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December 2016 ENews
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#12 issue:
Wednesday, December 14, 2016


A Message from your Region 1 Director

Thanksgiving has whisked by, the Christmas holidays are fast approaching, a new year is upon us and statistically this is funeral service’s most busy time of the year. We can easily get caught up in the holiday rush, the year-end parties and celebrations, the press of business. This is a good time to pause, reflect on the past year, look forward to the new year and give thanks for all that we have and have been able to accomplish over the past twelve months.

First a big thank you to all the IFDA members. You show your support for this organization by remitting dues, attending education sessions, the convention and volunteering your time. IFDA represents the majority of funeral licensees. It is your advocate regarding funeral issues. But IFDA is totally dependent on us, the membership, so a big thank you to every member.


Second a big big thank you to every funeral professional. We all work many hours, often weekends, nights, or holidays. It doesn’t matter your job, arranger, director, embalmer, driver, assistant, or receptionist everyone in the profession deserves a thank you for undertaking a job few want to do. Let us remember our first title was undertaker because we did what others preferred not to. So a big, big thank you to all the women and men who serve others in this profession.


Finally, the biggest thank you to the families that chose to entrust their most valuable possession to us. People close to us die and we immediately pick up the phone to call a trusted funeral professional. Thank you to all those families that trust us, have confidence in us and call on us in their time of need.


Funeral service is the target of many good natured but misinformed critics of what we do. Yes the profession has changed and will continue to change. Funerals are different than when I entered the profession and much more different than when my father entered and still more different than when my grandfather entered. Funeral service changes, but what has remained constant is the public’s decision to entrust their family member to one of us. Funeral services have changed. Methods of disposition have changed. But our main calling to honor the dead, to help those who have suffered a loss, to walk the path of grief with our friends and neighbors remains the same. Stay positive my friends. Remember the huge impact we have on our community. Treat each and every case with dignity and respect. By doing this we insure the future value of funeral service.


Robert J. Smith, Jr.
Region 1 Director
Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home

VA to let Vets Pre-Select cemetery burials before death
A rule change at the Veterans Affairs Department will allow veterans to apply for burial in national cemeteries before their death, rather than requiring family members to apply on their behalf after it.
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Funeral directors anxious over Texas fetal remains rules

New Texas regulations requiring cremation or burial of fetal remains will probably be more expensive than state health officials predict, funeral directors say.

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EPA announces initial list of chemicals for review
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the first ten chemicals it will evaluate for potential risks to human health and the environment under Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform. Formaldehyde is not among the first ten chemicals that will be assessed.
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Website referral spam fools site owners
If you have a personal or small business website, you've probably seen this scam. Con artists create fake traffic to websites, which get recorded by the sites' analytics program. Curious website owners see the referral traffic and click on the links, which point them to spammy domains.
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Carl Sandburg Mortuary Program students visit the IFDA office
Students from the Mortuary Program at Carl Sandburg College stopped by the IFDA office during their trip to Springfield late last month.  After a busy morning exploring the Lincoln sites they stopped by the IFDA office.  IFDA President Drew Edwards provided an overview of the profession and the many lifelong benefits received when you help families at the most important time in their lives.  IFDA Executive Director Mary Carey, Communications Specialist, Melissa Bealon, CMP, and Elizabeth Lovegrove, Member Services Director each explained the various member services and benefits offered by IFDA.  The students finished their day with a trip to Staab Funeral Home.

ICYMI: Federal judge delays implementation of overtime rule; proposed standards unlikely to be put in place
In a surprising development, a federal judge in Texas granted an emergency injunction late Tuesday afternoon blocking the implementation of a new overtime rule issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) that would have given more white collar workers - such as funeral directors - overtime.
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REMINDER: Death Notices

Please remember to include IFDA on your notification list for the death of an IFDA member, immediate family member of a member, employee of a member firm, the death of a retired former member or a salesperson. IFDA will send out a Death Notice to the membership.  Notification can be sent to 


Recycle your pacemakers

There is a great disparity between the high and low income counties in terms of pacemaker and defibrillator availability. Each year 1-2 million individuals worldwide die due to a lack of access to pacemakers and defibrillators. Meanwhile, almost 90% of individuals with pacemakers would donate their device to others in need if given the chance.

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Missouri seeks way to cut cost of buring prisoners
An ever-growing and ever-aging inmate population means more Missouri prisoners are likely to die behind bars in the coming years.

Against that backdrop, the Missouri Department of Corrections is seeking bids from funeral homes across the state in a search for the best deal on burial and cremation services for prisoners.

According to bidding documents, the state wants the cheapest wood box and the most inexpensive grave liners, to cut down on an expense that cost taxpayers $62,000 last year.
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Legislative Update
The Illinois General Assembly concluded its second and final week of the 2016 Veto Session. Both chambers adjourned until Monday, January 9th at noon or until the call of the presiding officer. Beginning January 1st, passage legislation with an immediate effective date requires only a simple majority in both chambers. The new General Assembly will be sworn in at noon on January 11th, leaving the current General Assembly with roughly a day and a half of scheduled session days to conclude any outstanding work. The General Assembly, however, could return to session sooner if there is a resolution on the budget.
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December District News
District 8 - February 8

Check out this month's classified ads
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Be sure to to check out the IFDA Career Center.  We have several new jobs listed.

Career Center


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