March 2023

Page A22 march 2023 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on A Visit our website to access dedicated resources to support children that are grieving and connect to local support.  Working to ensure no child grieves alone. On Wednesday, June 9, President Reagan’s casket was taken by funeral procession to an airfield outside of the Los Angeles area. A tremendous crowd had assembled. President Reagan’s casket was flown to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, where it was taken in procession by a motor funeral coach to 16th Street and Constitution Avenue for the transfer of the remains to the military caisson. A heavy military presence marched with the funeral caisson to the beat of muffled drums. Behind the funeral caisson was a riderless horse, where the President’s own personal riding boots could be seen reversed in the stirrups. The funeral caisson stopped, and the military removed the casket. The song “Hail to the Chief ” was played as a 21-gun salute was fired. The casket was then placed on the Abraham Lincoln catafalque under the grand dome of the Rotunda. That evening a brief funeral service took place in which high ranking political leaders from the House of Representatives and the Senate participated. The doors leading to the Rotunda were opened for the American public to view the closed casket. Some people had waited over seven hours to pay their respects. The doors were left open for 34 hours straight and approximately 105,000 people filed by the President’s casket. When the funeral ceremonies and public viewing had concluded at the United States Capitol, the President’s remains were once again placed in the motorized funeral coach and taken to the Washington National Cathedral. When the funeral procession arrived at the cathedral, President Reagan’s casket was removed and carried by the casket bearers up the cathedral steps. There was a pause so that the clergy could recite the opening prayer and receive the remains into the house of worship. The casket was then carried, resting on the shoulders of the casket bearers, down the center aisle. The choir music consisted of By Todd Van Beck President Ronald Wilson Reagan disclosed publicly in November 1994 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. President Reagan’s appearance declined as the disease progressed. Eventually, the former president was living in total safety and security at his ranch home in California. President Ronald Reagan died after a decade of health struggles with Alzheimer’s disease. In the end, the former president died of pneumonia. His death happened at a little after 1:00 PM on Saturday, June 5, 2004. Ronald Reagan had lived for 93 years and 120 days. Shortly after President Reagan’s death, his body was taken from his Bel Air home in Los Angeles to the Gates, Kingsley & Gates Mortuary, for preparation of the remains for burial. President George W. Bush ordered all American flags to be flown at half-staff in recognition of the death of President Reagan. In the announcement of Reagan’s death, Bush also declared June 11 as a “National Day of Mourning.” On Monday, June 7, President Reagan’s body was transferred from the mortuary and taken in a funeral procession to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Upon arrival at the library, the mahogany casket was carried by military casket bearers representing all branches of service. The closed casket was positioned in the lobby of the library. Once the casket was safely deposited in the library, the Reagan family had a private family funeral service. Following the family service, the library was opened for public homage to the former president’s remains. The count of mourner’s who filed past President Reagan’s flag-draped casket was approximately 2,000 an hour. The library was opened throughout the night. In all, 100,000 people paid their respects. Ronald W. Reagan the fortieth President of the United States of America Rest in Peace, Mr. President. That was the hope...that our presidents would rest in peace, but that has not always happened. For example, between 1865 and 1901 Lincoln’s remains were moved 18 times. Funerals are a reflection of how people live their lives, and this remains true for the funerals of our U.S. presidents. This series offers a glimpse into the deaths and funerals of our presidents, while offering overdue recognition to the scores of funeral professionals who labored ceaselessly to carry out the wishes of the presidents, their families, and in some cases, the wishes of the United States government. Each account tells an interesting story. —TVB several hymns, including: “Fair Is the Heaven;” “Bring Us, O Lord;” and “I Saw a New Heaven.” Several eulogies were given by world leaders. The one offered by former President George H. W. Bush was particularly memorable and emotional, since he was President Reagan’s Vice-President for eight years. Then a choir sang “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and the Catholic Archbishop of Washington delivered a Bible reading from the Gospel of Matthew. The homily was given, two musical solos were sung, and the benediction was read. Around 4,000 people gathered at the cathedral for the funeral service. At the completion of the funeral service, President Reagan’s casket was driven to Andrews Air Force Base to be returned to California on the same day for the final entombment of the remains. The plane journey back to California took five hours. President Reagan’s remains were driven in a funeral procession to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where the final funeral services would be held. There 700 invited guests were at the entombment services for President Reagan. Three of Ronald Reagan’s five children gave eulogies at this final funeral ceremony. When the final eulogies were finished, a chorus sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and a bagpiper played “Amazing Grace.” The President’s casket was moved to the entrance of the above ground mausoleum and placed on sturdy pedestals in front of the entombment site. The final words of commendation were said as the last 21-gun salute was fired. When everything was quiet, the military presented arms and fired three volleys and a bugler played “Taps.” Military fighter jets flew over the entombment site in honor of the 40th President of the United States. F U N E R A L H O M E & C E M E T E R Y N E W S w w w . N o m i s P u b l i c a t i o n s . c o m Monthly Columnsonline at Todd W. Van Beck is the Director of Professional Development at Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science where he began his career 40 years ago. He is one of the best known and most well-regarded practitioners, educators, writers and speakers in the funeral profession. On May 30, 2018 Van Beck celebrated 50 years in funeral service. You can reach Todd at 615-327-3927. Rest In Peace, Mr. President Members of a joint honor guard escort the caisson bearing former President Ronald Reagan’s flag-draped casket during his funeral procession. Continued from Page A19 The Deathcare Collective Continued on page A23 But everyone agreed it was a great idea, with one of the women saying, “We need a girl gang,” Creger said. Shortly thereafter, nine of them met — they would become the founding members of the Death Care Collective. One of the reasons the women wanted to expand their mission, Creger said, was to foster a larger sense of connection. Sometimes, larger organizations tend to silo their own people, she said. “The SCI people know the SCI people and the Park Lawn people know the Park Lawn people. It’s not intentional and it’s not malicious, but you tend to know the people in your bubble.” She continued, “We just thought that there was a little bit of a need for women to connect with one another for support,” Creger said. “So many women are coming into this profession, but it is still male dominated.” In addition to Creger and Piehler the founding group included Sandra Walker, chief operating officer, Fairmount Memorial Association; Shannon Bischoff, vice president of operations for Pinnacle Funeral Services; Jessica Lopez, vice president of 324 Creative Agency; Honnalora Hubbard, regional sales manager/Coldspring USA; Robyn Sechler, business development manager, GoodTrust; Jamie Dravecky, an account executive with Homesteaders Life Co; and Tacye Vogel, national account manager at Eterneva and founder of Life Tribute Academy. Before officially starting their group, however, they sent out a survey to about 85 women in their network and received 50 responses back. The input they received confirmed that they were not the only women in the profession who wanted more opportunities to connect with and support each other, Creger said. “They were screaming from the rooftops, ‘Yes, we need more support, we need more connection – we feel isolated and burnt out,’” Creger said. “We felt validation that we were not alone, and we said, let’s just start this – even though we all had very full-time jobs and were from different areas of the country and with different companies. We just kind of bootstrapped this and put in our own money.” Introducing the Death Care Collective The organization they founded in July 2022 – the Death Care Collective – has more than 500 followers on LinkedIn and on Facebook. While the group is focused on helping women, men also contribute to the group either by participating online or contributing during on-site and virtual gatherings and events, Creger said. “If you are following us and are part of our group and supporting us, you are a member,” Creger said, noting that there are no membership fees – and members are strongly discouraged from using the group to advertise their products or services. “A few people have said it is nice to be a part of a group where you don’t have to sell yourself or promote yourself,” she said. “The sheer purpose is connection.” Creger added, “We knew early on that people would be judging our intentions … what is this and is there an ulterior motive? While we are very proud to be collaborating with groups and associations, we are very autonomous, and we will stay that way.” Leaving the word “women” out of the Death Care Collective was a conscious decision, Creger said. They decided on the name in April, a few months before they officially introduced it to the profession. “It does not represent anything against men,” she said. “It is creating a safe space where women can feel comfortable, sharing their wins or what they are struggling with – or a place to go if they just need can-