Jan 08, 2014
It all started with a fish. A tremendous fish held by Funeral Director, Tom Gale, in a photo he sent to ASD. Tom was proud of the amazing catch and we were happy to share the image with other directors. The response we received from this photo was overwhelming and allowed us to consider what other impressive hobbies, achievements and talents our clients might have.
At the beginning of 2013, we asked our clients what they enjoy doing in their spare time. Over the past year, we have enjoyed learning about our clients and featuring their talents on our blog and Facebook page. To mark the beginning of a new year and the end of 2013, we’ve taken a look back at our Favorite Pastime Series to create this list of 12 Funeral Directors with incredible pastimes:
(Note: Click on any photo to learn more about the director and their pastime).
Thomas Gale, Experienced Saltwater Fisherman
Thomas Gale, Director of Currie Funeral Home in Kilmarnock, VA, is an avid fisherman and saltwater sportsman. When he is not working with families, Tom spends most of his free time on the water. During a deep sea fishing trip last year, Tom caught this massive 38-inch, 25 lb striped bass with his wife, Lisa.
Jerry Kayser, Antique Funeral Car Collectors
Jerry Kayser, Director of Kayser’s Chapel and Crematory in Moses Lake, WA, loves collecting and restoring antique cars, including this multiple award-winning 1939 Sayers & Scovill Cadillac “carved side” funeral coach. This is the only known surviving example of this year and coach builder on a Cadillac chassis. The Kaysers also own a 1933 Packard 8 Club Sedan.
David and Gidgett Roberts, Motorcyclists and Cross-country Travelers
David and Gidgett Roberts from F.S. Roberts & Son Funeral Home in Rowley, MA love traveling to different parts of the country on a motorcycle and taking in the sights. In this photo, David and Gidgett take in the scenic views of Tennesse’s Blueridge parkway from their motorcycle.
David Jarrett, Volunteer Firefighter
David Jarrett, Owner of David D. Jarrett Funeral Home in Mahanoy City, PA has been a volunteer firefighter since 1976 with the Citizen’s Fire Co. #2. The Jarrett family has 3 generations of volunteer firemen. David’s father served the Citizen’s Fire Company and now David’s son Matthew is active as well. David is an Assistant Engineer and Financial Secretary for the fire company. He also serves as a volunteer EMT for the Mahanoy City EMS.
Larry and Carol Schildmeyer, Diehard Reds Fans
Funeral Director, Larry Schildmeyer of Tufts Schildmeyer Funeral Home in Blanchester, OH, and his wife, Carol, are lifelong Reds fans. The Schildmeyers attend more than 25 games every year and have followed the Reds since they were kids. Larry and Carol attended the 1975, 1976 and 1990 World Series as well as many playoff games.
Scott Macy, Star Trek Aficionado
Funeral Director, Scott Macy, who works at Hultgren Funeral Home in Wheaton, IL describes himself as a huge Star Trek fanatic. In addition to watching the movies and television series, Scott loves attending Star Trek conventions and collecting Star Trek props and memorabilia. In this photo, Scott poses with William Shatner aka Captain Kirk.
Paul Saether, Antique Funeral Car Collector
Paul Saether, Director of Saether Funeral Home and Livery Service in Blanchardville, WI, loves collecting and restoring antique funeral cars and sharing his passion with his children, Sarah and Jeff. In this photo, Paul and his children pose with the family’s 1969 Superior Cadillac combination ambulance and hearse. Paul is an active member of the Professional Car Society, a group that encourages restoration and preservation of funeral vehicles in their original, stock condition. His love for funeral cars also resulted in him starting his own livery service.
David Stow, Pilot
When Funeral Director, David Stow, is not working at Bradley & Stow Funeral Home in Medford, NJ or attending community events, he loves to fly! In October 2007, David took his first discovery flight and has been hooked ever since. Now the owner of a Piper Cherokee 235, David and his wife often fly down to visit his father and daughter who live in Virginia. The hobby also comes in handy occasionally with business trips, cutting long days in half. David has continued his flight training and now also has his Instrument rating and is working on his Commercial rating.
Patrick Morrill, Water Skiing Champion
Funeral Director, Patrick Morrill, from Daniel T. Morrill Funeral Home in Southbridge, MA grew up on a lake in the summers and has been water skiing since he was seven years old. He loves to water ski competitively and is a nationally ranked slalom skier in the Mens 4 division (ages 45-52).
Todd Abell, Marathon Runner
Funeral Director, Todd Abell from Abell Funeral Home in Abernathy, TX enjoys running and has participated in numerous marathons and charity runs over the past 13 years. Todd ran his first 1/1/2 marathon (13.1 miles) in San Antonio, TX in 2009 and has also run half marathons at Disney World, Disney Land and in Austin, TX. This photo of Todd and his grandson, Braeden, was captured after Todd ran a half-marathon in Disney World.
Nicos Elias, Church Organist, Volunteer Fireman and Antique Car Collector
Nicos Elias, Director of Nicos C. Elias Funeral Home in Allentown, PA, is the true definition of a modern day polymath-a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. Outside of the funeral home, Nicos enjoys collecting antique funeral cars as well as playing the organ at church and weddings. He also volunteers for the local fire department as you can see from this photo of him presenting a Fire Prevention Program to a local elementary school.
David Taylor, Motorcyclist and Patriot
As both a Patriot and Motorcyclist, David Taylor, Director of Taylor Funeral Service in Farmington, MO, has travelled across the country visiting battle sites, graves and monuments that mark a major event in America’s history. This year, David completed a bucket list trip called America’s Ride 2013 that took him on a 3,000+ mile journey from his home in Missouri to New York City in less than 6 days on his Goldwing motorcycle. The purpose of the trip was to honor and remember the lives that were lost the morning of 9/11. David had an opportunity to visit the Pentagon and Flight 93 Memorial Sites with the trip concluding at Ground Zero in New York City.
ASD’s “Favorite Pastime” Series:
We would love to share more photos of funeral directors enjoying their favorite pastime. Send us a photo of you engaged in your favorite hobby or activity for us to share and show others what you love to do when you’re not doing outstanding work at your funeral home! Please email all photos or inquiries to jess.fowler@myASD.com.
About The Author
Jess Farren (Fowler)
Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at Jess@myASD.com