November 2022

Page A4 November 2022 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on A Milano Prayer Cards Priced to Move! We have an overstock of cards and are cutting the cost! Cards are priced at $39.95 plus freight and tax where applicable. While Supplies Last. Need a Sale? Call Al 412-580-0426 Fall Blow Out Sale Sons inWashington, DC., in February 2013, and I am honored to stand on the shoulders of some of the giants in American funeral service. Q: Have you always been interested in history? A: In my early preteen years, my grandfather–Edgar Hills–would load my brothers and me into his car and off we would go to Gettysburg Battlefield Park in Pennsylvania for a day trip. Of course, my initial interest was in having a kepi (Civil War cap) and a plastic sword. During these wonderful trips, my interest in history really began to take shape. Sometimes he would hire a licensed battlefield guide to ride in the car with us to explain everything we were looking at. Q: Aside from these adventures with your grandfather, did you enjoy your history classes in school? A: In the late 1960s, I remember receiving a copy of “My Weekly Reader” in the fourth grade. That particular issue told the story of Ford’s Theater reopening in Washington, By Nancy Weil I wrote this poem many years ago for a newsletter and every November I pull it back out, re-read it and realize that the sentiments contained within it remain as valid today as the day I first wrote it. Gratitude is a powerful emotion. It can change your brain health, shape your mood and produce positive results. Even in the midst of the pandemic, there were still things to be grateful for. Perhaps it was your own health or the health of your family. Perhaps it was working with a great team who adeptly shifted when restrictions were put in place and still found a way to take care of the families who came in your door needing help. Gratitude can be found in a beautiful sunset or in the majestic look of trees as they display their fall foliage before they drop off for the winter. This year it may be the opportunity to gather family together once again for Thanksgiving and spend the day together. Working with people who have lost a loved one has shown me that even in the darkest of times there are still reasons to be grateful. It could be the support of family and friends. A phone call or note from someone reaching out to check on them. Some are grateful for the years they spent with the person they love. It may take some effort, but within the pain also lies moments of things to be grateful for. I have found that the practice of gratitude changes everything. By noticing things to be grateful for, things Random 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 ManagementSpecialist, FuneralCelebrant, Soul InjuryAmbassador 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: or email F U N E R A L H O M E & C E M E T E R Y N E W S w w w . N o m i s P u b l i c a t i o n s . c o m Monthly Columnsonline at to be grateful for show up all day in all ways. Some people even keep a gratitude journal and list things that they are grateful for from that day. It doesn’t take much to be grateful except to pay attention and acknowledge those moments when they show up. So, in this month that has a day marked just for giving thanks, let us instead practice this attitude of gratitude each and every day. Thanks Living This month there is a special day That we call Thanksgiving. I propose we celebrate instead, A holiday called “Thanks Living.” Each day we find a reason To give thanks to God above. For every special moment, The people and things we love. It will change your life completely If you adopt this attitude. For everything looks better Seen through eyes of gratitude. So celebrate the special times And joys life sends you way. But remember that Thanks Living Comes each and every day. One Block West of the White House: Joseph Gawler’s Sons, Undertakers for the Presidents An interview with Duane Hills, Author and President of Joseph Gawler’s Sons In any American city, town or rural community, settlement and growth would have been impossible were it not for the presence of an undertaker. To attract more residents, industry and services, there had to be someone with a compassionate heart as well as carpentry skills to build coffins and access to livery to bury the dead as a necessity to this growth. Unfortunately, the passage of time has mostly erased this important history. This is borne out by visiting your local historical society’s archive and finding little, other than business names of undertakers and/or funeral homes. Or check cemetery records. Rarely do you find a decedent identified as an undertaker, funeral director or funeral home owner. Preserving the 270 plus year history of Joseph Gawler’s Son Funeral Home in Washington, DC, provided the motivation for the idea that became a two and a half year book project for Gawler’s President Duane Hills and co-writer Alice Adams, both self-taught researchers/historians. Following is a recent interview with author Duane Hills: Q: Duane, how long have you been a funeral director and when did you arrive at Joseph Gawler’s Sons? A: I became a New York State licensed funeral director in November of 1979. I became the president of Joseph Gawler’s Continued on page A28 Duane Hills DC. The story of President Lincoln’s assassination piqued my interest and I soon found myself reading everything I could get my hands on concerning the life and death of Abraham Lincoln. It also caused me to experience a profound sadness that is hard to describe. Through my studies, I discovered Lincoln’s young son, Willie, had died in the White House in 1862. His body had been held temporarily in the William Thomas Carroll mausoleum at Oak Hill Cemetery in DC. Once I moved there and had become the president of Joseph Gawler’s Sons, I set my sights on placing an historical marker within the mausoleum to record the history of that site..a goal I accomplished a few years ago. Q: So, how did the idea of the book come to be? A: Early in my tenure I began learning more about Gawler’s rich history in our nation’s capital, and the more I learned, the more I became aware this history was not Send Us Your News! We welcome news of the industry. PO Box 5159, Youngstown, OH 44514 CALL 1-800-321-7479 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS