Member Spotlight Member Spotlight Is there a specific moment or experience in your career that encapsulates your passion for what you do? Yes, I once had a cancer patient in my care that had lost a significant amount of weight and did not look anything like herself when she died. I asked the family for permission to restore her to an appearance prior to her illness and they were kind enough to trust me. I was able to make her appear healthy and beautiful for her visitation. The family was ecstatic at how well she looked. She had been a glamorous lady in life and loved having her hair and make-up done, so this was extra special considering she hadn’t been looking like herself for months. The family befriended me after the funeral and we now regularly see each other as good friends. Who or what inspires you? I am inspired daily by the holy spirit and the works of St. Vincent DePaul. My funeral home is one of the few, if not the only one in the area that regularly cares for the poor without hesitation. We do a lot of charity work in the community as well. What are some important/ notable trends that you have noticed in the funeral industry? The influx of women in funeral service is very inspiring for me. I am also seeing a tremendous amount of broadcast services across the internet since the pandemic began. My funeral home recently began professional webcasting of our services with great reception. Cremation is definitely on the rise and many families are choosing it for simplicity rather than cost. Many times I will have families come in and request a direct cremation My membership in OGR has enabled me to live and work by the 11 tenets of OGR. I am reminded daily to care for others as I would want to be cared for. Being a new owner and not from the community where my funeral home is located, my membership has lent me some additional credibility among the people who live here. I regularly market my funeral home as a member of OGR. but still purchase quite a lot of memorial merchandise, so we are offering more retail items than ever before. How long have you been a member of OGR? About two years. How has being an OGR member impacted your experience in the funeral industry? Hoffen Funeral Home markets their OGR membership on the digital marquee outside their location in Millstadt, Ill. (photo courtesy Elle Heiligenstein) www.ogr.org | The Independent® 31

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