Around the State. From the President. Table of Contents. Greetings Fellow NeFDA Members,

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1 Around the State October 2013 From the President Greetings Fellow NeFDA Members, Fall!!! It s here. Husker football and volleyball, high school sports, pumpkins, yard work and leaves falling. What an awesome time of year. As you all know, the cemeteries are absolutely beautiful when the leaves change color. We need to remember all these blessings from God as we serve our families in this colorful time of year. Our profession experiences so much of the changing of the seasons. I feel blessed to be in a profession that can bring the comfort of the seasons into our daily work, whether it be how we decorate our funeral homes, the different kinds of coffee or drinks we offer or the flowers that are chosen for the casket. Vaughn Wright In July, Gary Straatmann, Kathi Schildt and I attended the Leadership Conference in Park City, Utah. What a great networking experience. We had a very productive meeting sharing information that relates to our state association and individual businesses in so many positive ways. Sharing concerns and successes in the breakout sessions was extremely beneficial. The NFDA International Convention and Expo in Austin, Texas, is October If you are planning to attend, please let us know so we can coordinate plans to get together. We have several important items that we are working on with the Department of Insurance in regards to the Preneed Trust Law. Bill Lauber will be joining us this fall at the district meetings and will provide information about the legislation. As always, feel free to contact Kathi or Tiffany at the NeFDA office or me with any questions or concerns. I am looking forward to seeing everyone at our district meetings. Vaughn Wright President Gary Straatmann, NFDA President Bob Rosson Jr., Vaughn Wright and Kathi Schildt at the NFDA Leadership Conference Table of Contents The Storytellers - Celebrant Services 3 Hero Award 3 Legislative Update 4-5 Irrevocable Amount 5 Tri-State Golf Tournament Recap 7 Fall CE Workshop Recap 9 Classifieds 10 Obituaries 11 Scholarship Recipients 12 O Brien-Straatmann-Redinger Honored 13 Fall District Meeting Schedule 14 1

2 Why do business with Homesteaders? Homesteaders has an unwavering commitment to customer success and promoting the value of funeral service. To learn more about Homesteaders, contact your Homesteaders account executive or visit homesteaderslife.com today! We make it easy! Online Enrollment Now available in Nebraska, online enrollment is a win-win for agents and policy owners. Our system makes the enrollment process smooth and easy! Credit/Debit Card Payment We offer flexible payment options, such as paying with credit/debit cards. This makes it convenient for your customers who demand it. Top-Rated Service and Support Homesteaders experienced professionals are personally committed to your success. We ensure the highest-quality service to your staff and your families. Homesteaders provides products and services to promote and support the funding of advanced funeral planning and end-of-life expenses. At Homesteaders, we never forget that we exist as a company for one reason only to pay your claims! Jessica Schulz Senior Account Executive Cell: Joan Schoborg Senior Home Office Account Executive Ext Cell: Homesteaders is the NeFDA s endorsed pre-need funding provider. 2

3 The Storytellers - Celebrant Services Part I Recently, I was invited to take part in a celebrant training organized by Ernie Heffner, Heffner Funeral Chapels and Crematory in York, Pennsylvania, and Mark Krause, Krause Funeral Homes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The training featured Certified Celebrants and trainers Doug Manning and Glenda Stansbury. I gladly accepted, thinking it would be a great opportunity to learn more about this exciting movement. I was right. It was that and much more! For me, funeral service is about the stories. My earliest memories are of chasing my cousins through the display yard of my uncle s monument company. We would sneak into the work area where they turned the flat stone into something of great meaning by simply adding a few letters and numbers. Those letters and numbers told a story. Later, my family spent summers in northern Minnesota where our home was just a short walk from a small, century-old Native American cemetery. The old wooden structures that covered the gravesites were rotting away, but occasionally, fresh flowers appeared and, again, those structures were transformed into something with great meaning. My love of stories led me first to journalism school, but I believe my true destination was always end-of-life and death care. As a young professional, I worked on a church history project. I logged hours in the church graveyard listening for the stories it told. I was hooked. I remember friends asking, Isn t that just depressing? How can it be depressing to ensure that the stories get told, that lives are made significant through the stories? Today, my friends know better than to ask the question, but strangers still do. I tell them the same thing. Depressing? Absolutely not. I have the privilege of encouraging people to share their wishes and stories with their families so they will be honored in the way they choose and their lives will have significance long after they are gone. continued on Page 12 ~ Tel: ~ Fax: The Nebraska Funeral Directors Association Communications Committee has selected Keaton Sekutera, of Loup City, as the latest recipient of the Association s Hero Award. Back in May, Keaton, 13, came to the aid of a gentlemen who was fishing by a river near Loup City. The gentlemen lost his balance, fell into the deep waters, and was floundering. Keaton appeared quickly and was able to help him to shore and back up the bank. Without Keaton s help, the outcome might have been very different. Keaton was nominated by Mark Higgins of Higgins Funeral Home in Loup City. Mark presented Keaton with his award at the Sherman County Fair in July. If you would like to nominate someone for the Hero Award, view more information on the website or contact the NeFDA office. Reporting Deaths of Members (Active or Retired), Family and Nonmembers Please notify the NeFDA Office by either sending an to or by calling (402) The office will send an to the membership, post the obituary on the NeFDA website and make sure the person is honored at the Annual Memorial Service. NeFDA recognizes the death of funeral directors (active or retired), their spouses and their children. NEFDA Forms Hero Award Irrevocable Trust Forms (25 per package) Revocable Trust Forms (25 per package) Member: $115 Non-Member: $200 Cremation Delivery Receipt Forms GRANT ROBINSON (507) (In duplicate - 25 per package) Member: $40 Non-Member: $50 Phone: (402)

4 Legislative Update Reduction of Insurance Continuing Education Requirements for Producers Licensed in Life/Annuity Lines Who Sell Pre-Need Funeral Insurance in Nebraska I have taken this issue to the Nebraska Department of Insurance (DOI) for their review. Please take a moment to read over my proposal to reduce continuing education for the life/annuity producers selling only pre-need insurance. Issue: Nebraska Funeral Directors can elect to offer pre-need purchasers the opportunity to fund their advanced funeral plans using life insurance and annuities in lieu of trust vehicles. Funeral directors opting to offer these funding mechanisms must hold a producer s license in the lines William Lauber of Life and Annuities by the DOI. Continuing education credits proven to be taken by licensees biannually must be shown to receive approved renewals. Funeral directors have seen the necessary required hours of continuing education increase substantially over the years as various state insurance departments get mandates and other pressures from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIA) and other entities. NeFDA supports reducing insurance continuing education requirements for producers holding a life/annuity license and writing or selling policies designed only for funeral pre-planning purposes. Talking Points: Insurance continuing education should be reduced for individuals who hold a producer s license for life/annuities and sell pre-need insurance only because: 1. Unlike life insurance agents at your downtown insurance agency who often sell different lines of insurance, funeral directors main function is serving families and conducting funerals for those who have lost loved ones. We can t block out appointments like other agents. Writing insurance for pre-need purchasers are only an ancillary part of their business. Many may only write a few policies a year. 2. The majority of such policies written are single pay premium policies that generally require little or no underwriting. 3. The sole purpose of pre-need insurance is to finance the cost of the funeral. Said policies are written for no more than the cost of the funeral and cemetery expenses. The cash value is generally less than the cost of the average funeral. This is because many individuals prepaying for funeral expenses often are spending down assets to quality for Medicaid eligibility purposes. 4. Policies financing prearranged funeral agreements are generally marked as irrevocably assigned to the funeral home or to a primary beneficiary. Again, policies written are for the funding of final expenses and not for any other purpose. 5. Funeral directors who utilize insurance for funding are using a limited-line product and do not need, nor require, 21 hours of continuing education biannually. It s about the final touch When commemorating a life with respect, the presentation of the deceased and the family s final touch are defining, emotional moments. Both provide respite from grieving, and peace of mind. 6. Other states insurance departments are recognizing this and are reducing current continuing education requirements or even eliminating them all together. Action: We are asking that the Nebraska DOI introduce and/or support legislation that would make minor continued on Page 5 You only have one chance. So the choice you make in chemicals is vital. PIERCE CHEMICALS Superior internal coloring creates a more natural look Slower diffusion for a more life-like feel Longer lasting presentation via less dehydration pierce.hmsbox.com/p3 4

5 continued from Page 4 Legislative Update amendments to the Nebraska Insurance Laws of chapter 44 and add a term in the definitions that would do the following: - Define the term pre-need funeral insurance. Pre-need funeral insurance is limited line insurance that allows for the purchase of a life insurance or annuity contract by or on behalf of the insured solely to fund a pre-need contract or arrangement with a funeral home or cemetery for specific services and/or merchandise. - Producers who have offered to sell or have sold only the limited line pre-need funeral insurance are exempt from the traditional 21 hours of life/annuity and 3 hours of ethics but must obtain instead, 6 hours of life/annuity and 3 hours of ethics every two years. - Producers of pre-need funeral insurance shall file a report on or before such producers biennial due date affirming that such agent transacted no other insurance business during the period covered by the report. If found necessary, upon request of the Director, a producer shall provide certification from an officer of each insurance company which has appointed such agent that the agent transacted no other insurance business during the period covered by the report. This no other insurance transactions report should accompany the renewals to help reduce the administrative burden on the department. William Lauber NeFDA Legislative Chairman New Irrevocable Amount The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed that the irrevocable amount s CPI Index has changed. The new limit for Irrevocable Trusts is $4,834. Please use this figure in all of your new contracts and make sure that your staff is aware of this change. Reduce Direct Cremations Educate Families Improve Revenue to increase your cremation revenue $500 per call on average * Contact your Batesville representative or call to learn more! * Source: Revenue per call improvement data compiled from funeral home test conducted in 2010 and Batesville Services, Inc. 5

6 Too Busy To Protect Your Business? Even the best businesses can have claims. Contact your local Federated representative to learn more about risk management resources, like theft prevention strategies, designed to help prevent your profits from being stolen. Visit to find a representative near you. Federated Mutual Insurance Company Federated Service Insurance Company* Federated Life Insurance Company Owatonna, Minnesota Phone: (507) *Not licensed in the states of NH, NJ, RI, and VT Federated Mutual Insurance Company 6

7 Tri-State Golf Tournament The Tri State Golf Tournament was held on Wednesday, September 11, 2013, at Whispering Creek Golf Course in Sioux City, Iowa. We had a beautiful day and there were 83 participants. All 83 players won a prize valued between $90 and $410. The winner of the tournament was Rob McCarvel from United Heritage Insurance Company who finished at plus 18 for the day. Based on your handicap, you were assigned a quota of points to make and the most points over your quota was the winner. Points were awarded as such; 8 for an eagle, 4 for a birdie, 2 for a par and 1 for a bogey. The highlight of the day came on hole number 17; a 130 yard par 3. Tina Wright, a funeral director from Beatrice, made a hole in one using a rescue club. It was only the second hole in one achieved over the 30 plus years we have been hosting this event. Congratulations to Tina for the shot of a lifetime and to Rob for winning the tournament. Many thanks go to the sponsors that allowed us to have $16,050 in prizes. Be sure to thank the sponsors for their generosity. I also want to thank my wife, Carla, Terry Smith and his wife, Carolyn, and Brenda Zahnley for their help in organizing the tournament. Jim Wintz Tournament Director Tina Wright and Jim Wintz celebrate Tina s once in a lifetime shot! Jim Wintz stands with tournament winner Rob McCarvel in front of a table full of prizes Your ONLY Home State Funeral Car Dealer! Membership Directory The Association office is in the process of updating the online picture directory for the NeFDA website. If you have an updated photo (group or individual) or have not yet submitted a photo, please do so. You can view the directory on the website at Please an electronic file in.jpg format to The All New Cadillac by Federal Coach Serving Nebraska Funeral Directors For 25 Years! If you have questions, please contact the NeFDA office at (402) or nefda.org. 7

8 Nebraska Funeral Directors Association Master Trust A Full Service Master Trust Program Designed For NeFDA Members Plan Features Include: Same day payment of claims Comprehensive monthly activity reports Automatic billing services Simplified roll over procedures from existing trust accounts Completion of annual state trust report Tax Reporting Benefits qualified funeral trust services Trustee Services & Asset Management Services Provided by Pinnacle Bank & Trust Administrative Services Provided By American Funeral & Cemetery Trust Services - AFCTS For information, call toll free The NeFDA Master Trust is fully compliant with the Nebraska Burial Pre-Need Sale Act. Worldwide Travel Protection Plan For your business Generous commission Simple and easy processing For your families Affordable 24/7 Customer Support Coverage 75 miles from home This is the high-value Travel Plan that makes sense for your families to use and for your sales counselors to sell. Call today to learn how you can offer the Worldwide Travel Protection Plan to your families or

9 Fall CE Workshop On October 1, the NeFDA held the Fall Workshop where funeral directors across the state of Nebraska could earn up to seven hours of continuing education. Nebraska Wilbert sponsored this educational event which was broadcast via distance learning technology from Bryan LGH West in Lincoln to locations in Norfolk, Grand Island and Scottsbluff. There were just over 50 funeral directors in attendance. Mark Klingenberger, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Wilbert, started the workshop off with an hourlong session titled, How Familes Make Buying Decisions, which provided funeral directors information on how to market their funeral homes and answer questions that families have about certain products. For example, consumers are often confused about the importance of buying burial vaults. Explaining the importance of purchasing a burial vault and understanding the concerns a family has will help funeral directors help the families make better purchasing decisions. Following Mark s presentation, Bruce Bratton took the floor to help attendees evaluate their succession planning for their funeral home in his two-hour presentation entitled, Will Your Funeral Home Make You a Millionaire? After this program, attendees were able to better understand and overcome the negative financial impact of cremation and make their funeral homes more valuable in the process. Bruce provided attendees with his seven financial metrics tools for their own personal use to see a new, unique perspective of their funeral home s financial performance. The afternoon session featured a four-hour presentation from Rick Rork of Pierce Chemical Company. Rick provided attendees with information and numerous examples of the embalming practices of difficult cases as well as information on new and different products that funeral directors can use in their funeral homes. Thank you to Wilbert for their generous sponsorship of this event, the wonderful speakers for their presentations, and the funeral directors who attended. With everyone s support, the Fall Workshop was a success. Nebraska Funeral Directors Association 2014 Annual Convention May 6-8 Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center Kearney, NE SAVE THE DATE Keynote speaker Doug Gober Keynote speaker Vernie Fountain Chuck Ziska 176 Keys Fun Pianos are the banquet entertainment! 9

10 Classifieds SHORT OR LONG TERM relief funeral director AVAILABLE: Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota licensed funeral director available for relief coverage. Take that long needed vacation with your family, enjoy some time away or temporarily add another director during peak times. Funeral Director Relief Services provides the best professional service to you and your families allowing you to enjoy time away knowing your facility is in good hands. Very flexible schedule to accommodate your needs. References available. Call Lee Bartlett at (605) FUNERAL DIRECTOR/EMBALMER: All Faiths Funeral Home in Grand Island is looking for a Nebraska Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer who wants to work their way up. Excellent salary and benefits based on experience. Please send resume to Dan at All Faiths Funeral Home, 2929 South Locust St., Grand Island, NE LICENSED FUNERAL DIRECTOR: Westlawn-Hillcrest Funeral Home in Omaha is looking for a funeral director. Please contact Joe Fishler at (402) LICENSED FUNERAL DIRECTOR/EMBALMER: Are you looking for a change or are new to the business? Roper and Sons Funeral Services is currently seeking a licensed funeral director/embalmer for full time employment. Roper and Sons is one of the most respected funeral firms in Nebraska and we offer excellent pay and benefits with a good work schedule. Contact Dean Schneider at (402) or send your resume to Roper and Sons, Inc., 4300 O St., Lincoln, NE LICENSED FUNERAL DIRECTOR: Wyuka Funeral Home and Cemetery in Lincoln has a career opening for a selfmotivated Nebraska licensed funeral director. Looking for that long-term connection? We take pride in the work that we do for the families that we serve. Having your insurance license would be a plus. Send resumes to 3600 O Street, Lincoln, NE Classified ads involving the sale of equipment, funeral homes, etc. are provided at a cost of $50 per newsletter for members. Non-members may purchase an ad at $100 per newsletter. Student and Apprentice ads are free. Payment and ad copy must be received by the 20th of the month of printing. Ads will run for only one issue unless an extension is requested along with payment. If you wish to place an ad, please our office at or call (402) Payment can be made via check or credit card. Ads for employers seeking employees, or for individuals seeking employment, are provided as a complimentary service to NeFDA members only. No investigation of these employers/employees has been made by NeFDA. The printing of classified or employment ads should not be deemed to constitute a recommendation or endorsement by NeFDA. (800) (913) (314) (816) Fax: (913) Serving Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis and all points in between 10

11 Obituaries Clifford W. Cork Lant, 71, of Lincoln, died peacefully surrounded by family on Wednesday, June 12, Clifford was a Military Funeral Honors Coordinator with the Nebraska Army National Guard, retired funeral director, retired Colonel with Nebraska Army National Guard, member of Masonic Lodge # 54, Scottish Rite, Sesostris Shrine, Gateway Sertoma Club, Kiwanis Club, American Legion, Foot Printers and ESGR (Employers Support for the Guard & Reserve). Survivors include his wife Beverly Bev ; son, Steve (Janae) of Lincoln; daughter, Lori Oden and fiancé Jared Muth of Crete; six grandchildren: Andy, Ethan, Wyatt, Madelynn, Shelby and Riley; brothers, Tom (Diane), and John (Charlene) both of Nebraska City; step-daughters, Justine (Sean) Owings of Lincoln and Teri (Bill) Dennis of Kansas City, Missouri; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by parents Cliff Lant and Valda and George Kane, and brother, Rodger Lant. Berniece Bates, 90, died Thursday, August 8, 2013, at Highland Park Care Center in Alliance. She was born April 26, 1923, in rural Cherry County, Nebraska, to Howard D. and Elsie Marjorie (Grieser) Coleman. She graduated from Valentine High School in On July 31, 1944, she was united in marriage in Los Angeles, California, to George E. Bates of Valentine while he was stationed in the U.S. Navy. Following his discharge, they moved to Lincoln, and St. Louis, Missouri. They then moved to North Platte and in 1951, relocated to Hemingford where they operated the Bates Funeral Home. In 1961, they moved to Alliance where they operated the Bates-Landa Funeral Home until their retirement. She is survived by her children, David and Judy Bates of Yuba City, California, Scott Bates of Alliance and Georgia and Jon Lauterbach of Oxford, Alabama. She is also survived by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Eric and Beth Bates of Alliance and their children, Brooke and Ethan; Shay and Gerald Armstrong and their children, Aden, Anna, Lilli and Nora of Lincoln; Maggie Lauterbach of Houston, Texas; and Andy Lauterbach and Kevin Lauterbach and his son, Landon of Oxford, Alabama. She is also survived by her brother, Dale (Viola) Coleman of Valentine, and her sisters, Louise Downing of Valentine and Marjorie Zufelt of Lake Havasu, Arizona. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband in Lucille Palmer, 94, died Saturday, September 7, 2013, in Fullerton. Lucille was born September 4, 1919, in Merrick County to Fred and Matilda (Mundt), one of twin daughters. She attended Liberty Knoll School in West Newman Township of Nance County through the eighth grade and graduated from Fullerton High School in She attended business college in El Dorado, Kansas, for one year and worked for the Farm Security Administration, then transferred under Civil Service to the office of Price Administration during World War II. On April 1, 1939, she married Robert Palmer in Fullerton. They owned and operated the Palmer Furniture Store and Palmer Funeral Home for many years. She worked there for over 20 years. Bob passed away in She remained in Fullerton, and in 2005, she moved to Valley View Assisted Living. Survivors include one son, George (Judy) of Fullerton; two daughters, Pat (Gary) Randles of Madison and Pam Carlson of Montrose, Colorado; seven grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren; and a twin sister, Retta Casper, of El Dorado, Kansas. She was preceded in death by her husband; four brothers, Loren, James, Robert and Rex; and four sisters, Myrtle Nichols, Josephine Woodard, Lillian Spires and Ethel Cedar-Sinnett. Stephen Steve Walter Dubas, 88, of Fullerton died September 18, 2013, in Lincoln. Steve was born July 21, 1925, to Frank Jacob Sr. and Frances (Shefcyk) Dubas northwest of North Star in Nance County. He attended Fullerton High School where he received his honorary diploma. Steve began helping on the family farm until enlisting in the U.S. Army on July 28, 1944, and was honorably discharged December 24, On September 14, 1948, he was united in marriage to Mildred Jean Jurzenski in Greeley. To this union seven children were born. Survivors include his wife, Mildred of Fullerton; two daughters, Jean (Robin) Anderson of Portland, Oregon, and Mary Renner of Fullerton; five sons, Ed (Kendra) Dubas of Lincoln, Joe (Sandy) Dubas of Lincoln, Pat (Colette) Dubas of Woodbine, Iowa, Paul (Teddi) Dubas of Bennet, and Steve (Michelle) Dubas of Stromsburg; 10 granddaughters, 11 grandsons, 20 greatgrandchildren; brothers Frank (Phyllis) Dubas of Columbus, Emil (Kathryn) Dubas of Palmer, Dan (Betsy) Dubas of Columbus, Larry (Bonnie) Dubas of Grand Island; three sisters, Ann Bialas of Fullerton, Leona Kozak of Columbus and Jeanette Urkoski of Silver Creek; sisters-in-law, Minnie Dubas of Fullerton, JoAnn Dubas of Palmer, Marge Dubas of Columbus and Florence Dubas of Fullerton, and a host of other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank Sr. and Frances Dubas; one sister, Helen Kozak, brothers, Leo, Edwin (Dean), Al, and Louis; brothers-in-law, Al Kozak, Louie Bialis, and Ron Yrkoski; and one great-granddaughter, Kaya Hunt. 11

12 continued from Page 3 The Storytellers - Celebrant Services Part I You may be asking yourself, What the heck does this have to do with celebrant training? In my opinion, everything. I don t have the space to truly detail my celebrant training experience in this article, but since Ernie, Mark, Glenda and Doug have the market cornered for quality celebrant training, there is no reason for me to try. What I can tell you is what resonated most with me and hope it helps you see why so many funeral service professionals are talking about it. There are several key elements of a great celebrant service, but you ve already read about the element that most touched me significance. Let me give you an example of what I mean. Ten years ago my father died suddenly. As so many families do, we were scrambling. My dad hadn t been to church in years, but we were lucky we knew a minister from hospice and she agreed to do his service. She was a celebrant before many of us had even heard the term. She met with us and truly got to know my dad through our stories and experiences. At the end of the service she told a story my husband had shared with her about when they were fishing. Apparently, my dad would say, Open the door Richard every time they put a fish in the live well. It was from some old song he knew and it was a little joke between them. That day when we said goodbye, I learned something new about my dad. It made his life real and made him more than just my dad it made his life significant to me and I still remember that moment often. Most of us think of the celebrant service as something most suitable for the Nones. Those people who check None when asked about religious or church affiliation and probably have no desire for the traditional funeral service lead by a spiritual leader. If you think about celebrant services this way, you are correct. On the first day of celebrant training, I had this thought about funeral service - why do I have to be a None to get the kind of funeral that provides a safe place for my loved ones to grieve together, that honors my roots, and makes my life significant? Shouldn t everyone have access to this kind of service? I understand as funeral directors, you have limited control over the spiritual leaders you bring into your funeral home and virtually no control over those who are chosen by the families you serve. However, I found celebrant training experience to be nearly transformational to my thinking about funeral service. I hope and believe that celebrant service can be a true movement it will change the way professionals and consumers think of funeral service. In the next issue, I will share some ideas from funeral directors about how you might begin to introduce celebrants and the related concepts into the services you offer families. Kim Medici Shelquist is the director of marketing communications for Homesteaders Life Company in West Des Moines, Iowa. Look for Part II in the next newsletter. 12 Scholarship Recipients On July 18, the Scholarship Committee interviewed applicants at the Horner Lieske McBride & Kuhl Funeral & Cremation Services in Kearney. Thanks to the generosity of the Dorothy E. Swanson Charitable Trust and the Wallace & Wilma K. Laughlin Trust, two Nebraska students will be able to enter into a Mortuary Science program with a smaller financial burden. Adam Beck, of Louisville, and Samantha Hovendick, of Beatrice, received scholarship funds that will be applied toward their books and tuition. Congratulations to Adam and Samantha and best of luck as you take another step closer to a career in mortuary sciences. Scholarship opportunities are available only to Nebraska residents. Applicants must show a desire to pursue a career in mortuary science, meet all pre-mortuary academic requirements determined by the State of Nebraska, and must return to Nebraska after graduation for a period of no less than three years. For the full list of requirements and to view an application, please visit

13 O Brien Straatmann Redinger Funeral Home Honored O'Brien Straatmann Redinger Funeral Homes and Cremations will be awarded the "Pursuit of Excellence" award at the National Funeral Director's Convention in Austin, Texas. This is the second consecutive year that they have received this award. Pursuit of Excellence is the premiere recognition program for funeral service, setting standards of excellence that motivate funeral home staff, inspire innovation and sustain consumer confidence in the funeral profession. NFDA's Pursuit of Excellence program recognizes funeral homes that are committed to providing outstanding service to the families and communities they serve and are dedicated to achieving the highest professional and ethical standards. Pursuit of Excellence encourages funeral homes to further the educational and professional development of their staffs, create innovative ideas to better serve families and the community, and consistently strive for excellence. O'Brien Straatmann Redinger Funeral Homes and Cremations have funeral homes in Kearney, Elm Creek and Gibbon. 13

14 Fall District Meetings The 2013 Fall District Meetings are scheduled to take place throughout the state during the month of November. Members will receive an update of NeFDA activity as well as information on national events. Federated Insurance and Homesteaders Life Company will also be on hand to give a presentation. A legislative update will be provided. Members of the NeFDA Board will be in attendance at the meetings. Attendees will have the opportunity to earn two hours of continuing education credit by attending a meeting. Please review the list of meetings, sites and dates and contact the appropriate individual to let him or her know of your intent to attend the meeting. All funeral directors and staff are welcome to attend at any location. Please note that meal and beverage expenses are paid on site by each attendee. Casual dress is appropriate. District 1 District 4 & 8 Wednesday, November 13, 2013 Fremont Golf Club, 2710 N. Sommers, Fremont, NE 6:00 pm Social Hour 6:30 pm Meal followed by program RSVP: Aaron Janssen at or by November 8 or ASAP Thursday, November 7, 2013 Riverside Country Club, 2820 Riverside Dr. Grand Island, NE 6:00 pm Social Hour 6:30 pm Meal followed by program RSVP: Mark McBride at or hlmkfuneral.com by November 1 or ASAP. Checks for meals payable to All Faiths Funeral Home. District 2 District 5 Thursday, November 14, 2013 Chances R Restaurant, Shir-Ra Room York, NE 6:00 pm Social Hour 6:30 pm Meal followed by program RSVP: Misty Brestel at or rr.com by November 9 or ASAP Tuesday, November 5, 2013 Scotts Bluff Country Club, 5014 Ave. I, Scottsbluff, NE 5:00 pm Social Hour 6:00 pm Meal followed by program RSVP: Stefanie Sawyer at or by October 30 or ASAP District 3 District 7 Tuesday, November 12, 2013 Prenger s Restaurant, 116 E. Norfolk Ave., Norfolk, NE 6:00 pm Social Hour 7:00 pm Meal followed by program RSVP: Tray Van Metre at or gpcom.net by November 7 or ASAP Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Canteen Grill - Terrace Room, 2102 S. Jeffers St., North Platte, NE 6:00 pm Social Hour 6:30 pm Meal followed by program RSVP: Jason Tickle at or by October 31 or ASAP 14

15 Officers & Board of Directors Vaughn Wright, President Harman-Wright Mortuary 623 Elk St., Beatrice, NE P: (402) ; F: (402) Gary Straatmann, President-Elect O Brien-Straatmann-Redinger Funeral Home 4115 Avenue N, Kearney, NE P: (308) ; F: (308) Tim Strauser, Secretary Blase`-Strauser Memorial Chapel 620 Tenth St., Gothenburg, NE P: (308) ; F: (308) Jim Wintz, Past President, Treasurer Wintz Funeral Home 203 W. Franklin St., Hartington, NE P: (402) ; F: (402) DISTRICT DIRECTORS/PRESIDENTS District 1: Aaron Janssen Reichmuth Funeral Home PO Box 67, Elkhorn, NE P: (402) ; F: (402) District 2: Arvid Wiest Fox Funeral Home 1116 North 19th St., Beatrice, NE P: (402) ; F: (402) District 3: Tray Van Metre Brockhaus Funeral Home 824 Main St., Creighton, NE P: (402) ; F: (402) District 4: Kevin Perrien Sutton Memorial Chapel 804 S. Saunders Ave., Sutton, NE P: (402) ; F: (402) District 5: Stefanie Sawyer Jolliffe Funeral Home 2104 Broadway, Scottsbluff, NE P: (308) ; F: (308) District 7: Jason Tickle Berryman Funeral Home 620 E. 22nd St., Cozad, NE P: (308) ; F: (308) District 8: Mark McBride Horner Lieske McBride & Kuhl Funeral & Crematory Service 2421 Ave. A, Kearney, NE P: (308) ; F: (308) NFDA Policy Board Representative Jon Reichmuth Reichmuth Funeral Home W. Maple Rd., Elkhorn, NE P: (402) ; F: (402) DISTRICT VICE PRESIDENTS District 1: William Cutler Heafey-Heafey-Hoffman-Dworak-Cutler FH 7805 West Center Rd., Omaha, NE P: (402) ; F: (402) District 2: Misty Brestel Metz Mortuary 109 S. Lincoln Ave., York, NE P: (402) District 3: Ryan Berg Biglin s Mortuary, Inc. 111 North Third St., O Neill, NE P: (402) ; F: (402) District 4: Scot DeWitt Lincoln Family Funeral Care 5844 Fremont St., Lincoln, NE P: (402) ; F: (402) NeFDA Around the State articles by NeFDA Nebraska Funeral Directors Association, Inc. 521 First Street, PO Box 10, Milford, NE 68405, Phone (402) , Fax (402) Enail: Website: District 5: Paula Landen Holechek Funeral Homes, Inc. 212 W. Avenue D, Oshkosh, NE P: (308) ; F: (308) District 7: Tim Daum Blase`-Strauser Memorial Chapel 620 Tenth St., Gothenburg, NE P: (308) ; F: (308) District 8: Mitch Solt Solt Funeral Home th St., Central City, NE P: (308) BOARD OF FUNERAL DIRECTING & EMBALMING Randal Ray Bangert 4320 Elkridge Rd.., Lincoln, NE P: (336) Terrence G. Kucera Heafey Heafey Hoffman Dworak & Cutler Funeral Chapel 7805 W Center Rd., Omaha, NE P: (402) ; F: (402) John Rice Rice Funeral Home 726 Willard Ave., Genoa, NE P: (402) ; F: (402) Steven C. Brunken 4620 Bingham Court P: (402) ; F: (402) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Kathi Schildt 521 First Street, PO Box 10, Milford, NE P: (402) ; F: (402) DISCLAIMER. Portions of this newsletter are taken from other sources that we believe to be reliable. However, the NeFDA Newsletter is not meant to provide a complete or authoritative statement on the subject discussed. The services of an attorney or accountant should be sought in legal and tax matters. 15

16 NEBRASKA FUNERAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION 521 First Street - PO Box 10 Milford, NE Phone: Largest Selection of burial options in Nebraska! Deep Vaults Vases and Aprons Surface Vaults Granite Covers Mausoleums Terrazzo Benches Burial Records Cemetery Records Terrazzo Ledgers - #36 & Falls City Aluminum & Bronze plaques Granite markers & monuments Urn vaults - Standard & Tall Baby Chrisoms - Baby ledgers Family owned since M.b.R. (402) fax S 4th, Hebron, Ne. Prsrt Std U.S. Postage PAID Lincoln, NE Permit No

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