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Jim Kurtz

Jim Kurtz

We probably have never met, but you may have seen me before. I was that little guy watching funerals from the steps of the Catholic school across the street from Galloway & Sons Funeral Home in...

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Bibber Memorial Chapel

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...

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Rhonda Keyes Pleasants

Rhonda Keyes Pleasants

Before reading any further, pause for a moment and reflect on your career, regardless of your age or your job title. Reminisce about opportunities that were afforded to you, both past and present....

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Jack Backer

Jack Backer

At first glance, John Willmott “Jack” Backer, III – age 16, tall, handsome, varsity tennis player and straight-A sophomore at Sayre School in Lexington, Kentucky – appears to be a typical teenager who enjoys tennis and playing guitar, especially Southern gospel and...

Stevens Mortuary

Stevens Mortuary

Stevens Mortuary occupies the historic Cedar Grove estate nestled in north Knoxville, Tennessee. When one arrives at the mortuary, surrounded by flowering dogwood trees, the stately antebellum era house, with wide, inviting porches, is reminiscent of a simpler time...

Kenneth W. Poe

Kenneth W. Poe

First generation funeral directors are fearless. With either none or very little familial connection to a funeral home, stories vary widely as to what initial interest or curiosity eventually evolved into a career. Dinner disruptions, missed family gatherings, working...

Dancer to Director

Dancer to Director

It’s raining in Far West Dallas, hard enough for rivulets of water to ooze through cheap, wooden window and door frames and down the water-stained walls of housing projects clumped together along and to the west of Interstate 30.    People living along posh...

Cremation in America

Cremation in America

America’s “Modern” Cremation Movement 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...

S. Todd Rose

S. Todd Rose

As chief of the Air Force’s Casualty Headquarters, 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 is to ensure actions are taken to support the airman...

Funereal Fridays

The Charleston Nine

The Charleston Nine

Southern Mourning | from Southern Calls Issue 16, September 2017 (Opening Image: June 22, 2007 – Charleston 9 Firefighters ServicePresident, Mike McDaniel,1999-00 (head), President Thomas E. Baker...

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Man O’ War’s Funeral

Man O’ War’s Funeral

Southern Mourning | from Southern Calls Issue 9, September 2015 (Opening Image: As visitors look on, legendary thoroughbred Man O’ War lies in state in a casket lined with his racing colors at owner...

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The Art of Undertaking

The Art of Undertaking

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...

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Present Articles

Remembering Jacquelyn Taylor

Remembering Jacquelyn Taylor

In a career that came full-circle, the enduring and steadfast funeral service advocate was excited about the opportunity to continue her life’s work. But on August 10, 2018 Jacquelyn Taylor was diagnosed with breast cancer and on September 4, 2019 the cancer returned...

Fallen Heroes

Fallen Heroes

Mississippi Funeral Directors Escort Fallen Heroes Late on the night of July 11, I received an unexpected call from Carson Sprow, president of International Mortuary Shipping. His company had been contacted to coordinate and oversee the transfer of the bodies of 15...

Remembering Mary Hagan

Remembering Mary Hagan

Though you may never been introduced, if you've attended NFDA's annual conventions over the last seven decades, her face will be familiar.  And if you've had the privilege of meeting Mary Hagan, you'll never forget her charming smile, her keen wit and her unabashed...

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Past Articles

Sunnyside Magazine, January 1900

Sunnyside Magazine, January 1900

This is "The Sunnyside," a magazine for the funeral industry, dated January 1st, 1900. It contains fabulous old ads for hearses, caskets, embalming fluid, etc. from advertisers such as National...

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NFDA State Association Officers from 1900

NFDA State Association Officers from 1900

Here's an interesting look back at the 1900 National Funeral Directors' Association roster of officers from the state associations. This comes from a point in history when there were only 45 states in the United States, and we were just 35 years removed from the Civil...

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