Green Guardians & Hollywood Hearses | 4M #17

ENJOY Funeral Industry News Lighter Side January 9, 2022
4M #17

Green Guardians & Hollywood Hearses | 4M #17

Welcome to the seventeenth edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, where we’ll serve up bite-sized, easily-digestible nuggets of the deathcare news you need to crush conversations in the week ahead. Bon appetit!

Tutu Is Still a Revolutionary, Even After Death

Bishop Desmond Tutu certainly made an indelible impression during his 90 years on the planet, but he made sure that his final act wouldn’t leave a mark — a physical one, at least. Tutu, who fought valiantly and non-violently against South Africa’s apartheid system of racial segregation and other social injustices, died on December 26, 2021. His body lay in state for two days in a cheap, plain pine box before his remains were cremated using alkaline hydrolysis. What followed was a flurry of news articles across major international outlets explaining this earth-friendly alternative to flame cremation. Good news for aquamation proponents!

The Scheid Saga Continues with a Squatter and a Starved Calf

Remember Andrew Scheid, the disgraced former funeral director from Pennsylvania who is currently serving prison time for abusing corpses? Now, not only is his wife squatting in the Scheid’s former funeral home — now he is accused of animal neglect and aggravated cruelty to animals … along with his girlfriend. We know — there’s soooo much to unpack here. Scheid has a wife and a girlfriend, apparently, and his wife has refused to leave the funeral home even though the property was purchased by another entity four months ago. And on top of all that, Scheid supposedly “intentionally starved a calf to death” and “failed to provide adequate food and water for two bovines and a cat.” Just … wow.

Times, They May Be A’Changin’ for Deathcare in Ohio

A proposal that Ohio Senator Jerry Cirino calls a “good clean-up bill for the entire [deathcare] industry” is raising the eyebrows of the state’s deathcare professionals. First of all, Ohio Senate Bill 224 seeks to raise the percentage of money deposited into trusts by cemeteries on prepaid casket sales from 30% to 90% — the amount already required for deposit by funeral homes. In addition, the bill would let hearses use purple headlights in funeral processors, let funeral homes request death certificates for infants born before 20 weeks, and expand reporting requirements for businesses that close and still have unclaimed cremains. Cirino says he jokes about how “getting this bill passed is killing me, or someone is trying to bury this bill.” Ohio cemetery owners aren’t finding it a laughing matter.

This Coach Is Getting a Big-Time Cameo

(Photo by Ronald W. Erdrich of the Abilene Reporter-News)

Ever since director David Girdner installed his 1918 Rock Falls funeral coach in the back of Girdner Funeral Home in Abilene, Texas, the hearse has garnered plenty of attention. But that’s nothing compared to what happened to it on the way to its new home. Before Girdner could take possession of this historic conversation piece, the coach made a stop in Oklahoma, where Martin Scorsese was directing a new film. Killers of the Flower Moon is set in the 1920s and stars Leo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro, … and Girdner’s 1918 Rock Falls coach! Girdner now says the vehicle has “some true star power in addition to its own chilling charisma.”

Ugliest [Funeral] Home in America

A Minnesota family is hoping their funeral home-turned-family home is ugly enough to net them a $150,000 renovation. Noel and Renee Johnson closed on their 7,000 space on Halloween night of 2020 and moved in soon after. The visitation room is now a playroom for their five children, and the embalming room is now a laundry area. After sitting idle for nearly two decades, the home is certainly run down … but ugly? We’ll see. The Johnsons are competing against 11 other families for the title of “Ugliest House in America” — and the $150,000 prize — on HGTV, and the season’s already started.


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