2 minute read
Rader Funeral Home
“It’s a calling, ”David Williams begins. “I don’t know anything else—I’ve been in funeral services since I was 16 years old—but I like this. I like helping people. And when I interview people, I say they would be ‘ambassadors. ’ We just love on people. ”
David is the managing partner of Rader Funeral Home in Daleville. Founded in 1898, the funeral home is one of the oldest businesses in Botetourt, making it familiar to so many families.
“It was actually founded by a gentleman with the name ‘Ryder, ’” David says. “And the story goes, Mr. Ryder was given some valuable advice: ‘if you would change your name to Rader, you would do well in business. ’”
Sure enough, though the names were similar, the Rader name was already well-established in Botetourt.
“Ryder, from New York, became good friends with the Rader family, ”David says. “There are descendants of the Rader family still alive. ”
David originally hails from northeast Ohio. He graduated from the Pittsburg Institute of Mortuary Science and has worked with the US Department of Health and Human Service on the Disaster and Medical Response Team.
The past two years have been especially challenging due to the pandemic. “COVID changed everything with how we grieve, ”David says. “We have evolved in many ways from the pandemic; and the things we’re doing have been remarkable and well-received. ”
David mentions the first livestreaming of a service in Botetourt by Rader.
“I knew livestreaming would be useful to people in retirement communities; but to be able to watch it anywhere in the world, live or the recording, well that became more significant than ever when everything was shut down. ”
“We managed to stay open every day during the pandemic. ”
The mission is an important one at Rader. David says it’s his and the staff’s job to “honor the life lived, the memories, and to facilitate that. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. ”
Another development from the pandemic is the ‘Goodbye Room’ at Rader, which includes a customized type of Murphy bed that enables family to spend time together and celebrate the life lost.
Rader Funeral Home has over 20 on staff, but only two full time. David says a lot of the part timers are retired folks.
David continues to respond to his calling, after more than four decades. Now in its 124th continuous year of operation, Rader Funeral Home has carried along a lot of legacies in Botetourt County.
With all the families served, the Rader Funeral Home began its legacy not long after its founding... in 1898. ManyMany FamiliesFamilies
“Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. ”