Article Category: Current Issue | SC30

Issue 30 Available Now

Posted Monday, Dec 21
Southern Calls, Vol. 30, December 2020

It’s been a year unlike any other, and we’re here to wrap it up with another blockbuster issue highlighted by three very uniquely different features, lots of history and, as always, the best photography and writers representing the funeral profession. Enjoy our December Issue from cover to cover, we wish each and every one a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

PEOPLE  | Kristin Tips of San Antonio | By Alice Adams
“Can you imagine a day when the world’s first drive-in funeral theater would be in the headlines? Or imagine a time when thousands of people at home would choose to watch a televised life tribute instead of attending a funeral service. That day is today and those things are happening right now at Mission Park”, says Kristin Tips, president of Mission Park Funeral Chapels and Cemeteries.

We caught up with this thirty-something lady whirlwind, who together with her husband Dick Tips, is reinventing funeral services during a national pandemic and dramatically expanding one of the largest family owned funeral businesses in Texas.

PLACES | The Standard Cremation & Funeral Center in Anderson, South Carolina | By Luke Teague
All funeral directors have experienced “the call.” One presumption might define it as a specific experience that attracted an individual to serve in our sacred profession. However, another interpretation of the call, which is germane to this story, stems from the proverbial price shopper.

In the past, funeral directors generally made concessions, even to their detriment, in an effort to aid the occasional family hindered by monetary constraints. Unfortunately, intense loyalties to firms serving generations of the same family have become less important because contemporary consumers often seek the best value, even if they are able to pay more. As a direct result, an increase in new funeral providers designed to offer services and merchandise at significantly lower costs has transformed countless local markets. Today, price inquiries are, at a minimum, a daily occurrence. Funeral directors have been forced to embrace the trend, often educating potential clients over the phone about services that only their firms provide in an effort to distinguish themselves from the competition.

PASSIONS  | Robert Clint Walker from Meridian, Mississippi | By Todd Harra
The alarm of the cellphone balanced on the dash rouses Clint Walker from an uncomfortable sleep. Brushing away empty coffee cups and food wrappers, Clint unfolds himself out of the pickup truck and zips his camouflage jacket against the icy wind blowing across the Mississippi Delta. Ty, his yellow lab, bounds out of the truck and runs excited zigzags in the darkness. Clint collects his Browning Silver Hunter from the shotgun rack and grabs the duck blind, a device that looks like a little camouflage tent, from the truck bed. Whistling for Ty, he sets off across a farm pond, the mud from the flooded bean field sucking at his boots. Daybreak is about two hours away. “I may not get any ducks,” he tells me, “but that’s all right. I’ll get to see a sunrise and spend time with friends.”

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Articles Relating to Issue 30

“Being There” | Robert Clint Walker

“Being There” | Robert Clint Walker

The alarm of the cellphone balanced on the dash rouses Clint Walker from an uncomfortable sleep. Brushing away empty coffee cups and food wrappers, Clint unfolds himself out of the pickup truck and zips his camouflage jacket against the icy wind blowing across the…

The Standard Cremation & Funeral Center | Anderson, South Carolina

The Standard Cremation & Funeral Center | Anderson, South Carolina

All funeral directors have experienced “the call.” One presumption might define it as a specific experience that attracted an individual to serve in our sacred profession. However, another interpretation of the call, which is germane to this story, stems from the…

Kristin Tips | San Antonio, Texas

Kristin Tips | San Antonio, Texas

“Can you imagine a day when the world’s first drive-in funeral theater would be in the headlines? Or imagine a time when thousands of people at home would choose to watch a televised life tribute instead of attending a funeral service. That day is today and those…

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