Decision Fatigue

A member of my study group recently came up with a theory, one I feel has a lot of merit. His hypothesis is that we, as funeral service professionals, are attempting to offer families we serve TOO MANY options.  At first, this sounds ridiculous. Shouldn’t we pride ourselves in giving consumers the highest number of Read more…

“Why did your people call me in the middle of the night after the death in my family?”

“Why did your people call me in the middle of the night after the death in my family?” That comment, or a variation of it, is probably the single biggest question or complaint I get at Oakey’s. It comes in the grocery store, in church, and on the comment sheets that families use to respond Read more…

The Rush to Saturday

It’s been building for some time.  Gaining momentum.  And now exploding with impressive force.  Nope, I’m not talking about anything political or weather related.  I’m referring to a trend in the death occupation (I HATE the term “death industry”) that every funeral home is seeing, families choosing Saturday for the funeral or memorial service of Read more…

Little Pink Fences

President, Oakey’s Funeral Service There are certain occupations that one cannot excel in if they happen to be colorblind. These include aviation, electrician, and meteorologist. Since I’ve not had any desire to pursue these fields, I never gave a thought to the hindrances my colorblindness could cause when I entered the funeral profession. Through a Read more…

Burial Blunder

While I’ve made some pretty good decisions in my career of forty years here at Oakey’s, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t had my fair share of mistakes. Heck, “mistakes” would be putting it mildly: I’ve made some moves that were so boneheaded I would’ve probably been fired (or, at the very least, Read more…

Study Group

Since completing my formal education many years ago, I’ve had an aversion to the word “study”.  It brings back far too many memories of cramming knowledge from a book into my brain just a few hours before being tested on said knowledge.  As if you couldn’t tell, I was certainly never an honors student during Read more…

Our FIRST 150 Years

When I was six years old, I distinctly remember my dad and grandfather chatting about the “centennial”.  While I did not really understand what it meant, I knew it was a pretty big deal when I received some new Oakey’s Funeral Home pencils that had “Over a Century of Service” emblazoned on them, right next Read more…

Here Comes the Bride??

I’ve been aware for several years now of a trend that seems to have begun where trends often seem to: on the west coast. While very slowly working its way east, this phenomenon seems to be losing a bit of steam and I’m not sure it will ever truly take off. What I speaketh of Read more…

Convention(AL) Wisdom

Well, it’s back again. And chances are, you don’t even know about it. Nope, it’s not the Fair. And it’s too early for the Miss Virginia Pageant. And Festival in the Park has been over with for weeks. The big event I speak of is the Virginia Funeral Directors Association convention and annual meeting. While Read more…

Extra, Extra…Read All About It!

While I’m not one to brag, there comes a point where being modest does not highlight the areas in which Oakey’s goes above and beyond the call of duty. And without knocking other funeral homes in our region, there are many “extras” our firm provides that families need to be aware of. While we have Read more…

No Parking, Except Sometimes

I finally got around to moving my office down to the first floor of our main chapel this summer. While I hated to leave my cozy enclave of over fifteen years, the addition of an I.T. manager to our staff necessitated another round of “Musical Offices” and I could clearly see the handwriting on the Read more…

To be (at a memorial service) or not to be

                                           It’s funny how questions about my profession have changed over the years,and the change reflects the growing preference for cremation as ameans of final disposition. A question I used to get was “What’s thedifference between a casket and a coffin?” With casket usage dropping andmany families selecting cremation, I now am frequently asked “What Read more…