Recently, we served a family who preferred cremation. At the time of the arrangements, no urn selection was made. However, when the daughters came to pick up their mother’s cremated remains, they decided to make an urn selection – several, as it turned out. While they each wanted a keepsake urn (and additional keepsakes for other family members), they could not agree on the traditional, adult-size urn. One of the daughters was very uncomfortable with this, stating, “it just looks too big and cumbersome.” Subsequently, she took an interest in the medium-sized urn (which we frequently use for infant cremated remains.) After a lengthy discussion, both daughters agreed to substitute the large urn with two medium-sized urns and a number of matching keepsakes.

Unfortunately, we only had one medium-sized urn in stock. Further complicating the situation was the fact that both daughters were from out of town and were leaving the following day, expecting to take their mother’s cremated remains with them. I immediately called Jim Messer at Gorder Supply, from whom we purchase the particular urns this family selected. Upon hearing my request, Jim immediately called the urn supplier but was informed the medium-sized urns were on backorder. Calling me back with this news, Jim confidently stated, “don’t worry, Tony. I’ll see what I can do.” Meanwhile, I had prepared the family for the possibility the urns containing the cremated remains might have to be shipped to them the following week. While the daughters were accepting of this, it was apparent they really preferred to receive the urns that day.

Less than two hours later, Jim appeared at our funeral home – bearing the requested urn – which he had obtained from the stock of another local client. Our family was ecstatic when I called them to inquire if it would be ok for me to deliver the urns to them.

This is an excellent example of detail-oriented service that reflects positively on the funeral service profession as a whole. This is why I prefer to do business with suppliers who understand that the concept of service resulting in relationships is far superior to merely “selling” products.

Tony Karsnia
Spielman Mortuary
St. Paul, Minnesota