Friday Sep 8, 2017

"Simpler Funerals - A Natural Choice!"

Kathy Long

Executive Director People's Memorial Association

Introduced by: Kit Bowerman

Speaker Notes

None of us want to spend much time thinking aboutĀ deathĀ but the reality is we all will eventually have to deal with it! Here is a chance to consider options that are available and educate yourself!

Kathy Long, the Executive Director of People’s Memorial Association, will discuss: “Simpler Funerals, a Natural Choice”.

People are choosing simpler options for their final arrangements – It just makes sense.Ā Peopleā€™s Memorial Association (PMA) is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1939 to help the residents of Washington state avoid the confusion, sales pressure and high expense often associated with cremation and burial arrangements. We also provide education and advocacy for all consumers regarding end-of-life matters.

History

From a Few Determined Peopleā€¦

A Seventy-five Year History of PEOPLEā€™S MEMORIALā„¢

On January 12, 1939, the PEOPLEā€™S MEMORIAL Association was formally organized. Ā The founders adopted by-laws and elected a board of trustees to oversee Association affairs.

People who today say ā€œI just want simple cremationā€ or ā€œbury me in a plain casket,ā€ owe a great deal of gratitude to the visionary founders of PEOPLEā€™S MEMORIAL Association (PMA). Ā It was in Seattle at the end of the great depression that small group of citizens, outraged by the high prices and high pressure sales tactics of the funeral industry, banded together to form PMA.

An outspoken spiritual leader, named Rev. Fred Shorter from the Church of the People in Seattleā€™s University District rallied other like-minded citizens together to create an alternative. Ā This was at the height of the cooperative movement and several of the early members of PMA were also involved in the formation of Group Health Cooperative.

Prevailing funeral customs stressed embalming, display of the body and burial in a costly casket. Ā The founders of PMA felt these practices ostentatious and emphasizing the material rather than spiritual aspects of death. Their aim was to present a meaningful and beautiful service at a fraction of the cost.

Club News

Boys and Girls Club Projects

To kick of New Generations Month, Alex Chehab gave a presentation about the Lynwood Boys and Girls Club that we visited last month. Ā She’s looking for volunteers who would be interested in either meal preperation or tutoring/mentoring

Visit From Haiti

Bruce, the Construction Manager of the project in Ā Haiti gave us an update of the project. Ā A ship with pipes loaded with it is at port in Miami in the path of Irma – a similar shipment was lost overboard in October last year, so we are hoping it doesn’t happen again!

About the Speaker

Kathy Long came to Peopleā€™s Memorial Association in 2012 as their Office Manager. When the opening for a new Executive Director came up, Kathy's marketing skill, nonprofit management experience and social justice passion were keys to her being named Executive Director.
STATEMENT FROM THE PRINCIPAL OFFICER
"People's Memorial Association was founded by a small group of visionary individuals over 70 years ago to assure that people had simple, dignified, economical cremation and burial options. Today we encompass some 80,000 Washington state residents, who support simpler choices for end-of-life."