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Front Page » March 10, 2009 » Scene » Service is at the heart of Fausett Mortuary
Published 1,990 days ago

Service is at the heart of Fausett Mortuary


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By PATSY STODDARD
Editor

Fausett's Mortuary has a long history of service in Emery and Carbon counties. The mortuary in Castle Dale is located at 720 North Center Street. This facility has recently undergone a makeover. The front door has been replaced. New carpeting has been installed throughout the building. New furniture as well as light fixtures have been added and a fresh coat of beige paint enhances the walls of the interior. The bathroom has new fixtures and a new paint job as well.

The Furner brothers, Michael and Steven have been involved with the process of making the Fausett Mortuary as inviting and comforting to families as it can be. Plans for outside landscaping will also come into play as warmer weather approaches.

Steven said he worked for Greg and Grant Fausett about 10-12 years ago. When Greg passed away in July 2006, his wife, Terri, called the Furner brothers to ask them if they would be interested in coming back to help operate the mortuaries in Price and Castle Dale. Michael came back first, he was working in St. George at the time. Steven came in August 2007 and had been working in Oklahoma at the time of the offer to join a partnership with the Fausetts.

Steven said they attended Greg's viewing and mentioned to the family if they needed help to let them know. Grant is still involved in the business and helps out. Grant is the original founder of the Fausett Mortuary. The business started in 1959. Grant purchased the funeral home that was just south of the post office in Castle Dale. In the 1960s the family built a funeral home in Price. In the mid-1970s the current facility in Castle Dale was constructed.

Steven said his family lives in the apartment at the mortuary. "We try to make things as convienient for the families as possible. Having someone here at all times really helps out. We can do everything we need to do from our Castle Dale facility so families don't have to travel to Price. We take care of the deceased person and they remain here at the facility until the funeral and burial. Steven's family consists of his wife, Carol and four children; TJ is 16, Jessica 14, Becca 10 and Trey, 8.

"When someone passes away, we can make all the necessary notifications for a family. We meet with the families and make all the arrangements. We schedule the funeral and the viewing. We want everyone to know we make house calls and we are always on call 24 hours a day and seven days a week. We have night time pick-up of deceased people. We know most people aren't ready for death, and we try to take care of their loved one, the same way we would treat our own mother or father. The trust that people have in you is incredible," said Steven.

Michael said, "My family and I live in the Price Mortuary. My wife's name is Tiffany and we have two daughers, Mikell who is 5 and MaKenna is 6 months. We work very closely with the Castle Dale Mortuary. When one of us starts working with a family then we meet with them the entire time and take care of the funeral for them. We work closely with the families and help them through the troubling time of losing a loved one. We work with families from Green River, too and many families that have left the area, but want to bring their loved one home to be buried. Having two locations really helps out with the families who have to travel down here. Sometimes we meet with families coming from the Wasatch Front at our Price facility even though the funeral and burial will be in Emery County. We just do whatever the families need us to do," said Michael.

Steven said, "We help the families to plan and personalize the funerals. We want the funeral to help tell the story of the person who has died. If the person was a rancher sometimes we will put their brand on the casket. Whatever the families want. We are here to help. We are entrusted with their loved one. We perform a service for the family. We become very close to the families we work with. A funeral helps the survivors to share memories of the deceased person.

"We have an after care program, too for the survivors. Oftentimes a widow won't know where to turn after the services are over and everyone goes home, it can be a period of confusion and loneliness for them. We will meet with families afterwards and help them with notifications of social security, veteran's administration, UMWA, retirements and others. We have all the necessary forms here and are glad to provide that service," said Steven.

Michael said, "A lot of the families are overwhelmed and they don't know who to notify. We don't want people to worry and wonder if they've done everything. This aftercare is just a continuation of our service. We will make notifications to clergy and call the cities to have the grave sites opened. We take care of the obituaries to whichever newspapers the families request."

Steven said that business is steady and there always seems to be paperwork to do. "We really love it here in Castle Dale. I've joined the Lion's Club, we are involved with our church. We just want to give back to our community. That is one of the reasons we wanted to update our facility here in Castle Dale, to give back to our community. We wanted to have a nice place to meet with families.

"Another service we offer is pre-planned funerals. This gives people peace of mind and takes some of the burden off the children when their parent passes away. Another advantage to pre-arranged funerals is you can freeze todays prices. You can also make payments so everything is paid for at the time of your passing. What better gift to give your children than the peace of mind to know that everything is taken care of when the time comes," said Steven.

The Furners have rearranged the way viewings are held in the building which makes better use of the space available. You enter the front doors and enter the large room through the large opening. The families and casket are along the side wall with the chairs set-up opposite the family. Steven said this works better than having everyone wait in the narrow hallway across from the bathroom and then enter the small room. The smaller room has been redecorated to be the meeting room with the families. Steven said funerals can be held at the facility if the families want that service. There are 150 chairs. "It's really a nice warm room to hold a funeral. Sometimes if the families aren't from here they will opt to have the services here. We often will go and pick up a loved one from a distant location and bring them back home. Sometimes an elderly person will leave the area to stay with a son or daughter and at the time of their passing, their wish is to come home. So we will travel and we do a lot of traveling to help out the families. We will also coordinate a cremation if that is what the person wanted.

"One distinction between a memorial service and a funeral is that at a funeral the body is present and at a memorial service the body isn't present. Sometimes memorial services are held and then when the cremation is complete, the burial can take place. Many people don't know a cremated person can be buried in the local cemetery," said Steven.

Michael said, "We want the families we work with to know they can ask us any question they have."

Steven said, "Death is just part of the process. It isn't something to be feared. It is a natural part of life. Death affects everyone in a different way. No two people handle the death of a loved one the same. Everyone grieves in a different way. People don't like to talk about death, but the more you know about it, the more understanding you will have. Death is a hard thing."

Michael said, "Another service we offer is tours for youth or civic groups and church groups. This gives people the chance to come into the mortuary and ask questions during a time where they aren't affected by a death. It can be a real learning experience. We don't want people to think of funeral homes as weird places. We want you to feel comfort here.

"We take good care of the deceased person. They are washed and bathed. Their hair is styled. If you have a stylist your loved one has used forever, they are welcome to come and fix the hair. The family also has the opportunity to dress their loved one, if they choose. But, that's not for everyone. Whatever the family wants and whatever they are comfortable with, that's how we take care of things. Every family deserves the best," said Michael.

When planning a funeral it's important to know the songs the person liked, what color they liked, what speakers they might want; everything that can be planned ahead leaves less decision making when families are in mourning. Michael said, "The programs can be personalized to represent the person. Make every effort to have a good picture of your loved ones. Make sure you take plenty of pictures while your loved ones are still alive. It is sometimes difficult to find a good photo at the time of a death. Planning ahead makes that easier. You want a good photo for the program and the obituary. One nice touch I like is an older photo which shows the person as they were in their youth. I remember when my grandma passed away and there was a young photo of her on the program and I thought, that's not the grandma I knew. Sometimes it's nice for the children to see the person as they were when they were young.

"Funerals are a time for families to come together and bring back good memories and reminisce and celebrate the life of the person who has passed on. During these times the families can buoy each other and support one another," said Michael.

Steven said their father worked for Walker Mortuary up north, he wasn't the funeral director, but would help with removals and funerals. Steven was curious about the business and worked as an apprentice for Walkers in Spanish Fork.

Michael helped out part-time for a funeral home in Heber. Stevem also worked in Sanpete County. Steven has been in the business now for 17 years and Michael for 11.

"We enjoy the opportunity to be of service," said Michael, "We really feel like it's more than a job, it's a calling to be a funeral director. At some point everyone is going to lose a loved one. We treat everyone with respect. We develop close bonds with those people we work with and have made life long friends. We can see the comfort in the family members eyes as we help them. A lot of our funerals take place on Saturdays and we both try to be there, but sometimes there are two funerals on the same day and Steven and I will have to split up to take care of those funerals."

The Furners also have part-time helpers Ken Callahan, Sherald Law, Hope Powell and Willard Young. Their wives, Carol and Tiffany also help with funerals. Grant Fausett is still active in the business.

The Furners and the Fausetts want the people of Carbon and Emery counties to know they are there for you in your time of need. Service is at the heart of Fausett's Mortuary.

The Furners can be reached in Castle Dale at 435-381-2551 and in Price at 435-637-1181.

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