In many people’s minds, 2016 will be remembered as the year celebrities dropped like flies. According to Legacy.com, the number of celebrity deaths was comparable to previous years, but three factors made it appear that celebrities were dying in droves: 1) a higher-than-average number of those who died were either A-list or legendary stars; 2) many musicians died who had extremely loyal fan bases; and 3) the average age of celebrities who died this year was about 10 years younger than usual.
Aside from celebrity deaths, growing pains continued to reach every aspect of funeral service. During the last 12 months we saw some outrageous trends, some of which have already used up their 15 minutes of fame. Other news stories highlighted shifts in public preferences that merit our continued attention, even if these changes seem undignified to some traditionalists.
Part I of this blog will examine five topics which drew national, and sometimes international, attention to funeral service in ways that are relevant to serving families in the near future. Next week, Part II will examine five more topics. 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 »
Hosting a holiday event, either at your funeral home or off-site, is a great way to bring members of your community together. We have put together a few family-oriented event ideas to help you stay involved in your community this holiday season. Read the rest of this entry »
November 11, 1918 marked the temporary cessation of hostilities, or an armistice, between Allied nations and Germany and the eventual end of World War I. In honor of that day, November 11 has become known as Veterans Day, a day to “honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.” 
“Hello? Can You Tell Me How Have the Talk of a Lifetime Will Help Me Plan the Funeral I Really Want?”
Where’s the car I was promised that folds into a briefcase? That may be an odd question given the amazing technology that’s been introduced during my lifetime. Computer and Internet magic have far surpassed anything I could have imagined. Still, I’m a little disappointed that some genius hasn’t figured out how to produce the fold-up automobile featured in the 1960s television cartoon The Jetsons. Read the rest of this entry »
This week we conclude our discussion on the intersection between event planning and funeral service. Holly Muchnok, an event planner and speaker at OGR’s “Regional Workshop: Fresh Approaches to Funeral & Memorial Services” on August 7, 2015, gives practical suggestions for how funeral directors can incorporate event planning into their businesses in this final post.
The intersection between the event and funeral industries is surprising and frequent. Each profession is serving others, streamlining options, caring for those in an emotional state of being, managing budgets, creating schedules and meeting vast and various needs during one of the most important times in people’s lives. The tips below are from my office to yours as you navigate the question of how your funeral home and you as a professional might offer excellence to your community. Read the rest of this entry »