Funeral Planning

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senior citizen plans funeralBette Runge, a well-known tango dancer, was honored with an exceptional funeral ceremony that incorporated her passion for life and for dance.

For many individuals planning a funeral is a task to be avoided, but for others, who see the value and importance of a personal memorial service, planning a unique service is an essential task. These individuals may use the planning process to say a personal and poignant goodbye to family and friends. They may be looking for a truly special way to honor a loved one. They are all looking for a memorial service that goes beyond the traditional funeral.

As more and more consumers seek personalized and unique funeral services, funeral event planners are meeting their unique needs. Companies like Washington, D.C.-based Tributes Events create customized memorial services that celebrate the principal events and unique character of a person’s life.

Tributes is currently working with Joseph Gawler’s Sons, Funeral Directors to offer customized funeral planning and preplanning services to local customers. Sally explains the importance of this partnership: “We knew early on that we needed to partner with a local funeral home that had a solid reputation for quality and service. Gawler’s is the best at what they do. We are there to enhance their service offerings.”

By providing video biographies, custom music selections, unique printed materials, decor and floral design, and reception planning and catering, Tributes Events is able to create a memorial service that could not be duplicated. Sally realized that “the desire to add a truly personal element and a lasting statement is important to many people.” She has filled this need for her many customers.

Haloli Richter sought out Tributes Events at the age of 63. She had been diagnosed with liver cancer and knew she had only a few months to live. Sally remembers Richter as a “remarkably gifted woman with a wide circle of friends.” A native of Austria, Richter wanted to create a memorial service that was a celebration of her life for her friends.

Richter requested a minimalist decor, specified a menu complete with her favorite foods, selected the music, and chose speakers representing all parts of her life. Ms. Richter’s final step in preparing for her memorial service was composing a video, which Tributes produced. During the video, she told her story and expressed her feelings about her life. She ended the video by saying goodbye to her friends and family and reassuring them that she was fine. After watching the video on a large screen, guests filed out to Ms. Richter’s favorite opera music.

When Bette Runge passed away at the age of 83, Tributes Events planned a reception for the well-known tango dancer complete with Cuban food, sangria, and tango dancing. Of Ms. Runge, Sally notes, “She was credited with bringing Argentine Tango to this area and established a following of students and fellow dancers. The reception was exactly what she would have wanted.”

As more unique individuals like Richter and Runge request memorial services that truly honor their lifestyles and their distinct personalities, funeral event planners are seeing a rapid increase in demand. Family and friends are especially thankful for the opportunity to experience a tribute that is as unique as their loved one.

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