eNews July 2022


Any Personnel Changes for the Directory or eNews Subscription?

Kindly report any changes in your Licensee information to Susan Barry at sbarry@wilbert.com or call Susan at 708-865-1600 at your first opportunity when changes occur.  Thank you!


Kansas Columbarium Project

The Kansas Veterans Cemetery in Winfield, KS recently added 1,280 new niches e-news_7-22_Kansas_Veterans_Cemetery by completing an expansion of the internment columbarium, bringing the total number of spaces to 1,300 where Kansas military veterans can be interred after they pass away. The expansion was dedicated by Governor Laura Kelly at a June 14 ceremony. “My hope is that through this columbarium wall expansion, the light of all our veterans currently interred here will continue to shine for future generations,” Kelly said. “It is a sanctuary befitting of their service and sacrifice.”

David Welzenbach, from the Wilbert Construction Division, submitted the bid and Wilbert was awarded the expansion project. The pre-cast niches were manufactured in the Parsons, KS plant.
“We can only imagine the stories that will be told and love that will be shared for many years to come at these beautifully built walls,” said Bill Turner, Acting Director of the Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs Office. “This dignified columbarium wall expansion will continue to represent the honorable service of the men and women interred here.”


Free NFDA Expo Passes

Each year NFDA supplies exhibitors with free expo passes for the annual convention. This year is no exception. Feel free to distribute the passes so that your customers may attend the convention expo in Baltimore, MD on October 10, 11, and 12. They need to fill out the application and return it to NFDA before Friday, September 22, 2022. 



WilbertEDU® Updates

WilbertEDU continues to be a huge success! Thanks to all of you and your outreach to funeral professionals, we continue to see our webinar attendance rise each session and to date have seen over 18,000+ attendees since we began in November, 2020. We continued to have informative industry experts in June and look forward to more successful webinars in 2022.  


WilbertEDU® Sessions for July


Our WilbertEDU webinar programs continue on July 7 when Mark Busch will be discussing his topic How to Become the Brand Customers Cannot Live Without. In this session, Mark will address developing a customer service vision statement which can be instrumental in providing a positive experience during every interaction. It is a clear call to action for what each employee should intentionally try to achieve every time they interact with a customer. To ensure success, your employees must strive to see the customer from their perspective, which will make them more present and have more compassion and empathy.

As the former co-owner of Busch Funeral and Crematory Services and the Normandy Insurance Agency, Mark, a licensed funeral director in the state of Ohio, has spent more than 40 years working in the service business. Upon retiring from the funeral home, he used his years of customer service and formed AI Intuitive. The company combines revolutionary customer service training with artificial intelligence (AI) technology for enhancing and improving business customer experiences. In developing a consistent and sustained customer experience strategy, you can realize higher loyalty, increased revenue, and an improved bottom line. It will help you establish your funeral home, crematory, or cemetery as a brand - one that customers cannot live without. Remember that satisfied customers will spend more and become repeat customers while also becoming advocates for your brand. 
On July 21, a dear friend of Wilbert Funeral Services, Dan “Axel” Foley will be joining the WilbertEDU platform with his presentation, Line of Duty Death: Funeral Honors & Protocols. When a police officer is killed in the line of duty, emotions, confusion, lack of experience, and misunderstandings can arise while  trying to coordinate the funeral properly and honorably, as well as while navigating safely through the logistical protocol required. It can and often does overwhelm everyone involved.
While resembling much of what might be seen during the funeral for the U.S. Military or a State Funeral, but unlike the military or government which has specific guidelines for what takes place, funerals involving first responders (law enforcement) can fall into a gray area and are subject to a myriad of traditions, thoughts, beliefs, and misunderstandings.
Dan’s background, which includes time serving Wyandotte, Michigan as a Police Officer, Memorial Affairs and Honor Guard Coordinator, and Michigan Sheriff’s and the Municipal Memorial Assistance Response Team (SMMART), helped him to create an honors and protocols training course for police officers. This presentation will provide insight for planning a full honors line of duty funeral and reinforce the standards and protocols that should and need to be followed. Do not miss this session.


WilbertEDU® Recapping the June Sessions

Larry Stuart, Principal and Founder of Raven Plume Consulting, presented an extremely important webinar on June 9, focused on the importance of staying the course in the age of cremation. In his webinar entitled, Staying Relevant: Control Your Destiny in the Age of Cremation, Larry gave us valuable tips for embracing cultural change, incorporating cremation services into our businesses model, and avoiding the pitfalls of denying its existence. Furthermore, his five actionable tips for avoiding irrelevancy were eye-opening.

On June 23, Licensed funeral director, embalmer, and Pierce Chemical sales representative, Rick Rork, returned to the WilbertEDU stage and  presented valuable solutions for a challenge faced by all embalmers: Edema. In his presentation entitled Embalming the Edematous Case, Rick explained edema and how it presents problems including preservation and viewability. He then went on to offer historical and modern treatments, the various chemicals available, and many other embalming considerations.


Commemorating First Responder Deputy Sheriff Austin Aldridge


Picture1austin_derekDeputy Sheriff Austin Aldridge, 25, died Tuesday, June 21, 2022, while on duty. Deputy Sheriff Aldridge was shot and killed while responding to a domestic call in Spartanburg, SC.

When Deputy Aldridge approached the house, he was ambushed by the subject. Bystanders gave medical aid to Deputy Aldridge until EMS arrived. Responding officers were then provided with a description of the subject and his vehicle.
Another deputy spotted the subject and attempted a traffic stop. The man, while pretending to surrender, shot at the deputy, who also returned fire before the subject fled once again. After crashing his vehicle, the subject engaged in yet another shootout before running into the woods where members of SWAT and a police canine took him into custody. 
Deputy Aldridge served the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office for three years. He is survived by his wife.
Wilbert Burial Vault Co., Inc. in Greenville, S.C. was honored to provide the family a Stainless-Steel Triune® burial vault with a Treasured Tribute image, along with a graveside service.

Commemorating First Responder Firefighter/Paramedic Sean Tyler


Picture3Firefighter and paramedic, Sean Tyler, 37, died Monday, June 20, 2022. Sean courageously battled occupational-related cancer for three and a half years.

Sean started working for Tiffin Fire/Rescue Division in May 2007 and retired in 2019 after receiving his cancer diagnosis. He was a member of Tiffin Firefighters Local #322 and was involved in the REACT Responder Exposure Assistance and Care Team program.  He was a fourth-generation firefighter.
Sean is survived by his wife, three children, and his 11-year-old golden retriever who stayed with Sean through his final moments.
Turner Vault in Northwood, OH., was honored to provide the family a Stainless-Steel Triune® burial vault with a Treasured Tribute image, along with a graveside service.



Commemorating First Responder Deputy Sheriff Austin Richardson


deputy-sheriff-austin-melvin-richardson1Deputy Sheriff Austin Richardson, 37, died Tuesday, June 14, 2022, while on duty in Sidney, IA. Deputy Sheriff Richardson was killed in a collision with a harvesting combine. 

At 12:35 pm, the combine was traveling southbound on Highway 275. Deputy Richardson was driving northbound when his vehicle collided with the combine. The combine was wider than the lane and Deputy Richardson's left front tire collided with the machine, causing the accident.

Deputy Richardson served the Fremont County Sheriff's Office for seven years and had served in law enforcement for more than 15 years.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

Omaha Wilbert Vaults, in Omaha, NE., was honored to provide the family a Stainless-Steel Triune® burial vault with a Treasured Tribute image, along with a graveside service.


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