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Sajona Weaver
B: 1939-09-24
D: 2019-02-18
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Weaver, Sajona
Catherine "Cathy" DeWine
B: 1945-02-21
D: 2019-02-16
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DeWine, Catherine "Cathy"
Phyllis "Bonnie" Barnett
B: 1938-08-22
D: 2019-02-14
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Barnett, Phyllis "Bonnie"
Claude Nolen
B: 1917-10-09
D: 2019-01-28
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Nolen, Claude
Josette Crook
B: 1932-10-18
D: 2019-01-21
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Crook, Josette
Mary Berryhill
B: 1919-01-16
D: 2019-01-19
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Berryhill, Mary
Betty Livingston
B: 1936-06-20
D: 2019-01-17
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Livingston, Betty
Doris Dumford
B: 1933-06-25
D: 2019-01-14
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Dumford, Doris
Donna Martin
B: 1924-01-12
D: 2019-01-11
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Martin, Donna
Eva Sexton
B: 1942-07-26
D: 2019-01-11
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Sexton, Eva
Donald Eilerman
B: 1935-03-01
D: 2019-01-09
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Eilerman, Donald
Kathryn "Katy" Walton
B: 1934-06-26
D: 2019-01-07
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Walton, Kathryn "Katy"
James "Jim" Haman
B: 1933-11-04
D: 2018-12-24
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Haman, James "Jim"
William Franklin "Bill" Vance
B: 1934-12-14
D: 2018-12-11
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Vance, William Franklin "Bill"
James Johnson
B: 1945-03-04
D: 2018-12-08
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Johnson, James
Thomas "Tommy" Snow
B: 1969-05-12
D: 2018-12-06
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Snow, Thomas "Tommy"
Arnold Schulz
B: 1941-08-23
D: 2018-11-24
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Schulz, Arnold
Eva Parrett
B: 1926-02-16
D: 2018-11-16
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Parrett, Eva
Eunice Turner
B: 1937-10-27
D: 2018-11-10
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Turner, Eunice
Kenneth Kingston
B: 1951-09-13
D: 2018-11-02
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Kingston, Kenneth
Irene Bradfute
B: 1952-07-29
D: 2018-10-23
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Bradfute, Irene


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Funeral Etiquette

Social graces or the rules of etiquette help guide us through several different social situations. Funerals are one of the most difficult events to attend and present many challenges. Unless you have been to several funerals then you may not know exactly how best to behave and act.

Emily Post once said, "Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others." Much of what we know today about etiquette comes from this woman, who published her first book of etiquette in 1922. When you use those words as your guide, the rules of funeral etiquette become easier to understand.

Funeral Attire

Tradition has always required a certain level of formality in dressing for a funeral. However, today's end-of-life services are so varied – ranging from the traditional funeral to the often more relaxed celebration-of-life – that it's challenging to know exactly what's expected of you.

The advisors on the Emily Post website tell readers that "attire isn't limited to just black or dark gray. Remember, though, that it is a serious occasion and your attire should reflect that, especially if you are participating in the service. At the very least it should be clean, neat, and pressed as for any other important occasion.

If you know the funeral is traditional, a more formal dress is recommended. Here is a quick guideline for dressing for a traditional funeral:

man black suit funeral attireMen

Men should wear at least dark dress pants with a dress shirt and a tie. Ideally, men should opt to wear a suit that is black, a dark grey, or a dark navy.  A white dress shirt is the standard, but a black shirt is also acceptable. Ties should be solid or only have simple patterns, and should be black or another dark color.


Women should look to dress conservatively with either a nice business suit or a simple dress with a sweater or blazer. Shoulders and knees should be covered. Instead of the cocktail party dress, choose the more subdued dress. Choose dark colors such as a black, grey, navy. You are there to honor the deceased. It is not the time to draw attention to yourself with loud, vibrant colors. Also to reflect a subdued appearance you should not go overboard with your jewelry. Furthermore, you need to be sensible in your shoe choice. Stilettoes are properly not the best choice. Funerals can involve a lot of standing and walking especially if you are attending a graveside service.

What to Say

No one expects you to say more than a few words and bereaved family members are often unable to give you their full attention anyway. So keep it short and make it sincere.

Below are some examples of simple, quick comments of sympathy you can say to the family of the deceased:

- I’m so sorry for your loss

- My condolences on your loss

- You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

- Your (husband, sister, uncle, cousin, etc.) will be greatly missed.

You might have time to share a story about the deceased. However, watch closely for signs that the family needs to move on to receive condolences from other funeral guests.

Make sure you remain fairly quiet when talking to other funeral guests. It is important to not be a distraction. Remember, you are there to pay your respect to the grieving family and the deceased.

How to Participate

Simply follow along based on the instructions from the pastor or celebrant. Sometimes you may be unsure about how to follow the instructions. In this case, step aside discretely and do not draw attention to yourself.

Avoid bringing your cell phone to the service. If you must have your cell phone with you, put it on “silent” or “vibrate” mode.

How to Handle the Visitation

The visitation, or viewing, takes place prior to the funeral where guests are invited to view the casketed body of the deceased. While it is customary to show your respects to the deceased by stepping up to the casket, you may not feel comfortable doing so. That's perfectly alright; no one wants you to be unnerved by the experience, so focus your attention instead on providing comfort to the bereaved family.

After the Funeralgraveside cemetery funeral etiquette

If the deceased is to be buried following the service, the funeral officiant will announce the location of the burial. If the cemetery is not located on the grounds of the funeral home, there will be a processional of cars formed to escort the hearse to the cemetery. Unless they have chosen to have a private burial, those in attendance are welcome to join in the procession. However, do not feel obligated to attend the burial. You may simply leave the funeral at this time.

The Funeral Reception

Many families today hold a post-funeral gathering where food and refreshments are served. While this is a time to share memories, laughter, and even tears, your behavior at a funeral reception needs to remain respectful. 

Follow-up with Kindness

If you've not already done so, this is a good time to send the family a sympathy note or card. About a week after the funeral, pick up the phone to check in with them to see if there's anything they need.

"Good manners," wrote Emily Post, "reflect something from inside – an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self." We think that just about sums it up; no matter the situation – funeral, wedding, baptism, dinner party or cocktails with friends – her observations about good manners (when followed) will serve us all well. 



Wiesman, L. (2016). What to wear to a funeral a gentleman’s guide. Retrieved from https://www.dmarge.com/2016/07/what-to-wear-funeral.html#gsi1

Glover, R. (2017). Appropriate traditional funeral attire. Retrieved from https://www.thespruce.com/what-is-formal-funeral-attire-1216545



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