Sunday, April 8, 2012

School Zone - No Funerals

Willard High School in Willard, MO recently declined a family request to use the facility for the funeral services of senior and athlete, Steeler Seaburn.  Although attendance for the funeral is expected to exceed the capacity of the Seaburn's church, and area schools have a history of accommodating funeral services for students,  officials decided that the gloom of the occasion would adversely effect the student body.   

According to School Superintendent, Kent Medlin,"School is a place that a month from now we're going to have graduation.  It needs to be a place where students have good thoughts." 

Apparently, the acknowledgement of mortality and honoring the memory of fellow students are inconsistent with the mission of this school.  A rosy and uncomplicated view of the world, should remain undisturbed by death or the rules of grammar at Willar High School.

Not everyone in Willard shares this view.  Seaburn family friend, Laura Miltenberger told reporters "It's frustrating for all of us trying to support them in this horrible time not to have these little considerations made." 

 For the full story, visit

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Funeral service faces a crisis of relevance, and I am passionate about keeping the best traditions of service alive while adapting to the changing needs of families. Feel free to contact me with questions, or to share your thoughts on funeral service, ritual, and memorialization.