Find a Selected Funeral Home – and/or –

Selected Independent Funeral Homes' Statement Concerning CNBC Documentary, "Death: It's A Living"

DEERFIELD, ILL. — January 30, 2013 — Selected Independent Funeral Homes, the world's largest and oldest association of independently owned funeral homes, today released the following statement to its members in anticipation of the CNBC documentary, "Death: It's A Living" scheduled to air on the network January 31, 2013. The one-hour program features CNBC's Tyler Mathisen providing an in-depth look at what the network terms the "$17 billion-a-year 'death care' industry," including segments on casket production and sales, the multi-faceted role of the professional funeral director and the various choices consumers have for disposition and memorialization.

"We understand the public's natural curiosity surrounding our profession and the media's need to provide content of interest to their audience," said Adam B. Robinson, Jr., 2013 President of Selected Independent Funeral Homes. "However, we want to convey and underscore that funeral care by its very nature attracts professionals who possess a passion to serve others in their deepest time of need. We at Selected are dedicated to the highest level of excellence within the independent funeral profession and exemplify this standard through each one of our members," he added.

While CNBC promises a "behind-the-scenes" look at the profession, Selected is hopeful that the program is fair, balanced and informs viewers in a positive and truthful way. Unfortunately, because the general public knows very little about funeral care, the topic is often subject to speculation and has the perception of being shrouded in mystery. The truth is that the funeral profession is no different than any other, with its own unique practices unfamiliar to those whom it serves. Furthermore, what many people fail to realize when examining one of the more publicized aspects of the business – the costs associated with a funeral – are the countless hours dedicated by professionally trained funeral staff to ensure that the bereaved are well cared for and that grieving family members are not only comforted but are at peace with the entire process.

It is not unusual for a standard funeral and burial to require in the hundreds of man hours of service from a qualified funeral home. Families that select even a simple cremation with no services are often surprised at the necessary steps prior to the actual cremation. The intangibles not factored into the cost of funeral and end-of-life services are the evenings, weekends, middle-of-the night calls and myriad details to be meticulously attended to so that families of the deceased are not burdened, and can focus on saying farewell to their loved ones to begin the grieving and healing process. Because of the unusual and demanding nature of work inherent to the profession, most who choose it feel they are called to do so and have devoted their lives and careers to the care of others.

We offer the following suggestions to members who may receive questions or comments following the airing of the program:

  • As always, be open and honest in speaking about the services you provide and the costs involved.
  • Take time to educate those with questions about the level of experience and training of your entire staff, who are there to serve with compassion and respect.
  • Consider offering annual opportunities for the public to visit your firm, tour your facilities and ask questions.
  • Make all aware of your adherence to Selected's Code of Good Practice, put in place to protect bereaved families and ensure the highest possible level of service.

Should you be contacted by a member of the national media, or if you would like support in responding to inquiries, feel free to reference the PR Resources available in the Selected website at or call the Selected office at 1-800-323-4219 to reach a member of our staff.

In closing, we will continue to monitor this story. We are prepared to respond as necessary to protect the integrity and reputation of not only Selected members but the independent funeral profession as well.


About Selected Independent Funeral Homes

Founded in 1917 as National Selected Morticians, Selected Independent Funeral Homes ( is the world's oldest and largest association of independently owned funeral homes. Members of the association are expected to operate according to specific standards and best practices in order to provide the public with reliable, high-quality funeral services and funeral-related information.


Lisa Gunggoll, LG-PR
708.829.8669 mobile

Date : 1/30/2013

What people are saying about Selected members

"We want to take this opportunity to thank Horan and McConaty for the excellent job that was done at our mother's funeral. At the time the arrangements were made, our funeral director was extremely compassionate and efficient. Every detail we wanted at our mother's service was present. This type of OUTSTANDING employee is extremely rare to find in any type of business. Because of this excellent service, we will be making an appointment to pre-plan our funeral service."

– S.G.., Aurora, CO
Served by member firm Horan & McConaty Funeral Service/Cremation

Read more quotes from people Selected members have served.