Remembering the widowed on Valentine’s Day

By Kathy Brummett

Coleman Funeral Home

 

Kathy Brummett is family care coordinator at Coleman Funeral Home.

Eighteen years ago, I was spending Valentine’s Day alone just a few short months after my husband passed away.

I was not expecting this holiday, one centered around love and relationships, to be a particularly joyful one. I was proven wrong by an 18-year-old boy who chose to let me know he was thinking of me that day.

The young man was in my daughter’s senior class and had decided to take the time that Valentine’s Day to bring me a bouquet of flowers. I am sure there were several kind things done for me at the time, but I have never forgotten that young man. I think of him, and his kind actions, every Valentine’s Day.

Because of him, I try to be mindful about paying attention to people who have been through a loss like that, especially in the first year without their loved one. My role as family care coordinator for Coleman Funeral Home has helped me become even more attuned to the experience of the widowed.

If someone you care about is spending their first Valentine’s Day without their spouse, here are some ways you can help.

 

Let them now you haven’t forgotten about them.

In the first days after someone has died, we know how to respond to a family’s grief. We send condolences, we order flowers, we make them a meal. But we don’t always think about continuing to do these things beyond those first few days.

In my work at Coleman Funeral Home, we look for ways to extend the care and comfort. It can be as simple as writing a note now and then. At Christmas, we bring them an ornament in memory of their loved one. We want them to know we’re thinking about them.

When you know someone who is grieving, it can be as simple as stopping them in the store and asking how they are doing or sending them a short text message. Sometimes when you’re grieving, it can feel like everyone else has moved on. Those simple acts of kindness and remembrance mean so much.

 

Don’t be afraid to talk about it.

People are afraid to talk about death, because they are worried it will bring back the pain of the loss. Well, the loss is always there, and so is the pain.

Even a brief handwritten note is enough to let a person know they have not been forgotten.

With so many families we care for at Coleman Funeral Home, I find that they just need someone to talk to. We cannot be afraid to ask someone about their loss or how they are doing, because sometimes that is just what they need.

If it isn’t the right time for them to talk, they will let you know. But they will know that you are there for them when they are ready.

 

Don’t assume everything is fine.

I consider myself a strong, independent person and, after the passing of my husband, people would automatically assume that I was fine. I remember trying to integrate myself back into church without my husband. Sitting alone was normal for me, because he always worked in the radio room. The hardest part came when church was over. I would see people grouping up to go out and making plans, but not once did someone ask me to go.

I know this wasn’t meant in a malicious way, but we just forget to think that others might still be struggling with things we have moved on from. A simple invitation or even a quick chat would have gone a long way during that time.

Supporting someone who is grieving does not have to involve grand gestures. Sometimes, they just need a simple reminder that they haven’t been forgotten.

The 18-year-old boy who surprised me with flowers all those years ago reminded me that I hadn’t been forgotten and gave me the courage to help others in the way he helped me. It only takes a little thoughtfulness to let them know you care.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saying Goodbye to a Legend – Coach John Howard Vaught

Saying Goodbye to a Legend

Written by Jeremy Roberts

John Vaught is truly a legend at The University of Mississippi. Many people say he is our version of Alabama’s Bear Bryant, but to us – he is our football king.

Vaught coached the Rebels for 25 seasons and led them to three national championships (1959, 1960, and 1962). He still holds the record number of wins (190), along with appearing in 18 different bowl games (including eight Sugar Bowls) with a 10-8 record.

He was not like a coach of the present. He did not wear a headset on the field and never got his suit dirty. The quarterback ran the plays as Vaught stood watching on the sidelines and would only call plays for field goals or punting, but only when needed.

“He always wore a coat and tie. He was also real good looking and always wore the hat,” Warner Alford, Alumni Association executive director and former player, said. “He had the first pair of alligator shoes I had ever seen. He was very dignified and never got his suit dirty. He had command of the sideline.”

Before Vaught, there was Harold (Red) Drew of Bates in 1946. During Drew’s time, Vaught was a line coach. Once Drew resigned as head coach, Vaught took the reigns as a former All-American at TCU.

Vaught ultimately changed the face of Ole Miss Rebel Football in many ways.

Chancellor Robert Khayat, also a former player of Vaught’s, remembers that “until he came, Ole Miss Football was just another team in a small conference. We really did not arrive on the national scene until his 1959 team beat Maryland and won the South Eastern Conference Championship. That is when he really stepped up Ole Miss football.”

Alford recounts the same. “Vaught took Ole Miss from a different level, he took Ole Miss to a national level. He took a struggling program to one of consistent winning that led them to the national level. He took Mississippi boys and won with them.”

In his first season, 1947, the Rebels won their first of six SEC titles with a 9-2 record. (The Rebels also won SEC titles in 1954, 1955, 1960, 1962, and 1963.)

Vaught’s 1959 team finished with a record of 10-1, only given up three touchdowns all year, to become the SEC Team of the Decade (1950-1959) and was ranked the third best collegiate football team from 1956 to 1995.

While playing in Hemingway Stadium, later renamed Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in his honor, Vaught made this one of the toughest places in the nation for opposing teams to compete against the Rebels.

From 1952-1964, Vaught’s Rebels had a 34-game home field streak, which included 21-straight victories from 1952-1959.

During his first time as coach, the Rebels were ranked at the top of the Associated Press polls for three weeks during the 1960 season and one during the 1961 season. In 1964, the Rebels were ranked number one in the preseason with the Associated Press.

During this time, the Rebels were among one of the most winningest programs in the country.

Vaught returned as head coach for one season in 1973, while still as athletic director for the University.

During his 25 seasons, his final record was 190 wins, 61 losses and 12 tied games. He is the fourth-winningest coach in NCAA Division I history.

Off the field, Vaught’s persona changed little. He was still very dignified and refined.

“He was kind of a private person,” Warner said. “The people he was close to, he was very open with them. He was very intelligent. He believed in himself and he could have been successful at anything he tried.”

Khayat said he was a warm person who loved to have a good time.

“He was funny and loved to dance – even until he was 94 years old. He really loved his friends and family,” Khayat said. “His life reflected the disciplined mind he had. He did not say things twice. His words were always clear.”

John Vaught will always be remembered as a legend to Ole Miss football and to this community. He will never be forgotten as a coach, father, husband, friend and mentor to many people.

“Legends are made from great people and they are never forgotten that is why Coach Vaught will always be a legend,” Alford said. “Legends are made out of men like John Vaught.”

 

Reprinted from The Ole Miss 2006, where Jeremy Roberts served as Editor-in-Chief for the 110th edition of The University of Mississippi’s yearbook.

 

Additional information –

Coach John Howard Vaught passed on February 3, 2006, in Oxford, MS.  Coleman Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements on February 9, 2006, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Oxford, MS. This year, 2019, marks 13 years since Coach Vaught’s passing.  This year, 2019, is also the 15th year anniversary of Coleman Funeral Home. Coleman Funeral Home was honored to be a part of his service, forever grateful for his family entrusting his services and final wishes with our family.

Story reprinted from The Ole Miss 2006

Coleman Funeral Home Celebrates 15th Anniversary

Co-owners Glenn Coleman & Tom Fowlkes, MD.

Special events planned throughout 2019

Coleman Funeral Home is marking its 15th year of service to the Oxford-Lafayette Community with a series of special events planned throughout 2019.

As the year begins, Glenn Coleman, co-owner and funeral director, said he is reflecting upon all the families he’s had the chance to serve since the funeral home first opened in 2004.

It means so much to us to be able to provide care and comfort to the families of this community,” he said. “This year is a chance to celebrate that.”

Special events planned for this year include a new Valentine’s Luncheon on Feb. 12. All those who have buried a spouse through Coleman Funeral Home are invited to come together for a special meal.

The funeral home will also host an Anniversary Open House event on March 5 with the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce.

For the first half of 2019, Coleman Funeral Home is marking its 15-year anniversary by offering 15 percent off for those who pre-arrange funeral services between now and the end of June. The offer also comes with a free plot at Garden of Memories Oxford cemetery for the first 50 people who pre-arrange — a $1,000 value.

“Anyone who has buried a loved one knows how much it means to have those funeral plans taken care of in advance,” Coleman said. “If it’s something you’ve been thinking about doing, this would be a great time to take action and get the best value you can for yourself and your family.”

Contact Coleman Funeral Home at (662) 234-3900 or [email protected] to schedule a pre-arrangement session. See pricing and packages online.

Established in 2004, Coleman Funeral Home has seen a wealth of changes in its first 15 years.

The business was first established on Highway 7 North in what is now The Orchard Church. The extensive 13,000-square-foot facility was beautiful — but proved far too big for a fledgling funeral home.

Coleman Funeral Home of Oxford opened a light-filled, 7,000-square-foot custom facility in 2015.

The funeral home was given a fresh start in 2014 when Glenn Coleman partnered with Tom Fowlkes, MD, as co-owner and chief financial officer. It transitioned into a modest branch location off West Jackson Avenue, while planning began for a new permanent location.

In 2015, Coleman Funeral Home opened a light-filled, 7,000-square-foot custom facility off Highway 7 South that has been universally well-received.

Instead of the dreary funeral homes of the past, with their low ceilings and dim lighting, Coleman Funeral Home is an airy space with vaulted ceilings, comfortable furnishings and rustic details like cedar beams and stacked-stone fireplaces.

“When people come to a funeral or a visitation, it means a lot to feel welcome and comfortable,” Coleman said.

“We quickly realized when we opened this location that the space itself could be a source of comfort for people in their grief.”

Coleman Funeral Home has since successfully launched a second location in Olive Branch, adapting the same design as its Oxford facility. It branched out with a third location in Southaven in 2018, and is currently building a new facility there as well.

Coleman Funeral Home facilities feature a built-in coffee bar, a catering kitchen, and a main chapel space that can be arranged for row-style seating or for seated meals and receptions.

Because the spaces are so inviting, they’ve hosted not only funerals but also recitals, trade shows and even weddings. An in-house event management professional, Director of Operations Jeremy Roberts, helps ensure that funerals and non-funeral events alike are customized and smoothly run.

The staff at Coleman Funeral Home of Oxford also includes Lane Massey, funeral director and embalmer; Ellen Weaver, funeral director; Kathy Brummett, family care coordinator; Cindi Newman, office assistant; and Charles Maples, funeral assistant.

 

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New products preserve memories

Judy Wood, owner of Cotton Wood Designs, specializes in hand-creating unique designs out of a loved one’s clothing which she carefully crafts onto pillows, quilts or ornaments. Her products are now offered at Coleman Funeral Home as another way to keep valued memories of a loved one alive.

Coleman offers new option to keep loved ones close

 

A commitment to keeping the memories of loved ones alive has driven a new partnership between Coleman Funeral Home and Judy Wood, owner of Cotton Wood Designs.

Judy Wood specializes in hand-creating unique designs out of a loved one’s clothing which she carefully crafts onto pillows, quilts or ornaments.

“It’s important to keep the memories of a loved one alive after they have passed by acknowledging the individuality of their personality, and the uniqueness of their life’s path,” said Glenn Coleman, co-owner of Coleman Funeral Home.

“Judy’s handmade designs truly preserve memories while also telling a story,” said Coleman. “We are grateful to provide this option to families looking to keep loved ones close.”

T-shirts, sweatshirts, ties and other clothing can be included on Wood’s products. Clothing does not have to be in perfect condition.

“A loved one’s clothing is synonymous with them,” said Wood. “Whether it was their favorite tie, the t-shirt from their high school reunion or from their favorite restaurant, clothing tells the story of a life.”

By crafting clothing onto an item that can be kept near the family memories remain alive said Wood.

“A pillow or a blanket can be put on the couch and kept close to the family,” she said. “It sparks conversation with new friends and talks of old memories with family. It makes sure someone is still part of the family.”

The partnership with Wood was sparked after Jeremy Roberts, director of operations and event services at Coleman Funeral Home, contacted Wood for his own quilt.

“I gave her my old favorite shirts and she crafted them into a quilt that visualized my story on a crafted timeline,” said Roberts.

Wood said the idea for her products came from her desire to preserve the memories of her children’s lives through the t-shirts they had collected.

“I realized my children had a lot of shirts just tucked away,” said Wood. “I wasn’t sure what to do with them. Each item had a memory attached to it. I felt it was important to maintain those memories in a way that kept them around and not just in a drawer.”

She said that is when she decided to craft the shirts into a quilt that has remained a part of the family.

“All of the shirts are now on a quilt,” she said. “They are still in the house and part of the family. Every time we are around the quilt a new conversation about an old memory starts.”

Wood said she hopes her products can spark the same conversations about a loved one for families of Coleman Funeral Home.

“Memories of our loved ones are what matter the most,” said Wood. “For families of Coleman, preserving those memories are of the utmost importance.”

“I think choosing something that keeps those memories near is a great way to continue to tell someone’s story,” said Wood. “I hope these products can tell those cherished memories for families of Coleman.”

Coleman Funeral Home breaks ground on new Southaven facility

Coleman Funeral Home celebrates the ground breaking of their new Southaven facility with the Horn Lake Chamber of Commerce. The new facility, to be completed by Fall 2019, will be located on Star Landing Road East directly in front of DeSoto Memorial Gardens cemetery.

Construction to be completed in Fall 2019

 

Construction on Coleman Funeral Home’s new Southaven facility has begun. The 6,500-square-foot custom facility is expected to be completed in Fall 2019.

The new funeral home, to be positioned on three and a half acres, will be located on Star Landing Road East directly in front of DeSoto Memorial Gardens cemetery.

Coleman Funeral Home opened in Southaven in December 2017, with an initial branch location at 59 Church Road W., across from Tanger Outlets.

“We are very pleased to be able to offer a different kind of funeral home to serve the families of western DeSoto County.”

“The Southaven community has welcomed us so graciously,” said Glenn Coleman, co-owner of Coleman Funeral Home. “We are very pleased to be able to offer a different kind of funeral home to serve the families of western DeSoto County.”

The new facility will be constructed with a similar style and layout as Coleman Funeral Home’s other facilities in Oxford and Olive Branch.

Interior of Coleman Funeral Home of Olive Branch

Coleman facilities are filled with natural light and feature vaulted ceilings, rustic beams and stacked-stone fireplaces. Each has a built-in coffee bar, a catering kitchen, and a main chapel space that can be arranged for row-style seating or for seated meals and receptions.

Coleman Funeral Home has received positive feedback about its facilities in Oxford and Olive Branch.

“People tell us they find our funeral homes to be very warm and welcoming,” said Coleman. “We aim to be different from traditional funeral homes with their low ceilings and dark, somber spaces.”

Because the spaces are so inviting, Coleman facilities have hosted not only funerals but also recitals, trade shows and even weddings. An in-house event management professional helps ensure that funerals and non-funeral events alike are customized and smoothly run.

Lori Payne, community ambassador for Coleman Funeral Home of Southaven, says the new facility will benefit the community. “It is very needed here. We only have one other funeral home in Southaven,” she said. “Having options is always good for the community.”

Payne said people are looking to funeral homes to provide more modern options while remaining family-oriented and community-orientated.

“As a family business, Coleman Funeral Home is very connected to the community, but still offers services and facilities that meet the needs of families today,” Payne said.

Coleman Funeral Home’s current Southaven facility provides a home-like environment for meetings with funeral directors and for small family gatherings. It offers larger funeral services at local churches or at Coleman Funeral Home of Olive Branch, just 10 miles away.

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