Personal attention a must in funeral service business
By Adrianna Rodrigues, contributing writer
Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Home and Laird Funeral Home are two Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce members that serve the community. In 2011, approximately 460 funeral services were performed in the county - approximately 440 services were performed in 2010. For both Laird and Cason Monk-Metcalf, working with the ability and desire to adapt products and services to meet the families’ wishes is a large part of the industry’s demands.
The Cason Monk brand was founded in 1893, and the business adventures began with selling hardware and manufacturing coffins. Around 1980, the business became Cason Monk-Metcalf. Location manager Aaron Welles who has been with the company since 2009, said that Cason Monk provides everything a family will need in the time they have to use their services.
“The people who work in our building live in our community,” said Welles. “We’re very involved in our community, we’re local folks.”
Cason Monk-Metcalf supports various events in Nacogdoches such as a holiday service for those who have suffered a loss, a Memorial Day event and a lunch for public servants.
Funeral arrangements and services, monuments for cemeteries, and cremation arrangement services all make the top of the list at Cason Monk-Metcalf. “We do all of the preparations, and we accommodate everything here,” said Welles.
Whether the families choose to have a traditional burial, or a cremation, Welles said that people should really think about doing a little pre-planning for their own funeral. “Put something down on paper so your family will know what you want,” he said.
Laird Funeral Home is a full-functioning funeral home that provides death care provisions such as funerals, visitations, on-site cremations, monuments, pre-paid funerals and floral arrangements. Co-owner Danny Mounger, who has been with Laird since 2008, agrees that “pre-planning and pre-paying is a smart choice. You make better decisions ahead of time, and it saves money over the long run,” he said.
Lynn Laird opened the funeral home in 1980, and the business has always been based on strong family values. “I think what sets our business apart is being family-owned,” said Mounger. “The folks at Laird seem to understand that sometimes people need a helping hand, and the staff at Laird is always willing to lend it. Sometimes there are people who need help, and we are able to help when we can.”
Mounger describes his business as “respectful and compassionate.” According to Mounger, the staff tries to take as much of the planning off of the family’s shoulders as possible. He said the families already have enough to worry about, so they do their best to take care of all the details. “We all have difference socioeconomic situations, different denominations and religions, customs and traditions, that need to be attended to,” he said.
Since he was a child, Mounger has always wanted to be in the death care profession. “It is very rewarding, especially in a small town like Nacogdoches,” he said. “You know the people you bury, you’ve buried in their family before, and it’s just a better situation all the way around because you know people and you can serve them better.”
Laird Funeral home is located at 2116 South Street - contact phone number is (936) 569-1366 and web site is www.lairdfh.net. Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Home is located at 5400 North Street - contact phone number is (936) 564-7333 and web site is www.casonmonk-metcalf.com.
Funeral pre-planning checklist
Making arrangements for a funeral ahead of time is a smart choice. Pre-planning can ease the stress of the loved ones. These are a few steps to take to ensure things go as smoothly as possible:
▪ Make an appointment with the funeral director at the chosen funeral home to discuss arrangements. Most provide convenient forms.
▪ Log background information, such as education, occupation, family's names and locations, etc. to use for an obituary.
▪ Choose casket and color, or urn.
▪ Make a list of pallbearers.
▪ Specify cemetery.
▪ Generate a final cost and discuss payment details. Payment plans are usually allowed.