February 2024

Page A22 february 2024 ASSOCIATION NEWS www.vischerfuneralsupplies.com in the Serenity Storm: Protect and Grow Your Market Share Scan QR code Maryland Cemetery & Cremation Association Elects New Leaders FREDERICK,MD— The Maryland Cemetery & Cremation Association (MDCCA), which represents the shared interests and concerns of professionals across the spectrum of Maryland’s death care industries, elected new leaders during its annual membership meeting on November 29, 2023. Richard F. Cody, CCE of Resthaven Memorial Gardens in Federick, MD was elected president; Glenn S. Easton of the Garden of Remembrance Memorial Park in Clarksburg, MD was elected vice president; Lilliam Machado of Catholic Cemeteries of Washington will serve as secretary; and John Yeatman of Bel Air Memorial Gardens in Bel Air, MD will continue as the association treasurer. Elected to serve on the MDCCA board of directors was James Hess of Highview Memorial Gardens and Pet Haven in Fallston, MD. Continuing board members are Amy Shimp of Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium, MD; Nathan Nardi, director of cemetery operations for the Archdiocese of Baltimore; and Tammi J. Prysianzny of Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore, MD. Founded in 1916, (formerly Maryland Free State Cemetery Association), the voluntary nonprofit Maryland Cemetery and Cremation Association serves Marylanders educating the public about providing final provisions for themselves, assisting the industry maintain high ethical standards within well managed facilities, and assisting the Maryland Office of Cemetery Management review proposed legislation. For information, visit mdcca.org or email info@mdcca.org. Duane Hills Alice Adams Appropriate to Greatness: Caskets of the Rich and Famous Written, researched and photographed by Alice Adams and Duane Hills There have been many good books written about the deaths of the rich and famous. However, none have taken the viewpoint of the funeral service professional or cemeterian. In this series, we hope to accomplish exactly that with the little-known details, obscure facts and citations we have found in our research. We’re excited to share our findings. An award-winning writer, Alice Adams has chronicled the men and women in funeral service for more than two decades. “My goal has always been to recognize funeral directors and cemeterians who selflessly assist families during times of their darkest grief,” she said. Adams resides in Dripping Springs, Texas, where she enjoys her children, four grandchildren, Cassie, the Black Lab and two cats – all three rescues. A funeral director for the past 40 years, Duane Hills grew up in upstate New York, has been at the helm of the historic Joseph Gawler’s Sons Funeral Home in Washington, DC, and recently partnered with Alice Adams in writing One Block West of the White House: Joseph Gawler’s Sons – Undertakers for the Presidents, published in 2022. Hills is an active member of the District of Columbia’s Funeral Board, the DC History Center and The Lincoln History Group of the District of Columbia. He has been selected to mentor NFDA’s 2023 Class of Meet the Mentors. He resides in Silver Spring, Maryland. FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS www.NomisPublications.com Monthly Columnsonline at The Visitation and Funeral for Tejano Queen Selena Quintanilla-Perez Sunday, April 2, 1995, Bayfront Plaza Convention Center, Corpus Christi, Texas Dallas Morning News reporter Stephen Power, wrote, “Thousands of Tejano music fans came to Corpus Christi, Texas, to mourn the death of singer Selena. By midafternoon, a line of mourners, seven football fields long, waited to pass by Selena’s plain black casket during the 12-hour visitation.” Tejano singer Selena Quintanilla had been like a glittering comet, soaring across the night sky, and no one was surprised when Abraham Quintanilla’s now teen-age daughter, who had headed her family from age nine, burst into the spotlight. “She had it all…the talent, the looks and the charisma,” as one promoter said. Selena was just 23 when the president of The Queen of Tejano’s fan club who was discovered embezzling money, shot Selena in the back. A dark pall of mourning fell over the singer’s hometown, Texas’ Rio Grande Valley and the legions of Selena’s fans, nationally and internationally. Funeral director Noe Gonzalez of Seaside Funeral Home at the time, said another firm originally made the removal and, without family direction, placed the singer in a Batesville solid copper. The singer’s father nixed this casket immediately, saying the gleaming casket was not his daughter’s style and opted Yolanda Saldivar, 34, the admitted shooter, was expected to be arraigned immediately…the same day as Selena’s funeral. Saldivar apparently bought the gun shortly after Quintanilla family first accused her of embezzling money from the singer’s fan club and two boutiques, the Quintanilla’s said. According to Associated Press reports, the mortally-wounded Selena was rushed to Memorial Medical Center in Corpus Christi, where she was pronounced dead an hour later. Saldivar, who held officers at bay for nine hours as she sat in a pickup truck with a gun to her head, was held in the city’s jail on a $100,000 bond. “The music business takes a lot of time and Selena was always on the road,” her father said. “We had no idea what (Saldivar) was doing. Every time we talked to her, she said business with the fan club was going just great.” –From the Muncie (Indiana) Evening Press, April 3, 1995, Page 6. for a simple black wood instead. Plans were immediately set to accommodate the expected masses of mourners at the Bayfront Plaza Auditorium (now the American Bank Center Selena Auditorium). Mourners began arriving as early as 4 a.m. that Sunday. More than 20,000 people paid their respects, with a line still more than two blocks long outside the convention center by 9 p.m. When the visitation was to have ended, Abraham Quintanilla sent word to the funeral directors to extend the viewing to accommodate all mourners still in line. Selena’s father – who was the last word on every detail of the visitation and the funeral the next day – visited the building about 8 p.m. and asked the casket be opened for Salena’s fans. When the attending directors opened the casket, however, they found the intensely hot, overhead spotlights had caused the body to sweat embalming fluid, so they quickly and quietly made the necessary adjustments so the public could pass the open casket. “Selena was a beautiful young girl, but after her sister and another family member brought her make-up, styled her hair and dressed her in the purple gown she had worn to the recent Grammy Awards, she was even more beautiful,” Gonzalez reported. There were many tears as mourners passed the singer, whose gown contrasted beautifully with the casket’s cream-colored ruched interior. At least two dozen arrangements of white roses surrounded the casket. While most maintained their composure inside the convention center during the viewing, outside determined mourners pressed cameras against windows and attempted to take pictures not allowed inside the hall. At the Days Inn, dozens of fans stood in silence outside Room 158. Raul Amaro, 47, said he spent $400 to fly his family to Corpus. Many in the crowd didn’t hesitate to judge Selena’s accused killer. “They should electrocute her,” one woman said. Assistant Police Chief Ken Bung said Selena's gravesite at Seaside Memorial Cemetery Memorial Statue in Corpus Christi “I Love My Cemeterian” “I Love My Funeral Director” Order Your Favorite Plush Animal with a Funeral Director or Cemeterian Shirt! Customization Available – Call for Details! Order Online at www.NomisPublications.com or call 1-800-321-7479 Now is the PERFECT time to order the PERFECT gifts!