Tanya: Hi Steve, thank you very much.
Steve: You’re welcome. First question… how did you get started in the funeral business?
Tanya: I actually had wanted to be a funeral director since the age of 12 years old. I’m from Connecticut and we call them wakes back there. I attended my first wake when I was 12 years old and had no relation to the deceased. My mother picked me up from the seventh grade and said we were going to go to the funeral home and we are going to visit someone she knew. I was just mesmerized and infatuated about everything that I saw at the funeral home. I actually asked her if I could go to the wake on the other side of the funeral home. She said “you are supposed to know the people” and I said “that’s ok, I want to go mom.” So there I am 12 years old and paid my respects to this family. They saw this little kid come and go and had no idea who I was. I had just had a calling to be in the profession. My life took a different path and I actually ended up 20 years in the medical office profession, but I think it helped me be prepared for serving families at their worst times. It was just my calling from the age of 12 years old.
Steve: How long have you been in Florida?
Tanya: I’m been in Florida since ’05…
Steve: So have I, myself as well.
Tanya: Ok, interesting.
Steve: Regarding Farley Funeral Home, what is unique about it?
Tanya: What makes Farley unique to other provides is that we have our own on-site crematory and what that means is everything we do is within our own care. At the time of the death, we actually go with our own staff to pick up the person and bring them back to the funeral home to keep them in our shelter, in our care until the family comes in to make arrangements. We don’t outsource anything. With our cremations, cremations are actually preformed on-site. Families can participate, and what that means is if the family wants to witness aspects of the cremation, they can. There’s no third party involved and their loved one is not transported anywhere for the cremation to take place, everything takes place right here in the funeral home.
Steve: You have some unique items to share…
Tanya: I do… this is a company called Memory Glass and they actually swirl the cremated remains into a perpetual glass. Families can choose the colors they like. We also have a touchstone, where the person can actually carry their loved one around in their pocket and keep them close to their heart. That is available for pets too, we are expanding into the pet area, and we will be serving pet families as well. We have Life Gems. Life Gems are a company where you actually extract cremated remains, the carbon from the cremated remains and turn them into perpetual life gems. It’s like a synthetic diamond that comes in three colors… pink, blue and yellow.
Steve: And this item?
Tanya: This item here is unique to Farley. It is a cenotaph, which means it is a remembrance of the person with their name and dates of remembrance… year of birth, year of death. And it actually is given to every family, complimentary, to be placed at our cemetery Venice Memorial Gardens on Center Road. As you can see right behind us, right behind the fountain. This wall, the family gets to choose a spot where they would like their loved one’s name, regardless of what they do with the cremated remains. This is a complimentary service.
Steve: Just a quick side question as everyone might be curious. Being that you also service the pets, the natural question is… is there a pet cemetery?
Tanya: Yes, we have a dedicated pet cemetery that is opening very shortly in Venice Memorial Gardens. A little over an acre dedicated to full pet burial, full body.
Steve: That is very cool, very neat. My favorite question… usually I pull out bonus cards and you pick one and we go with it, but I’m just dying to know… what is the most interesting, or whacky, request you have received?
Tanya: Ok… wackiest or interesting request. I would say most likely it is with families that actually want something done with the cremated remains. For example, one woman came in and her request was that she wanted all 13 of her grandchildren to receive a keepsake of her. She didn’t want a main urn; she wanted to be placed in 13 different urns. So, that was unique. Also… people have requests as to what they would like cremated with them. As long as it is legal, we will pretty much cremate anything with anybody. People bring in all kinds of memorabilia…
Steve: Can you share, maybe, one unique item?
Tanya: I’ve seen everything from golf clubs and all kinds of sports memorabilia. Anything and everything as long as it is legal.
Steve: That’s fantastic. Tanya, thank you very much.
Tanya: Thank you very much Steve.
Steve: This has been another Community Spotlight. I’m your host, Steve with Burnett Painting. I’d encourage you to visit Farley; they are located at 265 Nokomis Ave. I’ve gotten a full tour of the area and there are a lot of unique opportunities here that I was not aware of myself. Again, Steve with Burnett Painting… you’re Community Spotlight reminding you to have a fantastic day. Thank you.