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     Today's funeral director is more than a caretaker of the deceased; he or she also is a memorial event planner.  A funeral or memorial service often involves the same level of planning as a wedding.  However, the planning for this event usually must be accomplished in a few days rather than over several months.  This is done while the family is coping with the sometimes overwhelming emotion and physical exhaustion common to the death of a loved one.  The funeral director is a caring, extensively-trained professional who brings a diversity of skills to the logistics of this event so that the family is free to focus on their family and friends. 
     A few of the tasks that the funeral director and staff will complete:

Into Our Care:
  • We will take your loved one into our care and transport him/her to the funeral home (24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year).
  • Notify proper authorities, family and/or relatives.
  • Perform professional care of the deceased as requested by the family.  This may include washing, embalming, restorative art, dressing, casketing, hairdressing, and cosmetology.  
  • Prepare the deceased for cremation if applicable.
  • If at all possible, we will use a special program to record your loved one's fingerprint. which will be kept on file. 
Documentation:
  • Issue checks on the family's behalf to pay for flowers; lunch or refreshments; hall rental if applicable; death certificates; publication of obituary; honorariums for clergy, musicians, special groups, servers; service of opening and closing a grave; vault and/or tent service at cemetery as well as final date inscription if applicable. The funeral home issues all these checks and the expenses are added to the funeral home bill.  This allows the family the convenience of writing one check to cover most expenses.  
  • Arrange and prepare death certificates.
  • Provide certified copies of death certificates for insurance and benefit processing (this may take up to 2 weeks after death depending on how quickly the attending doctor or coroner signs the death certificate).
  • Complete and submit all paperwork required with cremation.  
  • Work with the insurance agent, Social Security or Veterans Administration to ensure that necessary paperwork is filed for receipt of benefits.  Please note that Social Security is notified of a death when the funeral director files a death certificate.  
  • Prepare and submit obituary to the newspapers of your choice.
  • Upload obituary and photo to our website and notify all subscribers. 
  • Post obituary and photo on our Facebook page to notify followers.
  • Prepare and submit burial permit to both the cemetery sexton and then the Registrar of Deeds for registration with the state.
Visitation (if applicable):
  • Assist the family with visitation details.
  • Coordinate with clergy, musicians, and special groups if needed. 
  • Arrange for prayer service, time of remembering or other service as requested by the family. 
  • Set up the funeral home or other venue for the visitation and/or service to follow and arrange for any equipment needed.
  • Schedule staff to work and clean up the visitation and/or service to follow. 
  • Arrange for the family to have private time prior to the visitation. 
  • Arrange all floral arrangements delivered.
  • Assist family with display items, photos and other memorial pieces. Carefully transport these items to the funeral service. 
Funeral Service:
  • Assist the family with funeral arrangements and purchase of casket, urn, burial vault.
  • Coordinate with clergy if a funeral or memorial service is to be held.
  • Schedule organist, soloist, reader and/or servers as needed for the service. 
  • Order funeral sprays and other flower arrangements as the family wishes.  Transport and set up flowers from visitation site to funeral site to final destination as requested by the family. 
  • Coordinate the lunch or refreshments for after the service. 
  • Contact and coordinate with pallbearers or urn-bearers. 
  • Direct the service of choice in a professional and compassionate manner. 
  • Arrange any family memorial items and/or photos.  
  • Arrange register books and memorial folders and assist guests when arriving for the service. 
  • Assist church or other venue staff as needed. 
  • Provide hearse and funeral van.  The van will transport clergy, flowers and any equipment needed at the cemetery. 
Stationary:
  • Create a personalized memorial folder with the family.  Copy as many as requested by the family.  Upload the completed memorial folder to the funeral home website.
  • Create personalized thank you cards with the family.  Print as many as needed by the family. 
  • Create a personalized register book for guests to sign when offering their condolences at a visitation or funeral service.  
  • Create a personalized sign for the chapel prior to any service.
  • We will take pictures of each floral arrangement and card upon delivery.  These will be uploaded to create floral pages for the register book. 
  • Create a personalized tribute video if desired by the family.  This video can be shown at visitation and before and/or after some funeral services, depending on the church and is also uploaded on our website. 
  • If requested by the family, we can create personalized candles, prayer cards, bookmarks and Christmas ornaments. 
Cemetery:
  • Contact cemetery sexton to mark the grave.
  • Schedule the opening and closing of the grave with cemetery personnel, if a burial is to be performed.
  • Arrange for vault and/or tent and chairs set up, if applicable. 
  • Arrange an escort from the Sheriff's Department. 
  • Arrange with military as appropriate (see below). 
  • Assist with committal service at cemetery. 
  • Staff will remain with deceased until lowering into the earth has taken place. 
  • Provide a temporary marker at the grave with name, year of birth and year of death.  This will remain until monument is set or existing monument has final date inscribed.
Military:
  • Please note:  Military Honor Guards require a copy of discharge papers before military honors may be requested.
  • We will fly the appropriate branch flag at the funeral home in honor of your loved one.
  • Arrange for active duty honor guard.
  • Arrange for local VFW/American Legion honor guard. 
  • Complete paperwork for each honor guard request.
  • Complete and forward request for military marker for cemetery. 
  • Complete request for American flag. 
  • Obtain American flag; transport to Pantorium Cleaners in Aberdeen for pressing. 
  • Properly fold flag for use with urn carrier or properly fold on veteran's casket. 
After the Service:
  • Provide assistance with documentation and insurance forms as needed.
  • Arrange for date of death inscription on existing headstones. 
  • Assist with ordering a new headstone or memorial. 
  • In November, invite family to participate in annual "Christmas Service of Remembrance".


In this section

Frequent Questions

Grief Support

Social Security Benefits

Local Links

Authorization Forms

Talk of a Lifetime

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