The Art of Our Craft



Extra special care is afforded for your loved ones at HW Oldham Funeral Home under the direction and facilitation of Harry Oldham III, LFD-E, who is a 40 year veteran of the art of embalming & cosmetic preparation . Harry III received his formal training at the American Academy McAllister Institute of Mortuary School (NY-1973). Mediocrity is unacceptable to the standards at our facility even if someone is shipped in prepared. We immediately care for your loved one by placing them in refrigeration until you direct us. Your wishes are our direction. Authorization for embalming is required by signature as well as verbal. We sometimes hear stories of charismatic directors who do everything but care for the deceased. We are attentive to both the family and their loved one. It is imperative to identify a firm with the proper experience when selecting a funeral home. We are looking forward to serving you in your time of need. This division of funeral service is often-times underestimated while making a final decision of which the funeral home will serve the family. Our advice is; pay close attention to how other family's decedents are presented to the public. Inform yourself, don't accept blindsided referrals...


Embalming your loved one's body

Note that there are two types of embalming, "unautopsied" and "autopsied." Modem embalming consists of using the circulatory system of the body to inject chemicals that retard decomposition, increase sanitation, and provide cosmetic benefits. The solution is injected through an opening made in an artery and the blood it replaces is drained from a vein. The solution consists of a formaldehyde base with various additives to help the cosmetic results. A small surgical incision is made at what a layman would call a "pressure point," where the vessels are near the surface of the skin. The body cavity is treated by inserting a surgical tube known as a "tracer" through the abdomen so that the solution can saturate the cavity and the organs it contains. All this is true for an unautopsied body. An autopsied body has most likely had the body cavity and/ or the head surgically examined by a pathologist.

An autopsy requires more work, time, and chemicals for a funeral director. Sanitary care without embalming is exactly that: sometimes the body is surface disinfected. (Some states do have regulations requiring the embalming of a body that is out of refrigeration for a specific period of time.) This charge is minimal, no standard set. "Other" refers to restorative art or the reconstruction of facial features out of necessity. This could be required for an accident victim whom the family wishes to view. The reconstruction is done by the funeral director first using surgical suturing techniques, then an embalmers wax to rebuild features.

The results can be amazing if done by a talented funeral director. "Dressing and casketing" means the preparation after embalming to casket the deceased for viewing or for a service. The funeral director can supply clothing, but generally the clothing is more expensive than what a family can provide. The cost of the clothing can be found under "merchandise." Cosmetic application is necessary for an open casket if the deceased's appearance is important.

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