March 2023

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Ca l l today for you r FREE Samp l e K i t Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home Continued from Page A2 there were too many funeral homes to compete with in the city of Kingston, I made the difficult decision to move the small firm, which was suffering from inactivity, into my lifelong hometown of Esopus, NY,” says Harry. “I had worked in two other funeral homes in the Kingston area before I took ownership of this firm. This allowed me to get an idea of what specific amenities might be missing for families to appreciate” states Harry. Multiple bathrooms, abundant on-site parking, one floor with handicap accessibility, and well-lit rooms painted in warm earthtone colors were a few of the essentials Harry knew he should include. The building itself has a Cape Cod style with a waterfront theme that gives it a relaxed and airy feel. When Harry renovated the building, all new construction (visitation room, prep room, etc.) was constructed in the back so that the new additions could not be seen from the busy state highway, and therefore the Cape Cod styling was not compromised. With all the additions to the back, visitors don’t expect such a big space when they walk in. In 2010 during the construction phase, some of Harry’s out-of-town funeral service mentors suggested he not build a casket showroom, considering cremation seemed to be on the rise. Harry took this advice and relied on using high resolution tablets instead. Although this decision was not viewed as popular with local peers back in 2012, it now appears to be their method. Harry was wonderful success using this method, with families expressing their appreciation in using the technology as opposed to entering a casket showroom. He’d like to believe they are progressive leaders in technology. They were first in their area to use Funeral Screen technology back in 2014. When asked about his success in the last decade, Harry is quick to respond. “My success can be attributed to several factors that have now come together like a puzzle: the VanVliet family has roots in the Town of Esopus that trace back to the 1700’s, my previous 30-year service to the community as a deputy sheriff, and now as a licensed funeral director since 2005. It is infrequent to find anyone in our community that doesn’t know the VanVliet family and our dedicated service to the community. Of course, our success must include our attention to the needs of every family that calls on our professional and skilled service.” The Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home is also focused on educating the public about funeral service. They are located next door to a vocational school, which offers courses in the health occupational fields. Harry says, “We feel educating the public about who we are and what we do is an important element in our business. We proudly partner with the vocational school by opening our firm as a classroom several times a year and teach the collegebound students about funeral directing, funeral home management, cremation and the embalming process, the best received topic.” Harry feels that this partnership takes the mystery out of the funeral profession, promotes traditional funeral services, and helps to build relationships with the students and teachers. Additionally, as a former member of the Sheriff’s Honor Guard, he assists the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard with their training by providing the use of the funeral home, hearse, and equipment. Harry’s firm recently donated a steel casket, church truck and burial flag to the team for their training purposes. Also, several agencies throughout New York State have trained at their firm, all of which builds positive partnerships and hones the skill of these important honor teams. For more information on the Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home, visit their website at SEND US YOUR NEWS!