How the Pandemic Has Changed the Way We Grieve Next Avenue, February 24, 2021
Funeral Service in the Time of COVID-19 The Saturday Evening Post, May 19, 2020
A Funeral Home Director’s View of the Pandemic Next Avenue, April 27, 2020
Second Act: From Funeral Director to Author Next Avenue, October 31, 2019
The history of us: Tombstone tourism connects visitors to Long Island’s past Newsday, October 20, 2019
Midlife Reflections on Posing Nude for Playboy betterafter50.com, July 15, 2019
Five Things I’ve learned in my long career as a funeral director Life. Death. Whatever., May 6, 2019
I was pleased to share my view of funeral service, gleaned from the work I’ve done, the experiences of my colleagues, and the perspective of the thousands of families I’ve served over the years. Despite what you may read in slanted press articles (with the fringe and/or inexperienced being used as sources to further a false narrative), funerals are as important as they ever were.
Let’s Keep the Funeral Tradition Alive The Saturday Evening Post, Jan./Feb. 2018
One of the most important articles I’ve ever written on funeral service.
The Reinvention of a Proud Soldier,Legiontown, November 14, 2014
Be Our Guest: Cremations are an important custom for Indians, creating a growth industry in the city NY Daily News, February 4, 2013
Trade Secrets of a Mortician (Funeral Director) AOL Jobs, March 25, 2011
Of the many questions asked of me in my more than 25 years as a funeral director, there is one that is asked most: Why are funerals so expensive?
Confessions of a Mortician (Funeral Director) AOL Jobs, February 4, 2011
Wherever I go, people ask me what it’s like to work as a funeral director. I tell them it is not an easy career, particularly given the emotional component of the work. As funeral directors, we deal with issues of mortality — our own as well as those of our clients — on a daily basis. We also work long hours in a field where, contrary to public perception, the pay is not commensurate with the work we do. Still, the intangible rewards are many in a career I see as being a sacred trust.
Sixty and Me
Keep the Conversation Going Q & A With Salvatore Stratis and Jeffrey Gaines of Abigal Inc. American Funeral Director, December 2020
Windows into Long Island’s Past American Cemetery & Cremation, October 2020
Working Through Tragedy American Funeral Director, July 2020
An Old-School Funeral Director With a Young Face American Funeral Director, September 2019
Tragic Women of Green-Wood Cemetery American Cemetery & Cremation, May 2019
Lt. Tony Giorgio, Leader of the Band American Funeral Director, February 2019
A Night to Memorialize American Cemetery & Cremation, April 2018
Funerals, Faith & Facing Fear American Funeral Director, December 2017
The Splendor of Moravian Cemetery American Cemetery & Cremation, May 2017
One Final Salute American Funeral Director, April 2017
Celebrated & Spectacular American Cemetery & Cremation, July 2016
A Man of Law American Funeral Director, May 2016
Shop ‘Til You Drop American Cemetery & Cremation, December 2015
Doris Amen: The Real Deal American Funeral Director, October 2015
A Giant Among Men American Funeral Director, August 2015
Celebrating Mario Cuomo American Funeral Director, March 2015
Mourners Honor Joan Rivers American Funeral Director, December 2014
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery American Cemetery, October 2014
An Undying Passion American Funeral Director August 2014
Making the Right Choices American Funeral Director, March 2014
Holy Cross Cemetery American Cemetery, February 2014
Ed Koch 1930-2013 American Funeral Director, August 2013
Moments in Time American Cemetery, June 2013
Spotlight: Women in Funeral Service American Funeral Director, February 2013
Where’s Dick Clark? American Funeral Director, September 2012
When You Are Not Called to Serve American Funeral Director, July 2012
Salem Fields Forever American Cemetery, March 2012
Green-Wood American Funeral Director, December 2010
Powerhouse Newspaper Publishers, American Funeral October 2010
Queen of Salsa, American Funeral Director, May 2010
The Life and Death of David O. Selznick, American Funeral Director, July 2008
Vivien Leigh, American Funeral Director, June 2006
Oakland Cemetery, American Cemetery, September 2005
Hattie McDaniel -A Woman of Many Firsts, American Funeral Director, May 2004
The Life, Death & Funeral of Margaret Mitchell, American Funeral Director, March 2004
The Funeral of John Gotti, American Funeral Director, December 2002
Gate of Heaven Cemetery, American Cemetery, April 2002
Marilyn Monroe, American Funeral Director, July 2001
The Death & Enduring Legacy of Eva Peron, American Funeral Director, January 2001
Funerals of the Infamous, American Funeral Director
Her Story, American Funeral Director, American Funeral Director, May 1998
Standout Women Reflect, October 2017
Using Social Media Wisely, March 2014
Quiet Community, Joyous Easter, April 26, 2003
Life in His Lens, August 11, 2001
On Higher Ground
The Enemy at Home
They Feel Welcomed
CUNY is Lending a Hand
The Language of Grief
Funeral Directors Tell What It’s Really Like February 10, 2019
In 2003, I wrote my first book, Grave Undertakings, a memoir of my early career as a funeral director. At the time, there were few first-hand accounts of what it was like to work in the funeral business. Since that time, a number of my colleagues have followed suit. The following are some of my favorites in no particular order.
The Wonders of Woodlawn May 20, 2018
New York City’s second largest cemetery — at just under 400 acres — was once the site of a Revolutionary War redoubt. Founded in 1863, Woodlawn’s first burial –of 28-year-old Phoebe Underhill–took place two years later. Since that time more than 300,000 people have joined her in final repose. Everyday New Yorkers share the meticulously manicured grounds with noted authors, inventors, journalists, showmen, politicians and the occasional Robber Baron. With its mix of simple steles, intricate sculpture, and elaborate family mausoleums, Woodlawn, designated a National Historic Landmark in 2011, is an architectural smorgasbord. Here are some of the sights that will enthrall.
Lords Of Retail February 1, 2017
With a mix of business acumen and hard work, these American retailers built their own merchandising empires. These establishments range from the modest offerings of a five-and-dime store, to the splendor of a luxurious jeweler. While these well-known merchants are long gone, their legacies live on. Their graves can be found in some of New York’s most famous cemeteries: Green-Wood, Woodlawn, Kensico and Salem Fields.
Godfather Graves November 24, 2016
Although the heyday of the mafia is long past, the graves of major mobsters continue to be a big draw. The burial spots are found in major cemeteries in New York City, which has been the center point of the Mafia in American history.
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery October 25, 2016
Published in 1820, Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow holds a prominent place in American folklore. The tale of the headless horseman will forever be associated with Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. While tourists flock to the historic graveyard year round, the changing colors of fall herald in its prime seasonal attraction: Halloween. If you are planning a visit to the storied Westchester County, New York graveyard here’s a sampling of what to see.
Green-Wood Cemetery’s 12 “Must See” Monuments February 16, 2015
As a funeral director and avid taphophile (one who is interested in the history and architecture found in cemeteries), I have seen more than my fair share of burial grounds. Over the years, I have written profiles about a number of notable cemeteries for “American Cemetery Magazine.” One in particular, Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, has continuously grabbed my attention. In 2008, I wrote a book about this National Historic Landmark. The famous names read like a Who’s Who of America: Currier and Ives, Steinway, Tiffany, Greeley, Sperry, Morse, Bernstein, Squibb, Pfizer, and FAO Schwarz. Yet, they comprise only a tiny fraction of the almost 600,000 people interred there. At 478 acres, Green-Wood is the largest cemetery in New York City. A visitor could spend weeks roaming its beautiful grounds and still not see it all. For a person with limited time to tour Green-Wood, here are a dozen monuments not to be missed.