Listen to Todd Van Beck recount the many trials and tribulations of his life dedicated to funeral service.
Beginnings in Iowa – 01
In this episode, Todd recalls his memories of his mother, grandmother and Mrs. Norton’s funeral.
A Funeral Home, a Firehall and a Casino – 02
In this episode, Todd explains why he was the most popular kid in town and shares the lesson about the transaction for his grandfather’s funeral.
The Funeral Home Pest – 03
In this episode, Todd explains his motive for joining the glee club and explains the funeral home shuffle.
Poor Grades, Science Fair Winner & Heafeys – 04
In this episode, Todd remembers the dire outlook that his school counsellor had for his career, going to the state capitol as the winner of the school science fair about embalming and to the shock of his parents, landing a job at Heafey and Heafey in Omaha.
Ambulance Services operated by Funeral Homes – 05
In this episode, Todd explains the commonplace of ambulance services operated by funeral homes. He debunks the myth of the “conflict of interest” skepticism held by the “funeral illiterate” plus as usual Todd shares some specific stories of this time of his career.
Going to Mortuary College at the New England Institute – 06
In this episode, Todd tells the story of how getting rejected from one mortuary college led him to the New England Institute of Mortuary Science which introduced him to one of the most important people in his life. Plus, hear about his dad’s initial thoughts on receiving notification that Todd made the Dean’s List.
The Style & Kindness of Alfred B. Marsh – 07
In this episode, Todd relives the friendship and mentorship of a competing funeral director, Alfred B. Marsh while in New England – from Todd’s assistance being rejected by the church ladies to Mr. Marsh passing on one family’s appreciation to Todd for his restorative artistry.
The Rev. Dr. Edgar N. Jackson – One Person Can Change Your Life – 08
In this episode, Todd fondly remembers his introduction to, getting to know and his friendship with Dr. Jackson. Todd also recalls the confrontation with Jackson that forever changed the course of Todd’s life.
Unbelievable Stories from the Ambulance Service – 09
In this episode, Todd eerily ponders the happenings of two ambulance calls that left him speechless.
From Graduation in Boston to Deputy Coroner in Wyoming to Funeral Home Owner in Iowa – 10
In this episode, Todd takes us on the journey from his graduation, to attending his first NFDA Convention and meeting his next employers from a funeral home in Wyoming and finishes with the opportunity to purchase his own funeral home in Iowa.
How To Be An Unsuccessful Funeral Home Owner by TVB – 11
In this episode, Todd explains how his arrogance got in the way of being a successful funeral home owner. If you own a funeral home, don’t do what Todd did.
The Foundation of Thanatology – 12
In this episode, Todd shares Dr. Jackson’s premise of being a Funeral Counsellor instead of a Funeral Director. Plus he talks about the Foundation of Thanatology, his first article to be published and meeting John B. Turner.
John B. Turner & Son Mortuary, Cedar Rapids, Iowa – 13
In this episode, Todd professes how “The System” allowed Turner’s to serve 60% of the calls in Cedar Rapids and the benefits of funeral service being a “Ministry on Demand” (but a problem for a single father).
Choosing Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science – Less Money & More Blessings – 14
In this episode, Todd shares how the choice of moving to Cincinnati gave him and his son a solid foundation to establish their roots and how David FitzSimmons and Todd Milner assisted them greatly.
Being a Single Parent and a New Educator in Cincinnati – 15
In this episode, Todd shares his trials of being a single parent and being a new classroom educator. He also explains why he chose Seminary to earn his Masters and why the title “Reverend” doesn’t appear in front of his name.
How the Cincinnati Students Helped Me – 16
In this episode, Todd tells how the Cincinnati students assisted with babysitting while Todd attended Seminary in the evenings – and the mutual benefits for both Todd and the students.
From Cincinnati to Upstate New York and Back – 17
In this episode, Todd explains his decision to leave Cincinnati and move to upstate New York, and Hudson Valley Community College. From there he shares another failed ownership opportunity with Simmons Institute of Funeral Service in Syracuse and why he eventually headed back to Cincinnati.
Back to Cincinnati with Trust 100 – 18
In this episode, Todd reflects on his time with Trust 100 and the marketing lessons that he learned. As the tide turned for Trust 100, being in Cincinnati, he was in the perfect location to be approached by the ever-expanding Loewen Group.
1992 – Starting with the Loewen Group – 19
In this episode, Todd recalls his initial involvement with the Loewen Group as it grew its footprint in the US. This association gave Todd the opportunity to meet funeral directors across the country and the opportunity to share his knowledge throughout the funeral profession.
International Travel, Canada from Coast to Coast, & Harry C. B. Rath – 20
In this episode, Todd details his introduction to Canadian funeral directors from coast to coast and in particular his special bond and friendship with Harry Rath.
Becoming An International Educator – 21
In this episode, Todd recollects on the creation of the Funeral Home Management College in the ICCFA University (formerly the ACA – American Cemetery Association), his presentations nationally and throughout Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Europe plus getting articles published in major trade publications – probably all to the dismay of his teachers in Iowa.
Loewen Personalities: Loewen, Hogenkamp, Amato, Rollings and Welshons – 22
In this episode, as Todd continues to fulfil his experiences at the Loewen Group, he offers some insight into some of the personalities that he interacted without for almost a decade: Ray L. Loewen, Tim Hogenkamp, George Amato, Greg Rollings and John Welshons
The Loewen Lawsuit & The Real Cause of the Collapse of the Loewen Group – 23
In this episode, Todd recalls the events leading up to the Loewen lawsuit, the lawsuit itself, and the aftermath. Plus Todd shares what he feels was the real cause of the collapse of the Loewen Group.
Back To Boston, The New England Institute & Carol Wogrin – 24
In this episode, after resigning from the Loewen Group, the opportunity came up for Todd to go back to Boston. Todd explains the story behind the New England Institute at Mount Ida College and fondly recalls his friendship with Carol Wogrin.
South to Houston’s Commonwealth Institute and then to A.S Turner in Decatur, GA and his friendship with Ralph – 25
In this episode, Todd shares his travel to Texas to run the Commonwealth Institute and then speaks fondly about his time on Decatur at Turners and his friendship with Ralph Turner.
Bomb Threats to Peppermint Candies – Management In Memphis and then to John A. Gupton College in Nashville – 26
In this episode, Todd remembers his move to – and challenges at – Forest Hill in Memphis, TN and fondly recalls the Community Memorial Service for Sandy Hook victims. From there he talks about the one phone that took him to Nashville to once again educate the next generation of funeral professionals.