NFDA Publishes Tenth Edition of The History of American Funeral Directing

DISCOVER Funeral Industry News Funeral Industry Press Releases NFDA December 16, 2021

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NFDA Publishes Tenth Edition of The History of American Funeral Directing

Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) has published the tenth edition of The History of American Funeral Directing by Robert W. Habenstein and William M. Lamers. This richly illustrated, 417-page book provides a comprehensive look at the history of funeral service in the United States from the Colonial period to the present. The book will also be available on Amazon for the Kindle platform.
“We are very pleased to release the updated edition of this indispensable work,” said NFDA Director of Education Carmella Hansen. “Whether in print or digital format, this landmark textbook has helped generations of funeral professionals understand and appreciate the remarkable history of funeral directing in America.”
The updated tenth edition of this monumental study includes:

  • A new section detailing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the funeral service profession and its practitioners, as well as how funeral providers adapted to the many challenges created by gathering restrictions, social distancing, etc.
  • The latest data on the continuing rise of cremation in the United States and shifts in consumer preferences for non-traditional services, such as home funerals, “green” funeral options, etc.
  • A fully updated section titled “Developments in Mortuary Law” by NFDA General Counsel T. Scott Gilligan
  • A new section statistically highlighting the significant trends shaping the future of funeral service, such as the U.S. death rate, life expectancy, the rise of the “religiously unaffiliated,” consumer interest in embalming and burial, etc.

Commenting on the compelling nature of this work, editor Chris Raymond writes in his preface: “Drawing from a wealth of sources, [Robert Habenstein and William Lamers]… tailor this epic narrative to reflect the variety of influences – from individuals and institutions, to wars and whims – that woven together form the uniquely American fabric of funeral service on this continent.”

The cost of a hard cover print edition of the tenth edition of the The History of American Funeral Directing is $85 (ISBN# 978-0-615-98940-2). It can be purchased via the NFDA Resource Store, (product code BK634), or by calling the association at 800-228-6332. The Kindle version of the tenth edition is available on Amazon for $65.
NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving more than 20,000 individual members who represent nearly 11,000 funeral homes in the United States and 49 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance no become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit