My heart & thoughts are with you & family
Posted: Apr 07, 2013
Battle Creek, Michigan
My father passed in July. When the funeral home directors came to collect his remains, I informed them that I – as next of kin – should be consulted regarding the arrangements, as opposed to my stepsister. The following day my husband and I went to the funeral home to finalize arrangements for my father’s services. The director assigned to us, Andrew Emerson, told us that my stepsister had the authority, through legal documents, to make all the decisions regarding my father’s services. After having been asked to produce those papers, he consulted with his supervisor and returned with a Durable Power of Attorney appointing my stepsister as my father’s agent. He told us that his supervisor reviewed the document, and the document did NOT apply to the funeral arrangements. (The document includes “However, the POA ceases at the moment of the death of the principal.”)
All through the discussion regarding the arrangements, Mr. Emerson kept referring to my stepsister. I told him very clearly that what my stepsister had proposed had no bearing on the matter, and further, that my stepsister’s family should make arrangements for a separate memorial service, because the funeral was to be a quiet remembrance for my father’s biological family and friends. Mr. Emerson offered to contact my stepsister regarding my wishes, and I accepted.
The following day I spoke with Mr. Emerson. He told me he had contacted my stepsister and that she understood the arrangements were out of her hands, and that my stepsister said her family would be attending the funeral. I informed Mr. Emerson that attendance was unacceptable, and that I would inform my stepsister personally so that the information would be accurately conveyed. I left a very clear message on my stepsister’s voicemail that the funeral was for my father’s biological family and friends, and suggested that my stepsister’s family conduct a separate memorial service. In that way, she could have total control over the arrangements at her services, and there would not be any drama at my father’s funeral. I know my stepsister received the information, because her niece commented on the matter to my son via Facebook.
When the pastor I selected as officiate came to visit, he told me he had visited with my stepsister regarding the services. Why my stepsister was informed of my choice of officiate is beyond my understanding. Throughout our conversation, it became clear that my stepsister had given him information regarding the relationship between her and me that was irrelevant to the situation. In the end, the eulogy revolved around my stepsister’s family, and the pastor stumbled awkwardly over the information I provided to give comfort to my aunts and uncles. This would not have happened had the funeral home not provided information to my stepsister.
When my family and I arrived at the funeral home the day of the services, I found the chapel full of items brought by my stepsister. I informed Mr. Emerson that most of those items were to be removed. At that point, Mr. Emerson informed me that my stepsister’s family would be attending the services. Another employee of the funeral home inserted herself into the conversation and told me I could not pick and choose who could attend the funeral, because I didn’t specify that the services were to be private. At no point during the planning stage did anyone at the funeral home advise me of the possibility of making the services private! Next, Mr. Emerson told me three persons would be delivering tributes to my father. This was the first time I had been informed of this decision.
At the end of the services, I had planned to announce that friends and family were welcome to attend a dinner in my father’s honor at a local restaurant. Because of all the last minute surprises, I was at a loss for how to make the announcement, and there was confusion on the part of the pastor and Mr. Emerson as to who was to make the announcement. As a result, there were twelve people attending an affair arranged for 40 people. Due to the circumstances, it was necessary for me to pay as though all 40 were in attendance. (The restaurant did give me a slight discount due to the lack of attendees.)
The appreciation cards provided for mailing after the services referenced only “friends” – nothing about family. I was not consulted on the selection of sentiments in the card.
I believe funeral home put my stepsister’s wishes above mine because the president of the company (although now deceased?) used to be a neighbor of my stepsister, and his daughter, who also works at the company, was a playmate of my stepsister when she was young.
Posted: Aug 14, 2012
Steer clear of Clines Mortuary!
Someone very close to me recently passed away. Cookie Cline was hired to do the funeral and make the arrangements, typical funeral director stuff. I should mention that my family is far from 'well-off', so we put together a pretty modest funeral and bought the casket elsewhere. We were charged nearly $9k for his services, which had to be paid in full before anything happened, forcing us to take out a loan until the insurance arrives. This was non negotiable, and he already had our loved one.
Then the night of the wake... It was held in Victoria, where the paneling on the walls is still from the 70's, end tables and desks were all water stained with the finish coming off, and the mens room was out of order. I along with numerous people heard Cookie cussing freely, being extremely condescending when asked questions, also being exceptionally rude to mothers with fussy babies or children (almost yelling), and telling jokes about his dick and circumcision. On top of all this, he began taking down flowers at 8:30 and rudely forced us to leave the funeral home at 8:37pm. ("Time to go to your cars guys. Time to go home.") That doesn't seem like a big deal until you think about the few *minutes* you have left to see someone you cared about forever.
The day of the funeral, he knowingly allowed someone to 'sneak' something into the casket without the spouses consent, which wasn't realized until later in the day after it was all said and done. Immediately after finishing services at the cemetery (which was unmowed with grass 8" tall, pallbearers nearly tripped multiple times), Cookie instructed us all to leave, citing the luncheon as his reason. He literally told someone to grab the sobbing spouses wheelchair and take her to the car because people are waiting on her.
Overall, my family paid Cookie Cline almost $9k (services only, casket not included) for an outdated, unmaintained facility where he was extremely rude and disrespectful while putting forth an unacceptably minimal amount of work or care.
All this being said, I beg you to reconsider choosing Clines Mortuary should you find yourself in a position that requires the type of services he offers... This is far from the mortuary Harold Cline operated. For the sake and dignity of your loved one, find a different funeral director. Please share this so others know what they might expect when hiring Cookie Cline.
Posted: Jun 12, 2015
Lake Placid, New York
Posted: Aug 17, 2012
Gregory Thomas Burrell funeral director of Terry Funeral embezzle led my fathers pre-need money! He is Cook!
Posted: Mar 06, 2016