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Coming Soon: MFDA’s New Career Center

• A highly targeted focus on employment opportunities in a certain sector, location, or demographic;

• Access to industry-specific jobs — and top-quality candidates — often not seen on the mass job boards. “Niche job boards, like the one we’ve designed for MFDA, are an ideal way to recruit top candidates,” says JobTarget CEO Andrew Banever. “Our customized career centers also attract new members — both individuals and businesses — to associations such as MFDA. That helps drive participation in conferences, professional development workshops, award programs, and other exclusive benefits.”

To see a preview of what MFDA’s Career Center will look like, visit NFDA’s Career Center at Career Center continued on page 9…

MFDA Bulletin

MFDA’s employment marketplace, like other JobTarget-powered career centers, distinguishes itself from generalist job boards in several ways. These include:

• An advanced Job Alert system that notifies candidates of new opportunities matching their own pre-selected criteria;

Minnesota Funeral Directors Association 7046 East Fish Lake Road Maple Grove, MN 55311

“Our association promotes funeral service industry knowledge, networking, and excellence,” says MFDA Executive Director Darlyne Erickson. “Launching an online career center for professionals in the funeral service industry — and in our geographic region — is a natural extension of that mission.”

• Anonymous resume posting and job application — enabling job candidates to stay connected to the employment market while maintaining full control over their confidential information;

Change Service Requested

MFDA announces its newest offering coming in January 2017 to association members — a Web-based career center that connects job seekers with prospective employers in the funeral service industry. The new career website, built by JobTarget, which powers more than 1,100 job websites and career centers for organizations that serve niche audiences.


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Minnesota Funeral Directors Association

In This Issue Executive Director’s Report........................................................ 4

BOARD OF DIRECTORS, STAFF AND OTHER CONTACTS President Jeff Hartquist Hartquist Funeral Home Luverne, MN

Secretary Dan Dahl Dahl Funeral Home East Grand Forks, MN

Treasurer Ashley Hoff-Czaplewski Hoff Funeral and Cremations Service St. Charles, MN

Past President Shawn Kirby Kolden Funeral Service Le Sueur, MN

From the President...................................................................... 5 2016 NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Awards............................. 6-7 MFDA Leadership Graduates.................................................8-11 MFDA Goes Out to the Ball Game............................................. 7 Funeral Directors Life Certified by Great Place to Work.........8 Coming Soon: MFDA’s New Career Center..............................9 Is Over-The-Counter medication a risk for business?..............10 Trisha E. Sharkey Receives Medallion Honoree...................... 11 The Kennedys – A Dynasty Clouded by Tragedy................ 12-13 Book Review: They Left Us Everything........................................14 In Memoriam..........................................................................16-18 Classifieds.............................................................................20-22 2016 MFDA Allied Members..................................................... 23

DISTRICT DIRECTORS Kelly J. Kelly (District 1) Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes Kasson, MN

Tim Anderson(District 10) Anderson Funeral Home Twin Valley, MN

Tonya D. Borth (District 2) Schoenbauer Funeral Home Le Center, MN

Chris Jacobson (District 11) Bell Brothers Funeral Home, Duluth, MN

Marquis Madison (District 3) Totzke Funeral Home Fulda, MN Lance Peterson (District 4/5) Peterson Brothers Funeral Home and Cremation Service Willmar, MN Scott Benson (District 6 & 7) Gearty-Delmore Funeral Chapel, Inc. Robbinsdale, MN Brian Dingmann (District 8) Dingmann Funeral Care Annandale, MN Steve Sheets, CFSP (District 9) Schoeneberger Funeral Home Perham MN


Green-Larsen Mortuary International Falls, MN


2017 Calendar March 31-April 2, 2017 Children’s Grief Connection Hearts of Hope Family Grief Camp McGregor, MN May 22-24, 2017 MFDA 127th Annual Convention Doubletree Minneapolis South, Bloomington, MN

SAVE THE DATE! MFDA 127th Annual Convention May 22-24, 2017 Doubletree Minneapolis South Bloomington

Green-Larsen Mortuary International Falls, MN

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Darlyne Erickson, CAE 763-416-0124 612-940-8169 (cell)

Who We Are: Minnesota Funeral Director’s Association (MFDA) is the statewide resource dedicated to supporting our member’s growth professionally, ethically, and operationally.

What Is Our Mission: Our mission is to enhance and support funeral service excellence through our programs, legislative representation and service to Minnesotans. How We Accomplish This: • Essential and enduring principles that guide our organization’s behaviors and actions • Advancing the value of funeral service consistent with the changing needs of society • Advocacy on behalf of consumers and members

7046 East Fish Lake Road Maple Grove, MN 55311 p: (763) 416-0124 f: (763) 416-0124 e:

• Visionary leadership trust and confidence in staff and volunteer leadership • Promotion of integrity; honest and ethical behavior within the funeral industry • Collaboration with others in the interest of consumers and members • Recognize the importance of education as a vehicle to enhance both public service and public image

The MFDA Bulletin is published quarterly for MDFA members. Copyright ©2016 MFDA Service Corporation. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means without prior written permission of the publisher. Advertising opportunities are available by contacting MFDA to request an ad rate sheet. Classified ads are also available at $50 for up to 75 words. Please e-mail the ad to, fax or mail to the fax number or address listed above, along with the desired run time of your ad. 3

Executive Director’s Report I am sitting at MSP waiting for my flight to Philadelphia where I will be attending the NFDA Convention with several other individuals, all focused on maintaining excellence in funeral service.

call the office and we will mail copies to you. I think this is a great tool to share with someone who you know is sitting on the fence when it comes to joining MFDA.

It’s been a very busy couple of months with district meetings, the insurance class, NFDA and later this week I will be attending and exhibiting at the Forensic Science Seminar. It’s not only I that have traveled but also staff, Kathy, Sue and Miki have all taken part in one or more of these events. It is so important for staff to meet members, many whom they have only known on the phone. I am so very grateful for their support!

I recently attended a conference of association professionals, AssociationsNorth. This group represents a very wide variety of businesses and all focused on maintaining excellence in association management. I have been a member of this association for many years, as has MFDA. I look to Associations North for support and education on managing associations and staying on top of the best practices in our industry. I learn a lot from my counterparts and the experts in the field when I meet with this group, I would hope that you as a member to look at MFDA in the same way. The connections and relations that are made are invaluable.

I hope you have had the time to peruse our new MFDA brochures. When people ask me, or what exactly do you do for me as an association, my answer is as an association representing ALL funeral service professionals in Minnesota, we… • Communicate

As always, my staff and I are proud to represent you and appreciate your continued support. I am always available by phone or email, OR you could stop by our office.

• Advocate

Well they just called my flight and I’ve got to go.

• Educate

• Collaborate • Celebrate To see the complete brochure, which describes the “how” we do all of the above go to our website,, or

Darlyne Erickson MFDA Executive Director



B&W MFDA Allied Members


4 MFDA Bulletin • FALL 2016


COLOR MFDA Allied Members



50 words or less





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Rates per issue. Printed quarterly - winter, spring, summer, fall 7046 East Fish Lake Road, Maple Grove, MN 55311 Phone: (763) 416-0124 | Fax: (763) 416-0124 Email: |


Why do I belong to MFDA? By Jeff Hartquist, MFDA President

Well, just a skosh over 2,400 miles later and I have wrapped up my Tour de Minnesota and this year’s district meetings. I must say there are a lot of different thoughts, experiences, and emotions that come to one through our association’s district meetings. The meetings had nearly the exact framework of schedule, yet they were all unique. I marvel at the wonderful people I was privileged to meet. We are blessed as an association to have so many funeral directors that offer many different perspectives, thoughts, and ideas on each topic. When I think about those that I met, I feel good about the foundation of our association – as our foundation is its members – each of you! I can only imagine the number of good funeral directors in our state that I was unable to meet. For those that were busy serving families or covering call for colleagues attending the meetings, I thank you. If you were spending time those evenings with your own family and obtaining some needed self-care, I respect you and look forward to meeting you. If you were a licensed funeral director, but not a member of the association, I offer the opportunity to visit with you as our association is stronger and better represented with you a part of it. As I emphasized at each of our meetings, this association is about each one of our funeral directors in this state. Each of your voices does make a difference and does need to be heard and held with a respect.

The third reason, and maybe the most important reason, is the relationships I have created through our association. The opportunity to visit about different challenges in our profession, learning new techniques or technologies, or just the simple self-care that comes with talking to those share our unique stories and life in our profession is immeasurable. What is MFDA currently working on? We are currently holding discussions in the legislative committee about the topic of cremation. Specifically, we will be pushing forward legislation requiring crematory operator certification. The feedback from our association members was overwhelmingly supporting of this requirement. I would encourage those that would like to offer their time, energy, and expertise to contact Darlyne (763-416-0124) or anyone currently on the legislative committee regarding this topic. It seems to be important to many of our members that MFDA develop more quality continuing education topics and opportunities. It also was discussed about the importance to offer a balance of continuing education that reflects the categories that are now required to renew one’s license. Our board will work towards moving forward in creating ways to add this value to our membership. Humbled by our profession’s magnitudes, Jeff Hartquist

Why do I belong to MFDA? The first reason is our legislative awareness, efforts, and abilities. Without the ability to protect the families that we serve and continue to uphold the high standards in caring for the dead, we would not have a profession to offer our ministry. This reason is why I will always support this association with my financial share and more importantly, my opinion, voice, and active participation. The second reason is the continuing educational opportunities that are offered through MFDA. When it comes down to it, our association does offer us, the members, many opportunities to obtain continuing education hours, with a good quality of content, at very reasonable costs.

Gregg Bright 612-916-6667 800-443-6343 ~ Tel 1-800-443-6343 ~ Fax 1-800-443-4034 5

2016 NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Awards: Funeral Homes Honored for Excellence in Service to Families and Communities New in 2016: NFDA Members to Select Best of the Best Award Recipients Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is pleased to announce that more than 160 funeral homes have earned the 2016 Pursuit of Excellence Award. This award is presented by NFDA annually to firms that have demonstrated a commitment to raising the bar on funeral service excellence by adhering to strict ethical and professional standards and providing outstanding service to families and communities. “We offer our congratulations to all NFDA members that earned the 2016 Pursuit of Excellence Award,” said NFDA President Bob Arrington, CCO. “The staff of these funeral homes demonstrate their commitment to the highest professional and ethical standards every single day. They have truly earned this award and we are proud to count them as members of NFDA.” To earn an NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Award, a funeral home must demonstrate proficiency in key areas of funeral service, such as compliance with state and federal regulations; providing ongoing education and professional development opportunities for staff; offering outstanding programs and resources to bereaved families; maintaining an active level of involvement in the community; participating and actively serving in the funeral service profession; and promoting funeral home services through a variety of marketing, advertising and public relations programs. Participants are also required to adhere to a Pledge of Ethical Practices. NFDA honored the 2016 Pursuit of Excellence Award Recipients on October 24 during the All-Star Recognition Ceremony, which took place during the 2016 NFDA International Convention & Expo in Philadelphia.. Information about the NFDA Pursuit of Excellence program can be found by visiting Registration and application materials for 2017 will be available in late-October 2016.

6 MFDA Bulletin • FALL 2016

After a thorough review, the Pursuit of Excellence Committee has selected the nine finalists for the Best of the Best Award: • Geisen Funeral, Cremation & Reception Centre, Crown Point, Ind. • Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre, Madison, Ind. • Morris-Baker Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Johnson City, Tenn. • Pederson Funeral & Cremation Service, Morris, Minn. (MFDA Member) • Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Traverse City, Mich. • Seaver-Brown Funeral Service, Marion, Va.

Best of the Best Award Finalists Announced – NFDA Members to Select Winners All Pursuit of Excellence applicants submitted an essay describing the development and execution of a program or service that had a positive impact on the families they serve or their community, qualifying them for the Best of the Best Award, which recognizes the most novel and innovative programs and services in the profession. New for 2016, NFDA members will select the recipients of the Best of the Best Award. Members will have an opportunity to read finalists’ essays and vote for the idea they think is most worthy of the Best of the Best Award. The three firms that earn the most votes will be named the 2016 recipients of the Best of the Best Award.

• Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes and Crematory, New Castle, Del. • Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton, Tenn. • Worlein Funeral Home, Austin, Minn. (MFDA Member)

NFDA Hall of Excellence Inductees NFDA-member funeral homes are inducted into the Hall of Excellence upon receiving their 10th Pursuit of Excellence Award. In recognition of their consistent display of professional and ethical excellence, six funeral homes will be inducted into the NFDA Hall of Excellence in 2016. • Heritage Funeral Home, Nipawin, SK, Canada • Johnson-Hagglund Funeral Home, Litchfield, Minn. (MFDA Member) • Reeves Funeral Homes Ltd., Coal City, Ill. • Thomas McAfee Funeral Home – Northwest Chapel, Greenville, S.C. • Thomas McAfee Funeral Homes – Downtown, Greenville, S.C. • Wonderly Horvath Hanes Funeral Home and Crematory, Fremont, Ohio

2016 NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Award Recipients from Minnesota Bold Funeral Homes are MFDA Members Dalin-Hantge Funeral Chapel



Dobratz-Hantge Funeral Chapel



Hughes-Hantge Funeral Chapel



Johnson-Hagglund Funeral Home



Joseph Vertin & Sons Funeral Home



Miller-Carlin Funeral Home

Saint Cloud


Paul-McBride Funeral Chapel



Pedersen Funeral & Cremation Service



Best of the Best Finalist

Worlein Funeral Home



Best of the Best Finalist

Hall of Excellence Inductee

MFDA Goes Out to the Ball Game

MFDA members enjoyed a beautiful night of baseball at CHS Field in St Paul in August for the MFDA PAC Night at the Saints! MFDA will have another night at a Saints game June 2017 – watch this spring for details. Pictured (L to R): Sue Peterson of Johnson-Peterson Funeral Home, Gail Bright of The Dodge Co, St Paul Saints Mascot Mudonna, Ken Peterson of JohnsonPeterson Funeral Home, and Gregg Bright of The Dodge Co. 7

Funeral Directors Life Certified by Workplace Culture Experts at Great Place to Work® “We applaud Funeral Directors Life for seeking certification and releasing its employees’ feedback,” said Kim Peters, Vice President of Great Place to Work’s Recognition Program. “These ratings measure its capacity to earn its own employees’ trust and create a great workplace - critical metrics that anyone considering working for or doing business with Funeral Directors Life should take into account as an indicator of high performance.” About Funeral Directors Life

Abilene, Texas – Funeral Directors Life was recently certified as a great workplace by the independent analysts at Great Place to Work ®. Funeral Directors Life earned this credential based on extensive ratings provided by its employees in anonymous surveys administered by the workplace culture experts at Great Place to Work ®. A summary of these ratings can be found at http://reviews.greatplacetowork. com/funeral-directors-life. “It is an honor to be certified as a great workplace by the reviewers at Great Place to Work ®,” said Kris Seale, President and CEO at Funeral Directors Life. “In fact, one of our primary objectives as a company is to be known as a great place to work! At Funeral Directors Life, we try to create an environment where employees feel honored, valued, and appreciated both personally and professionally. But all the programs in the world can’t take the place of hiring great people. I am very fortunate to work with some of the best people I know, and they are truly what make this company great.”

8 MFDA Bulletin • FALL 2016

Funeral Directors Life is the only fullservice preneed insurance company that works one-on-one with funeral home clients grow their business and serve more families every year in a rapidly changing marketplace. Our mission is “To be known as the best, most-respected provider of service to the funeral industry.” As a company, we are committed to serving our clients, policyholders, and employees as the leading provider of service to the funeral profession. For more information, visit us online at and follow us on Twitter at @fdpreneed. About Great Place to Work® Great Place to Work ® is the global authority on high-trust, high-performance workplace cultures. Through proprietary assessment tools, advisory services, and certification programs, including Best Workplaces lists and workplace reviews, Great Place to Work ® provides the benchmarks, framework, and expertise needed to create, sustain, and recognize outstanding workplace cultures. In the United States, Great Place to Work ® produces the annual Fortune “100 Best Companies to Work For ®” list and a series of Great Place to Work ® Best Workplaces lists including lists for Millennials, Women, Diversity, Small and Medium Companies and over a half dozen different industry lists. Follow Great Place to Work online at www.greatplacetowork. com and on Twitter at @GPTW_US.

Coming Soon: MFDA’s New Career Center Continued from cover… Employer Benefits • Access highly-qualified, professional candidates. • Generate high return on recruitment advertisement spending. • Access to the highly coveted passive job seeker. • Easy-to-use job posting and resume searching capabilities. • Access to job board networks for broader job distribution to qualified candidates. • Only pay for resumes of interested candidates. • Applicant tracking and management capabilities.

• Internal messaging system automatically stores messages sent from the job seeker in the candidate’s file. • User-friendly template system to reuse job postings, pre-screen filters and automatic letters and notifications.

Job Seeker Benefits • Access to high quality, relevant job postings. No more wading through postings that aren’t applicable to your expertise.

search. Upload multiple resumes and cover letters, add notes on employers and communicate anonymously with employers. • Anonymous resume bank protects your confidential information. Your resume will be displayed for employers to view EXCEPT your identity and contact information which will remain confidential until you are ready to reveal it. • Value-added benefits of career coaching, resume services, education/training, articles and advice, resume critique, resume writing and career assessment test services.

• Personalized job alerts notify you of relevant job opportunities. • Career management – you have complete control over your passive or active job



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Work injury – Is offering Over-the-Counter (OTC) medication a risk for business? by Federated Employment Practices Network

Question: An employee was stung by bees while working outside. The employee refused medical treatment, and the company submitted the workers’ compensation claim as first aid only. The employee was given the rest of the day off with pay, and offered modified duty until they felt ready to go back. The employee went back to work the next day with no problem. Could the company have recommended that the employee take an antihistamine? Since medical treatment was refused, all the company had available was OTC/first aid. Response: We are not aware of any specific employment statute that addresses a private sector employer providing over-the-counter (OTC) medication such as Tylenol, Advil or antihistamines to its employees. That said, we generally do not recommend that employers supply employees with any kind of medication, even OTC medications, or advice concerning what

OTC medicines they should take, because doing so could expose the company to unnecessary liability on a number of fronts.

(even OTC), given that the employer is not a medical practitioner or licensed druggist, etc., depending on the laws in your state as they pertain to dispensation of medication (which is not governed by employment laws and, therefore, outside the purview of this service). Also, there For starters, there is is potential for a choking situation when a percentage of the consuming OTC medications, which is population that is allergic another risk. Accordingly, we typically to any given medication, recommend that companies play it safe and certain medications and tell employees to use their own OTC are contraindicated by even OTC pain relievers or medications if they have a headache or minor illness or injury at work (which decongestants (i.e., they could result in employees would include a bee sting, in most cases). Of course, a first aid kit that includes taking other medications having an adverse reaction non-medicinal items such as hand sanitizer, alcohol swabs, gloves, gauze, to even common OTC medications, such and/or bandages to clean minor cuts and as aspirin or decongestants). Thus, for scrapes is generally fine for the employer example, if an employee is taking certain blood thinners, such drugs can accelerate to provide. We recommend that the employer contact the local OSHA office the blood thinning properties of aspirin for further guidance on this topic: https:// (or ibuprofen), and if an employee helps him or herself to such medicine provided by the employer and suffers internal To learn more about the Federated bleeding as a result, not only is there Employment Practices Network®, the possibility that the company could contact your local Federated be potentially liable from a negligence Marketing Representative, or visit standpoint, but it could, perhaps, also be faced with potential OSHA violations. © 2014 Advisors Law Group, In addition, there could be added liability associated with dispensing medication

All Rights Reserved

Notice to funeral homes in the counties of Polk, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Marshall, Mahnomen, Norman, Red Lake, Roseau, and adjoining counties Please take note that the University of North Dakota Medical Examiner’s Office has put together a standardized Cremation Approval Form. This new form can be emailed to you, but they will need your e-mail address. Please e-mail at so they can email a master copy you can fill out on your computer and directly email back to them for a more rapid response time.

10 MFDA Bulletin • FALL 2016

Trista E. Sharkey Receives 2016 FNA Distinguished Professional Service Medallion Honoree Trista E. Sharkey, of Wulff Funeral Home in St Paul, MN was the recipient of the Fountain National Academy of Professional Embalming Skills (FNA) Distinguished Professional Service Medallion during the at the FNA International Embalming and Reconstructive Surgery Conference for Professional Embalmers on August 5, 2016 in Springfield, MO. Fountain National Academy of Professional Embalming Skills (FNA) was established by Vernie R. Fountain in 1990. He created FNA to provide quality professional training for embalmers to advance their skill level regarding general

embalming techniques with a main focus on post mortem reconstructive surgery techniques to repair disfiguring traumatic injuries on deceased individuals. Since 1990 FNA has trained embalmers from a number of countries around the world and across the United States of America. In 2010, FNA arrived at the milestone of providing training for 20 years. To celebrate that milestone FNA decided to host its first biennial “International Embalming and Reconstructive Surgery Conference for Professional Embalmers� which was held in Springfield, MO, and had professional embalmers in attendance from 10 countries and 25 states in the USA. During the planning for this conference FNA created the Distinguished Professional Service Award. This award was designed by Mr.

Fountain to be the highest award that can be granted by FNA. The criteria established to select recipients requires careful consideration and thought and it is to be given to a deserving professional embalmer. A medallion is awarded to a very deserving embalmer who has esteemed themselves through the years as a true professional, with unwavering dedication toward providing quality services and highly skilled techniques when caring for the deceased. In 2016 Mr. Fountain, with much respect and appreciation, presented an FNA Distinguished Professional Service Medallion award to Mrs. Trista E. Sharkey. Her dedication within her heart, mind, and hands to her profession and the families she serves is unsurpassed. 11

The Kennedys – A Dynasty Clouded by Tragedy By Jerry J. Brown

The 16th century clairvoyant, Nostradamus, predicted a series of tragedies that would ultimately rock the world’s sociological and political sphere for centuries. Nostradamus opined that within 400 years, two of a new continent’s (the Americas) political leaders would be involved in two world wars and would result in the deaths of millions. Many of his futuristic visions were amazingly accurate, i.e. the deaths of Jack and Bobby Kennedy and the horrors of World Wars I and II, ad infinitum. One of the clairvoyant’s predictions was manifested in the early 20th century with the births of four Irish brothers; Joe Jr., Jack, Bobby and Ted. These four brothers and their families were destined to serve the America’s politico into the 20th century and beyond. Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. was notorious for his semi-delinquent demeanor and his abysmal grade average at Harvard University. However, as a shrewd entrepreneur he metamorphosed and profited greatly in a liquor distribution business and international politics. Joseph Sr. married Rose Fitzgerald and their first born was a son, Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. • Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. was raised in the Irish Bostonian principles of education, societal upbringing and a political future extraordinaire. Joe was highly intelligent, athletic and was typically Kennedy charismatic. • On September 1, 1939, Nazi Germany invaded Poland. In an emergency meeting of British Parliament, then Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain delivered his Act-of-War which immediately galvanized Great Britain as the world was about to enter World War II… “Everything that we had as a

12 MFDA Bulletin • FALL 2016

nation we worked for, everything we had hoped for and everything we had believed in had been challenged by the Nazi invasion … as God as my witness we shall prevail”. • Although loyal to his family in most instances, Joe Jr. purposefully vectored away from his father’s principles and unsavory conduct. He especially disagreed with his father’s defeatism and pacifism despite his ambassadorial post on London’s Court of St. James. • Joe Jr. became a youthful isolationist, much to Joe Sr.’s delight. Although Joe Jr. privately considered his brother Jack as a familial renegade he was openly critical of his first book, Why England Slept. • Joe Jr. finally won his Air Corps ‘Wings’ and for two years, his flight missions became the boring, perfunctory task of ferrying transport planes from airfield to airfield. In 1944 he was finally assigned to fly a mission into Nazi territory where the Third Reich had developed a new deadly weapon named the V-1 rocket. Joe was to pilot a PB4Y bomber loaded with explosives. The mission’s target was to key in on a Nazi installation, and at that point set the airplane into a dive while he and his copilot would then parachute to safety. • Tragically, the bomber exploded prematurely in midair killing both Kennedy and his copilot. The bomber was obliterated and the bodies were never found. • A single, marble memorial stands in Arlington National Cemetery to forever honor and memorialize the first-born son of the Kennedy men. • John F. Kennedy … only those who were born years after the Kennedy era

may have little knowledge of the global impact of that remarkable family. I distinctly recall a memory improvement class that I took in 1966. The professor cleverly asked two questions of the class. The first was, “a show of hands if each of you can recall exactly where you were and what you were doing three days ago at 1:30pm?” Only two students raised their hands. Next question … “who can tell me precisely where you were and what you were doing on November 22nd at approximately 1:30pm?” Every hand went up and a momentary look of sadness etched each profile; myself included. John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the second Kennedy son to die a violent death. History has recorded the names and places of that fateful day: Officer Tibbets, a grassy knoll, Governor & Mrs. Connelly, Jack Ruby, Marina Oswald, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jackie Kennedy and sadly, President John F. Kennedy … legendary hero of PT-109, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Nikita Khrushchev’s nemesis and his timeless speech, “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask instead what you can do for your country”. • Robert Kennedy – brother of Jack, United States Attorney General, father of 11 and America’s most dedicated protagonist was committed to defend the Civil Rights of America’s minorities and the oppressed. • Tragedy struck the third Kennedy son in June of 1968 by the gun hand of a man named Sirhan Sirhan. Robert Kennedy is buried near his brother Jack. • Senator Edward (Teddy) Kennedy “Teddy” was the fourth brother who did not die violently. Ted was the bon vivant of the brothers and although present and initially implicated in



Family owned & operated for over 20 years! the tragic drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne in 1969, he was exonerated and went on to serve as Senator of the state of Massachusetts. • The Kennedy women were not immune from their brother’s tragedies. The oldest daughter, Kathleen died in a plane crash and Rosemary spent most of her life in St. Coletta’s Wisconsin Home for mentally challenged women. The theater of the Kennedys is one of love, loyalty, laughter and tragedy. Appropriately, Philosopher John Donne once wrote, “Each mortal’s death diminishes us, for we are involved in mankind”. The Funerals for each family member were the moving ballads of remarkable lives and will always resonate with echoes and images of a place and time called Camelot.

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They Left Us Everything Book Review By Terri Schlichenmeyer, The Bookworm Sez, LLC

Your grandmother’s jewelry will be yours someday. You’ve known that since you were small, and were caught playing with them. Someday, you were told, you’d be the proud owner of a necklace, pins, rings and other pretties bequeathed. But in the new memoir “They Left Us Everything” by Plum Johnson, some things are simply not treasured. “Nineteen years, one month, and twenty-six days…” That was exactly how long Plum Johnson had been taking care of her elderly parents when it finally “brought me to my knees.” At 93, her Mum was forgetful and needy, and the daily trip alone was daunting: Johnson lived fortyfive minutes away from the family home – too close for her, too far for Mum. Her parents purchased the 4,000-squarefoot house in 1952 and they’d done almost nothing to it; aside from added storage areas

14 MFDA Bulletin • FALL 2016

and some bookcases, it was nearly the same as it had been at the turn of the century. To Johnson’s chagrin though, the house filled over the years with forgotten sports gear, keepsakes, Christmas-future gifts, clothes, ancient books, and five decades of family bric-a-brac. Yes, she’d tried to clean up the mess once or twice but it was a huge task, both physically and emotionally. Her late father, an intense war hero, had a “dark side” and kept every reminder of his military service. Johnson’s Mum was breezy and devil-may-care, a sometimes-vindictive person who “didn’t give a [darn]” but who cared enough to voice criticism of Johnson’s life. How did it happen that two people who were so different would fall in love and stay together for the rest of their days? There were so many questions – even more, after Johnson’s Mum died. The answers, Johnson hoped, might lie somewhere in the 23-room mess, the cleanup for which there was the gift of time. Johnson, the only sibling with few obligations, moved back to her childhood home and started sorting. Tucked away amidst junk were old love letters and ancient magazines, expired food, “pocket

litter,” and receipts from 1953. Clothes jammed the closets; her brothers claimed paintings and other small memorabilia. And there, in the house of her childhood, Johnson learned that inheritances aren’t always found in a box… You got your grandma’s jewelry. Your mother’s favorite sweater is now yours. Your dad gave you his watch. And “They Left Us Everything” will give you goosebumps. It’s the rare Baby Boomer, I think, who won’t see herself inside author Plum Johnson’s story. First of all, it’s the quintessential mother-daughter-strife story, complete with old criticisms that don’t make sense and new awakenings that come too late. It’s also about that parenting-our-parents thing that so many Boomers do now, and what makes that bearable is that Johnson is able to say what we’re thinking: it’s hard, irritating, funny, rewarding, and we can’t stop aching from it. This book will touch a nerve like no other, especially if you’re a Boomer with an elderly parent in need of care. Bring tissues, and bring your heart. “They Left Us Everything” is a jewel.





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Feb 2009 15

IN MEMORIAM David T. “Dave” Vine, Minnesota Funeral Director and father of Minnesota Funeral Director Randy Vine, age 87, of Rochester, passed away peacefully on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, at Saint Mary’s Hospital.

for more than 40 years. He was a longtime member of the Rochester Masonic Lodge 21 A.F. & A.M., and the Rochester Shrine Club. Memorials are suggested to the Shriner’s Children’s Hospital s.

Dave was born July 15, 1929, in Rochester, to Adelbert “Deb” and Helen (Toogood) Vine. He attended Rochester High School and was a star athlete in basketball, football and baseball. He was class president in 1947 and graduated in 1948. He attended both Rochester Junior College and Colorado College. When the Korean War began, he joined the Navy and served as a Corpsman. After he was discharged, he attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Upon the sudden death of his father in April 1956, he returned to Rochester and took over ownership and day-to-day operations of Vine Funeral Home.

Visitation was held August 18 at Mahn Family Funeral Home - Rochester Chapel. A graveside service was held August 19 at Oakwood Cemetery. Military honors were provided by the Wm. T. McCoy Post 92 of the American Legion.

In June 1956, he married Helen Jean Steele. The couple had two children, Randy, and Deborah Ann “Debbie.” The marriage later ended in divorce. He married Mary Priebe, also from Rochester, in 1978. The couple had one child, Annie Ringo in 1980. Dave was an avid outdoorsman, spending time duck hunting, deer hunting, and fishing with lifelong friends. Along with his marriage to Mary came a love of horseback riding. They bought a small hobby farm on the outskirts of Rochester, the upkeep of which kept him busy and frustratingly happy long before and throughout his retirement. Dave loved all animals, especially his dogs and horses. He liked good steak dinners, a lot of butter on everything, and cigarettes. He was witty and funny - a tremendous flirt, but always a gentleman. He is survived by his devoted wife, Mary, who cared for him lovingly at home through many years of chronic illness; his son, Randy (Roanna) of Rochester; and daughter, Ringo (Madeline Kochen) of Long Beach, Calf. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Marissa Vine, Ajay Vine, James Powers, and Chris Holly, and one greatgranddaughter. Dave was preceded in death by both of his parents, his sisters, Nancy Helen Vine and Barbara Vine Lefkow, and his daughter, Debbie. Dave also had many other young people who he considered his children. He is survived by many of them whom he loved deeply and who considered him their surrogate or stand-in father or grandfather. Dave counted many of his friends and neighbors as close as family. He is survived by many good and caring souls to whom he felt great affection and admiration. He (as well as his family) felt an enormous sense of gratitude towards Dr. Chistopher McLeod, who went above and beyond his Hippocratic obligations where Dave was concerned for years. Dave served the community with kindness and compassion in his position as a funeral director

16 MFDA Bulletin • FALL 2016

Donald Dean Totzke, Minnesota funeral director, passed away peacefully at his home on September 5, 2016, at the age of 88. He was a humble and patient man who cared deeply for his wife and family. Born on July 29, 1928, in Minneapolis to Frank and Teresa (Tasto) Totzke. He grew up in South Minneapolis and graduated from De La Salle High School in 1946. In 1949 he graduated from the University of Minnesota Dept of Mortuary Science. Don went to work for Gill Brothers Funeral Home and spent the next 46 years helping families at a most difficult time in their lives. Don also was privileged to mentor many young people entering funeral service and called them his friends. He retired in 1996. Don married his childhood sweetheart, Joan Hautman, on September 9, 1950. Together they raised their eight children in south Minneapolis. They were active members of Visitation Parish, which played an important part of their family life. After retirement, he and Joan were volunteers at Fairview Southdale Hospital, and traveled extensively. He loved going to the ocean, fishing, and golfing, but nothing made Don happier than his family. He especially enjoyed his grandchildren and great grandchildren. No one was immune to his pranks and teasing. He is survived by his wife, Joan, at Mt. Olivet Careview Home; 8 children and their spouses: Tim (Corrine) Totzke, Jane (Joe) Flake, Tom (Kathy) Totzke, Mike (Sandy) Totzke, Judy (Vic) Wood, Nancy (Pat) McGuire, Joanie (Don) Keis, and Jim (Laurie) Totzke; 20 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, grandson, Frankie Totzke, brother, Frank and sister, Virginia Tierney. Don was a member Annunciation Church. He was a life member of the Knights of Columbus and served as Eucharist Minister for several years. His faith was a very important part of Don’s life, that he passed on to his family. He was a wonderful example to all. Mass of Christian Burial was held September 9 at Church of the Annunciation, Minneapolis, with interment at St. Mary’s Cemetery. Visitation was held September 8 at Gill Brothers Funeral Home, Minneapolis.

Richard M. Sartell, Minnesota Mortician Emeritus, age 75, of Sartell and all points north, south, east and west, our sweet, enduring Husband, Dad, Papa, Grandpa and Great Grandpa died on Sunday, September 18, 2016 in Sartell, MN after a lengthy and valiant struggle with Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease. Dick was born and raised in St. Cloud and Sartell. He attended the St. Cloud State Lab School. He was an active Boy Scout and achieved the Order of the Arrow and worked hard to become an Eagle Scout. He was a 1959 graduate of Tech High School where he was a National Honor Society member and on the swim team. He attended Macalester College in St. Paul where he was a member of the Bagpipers and where he met the love of his life and married Diane Swenson Sartell May 29, 1962 in Mason City, Iowa. He was a 10 year member of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. He worked in information for Greyhound lines until 1969 when he joined Perkins Restaurants. He was part owner operator of the first Perkins in Brainerd, Mn. After a short turkey farming caper he worked as a manager for FasGas and then opened two restaurants; Oasis Inn in Pequot Lakes and Sportland Café in Nisswa. Later he was a Sales Rep for Continental Foods until he decided to return to school, attending St. Cloud State Univ and graduating from the University of Minnesota with distinction in 1989. He was a Minnesota Mortician Emeritus serving as staff mortician at Cavallin Funeral Homes in Two Harbors and Grand Marais, J.S. Klekatsky Funeral Homes in Eagan, So. St. Paul and West St. Paul, Crawfords in Duluth, the Cremation Society, Utoft Johansen in Tyler and Lake Benton and Dobmeiers in Barnesville, MN. He belonged to the American Legion A.C. Hansen Post #185 of Tyler, MN. He was a past active member of the Tyler Lions and their melodramas, Tyler Kiwanis, Tyler Arts Council and the Grand Marais Little Theater where he played the lead in Mass Appeal. Dick will be painfully missed by his family and friends. Life with him was never boring. There was always an adventure in the offing and things were always changing. He decorated our lives in so many ways. He was a cherished, dedicated, creative, hard-working husband, father, grandfather, good friend, patriarch, thespian, intellect, history buff, comedian and occasional hike master. Dick was preceded in death by his parents Richard A. Sartell and Margaret E. Hannahs (Nee Cole), brother Samuel C. and sister Julee M. He is survived by his best friend and love of 54 years, Diane; children, Richard (Mayuree) Sartell of Mankato, Joelynn Lahr of Champlin, Steven (Dawn) Sartell of Brookings, SD, Nicholas (Mia) Sartell of Norwood/Young America, Tiffany (Ben) Anderson of Sartell, Megan (Terry) Patzner of Sartell and Lace (Randy) Davis of Lino Lakes; 22

grandchildren; Thai, Talay, Drew, Brock, Cole, Max, Jake, John, Danny, Alex, Peter, Paige, Ben, Chet, Kenzie, Matt, Kate, Scout, Carson, Ethan, Evin and Grace; great granddaughters, Melissa and Sparrow. A reflection of Dick’s life and gifts of happiness, love and humor was held October 1 in The Founders Room at St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN. Memorials preferred in lieu of flowers. Kenneth Pedersen, Minnesota Funeral Director, age 90, died September 30, 2016 at Grand Arbor, Alexandria, MN. Kenneth Laren Pedersen was born August 21, 1926 to Carl L. Pedersen and Aino Sorensen Pedersen on a farm near Carroll, Nebraska in Wayne County. In 1940 he moved with his family to Rendsville Township near Donnelly, Minnesota. He graduated from Morris High School in 1943 and then farmed with his father until 1950 when he was drafted into the United States Army. He served as an infantryman in Korea in the early part of the Korean War. He was discharged September 7, 1952 and returned to Donnelly. On September 12, 1952, he was united in marriage to Jean Marie Nystuen in Morris. The couple then started their career in funeral service. Ken graduated from the St. Louis College of Mortuary Science. He was then employed by the Anderson Funeral and Nelson Berger Funeral service in Sioux City, Iowa until 1963 when Ken and Jean and his brother Merrill and his wife Marlene started the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris. The family owned and operated the funeral home until 1992, when they sold to the Vertin Company of Breckenridge, MN. Following retirement, Ken and Jean made their home in Alexandria, MN. Jean died November 8, 1999. Ken continued to live in Alexandria until the time of his death. Ken was a member of Calvary Lutheran Church in Alexandria. In Morris, Ken was a member of First Lutheran Church, Morris Lions Club, VFW Post 5039, American Legion Post 29 and the Morris Eagles Club. He also served as chairman of the Stevens County Red Cross Blood program for a number of years. He is survived by one son: Woodrow (Cindy) Pedersen of Glenwood; one daughter: Jane (Chris) Dahlem of Stevensville, VA; daughter-inlaw: Mary Pedersen of Ivanhoe; 8 grandchildren: Mike, Brittany, Connie, Jeremy, Amy, Erika, Stephanie and Nicolas; 5 great-grandchildren; Logan, Kennedy, Crew, Collins and Elianna; One brother Merrill (Marlene) Pedersen of Alexandria and one sister: Mary Alyce (Jim) Thompson of Detroit Lakes and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife Jean; his parents; one brother, Donald and one sister inlaw Barbara Pedersen of Wayne, NE and one son: Douglas Pedersen.

Funeral services for Kenneth Pedersen, of Alexandria, Minnesota, formerly of Morris, were held October 7, 2016 at First Lutheran Church in Morris. Visitation was held October 6 at the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris. Burial was at Summit Cemetery in Morris. Arrangements by Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris. To send condolences to the family please visit Michael ‘Mike’ J. Staples, age 64 of Alexandria passed away unexpectedly on Thursday afternoon, October 6, 2016 at his home in Alexandria, MN. Michael Joseph was born on December 10, 1951 to Robert and Lillian (Frese) Staples in Minneapolis, MN. He was the third of seven children. Mike graduated in 1969 from DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis. He enrolled in the University of MN Mortuary Science program and after receiving his degree he began working as a funeral director for Bodelson Funeral Home in Red Wing, MN. Mike married Elizabeth ‘Liz’ O’Rourke on December 15, 1972 at Annunciation Catholic Church in Minneapolis. When the opportunity arose to follow in his father’s footsteps, he joined the Aurora Casket Company sales team and was based out of Omaha, NE. In 1980, Mike and Liz returned to Minnesota and Mike was hired as a sales representative for the Chandler-Wilbert Vault Company, which later became the Brown-Wilbert Vault Company. Mike finished his sales career with Artco Casket Co. of Minneapolis, retiring in 2009. He was a former member of the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association (MFDA) and helped organize and run the Minnesota Funeral Supply Salesman’s Association (MNFSSA). He was a fantastic conversationalist and made friends with ease. With his quick wit and ready smile, the MFDA convention exhibit hall was brought to life when Mike was working the booth. He was truly an ambassador for funeral service throughout the Midwest during his years in the profession. Mike excelled in his profession, however his family came first when it came to his passion. His focus was on his wife, children, and siblings; he supported them through all activities, as well as major life decisions. He was his children’s number one sports fan and was active as a Cub Scout Master and as a Babe Ruth Baseball coach. His height made him an intimidating foe on the basketball court, but his competitive spirit inspired others to love the game as he did. Mike faithfully followed all the professional sports teams, was very well-read, and had a natural curiosity for how things worked. He loved to tinker in his garage on various projects and was a ‘tech guru’ when it came to electronics. Mike tackled any home-improvement project, whether in Alexandria, Minneapolis, New York, Chicago, or Morgantown. His grandchildren meant the

world to Mike. He was young at heart, and his free spirit shone through when he played with them. His family and grandkids brought him tremendous pride and pleasure. Left to mourn his passing is his wife of 43 years, Liz Staples of Alexandria; children, Chris (Kate) Staples of Morgantown, WV, Jen (Will) Compaore of Seattle, WA, Steph Staples of New York, NY, Ben (Beth) Staples of Alexandria; 7 grandchildren, Will, Lilly, Henry Staples, Clovis Compaore, Aidan, Caleb and Emily Staples; siblings, John (Kate) Staples of Minneapolis, Donna (Jon) Layman of Herman, MO, Sharon (Ed) Hohertz of Mankato, Mary Kay (Lyle) Hanna of Eden Prairie, Kathy (Scott) LaRose of Eagan, Bob (Jane) Staples of Eden Prairie; many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Bob and Lillian Staples. Funeral services were held on October 12 at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Alexandria, MN. Visitation was held October 11 at Calvary Lutheran Church. Arrangements by Roy-Hetland Funeral Home in Osakis, MN. Carole Jean Hansen, wife of MFDA Past President Glenn Hansen, age 76, Duluth, formerly of Silver Bay and Moose Lake, died peacefully with her family by her side on Sunday, October 16, 2016 in St. Luke’s Hospital, Duluth. Carole was born on April 24, 1940 in Aitkin, MN to Mac and Nora Sarff. She grew up in the Aitkin area and later moved to Silver Bay in 1954. Carole graduated from Two Harbors High School in 1958 and went on to attend Minnesota School of Business in Minneapolis. Carole worked at Honeywell in St. Anthony in the Aero Division. On June 25, 1960, Carole married Glenn Hansen in Minneapolis. They lived in Stillwater until moving to Moose Lake in 1964 when Glenn began working at Hamlin Funeral Home. Glenn and Carole purchased the funeral home in 1976 which they owned and operated as Hamlin-Hansen Funeral Home until 1998. Carole loved being around Lake Superior and adored its beauty. In 1993, Carole and Glenn moved to Lake Superior north of Gooseberry Falls, where they lived until moving to Duluth in 2006. Glenn and Carole had been members of Hope Lutheran Church, Moose Lake; Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Castle Danger, and currently at Family of God Lutheran Church in Duluth. Carole was also a past member of Sons of Norway and the American Swedish Institute. She cherished her Swedish heritage, learning to play the nyckelharpa and enjoying hardanger. Carole loved traveling and had the opportunity to travel to Sweden and Norway six times and spent many weekends on family camping trips. She also enjoyed Scandinavian folk music and bluegrass music, UMD Bulldog Hockey, and designing and remodeling house plans. Family was very important to Carole 17

IN MEMORIAM and she especially loved her grandchildren and following them in their activities. Carole valued sharing Christmas traditions and recipes with her children and grandchildren and enjoyed collecting Alpine Villages and Santa’s. Carole was preceded in death by her parents: Mac and Nora Sarff. She will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 56 years, Glenn; two sons: Mark (Sarah Gilderman Bryant) Hansen of Moose Lake and Greg (Becky) Hansen of Duluth; Grandchildren: Ashley (Erik) Cooper, Megan Hansen, Keely Hansen, Thomas Hansen, Drew (Abby) Bryant, Hunter Bryant, and Kennedy Bryant; sister: Karin (Robert) Pratt of Las Vegas, NV; brother: Mike (Sandy) Sarff of Menomonie, WI; and many friends. Visitation and funeral service was held October 20, 2016 in Hope Lutheran Church, Moose Lake. Burial was held October 21, 2016 in Diamond Lake Cemetery, Aitkin. Arrangements by HamlinHansen-Kosloski Funeral Home, Moose Lake. Joseph “Dode” Martin Simonet, Minnesota funeral director, age 92 of Stillwater, U.S. Army WWII Veteran. Dode passed away peacefully on Friday, October 21 at Boutwell’s Landing. He was born on November 19, 1923, the son of Joseph and Helen (Martin) Simonet. Dode was a lifelong resident of Stillwater and graduate of St. Michael’s Catholic School, Stillwater High School, and Notre Dame where he received his degree in business. He went on to serve his country in the Army during World War II in both the European and Pacific theaters. He was a fourth-generation owner to work in the family business for 60+ years at Simonet Furniture and Funeral Home. Dode was united in marriage to Jean McGrath on July 16, 1955 at the Church of St. Michael. Dode was a founding member of SARA (Stillwater Amatuer Radio Association) and ROAR (Rotarians of Amatuer Radio). He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, Stillwater Rotary Club and a 67 year member of the Stillwater Country Club. Dode was a lifelong parishioner at the Church of St. Michael where he served on the Historical Committee. Dode is survived by his sons, Martin (Kathleen Maertz), Philip (Sue), John, Robert (Carol), Michael, and Christopher (Christine); grandchildren, Matt, Mike, Lisa, Mitch, Sean, Nicholas, Brennan, and Eric; and brother, Tom (Cis) Simonet. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jean; parents; and sister, Dorothy Kilty. Mass of Christian Burial was held October 26, 2016 at the Church of St. Michael, Stillwater, MN. Visitation was held October 25, 2016 at Simonet Funeral Home, Stillwater, MN. Interment will be

18 MFDA Bulletin • FALL 2016

at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Bayport, MN. www. A special thanks to the Lakeview Hospice nurses and the staff at Boutwell’s Landing for the wonderful care they provided to Dode. Memorials are preferred to the Church of St. Michael or the Parkinson ‘s Disease Foundation in honor of Dode’s wife, Jean. Lucille Larson, age 95, of Battle Lake died Tuesday, November 2, 2016, at the Battle Lake Good Samaritan Center. Lucille was the mother of Rick Mekalson, funeral director at Glende-Nilson Funeral Homes in Fergus Falls. Ruby Lucille Larson was born on December 21, 1920, in Tordenskjold Township, rural Battle Lake, Minnesota the daughter of Albin Theodore and Ruth Eleanora (Hoff) Swedberg. She attended Rural School District #71, in Tordenskjold Township through the eighth grade. She worked one year in Minneapolis for Montgomery Ward. Lucille and Roy Alfred Mekalson were married on October 29, 1943, in the Alliance parsonage in Battle Lake. After their marriage, they lived in the Dalton-Battle Lake area. Roy died on December 31, 1961. In the spring of 1962, she moved her family into her home in Battle Lake. Lucy then worked as a nurses’ aide for the Battle Lake Nursing Home and taught piano lessons. She loved entertaining and would make everyone feel welcome. Lucille and Arthur Kleven Larson were married October 30, 1965, in Sisseton, SD. After their marriage, they resided on their farm in Clitherall Township until moving to Battle Lake in 1989. Art died on February 21, 2001. Lucille was a homemaker and worked for Shorty’s Department Store for a few summers. In her retirement, she enjoyed summer cooking and her time with Bill and Mabel Fairleigh. She enjoyed crocheting, quilting, coffee with friends and especially family. She was a member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church, active with the Ladies Group and played piano and organ for many years, both in church and daily at home. She liked attending the events for Christian Women’s. Lucille and Art enjoyed traveling and really enjoyed the grandchildren. She is survived by five children, Linda (Roger) Van Horn of Dalton, Diane (Sidney) Wisness of Battle Lake, Kathy (Eric) Mounts of Dalton, Rick (Ann) Mekalson of Battle Lake and Ron (Lisa) Mekalson of Bettendorf, Iowa; fifteen grandchildren and families, Cheryl (Chris) Schaefer, Ruby, Reed, Emily and Katie, Mike (Terra) Van Horn and Isaac, Kristi Eklund, Micah, Tyson and Luke, Jara Parker and Paige, Heath (Sasha) Parker, Joey, Drae and Kai, Angie (Rob) Davis, Nathaniel and Abigail, Andrea (Jamey) Mauk, Joshua, Emily and Annemarie, Stacy (Blaine) Hansel, Chase

and Ethan, John (Jamie) Lill, Ashtyn, Dillyn and Carsyn, Scott (Brandi) Mounts, Jason Mekalson, Corey (Heidi) Mekalson, Spencer, Brodey, Jack and Max, Andy (Dena) Mekalson, Drew, Noah and Jace, and Heidi and Jill Mekalson; sisterin-law, Eunice Swedberg of Battle Lake; and by numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. Lucille was preceded in death by her husbands, Roy Mekalson and Art Larson; two brothers, Lyle and Robert Swedberg and sister-in-law, Lorraine Swedberg. Funeral Service: 2:00 PM, Monday, November 7, 2016, at the Battle Lake Good Samaritan Center. Visitation: Sunday from 2 to 4 PM, with a Prayer Service at 4 PM, at Glende-Nilson Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the nursing home. John Lowell Abramson, Minnesota Funeral Director, age 89, of Colorado Springs, CO. Born in Minneapolis June 12, 1927. Died October 31, 2016 in Colorado Springs. Survived by his loving wife of 67 years Joyce M. Abramson (nee Knutson); sons Greg Abramson of Big Arm, MT, Brad (Cindy) Abramson of Cave Creek, AZ, and Tom Abramson of Tampa, FL; daughter Laurie (Steve) Friedman of Colorado Springs, CO; seven grandchildren Charlene, Matthew, Austin, Hunter, Weston, Spencer, and Caitlin; and brother Ralph Abramson. John served proudly as a U.S. Navy medic during both WWII and the Korean War. A graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Mortuary Science, John was a funeral director in the Twin Cities area for over 50 years. He was a life-long active member of Crosstown Covenant Church in Minneapolis, and gave generously of his time to a number of civic and charitable organizations, including Memorial Rifle Squads for Fort Snelling and Fort Logan National Cemeteries, Sertoma of Monument Hill, and American Legion Post Castle Rock. John loved to golf, fish, and travel. Funeral service was held November 9, 2016, at Crosstown Covenant Church, Minneapolis, MN. Visitation was held prior to service. Luncheon to follow service. Interment with Military Honors at Fort Snelling National Cemetery following luncheon. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to Crosstown Covenant Church or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


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CLASSIFIEDS Licensed Funeral Director/Funeral Director Intern Opportunities Are you seeking an opportunity to have a balance between work and family? Do you have a family and value a smaller size town with good schools, a safe community and a simple life? Would you like to be a part of a funeral home with younger ownership and staff, looking to be leaders in quality funeral service with innovative ideas? Do you wish to be in a community that values funeral service and its professionals? Hartquist Funeral Home, a family-owned funeral home, has the opportunity for a full-time licensed funeral director/embalmer to join our family. We believe in serving families as though they were our own. We value our staff and what they can bring to our team. Our funeral home has three funeral chapels located throughout three counties in southwest Minnesota, serving over 200 families each year. We offer a competitive salary with complete benefits including medical insurance, pension plan, three-day weekends, paid vacation, profitsharing, life insurance, and much more. We are looking for applicants that simply want to make a positive difference in life through funeral service. The newly hired director would be based at our location in Pipestone. To get a feel of our work environment, staff, and level of professionalism, please visit our website at www.hartquistfuneral. com. Contact Jeff Hartquist, 209 Elm St., Luverne, MN 56156 or at 507.283.2777 to set up an interview. Inquiries will be kept strictly confidential. (10/20/16) Nelson-Doran Funeral Home, Brainerd, is looking to fill a full-time position funeral director or intern. We will offer a more than competitive package to the right candidate along with a fair work schedule. Live and work in a vacation destination, the Brainerd lake area in known for its golfing, fishing, biking, lake living and more. If interested, please send resume to; mike@nelson-doran. com or call 218-829-4755 and ask for Mike Doran. (10/19/16)

20 MFDA Bulletin • FALL 2016

Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home in Crookston, Minnesota. We have an outstanding career opportunity for a Minnesota Licensed Funeral Director or Apprentice in beautiful Crookston, Minnesota. We are looking for an individual who has a passion for delivering first class service to families. Our goal is to provide the highest quality services and products to meet the needs of all families, while maintaining a positive and autonomous employee atmosphere. We offer a highly competitive salary with incentive compensation based upon service levels and family satisfaction. We offer 100% paid medical premiums, paid time off, and a matching 401K Plan. We are looking for a long-term relationship with someone who has a proven track record of working as a team player, providing the highest levels of family satisfaction and achieving positive results. Attitude and commitment are more important to us than the number of years worked in the industry. To learn more about this opportunity, please email your resume to us at Or call Melissa at 701.640.5500 to schedule an interview. (10/18/16) Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris, Minnesota. We have an outstanding career opportunity for a Minnesota Licensed Funeral Director or Apprentice in Morris, Minnesota, home of the University of Minnesota – Morris. We are looking for an individual who has a passion for delivering first class service to families. Our goal is to provide the highest quality services and products to meet the needs of all families, while maintaining a positive and autonomous employee atmosphere. We offer a highly competitive salary with incentive compensation based upon service levels and family satisfaction. We offer 100% paid medical premiums, paid time off, and a matching 401K Plan. We are looking for a long-term relationship with someone who has a proven track record of working as a team player, providing the highest levels of family satisfaction and achieving positive results. Attitude and commitment are more important to us than the number of years worked in the industry. To learn more about this opportunity, please email your resume to us at Or call Melissa at 701.640.5500 to schedule an interview. (10/18/16)

Schuller Family Funeral Homes, a familyowned funeral home with 3 locations in Central MN, has the opportunity for a fulltime MN licensed funeral director or eligible intern to join our team. Responsibilities in all aspects of business, including: transfers; embalming; and pre-need, at-need, and post-need arrangement counseling. Looking for a director or intern that will work in our team environment, but also is able to think independently and work without direct supervision. Position comes with competitive salary based on experience, paid vacation, retirement plan, health insurance, housing availability, and other benefits such as Student Loan assistance and health club membership. Find out more about our community and surrounding area at and Please send resume to or call Joe at (218) 6313632. Inquiries will be kept strictly confidential. (10/17/16) Lange Funeral Home is a family owned firm looking for a licensed funeral director to join our staff. We are looking for an experienced funeral director who has people skills, is computer literate. Funeral directors are involved in all aspects of funeral service including: at-need arrangements, prearrangements, direction of funerals and visitations and must be able to meet the physical demands of the job which include, but not limited to removals and embalming. Competitive salary, based on experience, health benefits, Simple IRA retirement Plan and paid vacation. Paid vacation and every other weekend off. Contact Ben or Tom Lange,, 1900 South 18th St, Centerville, IA 52544 (10/17/16) Emblom Brenny Funeral Service, a family owned and operated funeral home in Little Falls, MN, with additional locations in Pierz, MN and Royalton, MN, has an immediate opening for a licensed funeral director or intern. Responsibilities would include removals, embalming, funeral arrangements and service coordination. Would you like to be a part of a funeral home with quality funeral service and innovative ideas? Do you wish to be in a community that values funeral service and its professionals? Salary and benefits based on experience. For more information please contact Trent Iverson at 320-632-4393 or send your resume to trent@ All inquiries will be kept confidential. (10/3/16)

Sandberg Funeral Home in North St. Paul, family owned since 1942, has the opportunity for a full-time MN licensed funeral director to join our team. Responsibilities would include all aspects of funeral service from making removals, embalming, funeral arrangements, conducting services and prearrangements. Candidates must be mature, organized, self-motivated, possess capable prep room, arrangement and communication skills. Competitive salary negotiable based on experience. Please call or email Mary Kaye Sandberg, 651-777-2600 or mksandberg@ (9/27/16) Bayview/Freeborn Funeral Home in Albert lea, Minnesota has two immediate full time openings for an intern or licensed mortician. Higher positions are also available. These positions will include all aspects of funeral service. Please mail resume to: Bayview/ Freeborn Funeral Home, 1415 Hwy 13 N, Albert Lea, MN 56007 (8/24/16) Dahl Funeral Home, East Grand Forks, MN is currently looking for a full time funeral director or intern to assist at a 140-call firm. This is a family owned and operated funeral home in East Grand Forks, MN. East Grand Forks and its sister city Grand Forks, ND are great communities that have excellent school systems, colleges, active and growing churches and strong traditions. On-call duties would be shared with the owner and one other funeral director along with embalming, cosmetics, arranging funerals with families, working visitations, daily office work, and approximately 80 trade calls per year for extra compensation. Includes 3 day weekends off and sharing of call time. Competitive salary based on experience, 401K, vacation package, clothing allowance, health insurance stipend and sick pay. Please call 218-773-2971 and ask for Dan Dahl, Owner/Director or email dan.dahl@ to inquire (8/22/16)

BIERMAN Funeral Home/BENSON & LANGEHOUGH Funeral Home located in historic Northfield, Minnesota, is currently seeking a full or part-time licensed funeral director. The position includes competitive salary, good schedule, benefits and ownership opportunity. To learn more about the community visit http://visitingnorthfield. com/If you are interested, please contact ANDY at or (507) 645-5123. All inquiries are confidential. (8/4/16) Michaelson Funeral Home is a family owned funeral home in southern Minnesota operating locations in Owatonna, Kenyon and West Concord. The firm is deeply rooted in and well known for giving back to it communities. The funeral home operation is guided by a set of core values and a vision that ensures everyone is operating in unison as a team. If you want to be a part of a team that operates with a value system built around the concepts of customer first, strong work ethic, continuous improvement, and doing the right thing, apply online at https:\\michaelsonfuneral. or submit your resume via email to ; via mail to Michaelson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 482, Owatonna, MN 55060. Visit www. for more information about our firm. Michaelson Funeral Home offers full compensation packages including healthcare, retirement, community memberships and several other benefits. We are currently looking for an intern or mortician licensed or able to attain licensure in Minnesota. (6/24/16) Family-owned funeral home has the opportunity for a full-time MN licensed funeral director to join our team at the Mayer Funeral Home in Austin, MN. Responsibilities would include transfers, embalming, funeral arrangements and service coordination. Individual must be a self-motivated person that is able to think independently and work without direct supervision. Position comes with competitive salary based on experience, paid vacation, retirement plan, health insurance, and other benefits. Please send resume to Joe at or call 507-433-1817. Inquiries will be kept strictly confidential. (6/22/16)

St. Cloud family owned funeral home, Daniel Funeral Home, is looking for a dedicated funeral service intern or newly licensee to become a professional member of its staff. This entry level position will share on-call duties with other funeral directors. It will involve all aspects of funeral service. We offer a friendly working environment with the opportunity for personal growth. Wages include a salary guarantee with hourly overtime. Excellent health, dental, life, profit sharing, paid vacation and sick leave. Please send resume to: Paul Daniel, Daniel Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1222, St. Cloud, MN. 56302 or email resume to: (6/1/16) Williams Dingmann Funeral Homes, in St. Cloud Minnesota is looking for an Intern or licensed funeral director/embalmer. Candidate must have strong communication skills, be a team player, consistently deliver high client satisfaction, and possess a strong desire to exceed expectations with families he/she serves. Funeral home provides a competitive salary, health insurance, 401K, ongoing training, and opportunity plan (bonuses). If you meet the above criteria and are interested in being part of a dynamic and successful team, please send resume and salary history to: Doug Dingmann at or call 320-252-2522. (5/25/16) Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapels is a family-owned and operated funeral business in the Twin Cities with 16 locations that serve the Twin-Cities Metro Area. We have an immediate opening for an experienced licensed funeral director. We provide a competitive compensation package with excellent benefits including medical, dental, profit sharing, paid-time-off, and a fair work & on-call schedule. We value compassionate customer service and communication skills, and are looking for a qualified director to join the Washburn-McReavy team. Please email resume and references to: billmcreavy@, or mail to Washburn McReavy Attn: Bill McReavy, Jr, 2301 Dupont Ave S, Minneapolis MN 55405 (5/10/16) 21

CLASSIFIEDS Licensed Funeral Director/Funeral Director Intern Opportunities Jack Funeral Homes, Ltd., with locations in Blair and Whitehall, WI is looking for a Wisconsin licensed funeral director. Salary to be based on experience. Future ownership possibilities for the right individual. Send resume with references to Jack Funeral Homes, Ltd. P.O. Box 577 Whitehall, WI 54773 (3/30/16) Funeral Director available to do relief work. No time period to long or short. Also will do human remains transfers to your location from other states. References available upon request. Please contact Mark Randall at (605) 270-3017 (1/27/16) Family owned and operated funeral home has an opening for licensed funeral director or intern at our Jackson and Lakefield, MN locations. If you are interested or have any questions, please call Nick Osterberg at 507.847.3300 or email your resume to nick@ (1/19/16) Miller-Carlin Funeral Homes are looking for an intern or licensed individual to join our family owned funeral homes in central Minnesota and become a full-time member of our staff. We would look forward to helping an intern learn all areas of the funeral business and would welcome a fully licensed individual with any level experience. Our funeral homes are located near several lakes, colleges, retail and medical facilities. We also have many trails for biking in the summer and snowmobiles in the winter. We are less than one hour from the twin cities metro area. This position will include a portion of on-call time that is split with other licensed staff. Benefits include a company vehicle, company cell phone, paid continuing education, paid license fees, paid vacation, and more. Competitive pay and benefit information is provided upon request. Please e-mail your resume to Bill@ (8/10/15)

22 MFDA Bulletin • FALL 2016

Sturm Funeral Home is seeking a licensed funeral director or intern to serve in one of our locations in Southern Minnesota. Director will be a location manager involved with all aspects of funeral service and will share an on-call schedule with five other directors. Applicant should have experience with excellent organizational, interpersonal and communication skills and have a passion for helping friends and neighbors within the community. Must have or be able to obtain a MN Morticians License. We offer a generous full benefit package. Learn more at or contact Jay Van Sickle at 507-794-5221 or e-mail vansickle4@ (8/1/15) Minnesota Valley Funeral Homes & Cremation Services is seeking a full-time licensed funeral director or intern to add to our current staff. This person will be involved with the complete duties of a funeral director from the removal to the final disposition. We offer a competitive salary and year-end bonus along with benefits such as full company paid family health and dental insurance, retirement plan, license fees, continuing education costs, vacation, several community paid benefits, and bi-annual clothing allowance. We have five locations in south central Minnesota with our main office being in New Ulm, a beautiful clean city of around 15,000 residents. You would be joining a staff of 4 other licensed morticians. The on-call schedule and the holiday schedule would be evenly rotated between all the licensed staff. For more information on the funeral home and how it operates as a “Community owned co-operative� go to For information on the New Ulm community, go to and request a relocation guide. Please e-mail your cover letter and resume to General Manager, Bruce Savoy, at or mail to Bruce Savoy, C/o Minnesota Valley Funeral Homes, P. O. Box 393, New Ulm, MN 56073. (6/1/15)


MFDA thanks those individuals who have shown their commitment to MFDA and its members by becoming Allied members. To contact a member, call the MFDA office at 763-416-0124, refer to your MFDA Directory, or visit the online MFDA Buyer’s Guide at Anatomy Bequest Program Jake Anderson, Andrew Ashton, Paul Hill, Angela McArthur, Sarah Paulsen, John Straub, Tamara Voss Answering Service for Directors Jason Bathurst AP Lazer David Strickler Artco Casket Company, Inc. Al Whitmer, Steve Doscher, Wally Gelecinskyj Assured Decontamination Services Perry Ebner Baines Professional Vehicles John Baines Batesville Nicki Mikolai Brown-Wilbert, Inc. Dave Gavin, Christopher Brown, Andrew Brown, Bruce Bratton, Brett Jacobsen, Maleia Kavitz, John Schmitt, Jeff Bauer, Jerry Brown Children’s Grief Connection Coral Popowitz Contemporary Concepts Ryan Bergan Cousineau McGuire Michael Sharkey Dodge Company Gregg Bright Doric Dealers of MN Matt Wieser, Todd Weiser Federated Insurance Jeff Stevenson Foothills Planning Services Caryl DeBlieck

Forest Lawn Memorial Park Association Kari A. Hubbard Funeral Directors Life John Harrington Scott Tufto Funeral One Harry Joachim Gorder Mortuary Supply James Messer Homesteaders Life Company Steve Byhre Keith M. Merrick Co., Inc. Kyle Grimes Kelco Supply Alicia Carr Keystone Funeral Home Design Build Russ Karasch Laker Insurance Patrick Zalusky LifeSource Organ and Tissue Donation Melinda DeVries MAS Communications Mary Reeves Matthews Aurora Casket Roger Ruth, Alexis Smith Meadow Hill Corporation Maria Ross Medical Disposal Systems, Inc. Warren Winkelman Messenger Bob Hoaglund

Minnesota Lions Eye Bank Sara McFee Minnesota Star Tribune Terry Alvarez Monumental Sales Dave Dobe Northwestern Casket Co. David Koll Peterson Law Office Bill Peterson Pluto Legal Cheryl Vos Robert L. Archbold, LLC Robert L. Archbold Scene Clean, Inc. Nate Berg Senior Advantage Consultants Julie and Jim Palm Shepart Dawson Grover Steinhaus Supply Services Steven Steinhaus The Purple Cross Plan Denis Nordlum TransNational Payments Matt Gandolfo United Heritage Insurance Bob Hanson University of Minnesota Mortuary Science Michael LuBrant Willmar Precast Company Ron Jasperson

Midwest Medical Examiners Office Angie Chalmers 23

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MFDA Bulletin Fall 2016  

Minnesota Funeral Directors Association

MFDA Bulletin Fall 2016  

Minnesota Funeral Directors Association