It’s already September, the leaves will be changing soon, and the next issue of Southern Calls will be arriving in your mailbox! There’s a lot to look forward to… first, we have chief of the Air Force’s Casualty Headquarters, S. Todd Rose, with a thoughtful story of service and family values; followed by an amazing history of Cremation in America compiled by Jason Engler; and we wrap up our Pillars with David B. Medina’s story of diverse passions “Dancer to Director.” Our September issue (the beginning of our 9th year!) is a classic Southern Calls mix of exceptional photography and three amazing People, Places and Passions articles, told by our award-winning writers – you’ll read it cover to cover, again, and again! Don’t miss Southern Calls Issue 33, purchase a subscription today or purchase your individual copy of this incredible issue while they’re still available!
PEOPLE – S. Todd Rose
Todd Rose is charged with a mission unlike any other in the United States Air Force. When an airman is killed, wounded, injured, or even takes ill, it is Todd’s job to ensure actions are taken to support the Airman and family.
When asked to sum up his job, Todd says, “We provide unparalleled support when tragedy strikes.” The “we” he’s referring to are the dedicated men and women that make up our team, or his “work family” as he calls them.
PLACES – Cremation in America
It was a cold and rainy December day in 1876 when the modern cremation movement in America made its debut. In the small town of Washington, Penn., Dr. Francis Julius LeMoyne, a local eccentric physician, had built a simple two-room crematory on his property for use at his demise. However, it would not remain idle until LeMoyne’s death, as it was pushed into use by Henry Steel Olcott, co-founder of the Theosophical Society of America, for the cremation of Bavarian immigrant Baron Joseph DePalm. This first cremation was a newsworthy event that was covered in almost every major newspaper in the country.
Passions – David B. Medina
David remembered that as a child, the local funeral directors – Albert and Frank Gonzalez, Gonzalez Funeral Home – were respected pillars of the community. “But there was another memory – being mesmerized by the funeral directors during the funeral service. They were so well-dressed, moving effortlessly through the services for my grandmother and other relatives,” he said. As a professional dancer, David knew his performing days would eventually come to an end, but teaching, his only option, didn’t really appeal to him. “I wouldn’t go so far as to call it an epiphany,” said the director, “and it probably wasn’t divine intervention, but when I began considering funeral service, I experienced a feeling of peace because I knew I could do so much for people in pain.”
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