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Home Funeral & Green Burial Speakers Bureau
Speakers listed here educate the public to home funeral and green burial options through individually-designed presentations tailored to spiritual communities, civic groups, clubs, schools, agencies, medical groups, sustainability expos and events, adult education, neighborhood gatherings, senior centers, college classes, social workers, chaplains, environmental focused organizations, informal groups at people's homes, and to anyone who is interested in learning more about family-centered, eco-friendly and affordable funerals.
Dr. Cacciatore is a professor and researcher at Arizona State University where she is also the current director of the graduate Certificate of Trauma and Bereavement, the founder of the MISS Foundation, an international nonprofit organization with 75 chapters around the world aiding parents whose children have died or are dying, and founder of the Kindness Project as a way to help many grieving honor their beloved ones who have died. She is also a medical and legal consultant and trainer and is the recipient of numerous awards.
Marilyn has a Master of Arts in Values degree and has worked in schools, churches, theater and other non-profits. She is the Director of the newly-organized Phoenix West Threshold Choir. Marilyn also studied Life Transitions with Dr. Frederic Hudson of the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara.
Rev. Olivia Rose Bareham, founder of Sacred Crossings is a certified Death Midwife and Home Funeral Guide currently servicing the greater Los Angeles area. Olivia teaches classes and workshops in 'The Art of Dying - How to prepare for a conscious, peaceful transition' and 'Your Final Footprint - The legalities and logistics of Home Funerals & Green Burials' Olivia also offers a certificate program in Death Midwifery.
Jerrigrace is a Minister, Reiki Master, author and founder of Final Passages, Institute of Conscious Dying, Home Funeral & Green Burial Education. She created a certificate program, provided expert guidance in home funeral education to hundreds of students, and participated in over 350 family-directed home funerals. Jerrigrace has been featured in numerous films, including a PBS documentary, publications, newspapers, magazines, professional journals and radio interviews as a pioneer in the field. She presents internationally to colleges, funeral societies, churches, healthcare agencies, medical groups and the public internationally.
Julianne R. Pasco | San Jose
With over a decade of experience in the traditional death-care industry, Julianne Pasco now specializes in helping families make affordable, ecologically friendly funeral and disposition arrangements. With compassion, empathy and respect, she guides families in making sensible arrangements during a difficult time.
Sally Shannon | San Francisco
Threshold Coaching and Organizing
Sally coaches individuals and families completing personal end of life planning, including "Cremation: Pros, Cons and Remembrance," "Choosing an Executor and a Health Durable Power of Attorney," "Digital End of Life: Accounts, Passwords and Plans," Ms. Shannon studied with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, completed a hospice internship, and completed all 3 levels of Final Passages Training "Family Directed Home Funerals" with Jerrigrace Lyons.
Janet Marah Winslow | Mt Shasta
The Brave Heart Emporium
Marah’s experience in speaking comes from years teaching and giving talks in the high tech industry. She has also taught story telling and improv and looks forward to using those skills to engage the audience. Her interest is in opening doors to communications regarding our final passages.
Patricia is a Life-Cycle Celebrant® certified in funerals and memorials specializing in pre-planned end-of-life services and co-created ceremonies for the family to officiate themselves. Patricia has studied home funerals, natural-death-care and green burials with Jerrigrace Lyons of Final Passages, and Natural Transitions. She started and directs the San Luis Valley Threshold Choir in southern Colorado and hosts Death Cafes in her area.
Susan Oppie | Honolulu
Susan has been actively involved in reconnecting our society with death since 2001. She has hosted workshops on the healing power of creating art in honor of deceased loved ones, and has been giving presentations on home funerals at hospices, churches and community centers since completing death midwifery training through Final Passages. She has supported families who have chosen home funerals and has seen first-hand the transformative nature of such acts of love. She is an RN with a specialty certification in Hospice and Palliative Care, and is currently on the Board of the NHFA.
Angie Buchanan | Deerfield
Angie is also a Rite of Passage Officiate, Earth Traditions Minister, Emeritus Board Member of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions, Pagan Student Advisor at the University of Chicago, and member of the National Home Funeral Alliance, and the National Chaplains Association. Angie lives and works in the Chicago area of Illinois, and in Wisconsin. She teaches a variety of workshops internationally. She creates and facilitates ceremonies for all of life’s passages, from birth through the grave. She is a founding member of Gaia’s Womb.
Maureen Tolman Flannery | Chicago
Maureen Tolman Flannery’s most recent volume of poems is Tunnel into Morning. Her other books include Destiny Whispers to the Beloved, A Fine Line, and the Pulitzer-Prize-nominated Ancestors in the Landscape. Although she grew up in a Wyoming sheep ranch family, Maureen and her actor husband Dan have raised their four children in Chicago. She is a wood-carver, toy-maker, and home funeral guide. Her poems have appeared in fifty anthologies and two hundred literary reviews, including Birmingham Poetry Review, Xavier Review, Calyx, Pedestal, Atlanta Review, Karamu, North American Review, Poetry East, and Santa Fe Literary Review.
Sarah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aging and End of Life and a Master’s degree in Spiritual Care at End of Life. She has worked as a music caregiver and bereavement counselor for hospice. As a member of the National Home Funeral Alliance, she counts herself among a growing international network of home funeral facilitators, providing guidance to and advocating for families who choose to care for their own loved ones at the time of their death. Sarah is currently working with a group of citizens in Salina, Kansas to establish the state’s first Natural Cemetery.
Peg Lorenz is a home funeral guide and educator. She is the founder of Peaceful Passage at Home, is on the Board of Directors of the National Home Funeral Alliance serving as chair of the Legislative Committee. With 20 years of experience with hospice care, a certificate in end-of-life care from the University of Southern Maine, and training with Crossings: Caring for Our Own at Death, she is also a member of the Threshold Singers, a volunteer group that sings at the bedsides of people who are dying.
Merilynne Rush is a nurse and home birth midwife with 25 years professional experience who educates and consults about natural death care options, including home funeral and green burial. To her work she brings extensive experience being with and empowering families in transition. Merilynne served on the board of directors of the National Home Funeral Alliance from 2011 to 2013.
Linda, a psychologist emeritus and adult educator, has faced the loss of her only daughter, and two husbands. She has been a Midwest leader in the Conscious Dying / Home Death Care movement for a decade as a speaker, conference leader, educator, and family guide. She was a founding member of the Minnesota Threshold Network, which helped pass death care legislation in MN. She has been a Biography Facilitator in the Waldorf Community for decades, training teachers and parents locally and internationally. She published her daughter’s poetry She Would Draw Flowers and helped create the movie The Most Excellent Dying of Theodore Jack Heckelman (produced by Nancy Poer). Her writings include local and national magazine articles and a selection in “Where the Tree Falls, the Forest Rises” edited by Charlene Elderkin.
Anne is a Reiki Master, death midwife, end of life planning educator, and funeral celebrant in training who specializes in presentations on how to plan and prepare family directed vigils, home funerals and green burials.
NEW HAMPSHIRE & VERMONT
Deana has worked in the healing arts since 1990. She has undergone advanced training and internship through The Mandorla Project in Spiritual Midwifery to the Dying. Deana has trained extensively in meditation, as well as energetic and intuitive healing arts. Founder of Bodhi Tree Holistic Health Center and Full Circle Center in Napa, CA, she now pursues her passion as a consultant for conscious living and dying in New Hampshire.
Lee is the Director of New Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education & Advocacy, curren president of the NHFA, and secretary of the Board of Directors of the Green Burial Council. She has 25+ years as a hospice volunteer and spiritual care coordinator, and has been an avid conservation and funeral activist while maintaining a career in development as a freelance writer, graphic designer, and editor. She presents tailored overviews of home funeral and green burial options, covering legal, spiritual, emotional and cultural concerns throughout VT and NH.
Amy Cunningham, Licensed Funeral Director | Brooklyn
Greenwood Heights Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc.
718-288-0099 cell, 718-768-1212 funeral home
NYCGreenFunerals.com, TheInspiredFuneral.com blog
Amy is a licensed funeral director who maintain a blog on greener, more meaningful end-of-life services. Her lecture experience includes the Park Slope Food Coop (which has 15,000 members), hospice trainings, houses of worship, yoga centers and Death Cafes.
Lynn Barnett | Rochester
Lynn Barnett has lived in upstate New York all of her life, from growing up on a small dairy farm near Albany, to settling in Rochester to raise a family. She has three sons ages 13, 19 and 22 and her focus on her children has led her to a number of volunteer opportunities and leadership roles, as well as her job as a birth doula. Her interest in home funerals grew gradually from her interest in hospice care and the desire to be more informed about end of life options. She has attended trainings with Jerrigrace Lyons of Final Passages and is now the Treasurer and a Board member of the National Home Funeral Alliance. Her goal is to inform as many people as possible about the options on how to care for a loved one after death.
Sara Williams | Graham (Chapel Hill area)
NHFA; Funeral Consumers Alliance-Piedmont;
Crossings Care Group
Sara currently serves as the Enrollment Specialist for the Carolina Breast Cancer Study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a graduate of Project LEAD (“Leadership, Education, and Advocacy Development,” the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s innovative/intensive science program for breast cancer activists), and has served as a Stakeholder for the American Cancer Society, and as a peer reviewer for the California and Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Programs, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Avon Breast Cancer Research Foundation, and the Cochrane Collaboration’s Breast Cancer Group.
Zalene is a home funeral guide, life coach and entrepreneur who is certified in Social Therapy, Youth Guidance and Spacial Dynamics©. Her work with children, young adults and adults with and without disabilities now includes consulting for families and individuals wanting a private home funeral experience.
David is a conservative Quaker who has been active at the national level of the Funeral Consumers Alliance since 1973, and has handled burials and cremations from plain to 300+ funeral without any funeral director involvement since 1985. He has also been a guest lecturer at Penn State Law in funeral and burial law.
Terry Skovronek | Doylestown
Rethinking the Inevitable
Home Funeral Educator/Guide, Advocate and Speaker, Member NHFA & FCA
Becky Calcutt | Charleston
Palmetto Home Funerals
Becky is a retired RN, tour guide, college instructor, CERT trainer, and published history author. Her interest in home funerals began when she buried her father in 2008 without using the services of a funeral director. Since completing guide training, she has worked with and presented to families, church groups, seniors' groups, hospice, and the three green burial preserves in the state.
John Christian serves as a home funeral guide specializing in natural burial. He is also a Certified Celebrant as well as a Funeral Director and Embalmer. John Christian is the Director of Community Outreach for the nonprofit Larkspur Conservation which is establishing a Conservation Cemetery in Nashville, TN.
Jim Bates | Dallas/Fort Worth/Plano
Director, Funeral Consumers Alliance of Texas
Jim is available for speaking engagements and also training.
Donna is an educator, public speaker, hospice volunteer, celebrant, and home funeral advocate. She trained as a home funeral guide with Final Passages and Crossings: Caring for Our Own at Death. She is a recent past Secretary/Treasurer for the National Home Funeral Alliance. With Sandy Booth, she also administers Crossings Care Circle and the National Home Funeral Directory. She offers a course, Beyond Hospice, to train other home funeral guides and death midwives.
Char Barrett was the first President of the National Home Funeral Alliance and owner of A Sacred Moment Funeral Services, one of the first funeral homes in the United States with a central vision to support home funerals and green burials. As a bridge between home funeral educators and the funeral industry, she is a regular speaker nationally and internationally. Char is a Licensed Funeral Director, Home Funeral Consultant, Celebrant and has been a hospice volunteer since the early 90s.
Kateyanne is a home funeral consultant, funeral celebrant, and end-of-life planning coach in the Puget Sound area. Serving all areas of Washington state, she speaks about how we can reclaim our dominion over what happens to our bodies and our spirits in the transition between living and dying. The Emerge Foundation donates a percentage of proceeds to help offset costs of home funerals for children. A talented communicator, trainer and facilitator, Kateyanne has been in the corporate communications field for over 20 years and now devotes her attention to helping others attain their vision of a good death.
Lucy is an interfaith chaplain and home funeral guide, and is the director of Sacred Ceremonies, Ltd. and Sacred Grove. She has a wide knowledge of loss and grief experiences having been a hospice chaplain and bereavement coordinator for 11 years. She received a degree in education and later completed a personalized theological seminary studies program, and the Clinical Pastoral Education for Chaplaincy. Besides officiating at weddings, funerals, and blessings, she is a volunteer chaplain for the local county sheriff’s department. Lucy was co-founder and grief support facilitators’ instructor of the Loss and Grief Support Network. She also teaches and practices Therapeutic Touch.
Fran Vandre | Jefferson
Fran is a caregiver by nature. For 34 years she has applied her skills in a classroom teaching children with disabilities. When that stage of her life concluded, she moved on to teaching and guiding those interested in caring for their loved one after death. Life is an incredible journey and honoring a loved one's life through a Home Funeral is a final step worth taking.
Sarah is an experienced public speaker and educator trained in home funeral guidance. She leads healing ceremonies, serves as a funeral celebrant, and brings a wide array of skills and expertise to her work in developing healthier and more natural ways of meeting illness, death, and the other inevitable endings of life. As a trained home funeral guide, certified Funeral Celebrant, and ceremonial healing facilitator, Sarah crafts presentations that meet the needs of a variety of groups, creating a safe and educational space in which to discuss these important issues.
Pashta is a licensed minister and Wiccan priestess with 30+ years’ experience working with the dying, and creating personalized funeral or memorial services. She is visiting clergy for Victoria hospitals and hospice; and co-founded the Bedside Singing program on the Hospice unit (the first in Canada): she has also worked on the hospital’s spiritual-care team. She is a trained mediator, and consultant on ‘aging and the law in BC’, as well as an ‘advance-care planning’ consultant. She has trained with Jerrigrace Lyons of Final Passages (Death Midwifery/Home Funerals), and is the co-founder/director of CINDEA (Canadian Integrative Network for Death Education and Alternatives), as well as a ‘CINDEA-recognized’ Death Midwife. She is also an ambassador, and client support team member, for Dying with Dignity Canada.
Cassandra is a homesteader with a BA in Sociology and Gerontology, a Masters in Architecture, and a Certificate in Grief and Bereavement from The University of Western Ontario's Thanatology department. She is also certified as a hypnotherapist, animal assisted therapist and home funeral guide. Cassandra believes in reclaiming community practices such as producing food, birthing babies and caring for the dead at home. To this end, she is developing a practice as a rural Death Midwife who offers education, home funeral guidance and grief support. She enjoys volunteering and collaborating with others in the field and sits on the boards of the National Home Funeral Alliance, Grief Nova Scotia, and Victoria County Hospice Society, as well as founding a burgeoning Canadian organization for Death Midwifery.
Rochelle is a Registered Nurse with specialty certification in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, and is a graduate of the Beyond Hospice program. She holds a Master of Divinity degree from the University of Toronto, having trained as a Roman Catholic priest, and has worked extensively in palliative care, geriatric psychiatry, emergency and acute psychiatry, sexual assault and domestic violence, and eating disorders, along with providing pastoral care in a variety of interfaith health and social service settings.
Mike facilitates discussions about all aspects of death and dying and support for creating home funerals and end of life rituals. Trained as an End-of-Life Doula (Living Well Dying Well) and Funeral Celebrant (Greenfuse).
Disclaimer: Please note that the list of speakers and presenters above is provided as a public service to those wishing to learn more about home funerals, and that inclusion on the list does not constitute endorsement by the NHFA, nor is the NHFA party to any agreements between speakers and individuals or organizations. To be included as a speaker on this list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.