“For Everything There is a Season: Holiday Blues…”

We are in the midst of a holiday season full of celebrations, laughter and family fun.  Isn’t that what the holiday season is all about?  The reality is that there are those who weep while the rest of the world celebrates.

Many are in pain because they have lost someone close to them and they dread Christmas without them.  And then there are others who for one reason or another have neither family nor friends with whom to share this holiday season.  This is a hard time to be alone.

People need people all year long but especially during the holiday season.  To make this truly a season of joy and to reflect the true meaning of Christmas, perhaps you could take time out of this busy season to reach out to someone who needs some human compassion.  While you are bringing joy to someone else, you might be surprised at how much joy it brings to you.  What a gift!

“For Everything There is a Season: An Ice Breaker…”

Have you felt the need to talk with your aging parents about their finances and final wishes?  Or maybe as a parent, you would like to discuss these issues with your children.  Sometimes it is a hard subject to bring up.  We have something to help you break the ice.

We have a booklet called “How to Talk to Your Parents about Their Money and Final Wishes”.  It is an easy-to-read booklet that provides practical and proven tips on how to hold conversations about end-of-life issues.

We invite you to pick up the booklet.  The holidays are here and it may be the only time the whole family is together.  This is a discussion where everyone in the family should be included if possible.  Please give everyone (parents and children) a “heads up” so everyone has time to mull it over.  In our experience when talking to aging parents, they seem comfortable discussing the future and how they want it handled.

“For Everything There is a Season: Happy Thanksgiving…”

Thursday we will again thank God for the freedoms we enjoy.  In particular, we should thank God for the First Amendment.

The first sentence of the First Amendment simply says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The men who wrote the First Amendment wrote it that way to prevent the government from establishing a national church.  As Thomas Jefferson explained its purpose was to preserve “rights of conscience,” not to strip God from government.  Nowhere in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights does it say “separation of church and state”.

The day after the First Amendment was adopted, President Washington was asked to declare a day of Thanksgiving to thank God for the opportunity to create this new government.  Does that sound like “separation of church and state?”  The first Thanksgiving was on November 26, 1789.

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“For Everything There is a Season: Veterans Benefits…”

There are benefits available to veterans and their spouses in the event of their death.  The length of service and the circumstances of the death determine the benefits available.

All veterans who have served 30 days or more are eligible for a burial flag.  We requisition flags from the post office and Royal Cleaners of Ottawa, press these flags free of charge.

To those that have served two years or more of active duty, the government will provide a granite marker or bronze plaque upon request.  Another benefit to those who have served two years is the right to be buried in a national cemetery.  The spouse can also be buried there.

Veterans are entitled to be buried with military honors.  A military burial is always a moving ceremony whether it is a simple presentation of the flag or full ceremony with taps and a 21 gun salute that is reserved for career military or one that has been killed on duty.

“For Everything There is a Season: Veterans Day…”

This week our nation will pay homage to our veterans.  On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month a combined color guard representing all military services executes “Presents Arms” at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to pay tribute to its war dead by the laying of a presidential wreath and the playing of taps.

To graduate every high school student is required to take a course in American history.  Hopefully, before then, grandparents and parents will help bring history alive for those students.  It is an exciting story.  We need to help our youth appreciate our veterans who have protected our country and those warriors who are continuing to protect our nation.  They need to understand their sacrifice and dedication.

We all have the responsibility of passing on to the next generation the true story of America’s history and the part our veterans played in safeguarding our freedoms.

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“For Everything There is a Season: American Heroes…”

The American veteran and those serving in the armed forces know firsthand the cost of freedom.  In order to preserve our way of life, our men and women have never failed in their duty even though it often involves hardship, danger, injury, and the sacrifice of one’s life.

Those veterans that are no longer in active service are still serving our country.  They pour their talents and energy into worthwhile projects supporting the community, assisting military families and supporting our active duty military forces.

Not only do we owe our military gratitude, we also owe a great deal of gratitude to their families.  It must take a lot of faith to send a loved one off to face the dangers of war and to carry on and take care of the family alone.  The families of our men and women in the military need our support and prayers.  If you know a military family, pitch in and help with everyday things when you can.

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“For Everything There is a Season: Family Owned…”

We are a family owned funeral home, the only one in town.  I say that with pride.  We chose not to sell to a big corporation when they were buying up every funeral home in sight.  The demise of many family owned funeral homes ended an era where personal care of friends and neighbors was the benchmark of the family owned funeral homes.

My grandfather, Louis Dengel, brought his family to Ottawa in 44’ and operated a funeral home at 317 S. Walnut.  In 1947, Grandpa bought an existing funeral home from Floyd McVey and moved to our present building at 235 S. Hickory.  In 1961, my dad, Walter joined the business and it became Dengel & Son Mortuary.  The name was still appropriate in 1983 when I became the third generation to join the family business.  In 1998 I bought the family funeral home when my dad retired.

We are proud to be one of the few family owned funeral homes where personal care is a tradition.