Hot off the press…Southern Calls 41 – This special issue covers the Obsequies of Todd Van Beck as told by Jack Lechner and Todd Harra. Well known and respected, TVB’s wishes are honored by close friends and shared with us in an intimate story with firsthand writing and photography. Our Places article tells the story of 5th generation Shackelford Funeral Homes of Savannah, Tennessee. Lisa Shackelford Thomas has often referred to herself as an “accidental undertaker” but everything changed when her father’s health began to decline, leading her to become a licensed funeral director which, in turn, allowed her to be the manager of record for the Savannah location, a role she was already filling by default. And, we wrap this one up with David Adams of The Medical College of Georgia, introduced to funeral service as a teenager with E.L. Almand Company in his hometown and has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer for over 45 years. His tenure at Augusta University began in 2002. Amazed at having his remarkable life and career travel full circle, he remains grateful for the wonderful journey. As always, our Fall issue of Southern Calls is chocked full of exceptional photography and writing, with three fabulous Pillar articles and so much more – you’ll read it cover to cover, again, and again! Don’t miss Southern Calls Issue 40, purchase a subscription today or pre-order your individual copy of this incredible issue today!
The Obsequies of Todd Van Beck
Todd Van Beck, my dear friend and colleague, told me several times that he never planned to retire. He wanted to work right up until his death, and that is exactly how it turned out. I’ll miss my friend Todd. He was the consummate professional and there was no greater advocate for the “value, benefit, and purpose” of a funeral. Giving Todd the funeral that he specified and deserved was truly a labor of love. Todd was right: we needed that funeral.
Shackelford Funeral Homes | Savannah, Tennessee
Despite their varied interests, the family has never lost sight of their ministry to those who walk through their doors, grief-stricken and uncertain. It’s why they employed a grief counselor to specifically serve the families of their communities and began the SUNRISE Aftercare Program over 30 years ago. And it’s why they continue to work each day to offer a measure of comfort and guidance to those affected by Death. With the fifth generation now active in the businesses, funeral service for them truly is a way of life.
David Adams | Medical College of Georgia
Among his initial impressions, Adams noticed bodies did not seem thoroughly embalmed, which meant there were problems with preservation. Much of the embalming was being performed by submerging decedents in chemical solution in a large tank. “The solutions they were using were mixed up by some complicated chemical scheme, the contents of which were variable. The preparers of these mixtures were not licensed and did not have a formal education from mortuary college,” Adams described. “I started to ask questions and immediately noticed things I could change to enhance what we were doing,” he related, but the relatively new hire was met with resistance from the old guard.
Order this issue
Southern Calls Issue 41