These Funeral Professionals Share What They Are Grateful For

Posted November 21, 2018

7 min read

We have so much to be grateful for, and this time of year is a great reminder of that.

That’s especially true when looking back on the past year. Our team and company continue to grow, and we are deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve and support funeral professionals each day. We’re also very appreciative of our partners and the business community we’re proud to be a part of.

Knowing that 2018 is almost over, we asked a few CRäKN friends, supporters, and even team members: what are you thankful for when looking back on the last year?

Here are those responses.

“Over the past year, I have confirmed the foundations of the funeral profession is based on trust and relationships above all else. I consider myself blessed to have a platform to share and promote the positive aspects of our industry as well as shine light on the consummate professionals that work hard to serve families, whether funeral directors or suppliers. Personally, I’m grateful for: my good health, strong friendships, the opportunity to live in paradise, the promise of a bright future, a steady golf handicap, and access to good cigars.” –Jeff Harbeson, The Funeral Commander

“I’m thankful for another year of serving the families of this great community, and the staff of our firm that makes each experience a unique remembrance. I pray for everyone, good health, loving families, happiness and abounding thanks.” —Mark Ransford, Ransford Collon Funeral & Cremations Services

“I’m thankful for all the funeral service professionals who have participated in NFDA’s Arranger Training Program. It’s been a banner year for Arranger Training traveling across the U.S., Canada and even New Zealand! The more dedicated funeral directors I meet on the road the more energized I get about the future of funeral service. 2019 is going to be the year of the funeral director. I can feel it! I’m also thankful for writer, director and actor Daniel Roebuck. His film Getting Grace not only reminds audiences that life is a gift, but portrays the compassionate side of funeral directors. The premier of his film Getting Grace was a huge success at NFDA Convention in Salt Lake City. it was great to see the response and learn how funeral directors plan on using the film to connect with their community.” —Lacy Robinson, Director, Member Development, National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA)

“I’m thankful that two of my kids graduated college this year (and my last child is a junior in college). I’m also thankful that my wife found the perfect job for her to return to the work since our first child was born 25 years ago. It’s been a great year!” —John Sentz, Chief Operating Officer, CRäKN

“We are thankful for life, health and highly caffeinated coffee! We are mostly thankful for our loving and supportive families, giving us the strength to serve and help others both personally and professionally.” —John Kohl and Steve Kohl, Parker Kohl Funeral Home

“This entire year has been a blessing for me in so many ways! I had a health scare back in March and I am so thankful for the surgeon and health care team that took care of me. Second, I set an intention of finding a new job that would allow me to travel and work with exceptional people. That opportunity came by way of working for CRäKN. I get to meet funeral home professionals and share with them a new innovative way to take care of their families and save time. I am blessed!” —Bonnie Arvin, Funeral Director and Key Account Representative, CRäKN

“Looking back on this past year I am thankful that the funeral industry has taught me to appreciate every moment I’m given. This mindset has really helped me this past year as I became a mother. I feel as if I’ve been able to better appreciate the time I get to spend with my daughter because I am able to cherish every second of this season of my life.” —Lauren LeRoy, Daniel R. Smolarek Funeral Home (also known as Little Miss Funeral)

“Looking back on this year, I’m thankful for the encouraging responses from people who have participated in Death Cafe conversations, the Before I Die New Mexico Festival, and my public presentations that use humor and film clips to encourage end-of-life planning conversations. People have said things like, ‘I never knew writing my obituary could be fun!’ ‘This was an opportunity to meet with others in a safe environment and discuss a topic most people fear. It was nice to know that I’m not alone or ‘morbid’ in wanting to discuss the end of life.’ And, ‘Gail’s ability to weave facts and humor about often-avoided topics, dying and death, are just the right chemistry for any audience.’ I am so grateful to those organizations and funeral homes whose support made these conversations and events possible.” –Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, of a Good Goodbye

“This year, I am feeling so thankful for the incredible support ASD has received from the funeral service community. We were honored and humbled to receive the 2018 NFDA Members Choice Award in October. It is so gratifying to know that the solutions we have created have made such a different for funeral professionals and the families they serve. This is the fourth time ASD has been recognized by the NFDA for our innovations and we know this wouldn’t be possible without our clients and friends helping us to spread the word. I feel so very blessed to have made so many valuable and enduring connections with funeral professionals across the country. All of us here at ASD feel truly grateful to be able to work with such a dedicated and caring group of people.” —Kevin Czachor, Kevin Czachor, Vice President & Family Member Owner of ASD

“I’m thankful for the growing adoption of HTTP/2.” —Clifford Campbell, Chief Technology Officer, CRäKN

“I am the most thankful for the opportunity to serve my community through my passion for funeral service. Being able to genuinely help people during their most difficult hour is truly a gift given by God.” —Mark. E. Fisher, M.E. Fisher Funeral Home

“This year I am thankful for optimism. In my personal life, I have a healthy, smart, and sweet 17-month old girl. Being a parent has brought so much positivity into my personal life that has also trickled into my professional career as well. It is easy to look at our industry and get discouraged, but our last convention in Salt Lake City was one of the most up-beat and constructive conferences I have been to. The wonderful people within our industry are beginning to look at our future much more optimism, and I am so thankful for that.” –Ethan Darby, Marketing Director Trigard, Sunset Funeral Homes, Memorial Park, and Hall of Fame Plaques and Signs

“What a year filled with blessings and so much to be thankful for! I am grateful for the opportunity to rejoin the workforce after health issues had me sidelined for almost 2 years. Not only was I able to rejoin the workforce, but I re-entered the funeral profession where my passion is deeply rooted. CRäKN has given me the opportunity to jump back into the funeral profession working with a fantastic group of folks determined to make CRäKN an industry game-changer. On a personal level, I am beyond grateful for my faith, my supportive family, and for all the beauty in the day-to-day. Life is tough but so beautiful, and I am thankful and grateful for all the ups and downs and experiences along the way! Oh…and of course, I’m thankful for chocolate, candy, and my coonhound (obviously).” —Bettina Burgess, Business Analyst, CRäKN

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Focus on the family, let us focus on helping you. You can see CRäKN’s powerful productivity and efficiency tools in action: Request a demo today!

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