Due to the steady consolidation of the funeral industry, more local, family funeral providers are being brought under the umbrella and governance of larger corporations. The most important question regarding this trend is how this affects the quality of care you receive in your end-of-life services. Which is the better choice for you and your loved ones, a local or national funeral service provider?

When you choose a family-owned funeral home to assist you in carrying out your loved one’s end-of-life wishes, you receive the expertise and knowledge of generations of experience. Funeral homes in the United States, despite recent trends, are still overwhelmingly the purview of small, individual, and family proprietors — with over 86 percent of funeral homes in operation today privately owned by families, individuals, or closely-held companies.

These funeral homes are the legacy of generations of families, which have succeeded in retaining their businesses in an age of globalization because they provide a compassionate care and intimate customer service. Funeral directors conduct their services with a care and compassion that has made the industry resistant to corporate attempts to impose a retail aesthetic. The fact that local funeral directors are members and participants in the community helps them understand how best to carry out the final wishes of the departed with dignity and respect.

When you select a funeral provider run as part of a larger business interest, the risk becomes that your satisfaction is no longer as high a priority. Corporate homes lack the roots of family establishments, and the proprietors often come from an array of different backgrounds outside of the death industry — unlike the second and third generation funeral directors who manage family establishments. For any corporate funeral home, the service is a job, and the client a commodity. For family and individually-owned businesses, the business takes on the aspect of a calling — a career imbued with great personal and societal significance.

The death industry is a remarkably intimate business, where those in need of its services approach service providers during one of the most difficult and vulnerable times in their lives. As you go through this difficult time, choose a provider with roots in your community to carry out your loved one’s final wishes with dignity and respect.

For Funeral Services, call John P. Donohue Funeral Home at 610.400.3015