How to Personalize a Life Celebration

Dec 21, 2017 | 0 comments

Gardening VignetteFunerals are becoming “Celebrations of Life.” What does that look like? You’d be amazed what can be created within 24 hours to personalize memorial services and put some “fun” in funerals.

At the 2017 National Funeral Directors Association convention and expo, Life Celebration, Inc., “Creating color and light in times of darkness,” set up a building within the expo hall. The “Reed-Soxman Funeral Home” showcased a wide array of memorial products created to celebrate Howard “Dutch” Gransbach – a man who loved baseball, gardening, and beer, a veteran, and a family man.

The display was built around the theme of “October Baseball.” Shannon Cummings, Director of Marking Communications for Life Celebration said, “Every funeral is October baseball. You only have one chance to get it right, so we need to stage an experience that encourages a family to come back.” By creating a funeral home setting and a celebration of life, funeral directors could see how these elements help a family heal.

“We gather all the information from the funeral directors after they’ve met with the family in the arrangement conference. The funeral directors work directly with our graphic design team to plan all of this out,” Cummings explained. “We have a team of 16 graphic designers, and they absolutely get it.”

Clam Chowder RecipeIn the video below, she provided a tour of products created to honor Dutch’s life, including:

  • Memorial beer coasters
  • A Red Sox ticket that doubles as a memorial keepsake
  • A personalized deck of cards, featuring the deceased on the back
  • A photo guest register that becomes a coffee table book
  • A picture board for attendees to sign, as well as a montage of photos
  • A garden flag honoring Howard’s passion for gardening
  • Howard’s special recipe for clam chowder
  • A puzzle created with photos from a tribute photomontage
  • Other items, including stand-up banners, a casket skirt, and programs

The walls of the funeral home featured the Envision System, a digital projection system that offers customization with photos and film clips.

“Our owners are funeral directors, so we’re all trained to operate in a 911 funeral home situation,” Cummings said. “We even have an answering service for after-hours.”

To learn more, visit

Life Celebration Personalizes Funerals
A Good Goodbye