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Spring 2013 I


2013 Annual Conference & Supplier Showcase

Conference Preview

Here’s What You Don’t Want to Miss

Family Contact

Family Surveys Mean Better Business

Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®


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Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®

Table of Contents 6



Inside OGR

Conference Preview

Be a part of the celebration in Memphis! We have a full schedule of education, networking, music & fun.

Exclusive Online Education

Preview the 2013 lineup of OGR Webinars and earn CEUs without leaving your desk.

President’s Message


GSG Spotlight


New Members 25 In Memoriam 26 Exemplary Service


Milestone Anniversaries


Family Contact Program

OGR can help your funeral home get honest feedback from your families.

Newsworthy Peter Kulbacki Goes Prime-Time 18 Small Business of the Year for Arizona Firm 18 OGR Member Supports the Arts 19 Dodds Donates Duds



[ March 28 ]

[ April 25-28 ]

OGR Annual Conference Webinar: & Supplier Showcase, Employee Concerns: Memphis, Tenn. Funeral Home Liability & OSHA Complaince

[ July 25 ]

[ Sept. 26 ]

Webinar: Thinking Outside the Box: Providing Nontraditional Funeral Services

Webinar: Using Telecommunications to Manage & Grow Your Funeral Home

Spring 2013 | The Independent | ÂŽ


[ May 23 ] Webinar: Alternatives to Embalming

[ Oct. 18-19 ] OGR Fall Forum, Austin, TX

[ Nov. 26] Webinar: Innovative Technology in Funeral Homes: Challenges & Victories 3

The Independent® is a benefit of membership in the International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR), a not-for-profit organization tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code, Federal ID No. 43-1828432. Published quarterly, The Independent® is mailed the first full week of each new quarter. Send address changes to OGR, Attn: Mailing List, 3520 Executive Center Dr., Suite 300, Austin, TX 78731. © 2011 International Order of the Golden Rule. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Non-member subscriptions (USD): One year: $40; two years: $60; single copy: $11.50. Founded in 1928, OGR is composed of independently owned and operated funeral homes located throughout North America and overseas. Editorial material and letters of opinion are invited. Published articles reflect the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the association. OGR reserves the right to edit all submitted materials and does not assume responsibility for unsolicited materials. For author guidelines, contact the editor, (800) 637-8030, or visit

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BOAR D OF D IR EC TOR S President President-Elect

David Fry


Wayne “Bud” Wieting

Immediate Past President

Jeffrey S. Wages CFSP


William Brock, Jr. CFSP F. Edward Pearce Peter “Skip” Urban Roger Beyers

Executive Director Communications &

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Answering Service for Directors ............. 17

Mark Allen Scott F. McClure Maureen Hayes

Connie Haymes

Kevin Czachor, (800) 868-9950

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C& J Financial ........................................ 31 Jamie Meredith, (800) 785-0003

Meadow Hill Corporation............................11 Bob Vokum (847-) 381-9000

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The Independent® |

Spring 2013 | Volume 16 | Issue 2

Cover Photo: Phillip Parker

Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®

President’s Message



oming this April, OGR members will have an opportunity to come together at our 54th Annual Conference and Supplier Showcase. Many of our fellow members will travel from around the country, and even the world, to network, learn and just have a good time with their colleagues in the funeral service industry. As funeral professionals, we share many experiences, but the one thing we all have in common is our membership in OGR. When we entertain the idea of attending a professional conference, there are some images that immediately come to mind. Event registrations, making travel arrangements and selecting a hotel are the first items on a potential to-do list. After careful planning, when we make the commitment to attend, a host of other visions come to mind. Name badges, informational packets, education sessions, vendor booths and giveaways are standard fare. Gala dinners, award ceremonies and camaraderie with professional peers are what we look forward to most. Some of our association comrades never miss a conference. Others, in contrast, have been OGR members for many years and have never attended a conference; or if they do, it’s a rarity. Somewhere in the middle, we have those that attend some conferences, but perhaps they attend a conference every other year. I realize there are a variety of reasons that one might rarely or never attend. I have heard these reasons more than once: “I don’t have the money,” “I can’t afford to be away from the office,” and “I just don’t see the benefit.” A lack of resources or the inability to be away from the funeral home for an extended period of time can be legitimate reasons. Many of us operate with shoestring staff, and if we are not doing the work, no one is. If you are one who doesn’t see the real benefit of attending OGR’s annual conference, I can understand your skepticism. However, after deciding to commit to a conference or two, I discovered their value by simply immersing myself into all aspects of the event. For me, it was a simple need for not only a group experience with like-minded professionals, but also a chance at one-on-one experiences with those from whom I could learn.

Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®

I personally believe there is much to be gained by attending OGR’s annual conference. Here are just a few of the benefits I have experienced over the years:

• Learn from others in your profession—and perhaps in your particular area of expertise What works? What doesn’t work? This is real, practical professional development in action. • Share with others your thoughts, experiences, etc.–– keep in mind that your attendance may indeed benefit another attendee. This conference is not only an opportunity to learn from others, but to share your knowledge with others. • Take a break from the daily routine and tasks–– just stepping away from the workplace for a few short days can be refreshing and re-energizing. It’s simply amazing how much focusing on your profession in an environment that’s removed from the daily activities of the job can encourage and invigorate your calling to the profession. • Have a real opportunity to step back and reflect–– viewing your job from a distance can give you a bigger picture of your profession. Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. Attending a conference will allow you to pull away from the daily mechanics and be more philosophical about your job and your profession.

• Network, network, network––I would say without hesitation that one of the greatest benefits of conference attendance is simply seeing old friends and making new ones who do what you do. I would love to see a bunch of new faces at OGR’s Annual Conference & Supplier Showcase in Memphis this year. You know who you are, and for those who would like to attend, but are struggling with the cost or the ability to get away from the office, I assure you that the benefits of attendance will greatly outweigh the monetary costs. So let me encourage you–if you have never attended an OGR conference, give it a go if at all possible. You might discover ways to grow both professionally and personally. Perhaps you will even return to your business with a renewed spirit. And, who knows, you may find that you simply enjoyed yourself and made some new friends. See you in MEMPHIS! Mike Lewis, President




session highlights Trends in Technology: Making the Right Choice for Your Business Jon Clare, FrontRunner Professional & Matt Dugas, SRS Computing Solutions

Funeral service today is enhanced by technology, but the number of tools available to you as a director can be a bit overwhelming. Many directors are afraid to explore these tools due to cost, limited technological understanding, or fear of how families will react to change. By coming to a better understanding of the options available to you, however, you can connect at a much deeper level with the families you serve. Technology can also make it easier for you to reach families “on-the-go” and serve them more efficiently. To further explore the vital technological tools available to you, Jon Clare of FrontRunner Professional and Matt Dugas of SRS Computing Solutions are here to help. Jon and Matt both work with educating directors on the most efficient ways to work with technology and informing them of the choices available to their firms. Their knowledge of a wide range of funeral industry technological tools helps directors find solutions, stay organized, and build a better funeral experience for families. In the “Trends in Technology” presentation, Matt will explore the use of hardware (physical tech devices) and how it is used to produce a funeral that not only links family members but forms better connections between firms and the public. Jon will then review the major trends in funeral service technology, including online and offline memorialization and personalization, mobile websites, social media, and eCommerce. He will also demonstrate how today’s funeral firm can easily use its website as a lead-generation tool and offer families the convenience of product selection made possible with a virtual, rather than physical, showroom. 6

Want to put an end to your resistance to technology? Or simply want to explore the latest innovations? In just 60 minutes, you’ll learn how technology can help you make progressive changes in your funeral home without overwhelming you. By the presentation’s end, you will have identified the most appropriate and low-cost technological tools for your firm. Connecting to Customers: Telephone Etiquette & Accommodating Price Shoppers Scott Newton, Graystone Associates, Inc.

The manner in which we present ourselves over the phone is a direct reflection of the level of service and commitment to quality shown in the daily operations. Handling a simple call for directions or an emotionally devastated and confused individual takes focus and skill. The price shopper has radically changed over the last few years. People who call asking for prices today are more educated and prepared to interact with a funeral service provider because they do much more research before calling around. While a price seeker is often perceived as an annoyance, the stark reality is that a firm’s success rate in retaining these inquiries directly contributes to increased market share, or market share erosion. In this session, you’ll learn keys skills needed to handle SM the current and future information seeker more SM effectively. This is a skill set that must be taught, practiced and successfully executed at every level in your organization.

Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®

PREVIEW Facilities Facelift: Quick Fixes and Cost Effective Upgrades Martha O’Hara, Behrens Design & Development, Inc.

Interior spaces are more important than ever, but so is getting the right look for a reasonable price. Martha O'Hara, a former CPA and lead interior designer for Behrens Design, will speak on giving your interiors a makeover through small, manageable changes. Martha will focus on ways to enhance your business by creating an interior that appeals to your clientele and brands you in a thoughtful and impactful way. To understand how to update your facility, you must first understand your clients. Martha will talk about today's design trends, the three most popular interior design styles, and tips for how to decide which style will speak to your clientele. Learn how to avoid a look that becomes dated quickly and pick up tips for how to make the greatest impact on the smallest possible budget. The presentation will touch on topics such as:

Design Trends • The New Neutrals – Why gray is here to stay • Color blocking - Big colors in small doses

Design Style • Today's Traditional – Freshening up a familiar look • The Most Popular Style of All - Transitional • Is Your Market Contemporary?

The Business of Design • Marketing with Photography – The right images can change your business Budget-Conscious Design • Furniture – Recover, upcycle or buy new • Fabrics - Today's commercial fabrics are more practical and more beautiful than ever! • No Do-Overs – Avoid these quickly dated design mistakes • Timeless Choices - Tips for making choices that have staying power • Window Treatments – Less really is more

Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®



See Memphis the easy way! Join your fellow conference attendees for a Backbeat tour on Sunday, April 28th for a music bus tour of the Home of the Blues. At just $30.00/person, this high-energy two-hour tour is sure to live up to its hype. An experienced Memphis musician will play and sing selection from the city’s rich musical heritage and provide generous amounts of comedy and audience interaction. Only a limited number of seats are available and pre-registration is required, so sign up at conference or gives us a call at 1-800-637-8030 today!



ackbeat Tours is a small business formed in 2006 by author and historian William Patton. "We wanted to change the whole nature of sightseeing tours," says Patton. "Our goal has always been to give visitors and locals alike not simply a traditional tour with stories, dates, and a lot of talk, but a unique and special interactive experience they'll never forget, something that truly brings Memphis to life." Memphis has a compelling local history which has influenced and shaped popular culture to a degree far beyond other cities of comparable size. At Backbeat Tours, they believe that the best way to show that is through music, story, and fun. Owner Bill Patton recently authored “The Guide to Historic Downtown Memphis” for the History Press. He has always loved Memphis’ creative entrepreneurial spirit and dreamed of offering tours that would capture that spirit. The opportunity opened up for him in 2006 when he met four well-known Memphis entertainers who sup-


ported his vision for music tours led by real musicians. Papa Don McMinn ("The Pale Prince of Beale Street"), Eddie Harrison (former Stax musician and performer of the Billboard Top 100 Single "Your Eyes May Shine"), Gary Hardy (former owner and chief engineer at Sun Studio), and Daniel "Memphis" Jones (lead guitarist for Altered) were the original entertainers for Backbeat Tours Memphis. Their combined knowledge of the Memphis music industry from the 1950s to today allowed Backbeat to craft truly unique and exceptional tours. Backbeat Tours has grown quickly over its first four years and is now rated as one of Memphis' top three attractions. Growth hasn't stopped them, though, from holding onto their personal touch. They’re a little family, and the satisfaction of their customers and their employees are their number one priority.

Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®

PREVIEW Thursday, April 25, 2013 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Welcome Reception

Friday, April 26, 2013 7:30 - 8:00 a.m. Coffee and Pastries 8:00 - 8:45 a.m. Opening Session 8:45 – 9:00 a.m. Break / Supplier Showcase 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Facilities Face-lift 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Break / Supplier Showcase 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. Connecting to Customers 12:15 - 1:45 p.m. Awards Luncheon 1:45 – 2:15 p.m. Memorial Tribute 2:15 - 3:15 p.m. Breakout sessions 3:15 - 3:45 p.m. Break / Supplier Showcase 3:45 - 4:45 p.m. Great Ideas Exchange 4:45 - 5:30 p.m. Supplier Showcase Closing Reception 5:30 - 6:00 p.m. Scholarship Auction 6:30 p.m. Meet for Dutch Treat Dinners Saturday, April 27, 2013 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. Leadership Appreciation Breakfast 7:30 - 8:00 a.m. Coffee and Pastries 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. How Funeral Home Directors can become Invincible to Lawsuits and Save Thousands in Taxes 9:30 - 9:45 a.m. Break 9:45 - 10:45 a.m. Trends in Technology 10:45 – 11:00 a.m. Break 11:00 – 12:00 p.m. OGR Annual Meeting (Members Only) 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Regional Meetings Lunch 1:00 - 2:15 p.m. The Power of Collaboration 2:15 - 2:30 p.m. Break 2:30 - 3:45 p.m. Experts Panel 3:45 – 4:00 p.m. Break 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. Great Ideas Exchange 6:15 - 7:00 p.m. President's Reception 7:00 - 10:00 p.m. Annual Banquet & Officer Installation Sunday, April 28, 2013 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Two-hour Music Bus Tour

Education sessions fulfill up to 10 CEUs in states where approved. Visit for a current list of approvals. Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®




of funeral service H elp OGR raise money for the Awards of Excellence Scholarship by contributing an item to this year’s auction!

Each year, OGR awards the Awards of Excellence Scholarships to qualified mortuary science students. At the Annual Conference, two students will receive one $3,500 and one $2,000 scholarship. The scholarships would not be possible without the annual generous support of many OGR members, and in order to continue supporting these students, OGR needs items to auction! Past donations have included: jewelry, artwork & sculptures, décor (Christmas ornaments, clocks, decorative bears), apparel (fun t-shirts, shoes, team sportswear, ), autographed baseballs, gift baskets representative of a particular state, gift cards to popular restaurants / stores, 10

bottle / case of wine, decanters, coffee makers, dinner with a famous person, overnight stays in vacation homes or timeshares, airline vouchers, tickets to events (NASCAR), books, magazine subscriptions, funeral merchandise (urns, flag cases, caskets), business evaluations, discounts on financial, architectural, insurancerelated services. Interested in contributing directly to the scholarship fund? Contributions can be made directly to the fund and designated in someone’s memory or in honor of a person or event. Help OGR help the next generation of funeral directors and donate today. Contact Jessica Smith at or 1-800-637-8030. No item or amount is too small!

Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®

PREVIEW Introducing Memphis Jones


GR’s conference will be kicked off on Friday, April 26th at 8:00 a.m. with an entertaining introduction by Memphis Jones. This young man is a serious musician with a seriously funny show. Born in the same hospital where Elvis Presley died, Jones is a native Memphian who performed for the first time in public at the age of 12 on Beale Street. Music and his love of Memphis have been two of the main motivators in his life, and it shows in the almost-over-the-top enthusiasm he exudes in his

performances. At the Annual Conference, Memphis Jones will give a historical account of Memphis music while sprinkling in a few songs that will wake everyone up and get them in the Memphis mood! His performance will also include stories and songs that relate to the funeral industry. As Memphis says, “Songwriters don’t die, they just decompose”.

OGRad11-11_Layout 1 5/10/12 3:09 PM Page 1

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Make your room reservations at the historic Peabody Memphis hotel by March 31, 2013 to receive the OGR Rate of $179.00/night. There are several ways to make reservations 1. Call the hotel at 1.800.732.2639 and ask for the OGR rate of $179.00 per night,

2. Visit OGR’s Website at annualconference.php and make a reservation through our personalized website,

Proven Success is our bottom line...

3. Or go to and include the group code of 966676.

Add Thumbies to your Keepsake Center call: 877.848.6243 to receive your free Marketing Kit

Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®

The rate of $179.00/night is only guaranteed until March 31 and while rooms are available in the room block, so make your room reservation early! 11

2013 Annual Conference Registration Form Firm _______________________________________________________________________ Address ____________________________________________________________________ City, State/Province, ZIP/Postal Code ______________________________________________ Phone __________________________________ Fax ________________________________ Email _______________________________________________________________________

Meeting Registration

Exhibitor Registration Form is available at Members q 1st Full Registrant ________________________________ Lic# _______________ $769 (includes all events EXCEPT Memphis Music Bus City Tour) q Addl. Full Registrant ______________________________ Lic# _______________ $699 (includes all events EXCEPT Memphis Music Bus City Tour) q Social Guest(s) ______________________________________________________ $469 (includes all events EXCEPT educational sesssions & Memphis Music Bus City Tour) q One-Day _______________________________________ Lic# _______________ $369 (includes day of educational sesssions, breakfast & lunch)  Student ________________________________________ Lic#_______________ $269 (includes all events EXCEPT Memphis Music Bus City Tour)


$869 $799 $569 $419 $369

Optional Tickets q Memphis Music Bus City Tour Registrant name(s) _____________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ q Additional Annual Banquet tickets q Additional Welcome Reception tickets q Additional Awards Luncheon tickets

Payment Method q Check, amount of $

Qty: __________ x $30 each

Qty: __________ x $125 each Qty: __________ x $85 each Qty: __________ x $50 each

Total $ ___________________ (payable to OGR in USD).

Charge: q AmEx q Discover q MasterCard q Visa Name as it appears on card: Account #: Exp Date: Signature *Security Code:

Check all that apply to your firm; list name(s)

q First-time attendee q Prospective Member referred by:

*Small three or four digit number on back; AmEx on front. Registration & Cancellation Policy Full payment must accompany registration. If you are unable to attend, another staff member may attend in your place. If you must cancel, notify OGR in writing no later than 10 days before the conference. Refunds will be processed minus a $75 administrative fee, and no refunds will be made if notified less than 10 days before the event or for no-shows.

Register online at ® Mail to: OGR, 3520 Executive Center Drive, Suite 300, Austin, TX 78731, orIndependent fax to (512) The | 334-5514. Winter 2012




Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®



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Your families deserve the best of care. ® The Golden Rule



of Care


Guide TO FuneRal PlanninG inCludinG CReMaTiOn

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PeRSOnal PROFile WHY CHOOSe a GOlden Rule FuneRal HOMe



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The OGR Golden Rule® of Care series is a completely revised and updated set of booklets and pamphlets written in clear, straightforward language with sensitivity and compassion to answer most questions and concerns families will have when confronting the death of a loved one. The series, organized into three sets - Pre-need, At-need and Aftercare - features individual booklets and pamphlets with each focused on a specific aspect of death care. The booklets are uniquely branded for maximum appeal, they include the Golden Rule logo, and they will make an attractive addition to any lobby, reception area, conference room, and on and on. Booklets and pamphlets can be imprinted to include your funeral home’s logo and contact information which also affords the perfect take-away pieces to help meet your marketing needs throughout the community.

For pricing and a list of available materials, visit Visit each month for an updated list of available materials. To request a sample or place an order, contact OGR Service Consultant, Maureen Hayes at (800) 637-8030 14

Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®

Innovation Through Education — All With a Click of Your Mouse Register Online for These Great Webinars


GR’s educational schedule is chock full of dynamic speakers and interesting topics which offer convenient, cost-effective education for your entire staff. These 60-minute programs are suitable for owners, managers and staff and offer an opportunity to interact with the presenter via polls, Q&A sessions, and live PowerPoint presentations. You can participate via computer, smartphone or land-line. MARCH 28

Employee Concerns: Funeral Home Liability & OSHA Compliance Gary Finch, Compliance Plus, Inc.—Make sure everyone on your staff knows how to sidestep pitfalls by new OSHA regulations and interpretations rolled out in 2012. Gary Finch, a funeral director who has served as the Safety Consultant of Record for OGR for over 15 years, will review OSHA’s newly adopted Globally Harmonized System of Chemical Classification (GHS), which requires that employers train employees in Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and labeling formats by the end of 2013. Find out how your funeral home can avoid liability issues by remaining OSHA compliant and keeping your facilities safe. MAY 23

Alternatives to Embalming - Joe Sehee, Green Burial Council—As the U.S. government slowly moves toward a ban on formaldehyde in the prep room, you need to explore options now. Join us as Joe Sehee covers the latest practices and products associated with “natural” or “green” funeral service. In addition to exploring the newest (and in some cases oldest) means of facilitating body preparation without invasive techniques and use of toxic chemicals, Joe will also discuss “eco-friendly” burial containers and how funeral directors can verify the environmental claims now being made by manufacturers. Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®

July 25

Thinking Outside the Box: Providing Nontraditional Funeral Services—Tom Frisch, America’s Great Funeral Homes — Many families want nontraditional, personalized funeral services – how are you as a funeral service professional meeting their needs? Tom Frisch, a funeral director for over 25 years and founder of GotFuneral?, will explore this issue and discuss how you can expand your service delivery and hosting capabilities to prospective families. He’ll offer suggestions on making your funeral home more inviting to secular families and discuss practical strategies for serving this growing segment of the population. Learn how to “think outside the box” in this month’s webinar and reach more members of your community. SEPTEMBER 26

Telecommunications to Manage & Grow Your Funeral Home - Kevin Czachor, Answering Service for Directors—How can you as a funeral professional build a larger client base and improve customer service? It’s simple! By utilizing the latest advancements in cell phone and Internet tools, you can grow your funeral home. Kevin Czachor, who has developed telecommunication strategies for 25 percent of the nation’s funeral homes, will examine mobile solutions that help funeral professionals conduct business on the go without sacrificing the quality of service provided to families. As a participant, you’ll see how family experience can be enhanced and how funeral home operations’ efficiency can increase using the proper application of readily available cellular and Internet technology. NOVEMBER 21

Innovative Technology in Funeral Homes: Challenges and Victories - William & Tim Brock, Vander Plaat Funeral Home of Wyckoff—Could your facility use an update? Do you feel like your funeral home is still in the dark ages? Through innovative uses of technology, the Brocks have updated their funeral home to control lighting, temperature, and music, all from an IPad. Vander Plaat Funeral Home is employing other innovative techniques to stay ahead of the curve, and by joining this month’s webinar, you’ll learn practical ways that you too can take your funeral home into the 21st century.

Earn one CEU per Webinar in approved states. 15

GSG Spotlight

QA &

How to Reduce & Manage Your Energy Costs


f you’re an electricity or natural gas customer in a state with a deregulated market, you may select a competitive supplier that offers pricing lower than the local utility’s default tariff rate. If you have many demands on your time, you may want assistance with finding the best energy supply solution. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you understand the energy market. How does deregulation affect the reliability of my energy supply?

It doesn’t. Nothing changes regarding the reliable delivery of your energy. Your local utility company doesn’t know and doesn’t care which customers in its service territory use a competitive supplier. Your lights will not flicker, and you won’t even notice when your electric supply begins with a competitive supplier. If you experience a power outage, your local utility company will service the power lines and restore your power under the same protocols that have existed for years. All consumers pay a tariff amount each month to the local utility for delivery, servicing, and billing. When you begin to pay your chosen competitive supplier, your account number will not change, and your local utility will continue to process your bill. The transition process is seamless. I’m busy running my business. How can I find a competitive energy supplier with a good price?

The first step is to vet suppliers, then request price discovery from several energy suppliers in your service territory. Prices are volatile and change throughout each day. All prices are indicative, meaning they are good for that day only and must be confirmed by the supplier before becoming final.


Decide if you want an index price or fixed price. An index price changes every month. Although lower average costs are possible, you bear the risk of higher prices and dramatic monthly fluctuations. A fixedprice contract locks in one price for all of the energy you consume during the entire contract term. Locking in a fixed-price contract eliminates the risk of price increases and achieves budget certainty. You may choose to work with an energy consultant to do all of this work for you, and to watch the market and recommend the best time to buy. Currently, electricity and natural gas prices are at 8-year historic lows, making this a good buying opportunity. In addition to low prices, what else should I consider when selecting a contract? Evaluate all of the contract terms and conditions. Bandwidth and “change in law” provisions are important. Consider what will happen if your business needs add or drop a meter. Beware of contract terms that kick in based on certain events, or terms that can add costs over time. Electricity supply components include capacity, consumption, ancillaries, line losses, energy taxes, and network integration transmission service. When you compare prices from competitive suppliers, you must fully understand what is included in the price to be sure you are comparing “green apples to green apples.” I’m currently in a contract. Do I need to wait to consider what to do next?

No. You can lock in a fixed-price contract today that begins when your current contract ends, even if the expiration date is a year or more in the future. Your next contract can cover a term of several years. No matter when your current contract ends, exploring opportunities now may be very prudent. How else can I save money on energy costs?

You can receive cash payments for reducing your energy consumption during peak times. Under Demand Response programs, participants are paid based on the electricity usage they shed. Consumers reduce energy consumption by decreasing lighting, adjusting temperatures, using onsite generators, and in other ways. Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®

GSG Spotlight

Consider undergoing a property or facility audit to examine ways to reduce energy consumption. Many utilities offer cash rebate programs for energy efficiency upgrades, such as lighting retrofits, installing occupancy sensors, switching from incandescent to compact fluorescent light bulbs, using variable frequency HVAC systems, and modernizing equipment. I’m bombarded with phone calls from so-called energy consultants. Who should I trust?

You should be skeptical and engage only when you’re satisfied that the person is capable and reputable. New consultants emerge everyday, some of which repeatedly contact business owners and claim to be experts. Look for longevity in the marketplace. Ask if they are licensed with the state Public Utility Commission. An energy consultant should be independent, obtaining prices from many suppliers instead of working for one or two suppliers. Ongoing customer service is a key differentiator too. Just as important as selecting a contract is execution of the energy procurement process and service after the contract is implemented. APPI Energy is a Golden Services Group Supplier, and provides independent consulting services to members of 140 state and national trade associations and Chambers of Commerce. Since 1996, APPI Energy has assisted more than 3,300 organizations with locations across the United States. OGR members benefit by using APPI Energy’s procurement expertise and experience to reduce operations expenses. To learn more, contact 800-520-6685,, or

Send us your E-mail address to receive OGR’s online Newsletters-

Deregulated electricity states AZ*, CA*, CT, DC, DE, IL, MA, MI*, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, NV*, OH, OR*, PA, RI, TX *Limited opportunities in these states Deregulated natural gas states AR, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH,OK, PA, RI, SC, TX, VA, WI, WV Spring 2013 | The Independent | ® 17




ittle did Pete Kulbacki know that his bid for a Hawaiian vacation package at a charity auction would lead to a spot on the television series Hawaii Five-0.


Pete’s prize package included airfare, hotels, car rentals and a set visit to Hawaii Five-0, which included lunch with series actor Scott Caan, who reprised the role of “Danno”. While the package was for two people, the set visit was for four, so he and his wife decided to take two of their boys, Brian and Kevin, with them.

As the Kulbackis finalized the details for their trip to Hawaii, Scott Caan’s (son of James Caan) personal assistant asked them if they would like to be extras on the show. Mrs. Kulbacki responded with a resounding, "YES!" The week before they went in October, they learned they would play Honolulu Police Officers. After having lunch with Scott Caan on the set, the Kulbackis went over to wardrobe where Pete was immediately cast as a police sergeant. They had the experience of a lifetime and the Kulbackis now have had their “15 minutes” of fame.

2012 Small Business of the Year: Owens Livingston Mortuary


n February 7, 2013, the Show Low Chamber of Commerce in Arizona, honored OGR member Owens Livingston Mortuary as “2012’s Small Business of The Year.” The award is given to that business that demonstrates excellent customer service, strives to be an excellent place to work, is a good corporate citizen, and shops diligently in the local community. Tim Livingston’s entire staff shared in the privilege and were all grateful to be remembered in such a wonderful way. Throughout 2012, Owens Livingston Mortuary - White Mountain Chapel in Show Low, Arizona strived to include its community in various service projects they sponsored. Partnering with United Blood Services in 2012, they hosted 3 different blood drives at their mortuary chapel, that surpassed all of their donor goals. They also asked members of their community to rally around the U.S. Military and sent over 300 stuffed Christmas stockings to the troops serving overseas. Owens Livingston is also a proud member of Veterans & Family Memorial Care and works closely with the organization to make these worthwhile service projects happen. 18

Finally, this past September 11, Owens Livingston Mortuary organized Show Low's first ever Patriots' Walk and involved the local fire & police departments. Owens Livingston Mortuary’s staff is also active volunteering their time to help with the area's White Mountain Hospice Foundation where owner Timothy R. Livingston serves as its Treasurer. General Manager Russell Hall is very active with the Elks Lodge and spends countless hours volunteering for their worthy causes as well. Funeral Director Eric MacKay also spends much of his spare time serving those within the congregation of his church. Owens Livingston Mortuary's support staff is equally involved with the community and volunteers hundreds of hours serving the needs of the community as well. Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®


Pardon, may I borrow your


Sweeney-Dodds Outfits Veterans Members of an honor/color guard from area veterans organizations are now equipped to attend ceremonies in all types of weather, thanks to Sweeney-Dodds Funeral Home. The Dodds family, owners of funeral homes in Carrollton and Amsterdam, Ohio, work closely with the honor/color guard for military funeral services. “These men stand outside in all types of weather,” said Lester Dodds. “They provide a service to the families of deceased veterans which is very impressive and they do so at their own cost.”

OGR member Adam Martin (center) of Martin Funeral Home is loaning a casket to his town theater group for an upcoming show.

Behind the Scenes for “Stealing Home”: As a new approach for getting involved in his community, Adam Martin of Miles Martin Funeral Home in Mt. Morris, Michigan loaned a casket and other funeral related items to his town theater group for an upcoming show. Clio Cast and Crew, the community theater group, will be presenting “Stealing Home”, a comedy about two conmen who mistakenly break into a funeral home. Cast members JR Nunley (Cecil) and Dean Norrington (Pug), pictured above with Adam, expressed gratitude and excitement over having authentic props for their show. The play runs through the end of March.

OGR would like to share member stories of community involvement, dedication to the calling or recognition for involvement in projects for the greater good. Forward your stories to Scott McClure, OGR Communications @

The Dodds family decided they would like to do something for the group and all-weather coats were the perfect fit. The honor/color guard is comprised of about 35 members of veterans’ organizations from Carrollton, Amsterdam, Minerva and Malvern who travel throughout Carroll County, as far south as Steubenville and as far north as

Canton to perform military services at funerals for county veterans. “Our youngest member is 54 and our oldest is 92,” said Toby Davis, who represents Fighting McCook VFW Post 3301. “Last year we did 112 military funerals.” Not all the veterans are able to participate at each funeral, they share the duties among the veterans making sure there are sufficient members at each one. “Many of the veterans organizations don’t have honor/color guard anymore so we all get together and help each other out,” Davis said. The Dodds’ enlisted the services of Carrollton resident Pam Dye to embroider the words “Honor Guard” on each jacket. “We really appreciate the jackets,” Davis said. “Knowing that the Dodds family is thinking of us really means something,” he added. OGR is proud to have Sweeny-Dodds as a member!

Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®




“Grief is a process, not a state.” ~Anne Grant


he funeral ceremony is a significant step in the process of grief, and as funeral directors, our OGR members contribute every day to that process with compassion and dignity. Families turn to the funeral home staff to help assuage their grief by asking them to assist in planning their loved one’s funeral. But how can a member assess or really even know the success of the work they’ve done when dealing with clients? The answer is OGR’s Family Contact Program. The Family Contact Program is an invaluable, free tool for OGR Golden Rule members that allows them to directly measure client satisfaction. Put simply, Family Contact takes the idea of “word of mouth” and places it on paper. Members want the families they serve to be completely satisfied with their experience at the funeral home; this is a great way to gauge the effectiveness of that service and a convenient way to receive ideas for improvement.

Keeping the Golden Rule Golden:

By Denise Rodriquez, OGR Family Contact Coordinator

Feedback from clients does matter, and can shape the way funeral homes do business. Families must have trust and confidence in their funeral home’s services and staff. What makes Family Contact so appealing to participating members across North America is not only the knowledge it provides, but how easy it is to use. To begin, OGR will send participating members a Family Contact Starter Kit which includes program guidelines, a letter of explanation, evaluation forms, envelopes to mail forms to client-families and addressed return envelopes so that families can return the survey to OGR. An automated re-ordering option has also been added to conveniently fill and ship additional supplies quarterly or bi-annually.

With Family Contact, a funeral home gains a greater understanding of client needs, which will provide valuable direction to their staff. Funeral homes are able to receive and share written comments to motivate their staff. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing their efforts recognized by the families they have worked hard to serve. Along with this, Family Contact provides members with a wealth of additional benefits. The program allows members to pinpoint a proper pricing structure on different services and merchandise through the feedback clients provide on their surveys. It also advises members on how to spend advertising budgets by learning why clients are choosing that particular funeral home. Through the program, a funeral home can also learn of any pre-planning needs a client may have.


Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®


Once a family has been served, they will be given or mailed a Family Contact packet containing an letter of explanation, evaluation form, and return envelope for them to fill out at their own convenience. The Family Contact packet can also be included in the clientfamily’s aftercare information and materials. OGR will handle the rest. Once client-families return the completed survey forms, OGR compiles the responses. Actual survey forms are returned to funeral homes each month. Any negative comments are faxed immediately to prevent any additional lag time to evaluate and follow up on the comments. Surveys can be easily tracked by writing a coded case number on the survey of any particular family. At the end of the month, OGR provides a Monthly Report of activity along with all the surveys received on the members behalf during that month. Also, each January participants will receive an Annual Summary with ratings of all participating OGR Members to benchmark your firm.

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OGR also uses client-family comments to select Exemplary Service recipients each quarter for OGR’s publication, The Independent, and for eligibility for the Annual Exemplary Service Awards given at OGR’s Annual Conference & Supplier Showcase. OGR values our members and client-families. Information gathered from Family Contact is never shared with third parties. Client-families can also choose to fill out the survey form anonymously. A lot of research and careful thought has gone into the making of the Family Contact Survey. Do not let this valuable tool go to waste! Contact your Family Contact Coordinator today at or (512) 334-5504 for more information and to get started. SIGN UP TODAY!



Family Contact Registry A. H. Peters Funeral Home of Grosse Pointe, Inc., Mich. Adams Funeral Home, Iowa Ahlgrim Funeral Home, Ill. Almon Funeral Home, Ga. Aloia Funeral Home, Inc., N.J. Anton B. Urban Funeral Home, Inc., Pa. Armstrong Funeral Home, N.D. Arnett & Steele Funeral Home, Inc., Ky. Askew-Houser Funeral Home, Inc., Pa. Attrell's Newberg Funeral Chapel, Ore. Austin H. Eberly Funeral Home, Inc., Pa. Barkdull Funeral Home, Ohio Barnett-Strother Funeral Home, LLC., Ky. Beckwith Mortuary, Inc. , Kan. Bernard P. Snyder Funeral Home, Pa. Beyers Funeral Home - Purcell Chapel, Fla. Beyers Funeral Home & Crematory - Umatilla, Fla. Beyers Funeral Home & Crematory - Astor, Fla. Beyers Funeral Home & Crematory - Lady Lake, Fla. Beyers Funeral Home & Crematory - Leesburg, Fla. Booker-Gilbert Funeral Home, Ky. Boone Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, N.C. Bopp Chapel, Mo. Bower-Rose Funeral Home, Inc., Mich. Bradley Funeral Home and Crematory, Wis. Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Md. Brunswick Memorial Home, N.J. Brust Funeral Home, Inc., Ill. Butler Funeral Home, Inc., Ky. Carter-Ricks Funeral Home - Elsberry, Mo. Carter-Ricks Funeral Home - Winfield, Mo. Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home, Inc., Ohio Chambers & Grubbs Funeral Home, Inc., Ky. Chiles & Sons-Laman-Shawnee Chapel, Ohio Chiles-Laman Funeral and Cremation Services, Ohio Citty Funeral Home, N.C. Cochran Mortuary & Crematory, Kan. Coltrin Mortuary & Crematory, Idaho Cooper Funeral Home, Okla. Cotrell Funeral Service, Mo. Craig Funeral Home, Inc., Fla. Crawford Funeral Home, Inc., N.Y. Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory - Crystal Lake, IL Davenport Family Funeral Home and Crematory - Barrington, Ill. Dryer Funeral Home, Inc., Mich. E. E. Pickle Funeral Home, Inc., Miss. Eells-Leggett-Stauffer Funeral Home, Ohio


Erickson Funeral Home, Wis. Evanson Jensen Funeral Home, S.D. F. John Ramsey Funeral Home, N.J. Falconer Funeral Home, Inc., Ariz. Farmer & Son Funeral Home, Inc., Neb. Faulmann & Walsh Golden Rule Funeral Home, Mich. Ferguson-Vernon Funeral Home, N.J. Flamm Funeral Home, Idaho Flora Funeral Service, Inc., Va. Freeman Funeral Home, N.J. Freitag Funeral Home, N.J. Fry Funeral Home, Iowa Gardinier Funeral Home, Inc., Pa. Gasch's Funeral Home, PA, Md. Gentry-Morrison Funeral Home, Fla. George Irvin Green Funeral Home, Inc., Pa. Gray-Houghtaling & Smith Funeral Home, N.Y. Hahn-Groeber Funeral Homes, Ind. Hanson-Neely Funeral Home, Ohio Haverstock Funeral Home, Inc., Ind. Heafey-Hoffmann-Dworak-Cutler Mortuaries, Neb. Henderson Funeral Home, LTD., Ill. Henry Funeral Home, Inc., Va. Hixson Brothers, LLC, La. Hobbs-Johnson Funeral Home, Inc., Ill. Holmes Funeral Home, Conn. Hooper Funeral Homes, Inc. - Copley, Fla. Hummel Funeral Homes, Inc. - Akron, Ohio Hurst Scott Funeral Home, Va. Hurst-Scott Funeral Home of Tazewell, Inc., Va. J. J. Hartenstein Mortuary, Inc. - Stewartstown, Pa. J. J. Hartenstein Mortuary, Inc. - New Freedom, Pa. Jakubs and Son Funeral Home, Inc., Ohio Jakubs-Danaher Funeral Home, Oho Janowiak Funeral Home, Inc. Geer-Logan Chapel, Mich Jenkins Funeral Chapel, Inc., Ohio John Brust Funeral Home, LLC., Ill. John J. Ferry & Sons, Inc., Conn. John L. Ziegenhein & Sons, Mo. John L. Ziegenhein & Sons Funeral Home, Mo. Johnson-Romito Funeral Homes, Inc. - Bedford, Ohio Johnson-Romito, Inc. - Twinsburg, Ohio Johnson-Romito, Inc. - Hudson, Ohio Johnson-Romito, Inc. - Northfield, Ohio Joseph L. Greenwell Funeral Home, Ky. K. L. Brown Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Ala. K.L. Brown Memory Chapel, Ala. Kammeraad Funeral Home, Mich. Kapinos-Mazur Funeral Home, Mass.

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Kitching, Steepe and Ludwig Funeral Home, Ontario Kirila Funeral Home, Inc., Ohio Koch Funeral Home, Pa. Kolssak Funeral Home, Ltd., Ill. Kroeger Funeral Home, Inc., Ind. Kyger Funeral Home, Inc. - Harrisonburg, Va. Kyger Funeral Home, Inc. - Elkton, VA Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home, Inc., N.Y. Leete-Stevens Enfield Chapels, Conn. Lescher-Millsap Funeral Home, Okla. Lewis Funeral Home, Inc., Fla. Linnemann Funeral Homes, Ky. Livingston-Butler-Volland Funeral Home, Neb. Loyless Funeral Home, LLC, Fla. M.A. Connell Funeral Home, Inc., N.Y. Mann-Slonaker Funeral Home, Inc., Pa. Mark A. Jones Funeral Directors- Brownfield, Texas Mark A. Jones Funeral Directors- Seagraves, Texas Marrocco Memorial Chapel, N.J. Martin Funeral Home-Fairgrove, Mich. Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home, Ga. McDaniel Funeral Home, Ill. McDonald Funeral Home, Inc., Miss. McMurrough Funeral Chapel, Ltd., Ill. Mereness-Putnam Funeral Home, Inc., N,Y. Miles T. Martin Funeral Home, Inc., Mich. Miller-Ward Funeral Home, Conn. Millsap Funeral Service- Fort Gibson, Okla. Millsap Funeral Service- Webbers Falls, Okla. Minshall Shropshire-Bleyler Funeral Home, Ltd., Pa. Montgomery & Steward Funeral Directors, Inc., Colo. Moore Funeral Homes, Inc., Miss. Morgan's Funeral Home, Ky. Morton's Funeral Home, Conn. Mulhearn Funeral Home LLC - Monroe, La. Mulhearn Funeral Home LLC - West Monroe, La. Oakey's Funeral Service East Chapel, Va. Oliverie Funeral Home, N.J. Olthuis Funeral Home, N.J. Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., S.D. Osborne Funeral Home, PA, Md. Owens Livingston Mortuary, Ariz. Pafford Funeral Home, Tenn. Pagenkopf Funeral Home,Wis. Parthemore Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc., Pa. Patton Funeral Home-Brownsville Chapel, Ky. Pearce Funeral Services, Inc., Ill. Peters Funeral Home, Inc., Pa. Plummer Funeral Services, Inc., Ill. Pray Funeral Home, Inc., Mich. Proko Funeral Home, Wis. R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home, Va. R. Lee Williams & Son Funeral Home and Crematory, Fla. R.W. Walker Funeral Home, Inc., N.Y. Rader Funeral Home, Texas Ricker Funeral Homes and Crematory, N.H. Riddle Funeral Home, Inc., Ohio Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home, Kan. Rollins Funeral Home, Mo. Rose & Quesenberry Funeral Home, W. Va. Russell Colonial Funeral Home, Inc., Mo. Rybicki & Son Funeral Home, Ohio Saamis Memorial Funeral Home, Alberta Schilling Funeral Home, Ill.

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Schmidt Funeral Home, Wis. Schneider-Michaelis Funeral Home, LLC., Wis. Schoppenhorst, Underwood & Brooks Funeral Home Inc., Ky. Schuyler Hill Funeral Home, N,Y. Seaver-Brown Funeral Service, Inc., Va. Shaughnessey-Banks Funeral Home, LLC, Conn. Shinn Funeral Service, Ark. Singleton Funeral & Cremation Services, Md. Slack Funeral Home, PA, Md. Smith Funeral & Memorial Services, R.I. Smith Funeral Home & Chapel, Mo. Soderstrum Funeral Home, Iowa Somers Funeral Home, Conn. Sossoman Funeral Home, Inc., N.C. Speck Funeral Home, Tenn. Stewart Family Funeral Home, Texas Stockham Family Funeral Home, Kan. Strode Funeral Home, Okla. Strunk Funeral Homes, Fla. Templeton Funeral Homes, Ill. Thomas Funeral Home, PA, Md. Trader Funeral Home, Inc., Del. Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel, Inc., Ala. Updike Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Va. Usrey Funeral Home, Inc., Ala. Vancil-Murphy Funeral Home, Ill. Vander Plaat Funeral Home of Wyckoff, N.J. Vaughan-Guynn Funeral Home, Va. Vaughan-Guynn-McGrady Chapel, Inc., Va. Vaughn Funeral Home, Mo. Vaughn-Aufranc Funeral Home, Mo. Vermeulen Funeral Home, Mich. Vincent Funeral Home, La. Vincent Funeral Home, Inc., La. Vondel L. Smith & Son Mortuary, Inc., Okla. W. S. Clancy Memorial Funeral Home, Conn. Wages & Sons Funeral Home, Ga. Wages & Sons-Gwinnett Chapel, Ga. Wagg Funeral Home, Ltd., Ontario Warren Meadows Funeral Home, LLC., La. Watkins Funeral Home, Conn. Weaver Family Funeral Home,Campbellford, Ontario Weaver Family Funeral Home, Ltd. - Trenton, Ontario Weaver Family Funeral Home-West Chapel, Ontario Weigel Funeral Home, Ohio Welch Funeral Home, Pa. Wenig Funeral Homes, Wis. Wenner Funeral Home, Minn. Wetzel Funeral Home, Inc., Pa. Weymouth Funeral Home, Va. Wieting Family Funeral Home, Inc.,Chilton, Wis. Wieting Family Funeral Home, Inc., Kiel, Wis. Wilbert Funeral Home, LLC.- Plaquemine, La. Wilbert Service, Inc. - Port Allen, La. William McCulla Funeral Home, W. Va. Williamson Funeral Home, Ltd., Ill. Wilson Funeral Home, Inc., Wis. Windsor Locks Funeral Home, Conn. Wm. Slater & Sons, Pa. Workinger-Semmel Funeral Home & Crematorium, Inc., Pa. Zaharia Family Funeral & Cremation Service, Minn. Zwick & Jahn Funeral Home, Ind.



An exclusive OGR member benefit, the Family Contact program was created because family/client satisfaction is a key indicator of your success. With Family Contact, you get objective feedback from the families you serve which allows you to tailor the services you provide in order to meet the needs of tomorrow.

Real OPINIONS Honest ANSWERS Valuable RESULTS Call (800) 637-8030 to sign up or learn more about how your funeral home can benefit from the OGR Family Contact program. 24

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New Members

Welcome New Members Funeral Home Members:

Hardy-Close Funeral Home Affiliate Firm of Schoppenhorst, Underwood, and Brooks Funeral Home Contact: Ben Underwood 285 Buckman Shepherdsville, KY 40165 Phone: (502) 543-6513 Fax: (502) 957-2297 Arne-Weerts Funeral Home Contact: Eric Weerts 200 North Utah Street Clark, SD 57225 Phone: (605) 532-5959 Fax: (605) 532-5958

Calvillo Funeral Home Richard Calvillo 206 E. 19th Street Lubbock, TX 79403 Phone: (806) 765-5555 Fax: (806) 765-0140

Student Member: Alex Acher 7 Pinecone Lane Southborough, MA 01772 Phone: (774) 256-1034

Business Members:

Bass-Mollett Publishers, Inc. John C. Flowers Phone: (618) 664-3141

Bass-Mollett has been supplying the funeral industry for over 60 years with customized solutions to funeral directors using custom stationery and supplies so that each family they serve may memorialize their loved one with dignity. Members receive a 10 percent discount on custom stationary and advertising specialties. Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®

Funeral Home Gifts Karl Weisenbeck Phone: (800) 233-0439 ext. 501

Funeral Home Gifts is the premier supplier of heirloom quality woven Tribute Blankets to funeral homes throughout North America.

Members receive Gold Starter Package enrollment for the price of a Silver Package, a discount of $100.00 for the Gold Package (i.e. $199.00 for $480.00 of initial credit) Mortuary Response Solutions Lori J. Sheeler | LFD, LE Business Development Direct: (843) 518-2552 Office: (864) 261-5151

Mortuary Response Solutions®, a division of The World Wide Disaster Response Group, has specialized in designing and building the highest quality, most dependable emergency, disaster and mass fatality response equipment. Members receive a 30 percent discount off list price. ScentAir Catarina Richardson Phone: (281) 904-4458

ScentAir, the leading scent marketing company, has created a fragrance program for OGR members with discounted pricing. ScentWave is a scent delivery system that subtly releases inviting fragrances throughout your facility that will enhance the environment and comfort families and friends in their time of need. ScentWave uses a dry air technology that releases fragrance without sprays, aerosols or messy oils. Contact them at to enhance your facility with the power of scent. Members receive ScentWave for $79, $89 or $99/mo. based on term agreement – retail price is $109/mo.

Referred by David Fry, Fry Funeral Home, Tipton, Iowa 25

In Memoriam

IN MEMORIAM G. David Burton G. David Burton departed on Nov. 30, 2012. He was born in Erie, Pa., a son of the late Donald C. and Ruth Trask Burton, graduated from Strong Vincent High School, Colgate University, Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, and the National Foundation of Funeral Service. He then joined the U.S. Air Force, following which he joined the family firm and became the fourth generation of the Burton Funeral Home to serve the Erie area. In 1964, Dave became president of the firm due to the unexpected death of his father. Under his guidance, the firm expanded and grew to four locations serving Erie County. Over the years, he was also a partner in the JohnsonRomito Funeral Homes which operated four homes in the Cleveland area, and the Thomas Hyll Funeral home in St. Croix. He also operated Ericson Memorial Studios. He served on several Masonic committees, held several offices, was very active in Masonic Degree work, and was active in many professional associations where he was a regular lecturer, and officer including National Foundation of Funeral Service, National Selected Morticians, International Order of the Golden Rule, and the Erie County, Pennsylvania and National Funeral Directors Associations. Tax deductible memorials may be made to Swim Across America for Cancer Research, c/o John Burton, 3 St. Johns Rd., Baltimore, MD 21210, or Regional Cancer Center, 2500 West 12th Street, Erie PA 16505.

Raymond Dixon Copeland, Jr. Raymond Dixon Copeland, Jr., Copeland Ltd. Funeral Service of Coraopolis, PA a kind, gracious and “great” man with a huge loving heart, an icon in the funeral industry, “OUR DAD” was taken from this earthly life unexpectedly from complications of Influenza “A” at the age of 92, on Friday, February 15, 2103 at Heritage Valley Sewickley. 26

Donations may be made to Coraopolis Volunteer Fire Department, Doric Lodge #630 F&AM or the Raymond D. and Geraldine L. Copeland charitable trust, Contributions may be sent to UMF, 223 Fourth Ave., Benedum Trees Building, Suite 707, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, ear-mark with trust name.

Edward Curry Edward O. Curry, Jr., 96 years old, a life-long resident of Peekskill, passed away November 17, 2012. He was born March 19, 1916, the son of the late Edward O. Curry & Margaret Puff. Ed served in the United States Navy as a pharmacist mate 1st Class from 1943-1945. He was a member of the VFW and American Legion Post of Peekskill, and the BocaDelray Navy League. Ed was a charter member of the Kiwanis Club of Peekskill, and a member of the Odd Fellows of Peekskill. He was also a longtime member of the Cortlandt Hook & Ladder Co. 1 of Peekskill; and the United Methodist Church of Peekskill. He has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer since 1937, and has been associated with the E.O. Curry Funeral Home, the family-owned business for 75 years. Ed is survived by his son and daughter: Edward O. (Mary) Curry, 3rd and Nancy (Neal) Townsend. He is also survived by 5 grandchildren: Paul, Ryan (Kasia), Jill Curry, and Glenn (Cathleen) Townsend and Meredith (Ryan) Travelpiece; and a great-granddaughter Cadence Miriam Townsend. He was also predeceased by his brother William H. Curry. The family wishes for memorial donations to be made to the Peekskill Community Volunteer Ambulance Corp: Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 173, Peekskill, NY 10566. For online condolences or directions, please visit:

Cindy Gaumer Cynthia A. “Cindy” Gaumer, age 66, Logansport, sister of OGR Member Paul Kroeger of Kroeger Funeral Home, passed away at 1:05 a.m. on Monday, January 28, 2013, at Memorial Hospital. In addition to her husband, she is survived by her Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®

In Memoriam children, Allison Leigh Gaumer, Lauren Elizabeth Gaumer (Rod McClure), Christopher Allen Gaumer and Matthew Kroeger ( Julie) Gaumer, all of Logansport; brothers, Paul Kroeger, Logansport and Fr. Timothy Kroeger, Lebanon, Ind. Also surviving are a granddaughter, Elizabeth Grace Gaumer, step-grandchildren, Caleb and Jeremiah Miller and sister-in-law, Paula Gaumer (Gene) Tooke, Tonawanda, New York. Memorial contributions may be made to the Kroeger Family Fund at the Cass County Community Foundation, PO Box 441, Logansport, IN or Riley Children's Hospital, Suite 200, 30 South Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

W. William Meyer

Thomas David Montgomery, Sr. Thomas D. "Tom" Montgomery, Sr., 78, father of OGR Member Gerry Montgomery of Montgomery & Steward Funeral Directors, Pueblo, CO, passed away Jan. 1, 2013. Survived by his wife of 59 years, M. Charlene "Midge" Montgomery; children, Tom (Shelley) Montgomery, Jr. of Greenwood Village, Colo. and Gerry (Dian) Montgomery of Pueblo; grandchildren, Brandon (Brooke) Montgomery of Denver, Ashlee (Dr. Jorge Sallaberry) Montgomery of Reno, Nev.; greatgrandchildren, Silas and Gabriel; sister, LaVada Montgomery of California. He raised and showed English Bulldogs for many years. He and "Slugger" won "Best in Show" at the Denver Dog Show in 1966 and he was proud that "Slugger" was named the 4th top English Bulldog in the nation.

W. William "Bill" Meyer, age 85 of Sioux City, IA died Wednesday, January 16, 2013 at Northern Hills Assisted Living after a long illness. He was an honorary member of IFDA and the father of IFDA member Cynthia Struve, the brother of IFDA member Charles Meyer, and the uncle of IFDA and OGR member Dale Meyer.

Memorials may be made to Sangre de Cristo Hospice or St. Jude Children's Hospital through the funeral home. For online condolences, visit

Bill was born March 4, 1927 in rural Creighton, Nebraska the son of John Albert and Mary Ann (Kessler) Meyer. Bill met and married his wife, the former Ruby Arlene Forre, an Immanuel Hospital nurse, on October 11, 1952 in Omaha. They moved to Albion, Nebraska in February of 1954 and in May of 1955 purchased the Smith Home for Funerals and Home Furnishings that they owned and operated until they purchased the Manning O'Toole Funeral Home which was located at 500 W. 4th St., Sioux City on March 1st, 1960.

Dora Wells Twiford, 99, of 401 Hastings Lane, Elizabeth City, mother of OGR member David Twiford, Twiford Funeral Homes, died Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at Albemarle Hospital. She was born on April 7, 1913 to the late John L. Wells and Minnie Lou Bell Wells in Elizabeth City, NC and was the widow of the late Sam A. Twiford. Mrs. Twiford was a registered nurse having graduated from Gallinger Hospital in Washington, DC and later she became a licensed funeral director and was co-owner for over 50 years of the Twiford Funeral Homes, Cemeteries and Crematorium with her husband, Sam A. Twiford. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church since April 1, 1923, a life member of the United Methodist Women and member of the ladies auxiliary of the American Legion Post #84.

Bill was a member of the Order of the Golden Rule and had served as State Chairman. He served on the Salvation Army Board of Directors of which he was a lifetime member. Bill was a member of the American Legion Monahan Post 64, the V.F.W. Shull Post 580, AmVet and Fraternal Order of Eagles. Memorials may be made in his name to Blessed Sacrament Church Endowment Fund, Bishop Heelan High School Endowment Fund, Salvation Army or Hospice of Siouxland. Condolences may be posted online at Spring 2013 | The Independent | 速

Dora Wells Twiford

Memorial donations may be directed to the First United Methodist Church Endowment Fund, 201 S. Road Street, Elizabeth City, NC 27909. Condolences may be expressed to the family at


Exemplary Service

Above & Beyond

THE GOLDEN RULE These members have been cited for providing exemplary service, going beyond expected service levels, and are now eligible for the Gold, Silver or Bronze Exemplary Service Awards. Winners will be honored at the 2013 Annual Conference & Supplier Showcase. Comments submitted by families responding to Family Contact Surveys.

Thomas Funeral Home, PA | Cambridge, MD Upon their arrival, the staff—especially Brian Burton— was so kind and understanding of our grief and feelings. He explained everything that was about to happen and even asked if we wanted to go to another room while they moved her to the vehicle. For such a large family, most of us have never had to deal with funeral arrangements. Brian held our hands as he explained to us what had to be done and that he would walk us through the entire process—and he did just that! Unfortunately, we planned the funeral for Monday, October 29. Hurricane Sandy was predicted to hit us on Monday. In a panic, we asked Brian for advice. With the hurricane to last several days and brothers and sisters in from out of town, Brian quickly arranged a private family service for us Sunday evening. For such quick arrangements, it turned out to be a beautiful service for Mom. We were so appreciative of Brian making sure everything was perfect on such short notice. We left the service feeling very comforted and peaceful. It is obvious his kindness and understanding is not just “an act.” He truly cares. George Irvin Green Funeral Home, Inc. | Munhall, PA Scott went above and beyond the call of duty with the patience, helpfulness, support, dignity, respect and comfort that he gave to us while guiding us along in making funeral arrangements for our mom. Even though they had never met us, they were all so kind, considerate, and treated us like family. It seems to me that they offer everything imaginable to make each funeral personal. They even have a grief counselor. My brothers and I are so grateful that we chose Green Funeral Home for our mom because they made her funeral the most special and perfect reflection of her life on earth and her passing into heaven. Our family and friends still remark that it was the most personal and beautiful funeral they have ever seen.


Pray Funeral Home, Inc.| Charlotte, MI Joe E. is like a brother to us and has the skills to make a sad situation meaningful, memorable, humorous and comfortable. He is certainly a master at his craft. This holds true for Joe Sr. and Tyler as well. They always seemed to know when we needed a break or a drink of water. Very accommodating. Joe E. did his best to use our personal items to tell the story of our brother and arranged it so that everyone knew and enjoyed the story. I believe Pray Funeral Home will always be on the cutting edge of new products, services and the changing needs of the business. Stockham Family Funeral Home| McPherson, KS Kevin was absolutely the best! They were extremely busy at the time with several services but always made time to tend to every detail making us feel first and foremost with their personal concern and compassion. Kevin’s personal phone calls and e-mails kept us up to the minute informed. Above and beyond! Above and beyond! Tammy and the staff were on top with everything! The video presentation, memorial folders, keepsake laminated obituaries, completed guest book, and all the extras were prepared perfectly and much sooner than we could expect. Attention was given to every detail to make it perfect. The Stockhams have been good friends for several years, but we now consider them family! Ricker Funeral Homes and Crematory | Lebanon, NH Bob Ricker is one of the few people I’ve ever met that is very sensitive and passionate about the deceased and the deceased’s family. He makes everyone feel like family. The staff makes you feel like you have known them your whole life, better than family. The ceremony was without a single flaw and without any worries from the family. Other family members, who have chosen someone else’s funeral home in the past, wish they had chosen Ricker Funeral Home. Very big impression!

Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®

Exemplary Service

Schuyler Hill Funeral Home | Bronx, NY My mother died the same day that storm Sandy hit our area. There was no power in our area and all businesses were closed, but we were able to leave a telephone message at Schuyler Hill Funeral Home. Shortly thereafter we received a call from Marlena who expressed her condolences immediately and said to call her anytime on her cell if we had any questions. She came down to meet our family the very next day to help make arrangements (keep in mind no electricity). I believe we met everyone who worked at Schuyler Hill including Mr. McQuade and all of them were so kind and compassionate. Schulyer Hill Funeral Home took care of every detail and explained everything to us. Even after the service not only did we receive a letter, but they phoned us to say we could call them anytime if they could be of further assistance.

Schoppenhorst, Underwood & Brooks Funeral Home Inc| Shepherdsville, KY Paul Rountree was our director. He was very sensitive to our families’ needs and desires. He was always very professional, sincere, and put our family first! Everyone treated us with respect and made us feel assured that they were concerned about our family. We felt the staff really cared about us. The ceremony was very comforting and was exactly what our family needed to help us during the loss of our brother. Mr. Underwood, Mr. Rountree, Mr. Shaw, and Jimmy have been more than gracious and kind to our family. Our family has used another funeral home for as long as we can remember, but, as far as I am concerned, these men have broken that tradition! We will never forget your kindness to us!

Cassaday-Turkle-Christian Funeral Home, Inc.| Alliance, OH Nancy Castellucci was an excellent funeral director guiding us through the process with extreme patience and understanding. She was extremely knowledgeable and answered any questions we had. I would definitely recommend her to anyone. All were extremely nice and understanding, and more than willing to assist in any manner. The ceremony was conducted as planned with warm attention to detail. I received a recorded CD of the ceremony which was a pleasant surprise.

Spring 2013 | The Independent | ÂŽ


Milestone Anniversaries

MEMBERSHIP makes a difference Fewer than 5 percent of funeral homes in North America have earned the right to hang an OGR plaque in their funeral homes. That plaque stands for something: It means you’re an OGR funeral home of prestige; you’re an OGR funeral home that operates with integrity; you’re an OGR funeral home that extends the golden rule of service to your community. Most importantly, it means you’re in the OGR family.

55 Years | March 1958 Kreidler Funeral Home, Inc McAllen, Texas

30 Years | April 1983 Humphrey Funeral Home Toronto, Ontario

55 Years | April 1958 Shaw Funeral Home Battle Creek, Mich.

25 Years | April 1988 Cochran Funeral Home Blue Ridge, Ga.

55 Years | April 1958 Wetzel Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc Hanover, Pa.

20 Years | March 1993 Matthews Funeral Home, Ltd Melville, Saskatchewan

50 Years | March 1963 Fremont Chapel of the Roses Fremont, Calif.

10 Years | February 2003 Parker-Reedy Funeral Home West Frankfort, Ill.

50 Years | April 1963 Rindt-Erdman Funeral Home Arkansas City, Kas.

10 Years | April 2003 Thomson-Blackburn Vernal Mortuary Vernal, Utah

45 Years | February 1968 Stevens Mortuary, Inc Knoxville, Tenn. 40 Years | March 1973 Citty Funeral Home Reidsville, N.C. 30 Years | April 1983 Fry & Gibbs Funeral Home Paris, Texas


5 Years | February 2008 Highland Funeral Service T/A Barnett Funeral Home Wytheville, Va. 5 Years | February 2008 Marrocco Memorial Chapel Clifton, N.J. 5 Years | March 2008 Osborne Funeral Home, PA Williamsport, Md.

Spring 2013 | The Independent | ®


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速 The Independent | Fall 2012 31 31


Spring 2013 | The Independent | 速

2013 Annual Conference and Supplier Showcase  
2013 Annual Conference and Supplier Showcase  

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