Stillinger celebrates 20 years

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GREENFIELD — It’s been 20 years since David Stillinger bought the Pasco Memorial Mortuary at 1780 W. Main St. from Richard and David Pasco.

Two decades after that transition in September 2001, Stillinger and his team look back at the work they have done to continue the tradition set out by the Pasco family in 1912 while also reflecting on the many accomplishments they have had on their mission to both help families during their most difficult times and make a difference in the Hancock County community.

In November 2017, Stillinger Family Funeral Home spread their message about the importance of enjoying moments with one’s family by starting the #CelebrateLife campaign. As part of the campaign, the Stillinger Family Funeral Home encouraged the community to upload a photo, video or story documenting how they choose to #celebratelife. Participants of the campaign were entered to win one of three $1,000 prizes. The #CelebrateLife initiatives also included hosting events to honor veterans and providing meals and other items to first responders, health care professionals, the Humane Society and other organizations to thank them for making a difference in the community.

The funeral home brought The Wall That Heals, a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, to Greenfield in July 2019. Stillinger put time, money and effort into rallying volunteers and creating the resources needed to make the four-day stay of The Wall That Heals an experience for the thousands of veterans, local community and individuals who traveled miles to see it.

“We take advantage of every opportunity we can to give back to our community,” Stillinger said. “This community has been my home for over 30 years and providing our funeral services to families, along with honoring outstanding citizens and reminding people to celebrate life’s everyday moments, are things I am dedicated to.”

Stillinger has faced many challenges over the last two decades as the funeral home owner. As COVID-19 struck, he and his team worked hard to adjust and add new service options to allow families to honor their loved ones comfortably and safely. The alternative service options included drive-thru visitations and Hugs from Home, a program that allowed individuals to pay their respects with a heartfelt card and a balloon. The balloon and card are tied to a chair for the family’s private service, letting them know how many people love them and support them during the difficult time.

The funeral home is also the first in the state to have a fully certified grief therapy dog, as well as the first to use webcasting to virtually bring funerals to families a decade ago.