Rites and Reform

On Saturday March 28 Peter Stefan gave a passionate presentation about the importance of respectful funeral rites for each deceased person – rich or poor, famous or infamous. He was speaking at the Annual Meeting of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Eastern Massachusetts (FCAEM) on the topic: Funeral Rites and Reform.  

Peter Stefan, Funeral Director, Graham, Putnam & Mahoney (Worcester, MA) has become well-known for helping families with final arrangements for their next-of-kin, even if the family lacks money for full payment. When the family of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the alleged Boston Marathon bomber, requested help in preparing his body for burial, Mr. Stefan did what he could, in spite of many obstacles and adverse public reaction, including death threats to him and his staff. Two members of his staff spoke about their experiences.

On the state level, Peter Stefan serves on the Board of Registration of Embalming and Funeral Directing and advocates for reforms to protect consumers, especially those who are pre-paying for funeral arrangements (pre-need contracts). He proposes changes to the Massachusett laws and regulations so that it would be illegal for any funeral director to take advanced funds; prepayments should go directly to a trust fund or an insurance company.

His talk was well-attended, and he encouraged questions from the audience. After an extended Q & A period, we adjourned for refreshments and continued conversations. A Death Café hosted by FCAEM followed. 

Disclaimer: The views, opinions and positions expressed here in "Sandy's Blog" are written by one individual (volunteer Sandy Ward) and may or may not reflect the views, opinions or positions of the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Western Massachusetts.