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The Worst Funeral Article of 2010-Your Funeral Guy

6 Jan
Here is what I would call the worst Funeral post of 2010. This comes from Funeral Director Todd Van Beck, a Funeral Guru of sorts. In His post he refers to the FUNERAL CONSUMER As the  the Archie’s and Edith Bunkers of the World.
Todd Van Beck has been a well known Funeral Director for decades but the comments below show a high  level of arrogance and great disrespect for the common folk.
Todd Van Beck's picture

Wed, 06/09/2010 – 09:32 — Todd Van Beck

This is going to be a short and sweet writing.  The 2008 Gallup Poll results which polled the average American concerning the subject of professional ethics in careers is out, and once again funeral directors have made the top list.  I think, if memory serves, funeral directors have made this prestigious list for now over a decade.


It is OK to be proud of Funeral Directors the good ones. But the ones that lack ethics, the ones that steal 100’s of millions dollars of the Folks Preneed Money or the guy I used to work with who bought a great car at a reduced price from a widow so she could pay for her husbands funeral…

More from the Article:.

“The overall results of the Gallup Poll, which really focus in getting the opinions of the common ordinary folk, you know the Archie and Edith Bunkers of the world, who are the substance of the funeral profession, have concluded that Nurses literally shine in the public’s ethics opinion and Bankers have fallen from ethical grace in a big way – surprise of surprises.

Anyway here are the top ethical careers for 2008, in rank order:

1.      Nurses

2.      Pharmacists

3.      High School teachers

4.      Medical doctors

5.      Police officers

6.      Clergy

7.      Funeral Directors

8.      Accountants”


Todd Van Beck has given us a substandard blog post by calling Funeral Directors “Ethical”via


Funeral Industry, Funeral News, Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy

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Morningstar, Stewart Enterprises point to Funeral industry Decline|yourfuneralguy

3 Jun

The Second Largest Funeral Corporation in the United States has received a lower credit rating from Morningstar. Stewart Enterprises International STEI, like many corporations simply has too much debt for a dying death care and Funeral Industry.

The rise of cremation written extensively about here seems to be a major cause of this situation. This is along with the indiscretions and instability of funeral preneed are making stable funeral industry revenue difficult.

Secular trends limit opportunities for growth in the death-care industry. First, medical advances are extending life spans. As a result, the Census Bureau estimates that the number of deaths will increase just 1% annually.

Further, cremation has become increasingly popular, with cremation rates rising from 32% in 2000 to 42% today. While death-care companies do generate revenue from cremations, it is much lower than traditional interment. As a result of these factors, we foresee very limited growth for the death-care industry and doubt that Stewart will be able to buck this trend.


Morningstar is initiating credit coverage of Stewart Enterprises STEI with an issuer rating of BB. We think a combination of high leverage, negative long-term secular trends, and investment risk makes the firm’s debt a dicey proposition.


Funeral industry} Funeral News |Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy

Human Remains leaking in Airliner Cargo Hold|Your Funeral Guy

19 May

There is a local story of human remains leaking in  a Cargo Hold of A Southwest Airlines Jet Cargo Hold.  Funeral News often does not get reported and stories that are reported (like this one)do not make into the National News.

The offending party(Shipper of Human Remains) is not even named in the story. Now the funeral industry leaders often accuse the press of reporting on a few bad apples making their profession look bad. The opposite is true. The press(media) rarely reports on the many bad apple funeral directors.

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines is apologizing to some of it’s customers after an incident involving their bags and human remains.

Baggage handlers in Albuquerque, New Mexico were unloading the cargo bin of Flight 477 from Houston Thursday afternoon when they discovered blood had leaked from inside a shipping container with human remains.

In a statement Friday, the airline admits blood did get on some of the passenger luggage, but says it was a small amount of bags and that the passengers have ‘been compensated for the damage’ of their bags.


Funeral Industry| Funeral News

PETA Buy’s ad space on a Cremation Urn|YourFuneralGuy

29 Apr

PETA Buy’s ad space on a cremation urn. Yes this week there was a man in Eugene Oregon who sold ad space on  cremation urn and yes the animal rights group is putting ads on the man’s urn that says

One of the PETA ads will say: “I’ve Kicked the Bucket — Have you? Boycott KFC.” The other reads: “People who Buy Purebred Dogs Really Burn Me Up. Always Adopt


This is a very bizarre story, even for a funeral guy.  Click Here to read about the man selling ad space on his urn.

Funeral Industry|Funeral News| Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy

Not Worth a read:Curtains Adventures of an Undertaking in Training| your funeral guy book review.

22 Apr

Adventures of an Undertaking in Training– In this book a Media Guy goes underground in the Funeral Biz giving us  Funny Funeral stories  quips, but no meaningful content beyond that. There are underlying agendas, opinions, in this work, something that should never be found in a Funeral Book.

This work is somewhat entertaining .But that is where the value the book ends.There is plenty in this book about the Funeral Business. Media types have reported and gone underground in the funeral industry before reporting on the dismal trade with great humor. Other authors have been able to add practical advice for the consumer along the way. Tom Jokinen’s book does not do either.

There are humorous descriptions of dead bodies and what is done to them in the preparation room. There is a plethora of funeral books like that.

What is striking is the way the author supports the traditional North American way of the Funeral. The book tries to present cremation as revolutionary approach. That revolution is over cremation is mainstream in funerals. The funeral cost practice of Funeral Homes charging too much for a cremation is not addressed. The issue of Funeral Expenses and the way the industry charges the consumer is glossed over.

To the authors credit he does point out pre need, and the prepaid funeral scam(page 171)-but does not touch on the extent of the problem,  preneed scam that abounds in North America.

Chapter 16 ends With a quote “This… might be the future of the funeral trade: change how people understand death like religion used to” There is a religious bias in this book.

That the book is biased, a strong statement.The authors personal beliefs and opinions jump out on every page. In a book on Funerals personal bias needs to be  kept o a minimum, for a funeral like a wedding is uniquely personal.

The book concludes with a funeral director saying,”I’ll take family over everlasting life”. Jokinen’s humor in the book is laced with disrespect for the afterlife,and offends. If the author wanted to share his thoughts on the afterlife, write about God or Non God, a better forum could have been chosen than a book on undertaking.

This book fails  because it is a failed attempt at humor, better books like this have been done before, it is a biased work and 6 months in the funeral home business is not enough time to begin to have a look at what it is like.

At, The book is tagged in business, and investing.This book will not help you to make an investment in a funeral business  because it does not portay the business realistically.

The blind support by the traditional  media and funeral business is simply out to lunch. plagiarized a  piece called Undertakers Q and A. and posted it in their main section. The sad thing is that Tom Jokinen is a member of the media and not an undertaker at all. What an embarrassment for Time and the Funeral Media site Connecting Directors.

Funeral industry|Funeral Book review|Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy.

It may not be wise for one funeral author to come down on a fellow writer on funerals.In this case though being forthright is important.

SCI Employees comment World’s Largest Funeral Corporation|Your Funeral Guy

20 Apr

Service Corporation International

Employees have been reviewing the World’s Largest Funeral Corporation(SCI) at  Jobvent .com and the results are not pretty. We have reported here on the Show “Me the Money”  and culture of disrespect at Service Corporation International. Among Funeral Industry Professionals these folks are known as the “bad boys” and the funeral profession generally are not regarded as the guys with white hats.

If you have worked at SCI and want to weigh in you may want to click here.

Click here to see  how employees rate NYSE: SCI

A lot of favoritism to the wrong people; lack of respect to both employees & consumers. Death care industry should be about compassion as opposed to dollars, branding & quantity over quality!!


Funeral industry| Funeral News| Funeral Blog by R.Brian Burkhardt-Your Funeral Guy

SCI has repeated history of Funeral Scandal due mainly to it’s company culture and dissatisfied employees.

Funeral Industry|Funeral News| Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy

Sen. Harry Reid get’s involved in Funeral Protest Case|YourFuneralGuy

5 Apr

Democratic leadership in the United States Senate is getting involved in the chilling Funeral Case of the Westboro Baptist church, that involves funeral protesters and Free Speech.

The US Senate is weighing in On the Funeral Protester case

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) expressed dismay over a court’s decision to overturn a ruling in favor of a fallen solider whose funeral was disrupted by a radical church group.

Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder was killed in Iraq in 2006. But his funeral in Maryland was interrupted with protests and signs by a group from the Westboro Baptist Church, a group that objects to members of the military because they protect a country that tolerates homosexuality.


Reid has promised investigation into the matter and is urging the US Supreme Court to rule in favor of the of the Marine’s Family and not the Funeral Protesters.

The protesting Church is known for their anti gay slogans and their anti military, anti America protests.

Funeral Industry|Funeral News|Funeral blog by Your Funeral Guy