funeral service

Gut and Gumption – Young Professionals Have It All

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This article originally appeared in the winter issue of the Independent magazine.

Since 2016, OGR’s Young Professionals group has been meeting every spring for its annual event, but last fall they came together for the first time for a study group. OGR study groups consist of five to ten people who gather in a participant’s funeral home for “ongoing study of successful business practices.” Study group participants usually tour the host funeral home and provide constructive feedback on what they see. They also spend a day and a half exchanging ideas and working through challenges they’re facing.

OGR firm Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home hosted the first young professional study group this past September. Seven OGR firms sent staff members to attend, so we sat down with a few to hear more about their experience.

2018 YP study group at Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home in Hamburg, NY
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Don’t Underestimate the Power of Kindness: Member Spotlight

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Periodically, we’ll highlight one of OGR’s Golden Rule Funeral Homes and the amazing work they’re doing in their communities. This week’s spotlight is on John L. Ziegenhein & Sons (JLZ) in St. Louis, MO. The original article was featured in 2018 Fall edition of OGR’s magazine The Independent

John L. Ziegenhein & Sons, St. Louis, MO

John L. Ziegenhein, Sr., and his four brothers opened a new funeral home in South St. Louis in 1900— Ziegenhein Brothers Undertaking. In 1931, when John wanted to bring his wife and sons into the business, he started his own funeral home, John L. Ziegenhein & Sons (JLZ), at its present location in St. Louis City, MO. In 1995 a second location was opened in St. Louis County about 12 miles south of the original. After the passing of the last member of the Ziegenhein family, ownership was transferred to longtime employees. Roger Richie took ownership in 2006.

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Halloween Event at a Cemetery – Irreverent or Honorable?

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10.30 Halloween Event at a Cemetery ImageThis October, two Halloween events were scheduled to be held in cemeteries  – one was canceled due to community complaints and backlash; another was a success with record-breaking attendance.

What was the difference? Is it okay to host an event during Halloween at a cemetery or funeral home? Or is it irreverent? Read the rest of this entry »

Guidelines for Helping those Grieving Pregnancy & Infant Loss

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This week’s post is taken from information shared by Christine Scott, Executive Director of Western New York Perinatal Bereavement Network, Inc. (WNYPBN). To learn more call 716-626-6363 or visit their website.

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, making it an important month for remembering babies who have been lost in pregnancy or SIDS. Knowing how to respond to a friend or family member who has experienced a pregnancy or infant loss can be hard. See guidelines below for helping those in grief.  Read the rest of this entry »

Attitudes About Funeral Service: The Public vs. Funeral Directors, Part III–Cost of Funerals

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May, 2018 Posts - FD Vs. Public, Part 3

Most people don’t like paying for things they don’t want to buy. And most people don’t want to even think about their funerals let alone pay for one. That puzzles funeral directors. They know the great lengths they go to when putting details together for smooth-running ceremonies. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average funeral cost $7,360 in 2016. Compare that to an average price of $25,449 for a new car, $35,329 for a wedding and $352,500 for a new home, and funerals start looking like bargain. But not to John Q. Public as demonstrated in the following exchange:

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Attitudes About Funeral Service: The Public vs. Funeral Directors, Part II–Cremation

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May, 2018 Posts - FD Vs. Public, Part 2The percentage of Americans who were cremated reached an all-time high of 50 percent in 2016. Cremation opened the doors for people to hold funeral ceremonies in places that were meaningful to them and gave them more time to consider options. There’s just one problem, and it drives funeral directors crazy: the guest of honor is often conspicuously absent from his or her own funeral. With no body present, people have to imagine to whom they’re paying tribute.

A conversation between a member of the public and funeral director about cremation might go something like this:  Read the rest of this entry »

Attitudes about Funeral Service: The Public Vs. Funeral Directors, Part I – Funerals and Visitations

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May, 2018 Posts - FD Vs. Public, Part 1

When talking about funeral service, one sometimes wonders if the public and members of the funeral profession are from the same planet. Never before have opinions varied so much regarding what families want from memorialization and what funeral professionals think they should experience. To demonstrate the often-wide gap between these two groups’ perspectives, we constructed imaginary conversations between a fictional Johnny Q. Public and an equally fictional Mr. Funeral Director based on articles, research studies, interviews and personal experiences. The first of three blogs examines attitudes about funerals and visitations. Read the rest of this entry »