It’s our first issue of 2022 and what a way to start the year – the inspirational story of Rhonda Keyes Pleasants details a fortuitous encounter that led her to the profession – our People article is compelling on many levels. Places visits the beautiful and historic Bibber Memorial Chapel in Kennebunk, Maine, opened by the Bibber family in 1938, and continues serving and hosting the local community as well as George H.W. and Barbara Bush. Jim Kurtz is our Passions story and tells us of his unique childhood and the encounter with Joseph Hagan of Joseph Gawler’s Sons that led to a hobby and a career devoted to the profession.
Our March issue of Southern Calls is chocked full of exceptional photography and writing, with three amazing People, Places and Passions articles and so much more – you’ll read it cover to cover, again, and again! Don’t miss Southern Calls Issue 35, purchase a subscription today or purchase your individual copy of this incredible issue while they’re still available!
PEOPLE – Rhonda Keyes Pleasants
She is the embodiment of a servant leader – humble, generous and eager to volunteer her time and talent but never expecting praise or recognition. Her positive demeanor and acceptance of all of life’s prayers and praises is as admirable as her open mind and kind heart. “Any challenges I may have faced were to prepare me for the future. My life has been shaped by a culmination of experiences, and I am thankful and better because of that. A wise person once said, “God doesn’t call the prepared; he prepares the called.”
PLACES – Bibber Memorial Chapel
The air smells briny and gulls caw overhead. In the distance, against the backdrop of an iron-colored horizon, a few hearty lobstermen trawl the sea, braving the frigid temperatures. It’s snowing again, but that’s not newsworthy. It’s winter in Maine. Three miles up Sea Road is Bibber Memorial Chapel, a funeral home that’s been serving the communities of Kennebunk and Kennebunkport for eighty-four years.
Passions – Jim Kurtz
One of the secrets of my research is paying attention to name tags at national conventions. I often meet not only the directors I’ve spoken with but also directors from funeral homes in charge of funerals for some of my research topics. Sometimes these face-to-face meetings resulted in lifelong friends who have helped me build my archives.
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