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FDAK Newsletter 08/11/17


 Look and Look Again

Source: The Texas Director by Heather Edwards Hauboldt

Thank you Mr. Firestone and Mr. Shoemake for this opportunity; it is truly an honor and privilege.  Class of 2017, I was here where you guys are 24 years ago as a graduate of Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, so I know the relief and pride you all feel today.  Congratulations!

When Mr. Shoemake invited me to address you all today, I immediately began thinking about what I would say to you on this special day and the theme I came up with was “Look and Look Again.”

I will need to give you a little background on me before I get into this for it to make sense.  I grew up in this profession, literally, and I am a second-generation funeral director and embalmer, with a dad, brother and sister who are also alumni of DIFS.  We lived in small town America, upstairs in the funeral home that my dad owned, from the time I was born until I was seven years old.  Now, I will be honest with you, I did not have a passion for funeral service as a child.  I thought it was a very confining and intrusive business that controlled our lives.  What I would later learn was I had naturally been groomed to be in funeral service and I did have a passion for it, which is probably the most essential element in being a great funeral director and embalmer.

I have seen many changes in funeral service over my lifetime and now, more than ever, providing value to our client families while planning a celebration of and for their loved one is imperative.  We are a rare profession where our client families expect, and will accept nothing less than, perfection.  They deserve this perfection because they are entrusting us with something very precious, their loved ones.

If you truly have passion for funeral service and you want to set yourselves apart, I encourage you to embrace the idea of “Look and Look Again.”  Regardless of whether you are going to work in the independent or corporate funeral service environment, I challenge you to take ownership of and in your position.  As you perform this service, always ask yourself “would I be okay with what I am doing if it was my own loved one I was caring for?”

When you get ready in the morning for work, look in the mirror.  Would you allow you to take your loved one into your care based upon your first impression?  Look and Look Again.  When you show up to take someone’s loved one in your care, make sure you show the upmost respect for the deceased and their family at every step.  Once you have completed the transfer, look around to see what you could do to provide comfort to the family, make the bed, throw trash away, remove soiled items, wash them and return them to the family, and before you leave: Look and Look Again.

When you arrive at work, make sure the establishment is making its best impression with the families coming there to make arrangements for their loved one.  Scan the parking lot, sidewalks and bushes for trash, look for things that are in need of repair and report it to management.  Would you be comfortable entrusting this facility with the care of their loved one?  Look and Look Again.

As you prepare to help the family plan all the aspects of this celebration of their loved one’s life, make sure you have created a comfortable environment with everything needed for the arrangement conference and the room is neat and tidy.  Look and Look Again.

While making these arrangements with the family, pay attention to social cues from all of the family members, respectfully refer to their loved one as your, Mother, Father, Brother, Sister or by name and make sure all of their wishes are carried out to perfection.  Look and Look Again.

If you are responsible for preparing their loved one for viewing, make every effort to prepare the best memory picture possible, regardless of the circumstances, for the family.  This is one of the most meaningful things you can do.  Look and Look Again.  When preparing the room for this viewing, make sure not only that their loved one is positioned comfortably and properly with everything in the room arranged in pleasant manor, but that the room itself is clean with all the items needed and wanted by the family.  Look and Look Again.

As you prepare for the celebration of life of their loved one, check to make sure you have covered all of the items requested by the family and that everything is in place to provide the absolute perfect experience that goes above their expectations. Look and Look Again.

I know this probably sound daunting, but in reality, if you have a true passion for funeral service, this will not seem like work at all rather it will seem like a privilege that comes with and immense amount of gratitude, making you a valued member of any team and your community.  Look and Look Again.  ∞

17th Annual Golf Scramble

Tuesday, August 15 - Marriott Griffin Gate Resort, Lexington, KY



2017 FALL Continuing Education

This year’s Fall CE classes will be held during the week of November 6th.  Exact times and locations will be announced at a later date.  There will be four (4) classes set up across the state.

Mr. Poul Lemasters of Lemasters Consulting in Cincinnati, OH will be the featured speaker this year.  Poul will be presenting the New Updated Kentucky Funeral Declaration Law as well as an Update on all of the Kentucky Funeral Director Laws, Rules and Regulations. 

Poul is a funeral director and attorney specializing in funeral service law.  Please mark your calendars now - more information to come soon!

Six (6) hours of in-class CE is being requested.


KY Night at the NFDA Convention

Mark your calendars for Tuesday, October 31, 2017 for the Kentucky Night Dinner at the upcoming NFDA Convention in Boston, MA.  The evening’s festivities will take place at Joe’s Waterfront American Bar and Grill on the Boston Harbor. 

We will once again be joined by our friends from the Iowa Funeral Directors Association.  Hospitality will begin at 7:00p.m., followed by dinner served at 8:00p.m

Additional information will be forthcoming.


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