Bob Muccino's Address at his Installation on December 1, 2016
Before going any further I'd like to give John Cascio a special acknowledgement for his continued dedication to CFDA as he approaches his 30th year. He definitely is our "ROCK" with a wealth of knowledge & WISDOM!!
Along with John, I'd like to personally recognize & thank Howard Hill for his dedication and contributions to our organization over these past 2 years as our President. And I would like to thank the Duhaime Family, Ron, Emily, Chris and my colleagues at Funk Funeral Home.
Also with us this evening is John Bresnahan, a long time funeral director and Certified Funeral Celebrant. John is a Managing Partner with Carriage Services; he and his wife Jane traveled from Pittsfield, Mass. to celebrate with us this evening and to share with us the Invocation and Benediction. Thank you both for making the trek from Pittsfield.
Lastly, thank you all for being here with us tonight. Your support has served CFDA well for many years. Although I had no aspirations in my early career in funeral service to become president, I got involved because someone asked. Five years ago President Nicole Paquette nominated me for a seat on the executive committee. I believe the nomination was because of my passion for funeral service combined with high ethical standards and I gladly welcomed the opportunity. Thank you Nicole for your continued dedication and contributions to CFDA.
Like all of us here tonight I care about our organization very much. I am blessed, honored and appreciative to be standing here with Jodi, in front of our families, along with the newly appointed Officers and Executive Committee Members, all CFDA associates, professional colleagues, guests, and all the funeral service suppliers supporting me as your next CFDA president.
In the past year through the direction of John Cascio and the leadership of the Executive Committee, CFDA has accomplished many milestones. Through our continuous advocacy there was recently a pre-need contract cap-increase passed. This victory was a very long road traveled by our current and many of our past board members. It took us 19 years to undertake this accomplishment and gain this benefit for all the families in Connecticut. This is the kind of dedication we must continue to improve and amend laws to protect the families we serve and our industry.
Everyone goes into funeral service for a reason. We all have a story. A story of how and why we chose to be a funeral director For some, it may have been a family business, but for me there was no family connection. There was a traumatic loss to my family when I was ten years old. In 1974 my great-grandfather was murdered during a home invasion. This case was never solved.
At the funeral his casket was closed. The funeral director had encouraged this. For me, at ten years old, there were many questions. Was he really in there? And still, today, I wonder if it was physical trauma or less than perfect embalming that kept that casket closed. My first funeral visitation left me in disbelief, emotional and confused. I was not given the opportunity to grieve. There was no closure.
Eight years after the loss of my great-grandfather, I began my funeral service career. At the age of 18 I enrolled at New England Institute of Mortuary Science in Boston. My family thought I was nuts. Truthfully, I had no idea what was in store for me, coming from Waterbury and attending classes in Boston's Kenmore Square, where NEI was located in the building below the famous CITGO sign. My classrooms overlooked the Green Monster at Fenway Park. In no time I was living in Boston and working in a funeral home, along with my high school classmate and longtime friend of 38 years, Jerry Milo. Jerry and I shared this voyage together. He and his wife, Kris, are with us tonight.
Because of this lasting impression, and experiencing the absence of closure in my youth, throughout my career as an embalmer I always tried my best to restore a loved one so the family and friends could have an opportunity to visually say their goodbyes and process the reality of their loss. This includes children. I am a proponent of their involvement during the funeral service.
Often I have personally seen and prepared a transformation from what was deemed "non-viewable to viewable." From my personal experience I'd like to encourage all of you to whole-heartedly preserve the art of embalming, since in my opinion, it is becoming a lost art.
My theme for this year is to Embrace Change, Offer Light, and Provide Direction. I want us all to coach and mentor each other and never stop learning. CFDA offers expert and peer education for each of us. We are all beacons of light for one another. We offer encouragement and guidance, and together we are a model of strength when the rights of our members or families are threatened. We are like the lighthouses that decorate this room tonight. We are hearty and a physical presence of strength and humanity. We are not merely "undertakers." We are a safe harbor for families who are experiencing loss and our guidance through the darkest of times requires unique and informed professionalism. I am honored to work with you and for you as your president.
At home Jodi and I live by a golden rule. "Home is Where the Anchor Drops." The anchor is symbolic of strength, stability and security. They hold down ships in the stormiest of weather and symbolize a safe end to a long journey.
Be the lighthouse for your co-workers and clients. Be the anchor for your family. Life goes by fast. Find a balance and at the end of a long day, each and every day, take time to reflect, recognize and appreciate your own family as your anchor. I am grateful to have Jodi and my wonderful family by my side supporting me. Thank you ALL for being my anchor.
Everyone here tonight has received a small medallion made possible through the generosity of Batesville Casket Company. It is a small reminder that for the next year I hope we all will . . .
Home | About CFDA | Join CFDA Now! | Careers/Education | Members Home