Last week we began a review of 10 developments in funeral service that caught the attention of national–and sometimes–international media. Coverage focused on changing trends, occasionally on what went wrong, and often what were the most outrageous ideas. Here are another five topics that demonstrate what is catching the attention of media outlets and their readers. Read the rest of this entry »
Jeni Stepien’s father was murdered ten years ago, but his heart lives on in the body of donor recipient Arthur Thomas. When Ms. Stepien got engaged in October, 2015, she struggled with deciding who would walk her down the aisle. The thought that a piece of her father could be present during her wedding ceremony led her to ask Arthur if he’d be willing to escort her. Mr. Thomas agreed, and after he walked her down the aisle on Friday, Jeni shared “My dad is here with us, and this man is here because of us.”
Such a beautiful story has us wondering what role the funeral director played in the Stepien and Thomas story. How can funeral service professionals serve families like the Stepiens? Funeral directors are well-positioned to provide donor families with the support and information they need and make a powerful impact in each family’s life, but is there anything they can do specifically? Read the rest of this entry »
Funeral homes around the country are offering a unique service, which provides cremation or burial families a hands-on way to say goodbye to their loved ones – I call it the assisted family dress experience.
The assisted family dress experience gives the family a way to “do something” for the deceased. Read the rest of this entry »
OGR does its best to keep members in touch with the most important news stories, statistics and trends that impact independent funeral homes through OGR’s weekly e-newsletter, The Independent Insider, and its quarterly magazine, The Independent. Of the hundreds of trends we saw in 2015, the following 10 are our picks for those that give us the best clues to where we need to focus in order to serve families in ways that are more meaningful, healing and palatable. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.
–W. Edward Deming
Funeral directors often tell me they don’t need to change because their customers don’t want change. The same people used to tell me their cremation rate would top out at 10 percent, their average sale would never decline and their profit margin would always remain positive. I have no doubt that everyone has a pocket of families who never want funeral service to evolve. It’s the other 90 percent we have to Read the rest of this entry »
Our Executive Director Mark Allen was eating brunch a few weekends ago at an Austin restaurant when he noticed a classic car parked on the side of the road. Upon further inspection, he discovered it was a tribute to a late Austinite who had passed away in 2012. This got us thinking. Are there other tributes that are just as interesting here and abroad? Read the rest of this entry »