November 2023

Page A24 november 2023 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Section A AMRA INSTRUMENTS Researched, Developed and Patented by Funeral Directors Research,Inc. visit for links to our Supply Chain Partners ™ ® “Quite Possibly America’s Finest Line of Professional Cosmetics” • Cover Cremes • Lip Color • Liquid Tints • Powder • Brushes • Wax 1-800-531-9744 Fax 903-641-0383 E-Mail: crews) • Gainesville, GA 3:40 PM (water) • Greenville, SC 6:50 PM (changes engines and crews) • Hayne, SC 7:55 PM (coal and water) • Salisbury, NC 11:10 PM (change engines and crews) • April 14th, Danville, VA 1:50 AM (ice and water) • Monroe, VA 4:15 AM (change engines and crews and water) • Applegate, VA 5:40 AM (Let No. 30 pass) • Charlottesville, VA 6:20 AM (use telephone) • Weyburn, VA 6:55 AM (coal and water) • Bealton, VA 8:15 AM (Let No. 48 pass) • Arrive Washington Union Station 10:00 AM The bronze casket was a glass-top sealing type, and this covered the President’s remains. Roosevelt was dressed in a double-breasted blue business suit flecked with gray, a soft white shirt, black socks, and a dark blue-and-white four-in-hand tie that the President wore at his 1941 inauguration. The lower part of the President’s body was covered with the President’s naval cape. Fred W. Patterson asked that his staff and their preservative equipment be placed on the funeral train. Patterson explained to railroad officials that there would be two additional funeral directors involved: the funeral firm of Joseph Gawler’s Sons in Washington and Mrs. Ralph V.R. Worden in Hyde Park, New York. Patterson’s embalmer was Hayden Snoderly, who was a graduate of the Cincinnati College of Embalming and had worked as a night attendant while a student at the well-known funeral firm of Schaefer & Busby in downtown Cincinnati. Hayden Snoderly never made it on the funeral train. No room, according to the military. Mrs. Roosevelt preserved the president’s tradition of going by Georgia Hall to wave at the polio patients as they left. Many were on crutches, some in wheelchairs, and a few in rolling beds. Most patients were children, unaware at the time of the importance of what they were seeing. Thirty-six minutes after it left the Little White House, the funeral procession arrived at the Warm Springs train station. The funeral train started at 11:13 AM on Friday the 13th. Everybody knew that FDR never started a trip on Friday the 13th, but then nothing would ever be the same again. Minutes after the funeral train disappeared around the first bend the loading ramp was torn to pieces by souvenir hunters. At one point Mrs. Roosevelt asked Grace Tully, FDR’s secretary, “Did Franklin ever give you any instructions about his burial?” Miss Tully was not able to provide much information. Only later was the four-page funeral instruction document discovered. Unfortunately, FDR’s personal wishes for his funeral were not met. The document with his funeral wishes were in his lock box with his will at the bank, and no one discovered its contents until days after he had been buried. The funeral was in the East Room of the White House at 4:00 By Todd Van Beck Presidential funeral trains have been a powerful symbol of national mourning. This history is significant because for all of our presidential funeral trains there were unsung heroes, funeral directors, working behind the scenes on these complicated travel arrangements. The United States government was involved in these activities, but until recently, once the deceased president left Washington, DC, the government was basically out of the picture. However, on most every presidential funeral train, a professional undertaker or funeral director escorted the remains. We continue our journey of presidential funeral trains. FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Monthly Columnsonline at We were all saddened to hear of the passing of Todd Van Beck on May 23, 2023. To honor Todd, the series on Funeral Trains will run as scheduled through the end of 2023. At the time of his passing, Todd W. Van Beck had come full circle in his career having returned to the staff at Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science where he began his career 40 years earlier. He was one of the best known and most well-regarded practitioners, educators, writers and speakers in the funeral profession. Presidential Funeral Trains: The Last Mile PM. The funeral directors were from Joseph Gawler’s Sons. Three trains waited at Union Station when the funeral cortege returned at 9:30 PM, for the final trip to Hyde Park. To transport FDR from Washington to Hyde Park would involve two railroad lines, The Baltimore & Ohio (B&O), the New York Central (NYC) and the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR). The funeral train eased onto the siding at the Roosevelt estate just below Hyde Park and stopped for unloading at 8:40 AM. The Roosevelt Estate in Hyde Park is actually called “Springwood.” The funeral coach from the Ralph V. R. Worden Funeral Home was in place waiting to make the short transfer over the hilly landscape to the Roosevelt Rose Garden. Ralph Worden had long been dead, but he had buried all of the ancestors in the Roosevelt family. This day the burial service would be conducted by his widow, Mrs. Ralph Worden (who was a graduate of the Renouard Training School for Embalmers in New York City) and a licensed funeral director, and her manager Mr. Henry Page, who was also a licensed funeral professional. At the top of the hill, Franklin D. Roosevelt was laid in his mother’s rose garden. It would be another quarter century until there was another Presidential funeral train. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1945 At 1:15 PM on Thursday, April 12, 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt lost consciousness in his leather armchair at the Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia, and at 3:35 PM he died. He was the victim of a massive cerebral hemorrhage. The embalming, the casket, and the travel arrangements back to Washington, D.C. were handled by H.M. Patterson & Son from Atlanta. It would take 10 engine crews and four train crews from Southern Railway to haul the double-headed funeral train along the 721.5-mile route from Warm Springs to Washington. A problem arose in using Roosevelt’s private car, the Ferdinand Magellan. Roosevelt’s solid bronze casket was too large to fit through the doors or windows, so the railroad transferred to the Conneaut, an observation car with removable windows. The embalmers from H. M. Patterson & Son arrived at 10:45 PM, but were prohibited from preparing the President’s remains until after Mrs. Roosevelt arrived at 11:25 PM. When Mrs. Roosevelt arrived, she went into the President’s bedroom where he had been taken. Five minutes later she emerged, and the embalmers began their delicate work. Here is the funeral train schedule for Franklin Delano Roosevelt: • April 13th, leave Warm Springs, GA 11:00 AM arrive Williamson, GA 12:01 (take on water) • Arrive Atlanta, GA 2:00 PM (change engines and Todd Van Beck February 15, 1952 – May 23, 2023 The Packard Funeral Coach from Ralph V.R. Worden Funeral Home ready to transfer FDR to the waiting caisson. The Funeral Train roaring into Washington, DC. Patterson’s Sayers & Scoville Funeral Coach Military Honor Guard protecting the remains of the President. 2023 NFDA International Convention & Expo Post-Convention Highlights