory area is also accompanied by a viewing room and viewing window for the families who would prefer to witness the process. “Both machines have been great, it has been such a great business investment that I do not regret,” says Dr. Davis about the purchasing of the cremation chambers from local manufacturer Cremation Systems in 2019. In addition to owning the funeral home, in 2021, Davis purchased the property across the street from Ruby Funeral Services & Crematories and transformed the building into what is now recognized as the Ruby Recreational Community Center. Boasting a 350 person capacity, this banquet hall can be used for weddings, receptions, birthday parties, and more! For more information on Ruby Davis Funeral Services & Crematories, visit www.drrubydavisfuneralhome.com. For more information on Cremation Systems Cremation Chambers, visit www.cremsys.com. Ruby Davis Expands Services SPRINGFIELD,IL— Dr. Ruby Davis, funeral director and owner of Ruby Funeral Services & Chapel LLC was the first African American female to own both human and pet crematories in the state of Illinois. Purchasing the cremation chambers simultaneously for her funeral home located in Springfield, IL, Davis

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Page A8 july 2024 www.vischerfuneralsupplies.com Put a photo on the coin and... Hold them again 908-238-1711 sales@memorialeaf.com LoadAlone protects your vehicle, your body and your profits. Hernia? Back Aches? Work Smarter. Not Harder. Saves money. Saves your back! Let the patented winching system do the heavy lifting for you! Visit us at LoadAlone.com or call 585-330-5772 The case study for this month will be a gentleman who died from injuries he received in a MVA. The deceased was the driver, his wife and child were passengers and they survived with minor injuries. All three were secured with safety belts. On a windy afternoon, he met a delivery truck from a lumber yard at an underpass of the interstate and a sheet of unsecured plywood was sucked out of the flatbed of the truck and plummeted directly through the driver’s side windshield, striking him in the face. Both vehicles were traveling at highway speed. Their vehicle left the roadway, rolled, and he died on top of his wife. I have a personal connection with the family, which always adds to our self-imposed drive for perfection. The deceased suffered multiple fractures of his jaw and facial bones which caused disfigurement to the structure of his face along with the surface injuries. The all-important pre-case analysis indicated a ‘head-freeze’ or waterless embalming would be in order. But first things first…reconstructing the proper internal physical form of the face was the first step. I made use of the needle injector to attach the tacks and wires into the sides of the jaw bones to be used to bring the jaw line into proper form. In addition to the needle injector and for additional stability, I used a drill with an 1/8” bit on either side of the medial fracture, upper and lower jaws, using doubled floral wire to secure them. These were the necessary first steps before attempting to position the fractured cheek bones. It was important to secure the jaw/mandible prior to working on the cheeks. In this case, no autopsy was performed. I would have considered making an access incision but the large laceraBy Wally Hooker, CFSP, MBIE tion (Fig. 1) on the left side gave me full access to the damaged area and the right side had virtually no cheek bone damage. The damage to the cheek bone on the left side was significant (Fig. 2) and the fractures were clean, so with just a couple of holes drilled in the bone, I was able to wire the bones into place. The wiring seemed secure, but for additional security I used mortuary putty on the inside, between the jaws and cheek. These were painstaking steps, but the efforts paid off and brought proper form back to the face. There was a delay in receiving him into our care, which meant the road rash, abrasions, dicing, and open wounds were dehydrating as a result of lack of treatment (Fig. 3). It is important to keep in mind, for any level of restorative work, we MUST have firm, dry tissue as a foundation to build on. Soft, spongey tissue will be a recipe for disaster. I performed a restricted cervical injection using arterial fluid, water conditioner, humectant and tan dye mixed to a 3.5% solution strength. Surprisingly, the head injected very well and preservation was thorough. I embalmed from the RCC downward and he embalmed well from a single point injection. Embalming 101 Following the embalming, I carefully washed him and finished up with washing his hair. Then carefully dried him. I had other ‘balls in the air’, so I decided to hold off beginning my restorative efforts…even though I was ‘chomping at the bit.’ In my mind, I knew waiting overnight would probably pay dividends and the tissue would be even more firm and dry after 12 hours. I covered his face with massage cream to slow down further dehydration and waited. We will continue with this case study next month. Until then, be safe and don’t be a knucklehead embalmer. I’d like to thank all of you who take time reaching out to me regarding these articles, it means many of you are reading them and I’m always happy to consult with you. I met many of you during winter and spring association conventions where I lectured. It was a privilege to share and talk with you. Wallace P. (Wally) Hooker CFSP, MBIE, is the owner, funeral director and embalmer of Family & Friends Funeral Home of Wingate, IN. He and his wife, Janet designed, established and built their funeral home in 2004. Wally is a graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science, where he serves on the Advisory Board. He is Past President of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association and previous board member of North American Division of the British Institute of Embalmers. In addition, he has served as chief deputy coroner/investigator of Fountain County, IN for the last 24 years. FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS www.NomisPublications.com Monthly Columnsonline at Can We See Him/Her? (Part 4) Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 for a price of $26.50 per Share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.2 billion, including Park Lawn’s net debt. The Consideration represents a 62.1% premium to the closing price of the Shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange on June 3, 2024, being the last trading day prior to the announcement of the Transaction, and a 56.4% premium to the 20‐day volume weighted average trading price per Share on the TSX for the period ending June 3, 2024. The board of directors of Park Lawn, having received a unanimous recommendation from a special committee comprised solely of independent directors of Park Lawn and after receiving outside legal and financial advice, has unanimously determined that the Transaction is in the best interests of Park Lawn and is fair to shareholders of Park Lawn and unanimously recommends that Shareholders vote in favor of the Transaction. In making their respective determinations, the Board and the Special Committee considered, among other factors, the oral fairness opinion of National Bank Financial Inc. to the effect that, as of June 3, 2024, subject to the assumptions, limitations and qualifications contained therein, the Consideration to be received by the Shareholders pursuant to the Transaction is fair, from a financial point of view, to the Shareholders. A copy of the fairness opinion of National Bank Financial will be included in the management information circular to be filed and mailed to Shareholders in connection with the special meeting of Shareholders to be called to approve the Transaction. John Nies, Chair of the Special Committee, said, “We have concluded that this transaction is in the best interests of Park Lawn and fair to our shareholders. With a view to maximizing shareholder value, we conducted a thorough assessment of the Purchaser Group’s proposal as well as other alternatives available to the company, including the status quo. Following a comprehensive assessment and our extensive negotiations with Homesteaders and Birch Hill, we are pleased to have reached an agreement that provides immediate and fair value to shareholders.” “This Transaction represents tangible recognition of the value and strength of our organization. We are proud of the accomplishments of our team and look forward to partnering with Homesteaders and Birch Hill in a new chapter of Park Lawn where we can continue to execute on our strategic initiatives for the benefit of our stakeholders in the long-term,” added Brad Green, Chief Executive Officer of Park Lawn. “We have confidence in Park Lawn and their team and believe that, in partnership with Birch Hill, we are well positioned to support them through this transition given our mutual commitment to the funeral and cemetery profession,” said Steve Shaffer, Homesteaders President, CEO and Board Chair. “Homesteaders’ secure, stable financial position enables us to make long-term capital investments to support providers like Park Lawn while maintaining the financial strength that has made us a reliable partner for funeral providers and a safe funding vehicle for our policy owners for 118 years.” PLC is the largest publicly traded Canadian-owned funeral, cremation and cemetery provider. PLC and its subsidiaries own and operate businesses including cemeteries, crematoria, funeral homes, chapels and event centers throughout Canada and the United States which provide a full range of services and merchandise to fulfill the desires of individuals and families seeking to honor their loved ones. PLC operates in three Canadian provinces and seventeen U.S. states. For more information about Park Lawn Corporation, please visit www.parklawncorp.com. Homesteaders Life Company, a mutual insurance company based in West Des Moines, Iowa, is a national leader providing products and services to promote and support the funding of advance funeral planning and end-of-life expenses. Homesteaders has an A- (Excellent) rating from AM Best, most recently affirmed in May 2024, and is a trusted, reliable and secure source of end-of-life funding for thousands of funeral professionals and the families they serve. Birch Hill is a Canadian mid-market private equity firm with a long history of driving growth in its portfolio companies and delivering returns to its investors. Based in Toronto, Birch Hill currently has $5 billion in capital under management. Since 1994, the firm has made 71 investments, with 57 fully realized. Today, Birch Hill’s 14 partner companies collectively represent one of Canada’s largest corporate entities with over $9 billion in total revenue and more than 30,000 employees. Park Lawn Announces Going Private Transaction with Homesteaders Life Company and Birch Hill Equity Partners TORONTO,ONTARIO— Park Lawn Corporation (TSX: PLC, PLC.U) announced that it has entered into an arrangement agreement with Viridian Acquisition Inc., an affiliate of Homesteaders Life Company and Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc., pursuant to which the Purchaser will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Park Lawn www.NomisPublications.com News FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY


Page A10 july 2024 Various Sizes • Cultured Marble Vinyl-Wrapped Colors Quality Cultured Marble DYNASTY URNS IS A DIVISION OF CUSTOM MARBLE DESIGN, INC. — U.S. PATENTS NO. 9,775,760, NO. 9,827,158 For Those Who Demand The Best and Know The Difference.™ See the Complete Collection or Request a Catalog: DynastyUrns.com Call Today (800) 886-2725 Personalized Urns Laser Engraving • Custom Colors Memorial Portraits 15+ Stunning Vinyl Graph Wraps 8 Call: 661-250-1507 • Visit: www.XLIndustries.com Available Through Quality Suppliers Made in USA Unique items found only at xl industries Providing the Best-Designed Tools for Your Services Since 1926. Dozens of products that give you years of service and store compactly when not in use. Lightweight and easy to take to gravesides or churches. Pole Rack with Shelves extends from the floor to the ceiling Combo Expansion “B” Rack “J” Casket Floral Rack Sets down on top of casket Platform Shelf O-1 additional display surface for many XL large stands As a funeral director, B2B sales consultant, and business owner, I have always found it peculiar that the funeral service industry has a tendency to look down on salespeople. Some of my most trusted advisors in business are pure salespeople. They are often my eyes and ears out in the field. And they should be yours too. This negative perception is not only unwarranted but also detrimental to the growth and sustainability of our profession. Good salespeople go out and get it every day. It’s a grind being successful in sales, but it is a necessary and noble endeavor. And it’s critical to your future business. The Misconception of Sales Sales has often been associated with manipulation and deception, leading to its negative reputation. However, this perception is far from the truth. Real selling is about connecting people with solutions and providing value. It’s about understanding the needs of your customers and offering them products or services that genuinely improve their lives. In the context of preneed sales, this means helping families plan for the inevitable in a way that brings them peace of mind and financial preparedness. The Importance of Preneed Sales Preneed sales are crucial for both funeral homes and families in your service area. Competition has never been more fierce, yet I am shocked daily on the lack of emphasis on having the commitment from families to use “YOUR” funeral home versus the competitor. Having an engaging sales person can dramatically change the course of the business for the better. It really is time to stop treating preneed like a second class citizen. Especially when it’s literally the future of our businesses. Yes, businesses that “sell” service and products. By Jon O’Hara, CEO, Great Lakes Partnership Educating One of the most important aspects of preneed or AT-NEED sales (Yes, it’s a sale folks) is education. Families often have a limited understanding of funerals and the options available to them. As a sales professional, your role is to educate families, not to sell to them. By listening to their needs and providing them with all the information they need to make informed decisions, you build trust and establish yourself as a knowledgeable and caring professional. The Art of Selling Selling is an art that requires sophistication and empathy. It’s not about pushing products but about leading with value. When you understand the unique value proposition of what you’re selling, you can help share a vision of a future where your customers’ problems are solved. This approach creates desire and urgency, leading to conversions without the pressure of a hard sell. Overcoming the Stigma The stigma around sales in the funeral service is unfounded. Yes, preplanning professionals have made mistakes throughout the world. But honestly, I’ve seen my fellow at-need colleagues make larger fools out of themselves by NOT selling. Remember we pushed back on cremation? How did avoiding the opportunity to sell ourselves as the cremation experts go? I would argue we are still fighting our way back from that ignorance. When you have a good sales experience, you don’t feel violated; instead, you feel satisfied and appreciative of the service provided. This positive experience is what we should aim to deliver in preneed sales. By focusing on the value we provide and the relationships we build, we can change the perception of sales in our industry. Critical Thinking: The Evolution of the Funeral Profession Building Relationships At the heart of successful sales is the ability to build strong relationships. This is especially true in funeral service, where trust and empathy are paramount. By really getting to know the people in your community, understanding their needs, and providing them with tailored solutions, you can create lasting relationships that benefit both your business and your clients. The Future of Sales in Funeral Services The future of the funeral profession is bright for those who understand that it is a business first. Generating enough profit to continue serving and fulfilling our community missions requires a focus on business fundamentals, including effective sales strategies. By embracing sales and viewing it as a critical component of our business, we can ensure the continued success and growth of our funeral homes. Conclusion Sales is not a dirty word. It is a vital part of any business, including funeral service. By changing our perception of sales and focusing on the value we provide to our customers, we can elevate our profession and ensure its sustainability. So, let’s embrace sales, educate our clients, and build lasting relationships that benefit everyone involved. Remember, when your grandfather, paw paw, or granny put that sign out in front of an old house, they needed to sell themselves to the community. You’re no different. Get busy selling or get busy dying. FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS www.NomisPublications.com Monthly Columnsonline at Jon O’Hara is a forward thinking funeral director & CEO of the Great Lakes Family of Companies. Jon is a first generation funeral director and in addition to working as a funeral director, he has also worked for Aurora Casket Company, Tributes.com, and The Outlook Group. He founded Great Lakes Partnership in 2018, which has grown from solely a pre-need marketing organization to a strategic consulting partner for funeral homes. He is also currently building his first funeral home location in Chesterfield Twp, MI. He lives in the Detroit area with his wife, Michelle, two sons, Henry and Teddy, and Labradoodles Sydney and Annie. Contact Jon O’Hara at 586-636-6611 or johara@greatlakespartnership.com. Sales is NOT a Dirty Word Hope Givers Offers Emotional Boost for Anyone Struggling to Overcome Grief or Adversity Southern Calls Ceases Publication MOUNT PLEASANT,SC— In a notice on their website, Mike Squires, editor of Southern Calls left the following message for his readers: “With a heavy heart I share with you my final Niche. Due to economic circumstances, after eleven years, Southern Calls has printed its last issue and will cease to be in business. We have been so blessed to have had the support of all our advertising partners, our patrons, and loyal subscribers. What a journey it has been, meeting you and sharing your stories—memories I will cherish forever. I’m sorry that it must now end but I am very proud of what we accomplished. We hope our publication stirred your passion.” Squires went on to thank his incredibly talented team including Chris Griffin, art director, Luke Teague and Todd Harra CFSP, associate editors, and Bob Boetticher, contributing writer. TITUSVILLE,NJ— While her friends were having more children, moving up in the workplace and buying bigger homes, Jodi O’Donnell-Ames and her family were not just stuck in neutral — they were going backward, she said. “I was never angry, but I was so disappointed that so much was taken away from all of us,” O’Donnell-Ames said during a recent interview. “The shell of who I was really started to heal when I created something that helped to heal others.” O’Donnell-Ames lost her 36-year-old husband, Kevin O’Donnell, to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in 2001. Since that time, she has devoted herself to giving back to others touched by life-limiting diagnoses or other challenging transitions in life. She is the founder of Hope Loves Company, the only nonprofit dedicated to supporting the children and grandchildren of people living with ALS. She is also a motivational speaker, life coach and host of the podcast, Gratitude to Latitude: Stories of Hope and Resilience, through which she celebrates the people and the stories that have fueled her purpose and passion for personal growth and healing. And now, in her new book, Hope Givers: Conversations and Stories of Hope, she takes readers inside her own deeply emotional journey through caregiving, loss, grief and those hardest, ubiquitous lessons of adult life. Part memoir, part exploration into the essence of hope in a life touched by a terminal illness, and part inspirational conversations drawn from her Gratitude to Latitude podcast, Hope Givers is a raw, unfiltered look that focuses on O’DonnellAmes’ successes while acknowledging her failures and shortcomings with candor. “Our biggest challenges can result in our deepest clarity and creation,” O’Donnell-Ames said. Along the way, thought leaders, mental health professionals, and friends whose wisdom and perspectives bring valuable lessons and comfort share their helpful insights. “Somewhere among these pages, you will find a moment of connection and insight,” said O’Donnell-Ames. “It’s an indisputable truth that while life is complicated and difficult, hope is reserved for each and every one of us.” Proof of hope is evident on every thoughtful page of Hope Givers. “There are people and there are resources out there that will support you in your journey and that will help you find a way to process what you’re feeling,” she added. Hope Givers is one of those resources. Jodi O’Donnell-Ames is a TEDx speaker, nonprofit founder and MSW student. She is the founder of Hope Loves Company, the only nonprofit committed to helping the children and grandchildren of ALS patients. She is also the author of two previous books, The Stars That Shine and Someone I Love Has ALS. For more information, visit www.joaspeakson.com.