Wreaths Across America: Coleman Funeral Home to Honor Fallen Veterans

On December 16, 2023, Coleman Funeral Home will once again be participating in Wreaths Across America, a national movement to honor our nation’s veterans by placing wreaths on their graves. Garden of Memories Cemetery in Oxford will be one of thousands of cemeteries across the country participating in this memorial event.

“We believe that it is important to remember and honor the sacrifices our veterans have made,” said Mike Roberts, Garden of Memories pre-planning specialist. “We take part in Wreaths Across America every year, and it is a special way to show our gratitude and appreciation to those who have served our country.”

At 11:00 a.m. on December 16, community volunteers and Coleman Funeral Home’s staff will gather at Garden of Memories Cemetery to say the name of each veteran aloud as they lay wreaths on the graves of veterans, following the mission of Wreaths Across America to “remember, honor and teach” about our veterans’ sacrifice.

“We love when families take part in Wreaths Across America because when a child or teenager places a wreath on a veteran’s grave, it helps educate the next generation about service, bravery, freedom and sacrifice,” said Roberts.

You can help Coleman Funeral Home honor our veterans by sponsoring a wreath for Wreaths Across America. Each wreath costs $17, and you can sponsor as many wreaths as you’d like. You can sponsor a wreath in honor or memory of a loved one or request a specific veteran’s grave for your wreath to be placed at. The last day to sponsor a wreath is November 28. Click here to sponsor a wreath.

We encourage you to join Coleman Funeral Home in honoring our veterans on December 16th. You can sponsor a wreath, volunteer to help lay wreaths or attend to show your support. To volunteer at the event, click here

With Christmas Ornaments, Coleman Funeral Home Helps Preserve Family Memories

Family Care Coordinator Kathy Brummett welcomed loved ones as they picked up the special ornaments.

For people grieving lost loved ones, the holidays can be one of the toughest times of the year. By gifting memorial Christmas ornaments, Coleman Funeral Home helps comfort those grieving and remember those lost in the past year. 

The ornaments, made of crystal glass and engraved with the loved one’s name and their dates of birth and death, are distributed each year in December. This year, loved ones visited Coleman Funeral Home’s Oxford location to pick up their ornaments on the morning of December 15.  

“In addition to helping preserve the memories of those we’ve lost, this annual tradition gives us a chance to reconnect with families, share memories with them and just see how they’re doing during this difficult time,” said Glenn Coleman, co-owner and president of Coleman Funeral Home.

At the event, Pre-Planning Specialist Mike Roberts and Family Care Coordinator Kathy Brummett greeted visitors, including Lisa Chandler, who was there to pick up ornaments in memory of her husband, Fletcher Thomas Chandler, who died on July 29, 2022. 

Lisa described Fletcher’s strong Christian faith that he took with him everywhere he went. 

“My husband was a man strong in his faith,” she said. “He did construction and was all over the United States. He worked for Georgia-Pacific and every plant he went to, he viewed that as a mission field.” 

Lisa, who had a Christmas tradition of buying reindeer ornaments for her husband, said the Coleman ornament will be a comforting, new part of her holiday traditions. 

“This is the first year I’m not going to buy a reindeer ornament,” she said. “When [Coleman] told us about this, it gave me great comfort that when I hang that ornament on my tree, he’s remembered.”

At the event, Pre-Planning Specialist Mike Roberts greeted visitors, including Lisa Chandler, who was there to pick up ornaments in memory of her husband, Fletcher Thomas Chandler, who died on July 29, 2022. “This is the first year I’m not going to buy a reindeer ornament,” she said. “When [Coleman] told us about this, It gave me great comfort that when I hang that ornament on my tree, he’s remembered.”

 

Garden of Memories Oxford to Honor Fallen Veterans with Wreaths

In December, Garden of Memories Oxford will host Wreaths Across America to remember and honor the 56 veterans buried at the cemetery.

The wreath-laying ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on Dec. 17, and staff and community volunteers will decorate the graves of every veteran laid to rest at Garden of Memories.

“This is a meaningful way to honor the sacrifice and bravery of the heroes buried at Garden of Memories,” said Mike Roberts, the cemetery’s pre-planning specialist. “It’s a community effort with a big impact, especially for veterans’ families and friends.”

Though over half of the wreaths needed have been sponsored, Garden of Memories is still seeking sponsors. Each wreath sponsorship costs $15. Interested individuals can learn more or register by visiting: https://wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/159634.

Wreaths Across America began in 1992 when Morrill Worcester decided to use his company’s surplus wreaths to honor the veterans buried at Arlington National Cemetery. They have only grown since then, now placing wreaths on over 1.6 million veterans’ graves at over 3,400 locations each year.

“We’ve partnered with Wreaths Across America for several years and are proud to continue this year,” said Roberts. “We appreciate the organization’s commitment to making sure our veterans’ sacrifices are not forgotten.”

Coleman Funeral Home’s ‘Trunk or Treat’ Scares Up Safe Family Fun

Community members slinging candy is, as one might expect, a primary draw for the Halloween-themed Trunk or Treat event in the parking lot at Coleman Funeral Home, but lately a friendly neighborhood web-slinger and his friends give the sweets a run for their wrappers. 

“In the past couple of years, we’ve had staff in costume as super heroes, such as Spider-Man and Captain American,” said Glenn Coleman, co-owner of Coleman Funeral Home. “It seems like half the kids see Spider-Man and want their picture made with him—almost more so than they even want candy.” 

Coleman Funeral Home will host its annual fifth Trunk or Treat on October 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. The event is free and is open to all families with children 12 and under. Coleman said the goal of Trunk or Treat is to bring the community together and provide kids with a safe place to trick or treat. Especially for smaller children, he said, trick-or-treating from parked car to parked car can be a safer alternative to going door-to-door in neighborhood, as well as easier and more contained for families. 

“And, besides a photo op with comic book heroes, kids get to see police cars and fire trucks,” Coleman said. 

Since the first event in 2017, the word has spread, like a classic ghost story. 

“It started with about 12 or 15 cars in the parking lot and about 100 kids,” Coleman said, “It’s grown to where we have 40 or 50 vendors calling us wanting to reserve a spot. We anticipate serving 600 to 1,000 kids this year.”  

Along with the increase in community involvement each year, more staff are getting in on the fun. “Our staff members really look forward to it and enjoy making the kids smile,” Coleman said. 

Coleman Funeral Home is located at 601 Commerce Parkway. Please enter from CR 401 (behind the property) rather than Highway 7 South. 

 

Talking to Your Family About Their Funeral

Most of us will be charged with the overwhelming task of planning the funeral of a loved one. When that time comes, it will be our greatest hope to honor their wishes. Despite this, less than 1% of people know what their family members want for their final resting place, according to a survey SunLife, a U.K.-based insurance provider.

Lane Massey, funeral director and pre-need counselor for Coleman Funeral Home, is passionate about helping families navigate the process of planning ahead.

“When you have a child sitting here wondering what his or her parent would have wanted, or a husband with no idea whether his wife would have wanted cremation or burial, it puts an enormous amount of stress on families,” said Lane Massey, funeral director for Coleman Funeral Home.

Ashley Bowlan, funeral director for Coleman Funeral Home, says not speaking to your loved ones about their wishes not only causes the family more stress, but could actually delay the funeral arrangements.

“Families are found sitting at the arrangement conference looking back and forth at other family members asking the same questions over and over,” said Bowlan. “They often spend hours looking all over for any information that may have been written down about their loved, one causing everything to be delayed. Also, when family members live out of town, many decisions are put on hold until everyone can arrive.”

To lessen the emotional burden and plan for the financial stress that comes with making these decisions, it is essential that family members have the challenging end-of-life conversations with their parents and spouse.

“Getting the conversation started is often the hardest part,” said Massey. “Start by reassuring your family member that the conversation is coming from a place of love and wanting to ensure you understand their wishes.”

During the conversation, there are specific questions you will want to get answers to, including:

  • Do you want to be buried or cremated?
  • If cremated, where do you want your ashes placed or buried?
  • If buried, where would you like to be buried?
  • What type of funeral or memorial service would you prefer?
  • Is there particular music or specific flowers you would like?
  • In lieu of flowers, is there a specific organization that people may contribute to instead?
Ashley Bowlan, funeral director and pre-need counselor for Coleman Funeral Home, oversees visitations and services, and works closely with families to memorialize loved ones.

If your family member is open to it, this conversation can include making specific choices about the casket they would like to be buried in or the plot where they would like to be buried.

“If you need more guidance during this discussion, pre-need counselors can guide you through these tough decisions,” Massey said.

Family members are also encouraged to use Coleman’s eFuneral services. This new online pre-planning tool allows families and individuals to select their service package, casket or urn, burial vault and complete payment. It is also a helpful resource for families who want a better idea of the decisions they will need to make, as well as the cost.

“Having these conversations can be uncomfortable,” Massey said. “Doing so, however, will provide peace of mind for you and your family.”