I have known for years now that officiating funerals was not only something I wanted to do, but also knew that I could do it well. Because I didn’t go to seminary and wasn’t ordained, I refrained from pursuing the idea. I thought only Priests and Pastors could officiate funerals. When I was nearing retirement from Butler County Community College after 18 years, my VP of Student Affairs at the college where I worked in Career Services, suggested that I would make a good officiant. I thought about it and talked with a few Funeral Directors. They encouraged me to pursue the idea because there are so many people who want a funeral service or memorial celebration, but have no religious affiliation. Also, there are many families who don’t desire to have a traditional religious style funeral. I learned that many families prefer more of a celebration of the person’s life. After some discernment, I decided to become what I was meant to be. I went for training and became certified as a Celebrant from Insight Institute.
Prior to receiving Celebrant Certification, I served students as a Career Services Specialist at Butler County Community College for eighteen years where I assisted students in deciding upon a career path, and I assisted companies in finding qualified employees. Prior to that time, I attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania and obtained my Master’s Degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education. Earlier in life I obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Clarion University.
I consider myself to be an open minded person who is more spiritual than religious. I value goodness, compassion, respect, diversity, and integrity. I believe that I am able to be flexible in celebrating a traditional, nontraditional, or secular ceremony according to the family’s wishes.
My desire is to listen carefully with a sense of compassion to grieving families to understand and help them through the transition in saying farewell to their loved ones. I want to help them remember and display their fond memories of the deceased. What our loved ones have given us has made us who we are, and we want to remember them with our very best effort.
Let us remember them well.