Millenial Mortician panel

Millenial Mortician panel: (L to R) Michael Garcia, Christine Garcia, Aaron War, and Jody Herrington

“Millennial Morticians with ABQ Brews” was an innovative part of the Before I Die New Mexico Festival, held October 30 to November 4, 2018. Four funeral directors in their 30s participated in a panel discussion held at Tractor Brewing Company in Albuquerque. Funeral directors are also called morticians or undertakers.

Among the topics discussed:

  • Funeral service and autopsies done at the Office of the Medical Investigator;
  • The role of embalming in today’s funerals;
  • Rising interest in green burial and cremation;
  • Body and organ donation and how to make arrangements in advance;
  • Body farms, pre-need funeral planning, shipping bodies by air carrier, the costs associated with funerals, and
  • The most memorable, creative memorial services they’ve helped create.

The panelists are:

  • Jody Herrington, general manager of Strong-Thorne Mortuary and Fairview Memorial Park, part of Daniels Family Funeral Services
  • Aaron War, embalmer with French Funerals & Cremations
  • Christine Garcia, with Riverside Funeral Home
  • Michael Garcia, Funeral Service Intern, Salazar Funeral Homes & Crematory

A big thanks to Tractor Brewing for hosting this event! Here’s the video of the hour-long discussion.

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About the Before I Die New Mexico Festival

The six-day Before I Die New Mexico Festival offered activities to get us thinking about, talking about and doing something about our 100% mortality rate. Events took place October 30 to November 4, 2018, at multiple locations in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Belen. Thank you to the sponsors and partners who made the Before I Die New Mexico Festival possible:

A Good Goodbye – Death educator Gail Rubin puts the “fun” in funeral planning. – Giving families looking for a final resting place for cremated remains guidance on the range of options available for people and pets.

National Guardian Life Insurance Company – For more than 100 years, one of America’s most successful and highly rated independent mutual life insurance companies.

FRENCH Funerals and Cremations – Albuquerque’s largest and oldest family-owned funeral service company.

Morris Hall – New Mexico’s premiere estate planning attorneys.

EstatePros – Your expert resource for property organization, distribution and administration.

Legacy Concierge – Helping prevent identity theft, secure digital access to online accounts, and provide a host of other important services to the families of the deceased.

Passages International – A leading provider of environmentally friendly funeral options for burial and cremated remains.

Zia Trust – The Advisors’ Trust Company®.

Part of the proceeds from Festival sponsorships are donated to the nonprofit social enterprise, Fathers Building Futures.

Partners include La Puerta Natural Burial Ground, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of New Mexico, Guild Cinema, Berardinelli Family Funeral Service, Children’s Grief Center of New Mexico, Compassion & Choices NM Action Team, Daniels Family Funeral Services, and