Article Category: Funereal Friday
The Recessional

The Art of Undertaking

Posted Friday, Mar 26

Here are three powerful images that I believe capture the essence of our beloved Profession – Mike Squires


ABOVE: The Recessional | Mac Brown, Photography

“Red clay fills the hole left in our hearts. Only flowers remain as guardians of the grave, until they too wither and die. Rows of headstones remind us of a new reality. Homeward bound.”  Luke Teague, Southern Calls

Donna Vaughn, owner of Vaughn Funeral Home in Spring City, Tennessee, was brought home from the hospital as a newborn in this now collectable coach by her funeral director father, Alfred “Tink” Vaughn. The vintage 1955 Meteor Cadillac hearse combination was taken out of service in the mid-1960s and relegated to the family farm, where it sat for decades before being rescued, or perhaps resurrected, from its shallow grave.

“The hearse was used for my friend, Joan Foust, the only time I’ve ever used it and probably ever will.”  Donna Vaughn – Volume 9, Passions

ABOVE: In the Line of Duty | Keith Driggers, Photographer

Shortly after the Sofa Super Store fire began on June 18, 2007, nine brave men sacrificed their lives . . . in the line of duty.

The funeral service for the Charleston 9 Firefighters was planned and implemented in three days. This tremendous undertaking could not have happened were it not for the compassion and determination of dedicated men and women of the South Carolina Funeral Directors Association, responding to a call.

Funeral directors Melissa L. Clarke (left) and Erin Willis Franklin (right) of McAlister – Smith Funeral Home, Charleston, South Carolina, placing casket of Engineer Mark W. Kelsey – Volume 16, Southern Mourning

ABOVE: The Visitation | Christopher Allred, Photographer

Ardell Lanier   |   4 pm – 8 pm   |   Friday, April 4, 2014
Lanier True Value Hardware in Lexington, North Carolina

The family chose their father’s beloved hardware store, an anchor of Uptown Lexington for three quarters of a century, as the location for his visitation. Ardell and his wife of 73 years, Edna, founded the store in 1940. Ardell was famous in Lexington because he took great pleasure in giving away the roses he grew in his garden. That esteemed tradition continued even after his death. Buckets of long-stem roses were by the door at his visitation and funeral, giving those in attendance one last chance to honor his memory by taking one home with them.

Jack and Dan Briggs & staff of Davidson Funeral Home in Lexington served the family of Mr. Lanier – Volume 4, Southern Mourning


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