“It does not feel like a funeral home.” This is the quote we hear most frequently when families walk into our funeral and cremation center. Today, we celebrate the two-year anniversary of our grand opening of this facility and, again, I reflect on the amazing shift about how people feel about funerals when they enter our doors.
We’ve been pleased to receive your handwritten notes about how we serve your families and loved ones in these past two years. And, it makes me feel good to know when you tell us that it was not “scary” to walk in the front doors, how uplifting our lobby feels when you walk in, how welcoming our staff is to you, and how when we hold services in our Bluebonnet Room or Magnolia Cremation Suite that you feel like you’re at home. You are.
Before we sat down with an architect, I visited more than ten different funeral homes to study the best aspects of each one, determining what would be best use of our space here. My wife, Chelsea, also deserves much of the credit for this feel to our funeral center. We chose things together, led by her excellent suggestions.
We’re proud that once again, Callaway-Jones Funeral & Cremation Centers has been nominated for the Top 3 in The Eagle’s “Reader’s Choice” competition. We’ve been pleased to win this award before, thanks to all of you.
Aside from the beautiful building you see from the outside, we’re proud of the welcome you receive when you enter our funeral center. Here, you meet our family’s team of qualified professionals who guide you through the decisions you must make with care and concern, without pressure. That’s our family’s promise to you for over 107 years and we’ll never change that.
Although we have much to be proud of from our history, we are contemporary, progressive, and we continue to lead the way with technology ensured to meet your wishes. I’ve been reflecting on what the past two years in our new building has made possible.
We are first in the Brazos Valley to have an exquisite 35-foot Video Legacy Wall. This makes it possible to present the images of your loved ones to their best degree. We now have the capacity to simulcast your loved one’s funeral service to those who are home-bound or members active in military service who cannot leave their duty post but who want to pay respects.
Our funeral services for your loved ones who are veterans include full military honors, with services equally memorable whether presented at our Funeral Center or at the graveside.
We’ve also had families request dove releases, which we are able to arrange to add even more special meanings when you request.
In fact, at the two-year mark, I think of all of the things we are able to do to serve our families in this new center compared to what we were able to do before.
When we built our brand new funeral center, we wanted to offer our families something new and something different. In our Magnolia Cremation Suite, we offer families a time to be present with their loved one for those last minutes right before the cremation takes place. We even offer an optional viewing window to watch the cremation start. Many of our families share they’re glad we have this special area of reflection for them to have private closure.
The variety of our architecture and room layout inside allows us to configure a small chapel setting for those who desire a small, traditional service. We can also use the full length of the room to offer a relaxed setting for our Special Services of Remembrance designed by our exclusive Certified Life Celebrant.
Many families have chosen to design a service for their loved one that remembers the best times and friends of their lives in a less traditional fashion. And, we are proud we can offer those custom services to our families. Clergy members find our facility welcoming when they need additional room to host funerals for their church members.
We are honored when families know exactly the music they want to hear in our Custom Life Celebrations as well as in our traditional funeral services. And, our beautiful lobby represents another excellent place for creative displays of mementos and photographs that were important to your family in remembering the one who passed away.
I’m also very proud of our newest auto in our fleet. It’s the Platinum Phoenix-C Cadillac Funeral Coach. It’s our first new hearse since my father and grandfather passed away. It’s poignant that it’s the same model that transferred President Bush during services in Washington, DC last year.
We’ve hosted families who gather for large meals before or after a time of remembrance, and our staff can configure our rooms to look especially the way you want them to look.
Callaway-Jones has been in the Brazos Valley for over 108 years now. We’re as constant and consistent as we’ve always been in serving you and meeting your needs. You can always count on us, too, not only to keep up with the times but to be at the front of technology that helps us to serve you most efficiently.
Frankly, even though it’s been two years, Chelsea, Lorene and I don’t know where the time has flown. It seems like yesterday we were moving in, and it was all so new and different, some 55 years after our previous building was opened. And yet, today it is home.
We invite you to drop by anytime and see it if you haven’t already been here. We’d be proud to show it to you. Thank you for your kind words and thoughtful cards sent to us these past to years. You are, as always, part of our extended family and friends.