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Bertram Funeral Home and Cremations

Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC, announces its recent expansion into Bertram, Texas with the opening of Bertram Funeral Home at 1010 East TX-29. Bertram Funeral Home is dedicated to serving the residents of Bertram, Oatmeal, Liberty Hill, Burnet, and the surrounding areas. The goal of Bertram Funeral Home and Putnam is to invest in the community and provide exceptional and personalized service during a difficult time.

This familial funeral home concept not only provides space for services and visitations, but it also provides our Bertram families and neighbors with access to the Putnam private crematory.  Putnam owns the only crematory in the Highland Lakes area and reserves its use exclusively for Putnam client families to ensure the integrity of our quality control and identification procedures while providing our families with the peace of mind that their loved one never leaves our care.  Bertram Funeral Home also offers the services of the only area Certified Celebrant.  Putnam is dedicated to the ones you love, and our caring and knowledgeable staff is here to remove as much stress as possible from the funeral process and to help you build a positive foundation for grief.

The staff at Bertram Funeral Home strives to provide excellence in remembrance. Everyone deserves a funeral or memorial that expresses how special they are. We at Bertram Funeral Home are committed to commemorating and honoring each person who enters our care.

Please call us at 512-355-8201 to schedule a tour of our facilities.

Bertram Funeral Home is located at 1010 East TX-29 in Bertram, Putnam Funeral Home is located at 145 Texas Avenue in Kingsland, and Cremation Advocates by Putnam is located at 206 Ave. H, Suite#204 in Marble Falls.

Telling the Story of Those Who Served

Written by Brittany Carrington,  Life Tribute Specialist.

Although I have not yet experienced the personal loss of someone serving in the U.S. military, I have been touched by those who have. Today on Memorial Day, join me in honoring the life of Lance Corporal Travis Desiato.  Please utilize the comments section to share the stories of other military members we have lost and honor those who have served.

Travis was a humble guy who didn’t like attention, but preferred meaningful one-on-one conversations where he could look a person in the eye. He was a team player. Whether in sports or military exploits, his concern was not for himself, but for the team.

Travis’ decision to join the Marines was born of his team spirit, love for his family and country and a long-time passion for helping others. According to Sam Mendales, a family friend, ”He believed the best way to serve his family and community was to enlist in the Marines.”  Following his outstanding performance in boot camp, he was offered an opportunity to serve on presidential duty. However, he turned it down in pursuit of his desire to serve in Iraq. “He felt most needed in Iraq,” Mendalez said.

He left behind his new wife and beloved parents and siblings to embark on a courageous journey to serve his country.

Marine Lance Cpl. Travis Desiato was killed by enemy action on November 15, 2004, at the age of nineteen while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

During this time, the Americans, Iraqis and British had joined forces to defeat the Iraqi Insurgency stronghold in the city of Fallujah. The battle, known as the Operation Phantom Fury or the Second Battle of Fallujah, took place in November-December of 2004. It was led by the U.S. Marine Corp and has been noted as the bloodiest battle of the whole war.

Before his departure into the Marines, Travis instructed his family that, if he did not return, they were to tell people that “he did his job.”

Thank you, Travis, for doing your job to protect and honor my country. You courageously fought for the American cause and gave the ultimate sacrifice. You are a true American Hero.

Because of Travis, we can all have a greater appreciation for Memorial Day and what it represents: love, sacrifice, and freedom, and most importantly…heroism.

I can think of no better way to conclude this blog than with the words of his sister, Vanessa Desiato:

“The military made my brother become the man he was meant to be. He wanted to help people and did that by joining the Marines, the only thing he felt he needed to do. My brother has shown me what dedication, honor, and respect are. He has shown me what it means to be a hero.

To me, Memorial Day is the day we remember what it means to be a hero. Heroism is deeply rooted in the soldiers we say goodbye to with our tear-stained faces, and those we welcome home with those happier tears. Memorial Day is the day we thank those who did not get the joyous homecoming, or have since been laid to rest. It is the day we remember the heroes who gave everything for the soldiers serving next to them and the people they left at home.

Memorial Day is a day we are reminded of what combat veterans have given to this country, whether it’s years of service, the first year of their marriage, or their lives. Every combat veteran has given something to this country, without asking for anything in return. Memorial Day is a day to remember these men and women for who they are: heroes, who did their job.”

 

Sources:

“What Memorial Day means to Me” by Vanessa Desiato https://blog.mass.gov/hhs/veterans/what-memorial-day-means-to-me/

“Bedford Marine, 19, is killed in Fallujah” by Jack Encarnacao http://archive.boston.com/news/local/articles/2004/11/17/bedford_marine_19_is_killed_in_fallujah/

Putnam Offers Certified Celebrant Services

Written by Brittany Carrington, our newly certified Funeral Celebrant.

Many have asked me, “What is a Funeral Celebrant?”

A celebrant is a person – male or female, clergy or layperson – who seeks to meet the needs of families during their time of loss by providing a funeral service that is personalized to reflect the personality and life-style of the deceased.

Having been in the funeral industry since 2008, I have seen my fair share of cookie-cutter funerals. You all know the type! The officiant, having had no contact with the family, comes to the funeral with a pre-formatted order of service, chats with the family for 10 minutes on what songs they will be playing, and walks up to the podium. After introducing himself, he says, “I didn’t know Mrs. Smith, but…” and then continues with an opening prayer, a few songs, reading of the obituary, message, and closing prayer.

I state this example – not out of disrespect for those who officiate services, as in some case the minister was called at the last minute and had no choice – but to emphasize the importance of the role of a Certified Funeral Celebrant.

I recently attended Funeral Celebrant Training in Las Vegas, Nevada. During the training, I sat in a room full of clergy members, funeral directors, chaplains, and other attendees from various professions. We were subjected to the good, the bad and the ugly in funeral service. We discussed some instances where funeral services caused more harm than good and other instances where they were a healing balm to a hurting soul. Obviously, it was our goal to learn how to provide the latter. By the end of the training, we had been educated on the necessary elements of a meaningful funeral service, equipped with tools from other skilled and experienced celebrants and, finally, given the opportunity to practice our newly acquired skills.

This was the frightening part.

We were split into groups of two and assigned a death scenario, such as natural causes, SIDS, cancer, accident, homicide, suicide and overdose, etc. We were to fabricate the name of the decedent, their history, family and other details. Next, we were to create a personalized and meaningful funeral and present it to the class. My partner and I were assigned one of the most difficult death scenarios…suicide.

As we began to fabricate a story about our suicide victim, my partner burst into tears and said his close cousin had committed suicide some years back and it would mean so much if we could create our celebrant service in his honor. At that moment, it became very real for both of us. We were no longer fabricating a funeral, we were honoring a life.

As the details began to unfold, we were planning a service for a 45-year-old Vietnam veteran who had experienced a life-changing event when, one day after he was transferred to a new platoon, his old platoon was wiped out. For the remainder of his life, he struggled with PTSD, guilt, depression and an obsession with danger that landed him in the hospital on several occasions and, once, an extended coma. His injuries led to an opioid addiction that controlled his life and resulted in him losing his family.

It was an extremely difficult task, but my partner and I created a service that honored a life without hiding or brushing over the truth. Instead, we created a safe place for people to feel…to express emotions when words weren’t sufficient…a place to heal.  We acknowledged the pain of those left behind with poems and words of comfort and established the significance of the beloved decedent with a video tribute (all pretend, of course).

According to Doug Manning, the founder of our celebrant training program, “When words fail, ceremony takes over.” Our hypothetical funeral included elements of ceremony with meaningful songs and military honors. All the hypothetical attendees took home a little American Flag in tribute of the deceased that they could either keep in his memory or place on his grave at a later date to show evidence of their visit.

The core message of our service was that…he mattered.

In planning this hypothetical service, my partner and I took the core elements we learned in training and applied them in a way that highlighted the significance of a life and encouraged a healing and safe atmosphere in which the family could cherish memories, express emotions and share in their grief.

My passion is to serve families on a more personal level and offer a service that will lay a solid foundation for their grief journey. It is a common misconception that a viewing and funeral bring “closure.” However, as wisely stated by Doug Manning, the grief process will consist of many “closings,” events that promote healing. There is no magical moment when closure comes and grief is gone. Grief is a process that must be walked through. Many who have been through the grief process can testify to the waves of grief. One minute you are fine and the next minute, you are crying your eyes out. This is normal and contributes to healing.

As a licensed Funeral Director and Certified Funeral Celebrant, I not only orchestrate the business side of the funeral planning process, but I also help the family create a meaningful funeral service that provides a safe atmosphere where people feel permission to grieve and express emotion through song, ceremony and participation. One that ultimately celebrates the significance of a life and honors the reality of a death.

Just like a small droplet in a large body of water will result in far-reaching ripples, each life is significant and deserves to be celebrated for its uniqueness and lasting impact.

©2018 Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC