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Content here represents the voice of SIGNATURE SUNSETS, an informational initiative designed to broaden and brighten horizons in the funerary domain.

The material is an outgrowth of a pre-planning reference book, Pondering Leaves: Composing and Conveying Your Life Story's Epilogue, written by the author of this blog.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013

COMMUNITY-CENTERED FUNERAL HOME

JOURNEY JOURNAL... Dover, Ohio

CUPCAKES and NEEDLES



From the perspective of a pre-planning facilitator who has visited a substantial number of funeral homes, the Geib Funeral Center stands out because it oozes warmth and hospitality.  Let’s face it:  How often do you enter a funeral facility only to find a circle of fully alive women resting peacefully in cushy living room furniture by a fireplace… while knitting!  This is where they gather on a regular basis for their shared activity that unites them congenially.  But it’s no wonder that this particular retreat is their chosen spot! 


The modern building with a cathedral ceiling is open and airy, exposing a floor plan that eschews boundaries and invites absorption of pleasant surroundings.  


From the central reception area that lacks walls, one can see not only the large seating expanse, but also the product display gallery akin to a gift shop, tastefully decorated with color and flare, allowing clients to explore a full range of funerary options and ideas.






In an adjoining reception room with a connecting kitchen, numerous community events are held, including a full array of gatherings for diverse personal occasions.  



Instead of the standard “funeral home” nomenclature, the facility is aptly dubbed a funeral “center.”   With their operations manager serving as an organizer, coupled with a full calendar of community events – some of which are annual affairs and often held off premise – Geib truly epitomizes the concept of expanding operations beyond funerary functions. Some of their 2013 calendar entries include:  A Chocolate Love A’Fair, a Soup Cook-Off & Luncheon, a Quarter Auction Fundraiser to benefit Relay for Life, a Primary Election as well as a Pancake Breakfast and General Election held on site, a Mother’s Day Flower Sale and Chicken Barbeque, a Barbershop Quartet performance, an End of Summer Picnic, a picnic for seniors, a Hall of Fame Awards Banquet, in addition to a memorial walk and the typical remembrance affairs often presented by funeral homes.  Another initiative was realized when, in conjunction with residents of a senior living community, staff members prepared a cookbook; all proceeds from sales of it benefit the American Cancer Society.

It is obvious that this provider has diverted from standard, mechanized business approaches.  Offerings are thoughtfully orchestrated and concerted efforts permeate their implementation.  Probably local residents recognize that casual contacts and familiarity through the years breed comfort when the establishment is needed for end-of-life provisions. 
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