Obituaries

Deyan Dontchev
B: 1976-08-15
D: 2017-06-05
View Details
Dontchev, Deyan
Fu Ku
B: 1932-08-01
D: 2017-06-02
View Details
Ku, Fu
Hans Pluntke
B: 1933-12-10
D: 2017-05-31
View Details
Pluntke, Hans
Donna Kengla
B: 1947-01-11
D: 2017-05-30
View Details
Kengla, Donna
Jessica Loomis
B: 1975-05-01
D: 2017-05-20
View Details
Loomis, Jessica
Yuzhi Wang
B: 1940-10-02
D: 2017-05-18
View Details
Wang, Yuzhi
Kalvinder Singh Kaur
B: 1959-05-11
D: 2017-05-17
View Details
Singh Kaur, Kalvinder
Theresa Watson
B: 1954-07-14
D: 2017-05-16
View Details
Watson, Theresa
Joseph Threadgill
B: 1932-02-04
D: 2017-05-13
View Details
Threadgill, Joseph
Noel Powell
B: 1944-03-14
D: 2017-05-10
View Details
Powell, Noel
Betty Smith
B: 1934-09-06
D: 2017-04-23
View Details
Smith, Betty
Carol Williamson
B: 1961-05-20
D: 2017-04-09
View Details
Williamson, Carol
Marlene Livingston
B: 1936-05-08
D: 2017-04-08
View Details
Livingston, Marlene
Barbara Yao
B: 1964-08-01
D: 2017-03-31
View Details
Yao, Barbara
Jospehsanee Bearclawyuyutsu
B: 1992-11-22
D: 2017-03-27
View Details
Bearclawyuyutsu, Jospehsanee
John Howe
B: 1933-08-21
D: 2017-03-21
View Details
Howe, John
Juana Castro
B: 1959-05-15
D: 2017-03-19
View Details
Castro, Juana
Margaret Worden
B: 1923-08-07
D: 2017-03-17
View Details
Worden, Margaret
Haehie Chang
B: 1940-08-03
D: 2017-03-11
View Details
Chang, Haehie
Buford Maxwell
B: 1934-10-24
D: 2017-03-11
View Details
Maxwell, Buford
Carleton Johnston
B: 1943-09-14
D: 2017-03-08
View Details
Johnston, Carleton

Search

Use the form above to find your loved one. You can search using the name of your loved one, or any family name for current or past services entrusted to our firm.

Click here to view all obituaries
Search Obituaries
124 E Diamond Ave
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Phone: 301-495-4950
Fax: 301-977-6930

What is a Funeral?

All we need to do is say the word "funeral" and within microseconds, you have an image in your mind of what a funeral looks like. This mental image comes from many sources: the geographical place, culture and society in which we live; our faith; our life experience. Obviously then, a funeral service in Borneo would look very different from one held in Tanzania; there are even significant differences between the funerals held in ethnically and/or geographically diverse regions of North America.

Yet, despite the differences, these funeral services have much in common. We invite you to read further to learn the really simple answer to the question "what is a funeral?" Should you have questions about what you read here, we encourage you to call us at 301-495-4950. One of our funeral professionals will be delighted to explore the commonalities behind the wide spectrum of funeral ceremonies seen around the world.

What Makes a Funeral?

No matter where it's held, a funeral is a structured ceremony, with a beginning, middle and end. Each is intended to engage the living participants in activities which will transform their status within the community, provide mourners with a collective grieving experience, and celebrate a life lived. It's a socially-acceptable way for members of a community to re-affirm and express their social attachments.

Anthropologists label a funeral as a rite of passage, which affects everyone involved–including the deceased. His or her social status changes dramatically, from a living contributing member of the community to one whose contributions are in the past, and relegated to memory. But the status of each of the survivors– the immediate family most especially– has also changed. In fact, the funeral service can be the start of a defined period of mourning for bereaved family members, marking this transition in a uniquely identifiable way. 

It could be said then, the focus of a funeral - no matter where, no matter when - lies in acknowledging change. And without doubt, human beings (as individuals and as a community) have trouble dealing with profound changes like the death of an integral member of the group. When you take this perspective, it becomes easier to understand the importance of ceremonially acknowledging the tear in the social fabric and the symbolic restoration of its integrity.

Funeral Services in Our Area

For families and individuals living in this region (as elsewhere in the nation), a funeral service can mean many things. Some fall back on what is commonly called a "traditional funeral"; others see that same traditional service as an emotionally unfulfilling event. Fortunately, thanks to a number of unique social forces, there are alternatives. Today, end-of-life commemorative services range from the traditional funeral, to a memorial service and the increasingly popular celebrations-of-life. If you have yet to realize the immense value of such a collective acknowledgement of loss, reach out to us. Call 301-495-4950 to speak with one of our experienced funeral service professionals.


Sources:  
Huntington, Richard and Peter Metcalf, Celebrations of Death: The Anthropology of Mortuary Ritual, Cambridge University Press, 1979.


 

365 Days of Healing

Grieving doesn't always end with the funeral: subscribe to our free daily grief support email program, designed to help you a little bit every day, by filling out the form below.

52 Weeks of Support

It's hard to know what to say when someone experiences loss. Our free weekly newsletter provides insights, quotes and messages on how to help during the first year.