Obituaries

Lois Stockdale
B: 1931-12-29
D: 2017-12-12
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Stockdale, Lois
Reinhold Mauer
B: 1935-09-07
D: 2017-12-09
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Mauer, Reinhold
Irene Hartman
B: 1936-12-23
D: 2017-12-09
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Hartman, Irene
Elaine Unvoas
B: 1931-11-18
D: 2017-12-08
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Unvoas, Elaine
Michael Schuett
B: 1953-09-17
D: 2017-12-07
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Schuett, Michael
Elsie Kelley
B: 1934-02-03
D: 2017-12-07
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Kelley, Elsie
Mary Hagemeister
B: 1933-09-26
D: 2017-12-05
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Hagemeister, Mary
Karen Howarth
B: 1958-02-13
D: 2017-12-04
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Howarth, Karen
Irene Schaupp
B: 1926-03-21
D: 2017-12-04
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Schaupp, Irene
Renee Steele
B: 1941-06-06
D: 2017-12-03
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Steele, Renee
Bernice "Pat" Stregger
B: 1926-01-20
D: 2017-11-30
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Stregger, Bernice "Pat"
Rose Bauer
B: 1922-01-11
D: 2017-11-29
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Bauer, Rose
Gerald Hillis
B: 1946-10-03
D: 2017-11-28
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Hillis, Gerald
Marie Wall
B: 1937-04-12
D: 2017-11-28
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Wall, Marie
Joann Starr
B: 1959-04-22
D: 2017-11-27
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Starr, Joann
Thomas Burgess
B: 1924-03-03
D: 2017-11-26
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Burgess, Thomas
Margaret Janzen
B: 1942-04-30
D: 2017-11-26
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Janzen, Margaret
Chester Rossler
B: 1931-08-25
D: 2017-11-24
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Rossler, Chester
Shirley Isaac
B: 1942-02-27
D: 2017-11-24
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Isaac, Shirley
Marie Ruff
B: 1936-03-11
D: 2017-11-23
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Ruff, Marie
Benjamin Goronzy
B: 1935-03-19
D: 2017-11-23
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Goronzy, Benjamin

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1 Dunmore Road SE
Medicine Hat, AB T1A 1Z5
Phone: 403-528-2599 or 1-800-317-2647
Fax: 403-526-9732

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How to Plan a Memorial Service

Rather than opting to do things "the same old way", many families today want to celebrate the life of a loved one. Many funeral service professionals see this change as one of the many contributions to social change made by 'Baby Boomers'. The National Funeral Directors Association notes, "As baby boomers age and find themselves having to plan funerals for loved ones and themselves, they are making funeral choices based on values that are different than previous generations. Baby boomers see funerals as a valuable part of the grieving process and are seeking ways to make them meaningful." If you too desire to make the funeral for a loved one more engaging and personally meaningful, a celebration of life may be the perfect concept to build on.

How Does a Memorial Service Differ from a Traditional Funeral?

As mentioned in the page Traditional Funeral Services, there are four basic components which make up the conventional approach to funerals:

1. A Visitation

2. The Funeral Service

3. A Committal Service

4. The Funeral Reception

A traditional funeral then is a series of events; it's a ritualized process where the deceased, and the attendees, pass from one social status to another; a process where the torn fabric of a family and community is repaired. According to the online article "Six Characteristics of Helpful Ceremonies", by William Hoy, Director of Grief Connect, this is done by including:

  1. Symbols of shared significance intended to communicate beyond words
  2. Ritual actions shared by a group of individuals
  3. Gathered people providing comfort to one another
  4. Connection to heritage through recognized readings
  5. Increased physical contact between attendees provide comfort
  6. Witnessing the transition of the body through burial or cremation

In knowing these characteristics, you can design a memorial service or celebration-of-life–as unique as the life of your loved.

Memorial Service Ideas

Our experience has shown us that many of today's families want more meaning than a traditional funeral memorial. This can be done by bringing more of the personality and lifestyle of the deceased into the arrangements. By displaying photographs or staging the event around a favorite pastime, a memorial service can become more personal and meaningful.

If a personalized memorial service suits the needs of your family, we suggest you consider the following questions:

  • What did your loved one like to do?
  • What was he or she like as an individual?
  • What was their profession and how did that shape their life?
  • Was your loved one spiritual?
  • Was he or she proud of their cultural or ethnic heritage? 

Memorial Planning Checklist

planning a memorial service mic memorial service ideas how to plan a memorial service house

      

It's really a process of asking–and answering–questions. Sit down with other family members, at least once, but maybe even more than once; to do some funeral planning with regards to the memorial service with assistance from these questions:

1. Who will be invited?

• The number of guests define the where, when, and how of your memorial service. Write down the names of everyone you think would want to be there and then set it aside. You can add new names to the list as you go along.

2. Where, and when, should the service take place?

• Here's where your imagination is tempered by any scheduling or travel-related issues facing those who will be invited. Be sure to check in with out-of-town relatives and friends about their situation before settling on these critical details.

3. Who will orchestrate or conduct the event?

• If your loved one was religious, you may opt to have their pastor or church minister perform these tasks. However, many families today hire a non-denominational celebrant to oversee the memorial service.

4. Who wishes to speak at the event?

• Many times family members or friends will be very direct about their desire to make a short presentation at the memorial service; other times you need to come out and ask folks if they would be willing to publicly share their thoughts and feelings. Either way, you'll want to select those people who have shared a close relationship with the deceased and have something meaningful to contribute.

5. What group activities would be appropriate?

• We've heard some exciting memorial service ideas over the years. This question involves thinking about what your loved one liked most about their life and gives everyone a remarkable space to share memories, laugh, and even cry together.

6. What food or beverages should be served?

• What you serve may depend on the theme of your memorial service, or may be based on your loved one's favorite dishes. It's entirely up to you; we've even seen "pot luck" memorial services where guests actually sign up to bring select foods and beverages.

7. What readings and music should you include?

• Music is an integral part of life for many people, and a memorial service is the perfect event in which to showcase the meaningful music of your loved one's life. But, if your loved one didn't appreciate music (and lots of folks don’t), it may be more appropriate to read chosen spiritual selections, or excerpts from literature.

8. What details of your loved one's life do you want to share?

• Not every biographical detail needs to be highlighted; rather you're trying to capture their essence by telling revealing anecdotes or stories. Sometimes you can reveal their character by detailing one short moment in their life experience.

9. What decorations will you have?

• Many families create a tribute video and use it as the centerpiece of the event. Others choose to use a memory table of photographs and other memorabilia instead.

Let Us Help with the Memorial Service

We know that's a lot to think about. But we urge you to take your time; be thoughtful, and don't hesitate to explore all the celebrations of life ideas which arise as part of this experience.

As we've said, we've got the experience which could make funeral planning with a celebration of life easier for you and your family. Don't hesitate to pick up the phone; call us at 403-528-2599 or 1-800-317-2647. Let's talk about your loved one's life; share some stories with us. We're confident that, together, we can come up with the perfect memorial service event to suit your needs and expectations.

We're Here to Advise, Assist, and Guide You

Using the above five questions as our guide, we will spend the time to help create a fitting memorial service for your loved one. Please call us at 403-528-2599 or 1-800-317-2647 to learn the details of our memorial service planning process. As a leader among Medicine Hat funeral homes, we will endeavor to provide a memorial service that exceeds your expectations.