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Healing Hearts

Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC, which includes Cremation Advocates by Putnam in Marble Falls and Bertram Funeral Home in Bertram, is happy to be a Healing Hearts sponsor for Camp Agape, a free summer program for children grieving the loss of a loved one.

Registration is now open for the 2019 camp, which is scheduled for July 8-11 at Camp Buckner Retreat Center in the Texas Hill Country. Children between the ages of 7 and 12 attend Camp Agape at no cost to their families. Register eligible children now at the Camp Agape website –www.CampAgapeTexas.org.

We cannot say enough good things about this organization. They are wholly committed to helping families that have experienced trauma from the loss of a loved one and we have personally witnessed how their efforts change children’s lives in the Highland Lakes area.

Most children come away from their Camp Agape experience able to process their grief and move past it. There are numerous examples of these children now serving in their organization as leaders and taking what they learned from their hardship and using their experience to grow and help others overcome death. This camp provides opportunities for experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. Many times, these children have not left their loved one’s side since the death occurred. This camp pulls them out into a “camp environment” to have fun, process their grief, learn to move forward, and also to realize they are not alone. The children see there are many other children going through what they are going through. In addition, they receive professional help from counselors and have buddy counselors that have walked the path they are walking.

After the camp is over, each child also has the opportunity to come to a Fall Retreat and process grief with their family and also meet other friend’s families. Many of the children that attend camp make life-long friendships with other children attending because they are able to bond at such an intimate level.

In addition to donating to this organization, we volunteer as well. It has been a wonderful experience.  Camp Agape will change the future of a child’s life… guaranteed.

To find out more about Putnam, Cremations, Burials, Preplanning, Celebrations of Life, Monuments, Grief and Aftercare, please visit www.CremationAdvocates.net or www.PutnamCares.com.

Premier Marble Falls Funeral Home and Cremation Advocates

Cremation Advocates by Putnam’s client families have only positive things to say about their experience arranging cremations, services, and celebrations with Putnam.  100% of our survey responses from 2018 say that they would recommend Cremation Advocates by Putnam to their friends and family members and they would use Cremation Advocates by Putnam for themselves or another family member.  98% of survey responses said that they believe that they received an incredible value for the price of services.  This was emphasized by comments from those who had recently attended or arranged services at other funeral homes.  These comments touched on the fact that our cremation package pricing was inclusive of everything needed for cremation and their were no hidden fees or surprises, that there were no high pressure sales, that our offices were contemporary and filled with natural sunlight and looked nothing like a funeral home, and that our staff is compassionate, understanding, patient and kind.  Client families found that we care about our families and will move heaven and earth to ensure that they are able to make meaning out of an emotional time.  Our client families also appreciated our active involvement in the community to include the incredible amount of volunteer hours our owners and staff pour into the Highland Lakes, as well as monies donated.

We at Cremation Advocates by Putnam appreciate our client families’ sincere and heartfelt responses.  We created our Marble Falls location to meet the changing needs and wants of our clients. We are honored to serve our client families and always pledge to be an advocate and walk our families through their moments of stress and uncertainty.  With clients coming to us to arrange cremations and (yes, even burials) from Horseshoe Bay, Spicewood, Marble Falls, Meadowlakes, Burnet, Bertram, Round Mountain, Johnson City, Fredericksburg, and Austin, it is clear that our cremation client families are sharing their positive experiences with others.

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 830-798-8413.  Our office is opened Monday thru Friday (excluding holidays) from 9-4 and by appointment.  We ask that you call and schedule an appointment to ensure that we are available to give you the time you need.  We also own Bertram Funeral Home in Bertram (appointment only, 512-355-8201) and Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC in Kingsland, TX which is open 7 days a week from 8-5 and by appointment (325-388-0008).  More information can be found at www.CremationAdvocates.net and www.PutnamCares.com.

 

2019 Reader’s Choice and Locals Love Us Awards

The Putnam Family of Funeral Homes (Bertram Funeral Home in Bertram, Cremation Advocates by Putnam in Marble Falls, and Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory in Kingsland) continues to win the local awards for Best In Class. We do so by going above and beyond and because we understand that we have only one opportunity to make this right. Remember our billboard – #YODO? From writing the obituary to personalizing memorial folders and celebrations of life, to introducing grief therapy dogs in training, and offering different funeral home concepts (traditional, contemporary, and familial), and even offering different funeral planning products from final expense policies to prepaid funeral contracts, we do everything we can to advocate for you before, during, and after your time of loss and help you make meaning out of an emotional time. Every employee is also a community volunteer and Putnam supports several local causes and organizations as we believe that investing in our community keeps our community strong. It also enables us to build relationships to better serve you when you need us the most. We are local and family-owned with the ONLY on-site crematory in the Highland Lakes area. Not only do we Keep Your Loved Ones Close and provide Excellence in Remembrance, but Putnam also Cares!  We provide cremation and burial services, celebrations of life, and preplanning services to Horseshoe Bay, Spicewood, Lakeway, Austin, Liberty Hill, Temple, Bertram, Oatmeal, Burnet, Tow, Kingsland, Llano, Highland Haven, Granite Shoals, Cottonwood Shores, Marble Falls, Meadowlakes, Double Horn, Round Mountain, Johnson City, Blanco, Boerne, San Antonio, Fredericksburg and beyond.

Chris Putnam Earns PhD in Business Administration

Central Texas entrepreneur, leader, funeral home owner, and philanthropist Chris Putnam successfully defended his research dissertation, “A Leader’s Perspective to Retaining Millennial Workers:  A Qualitative Triangulation of Job Embeddedness Theory and Leader-Member Exchange,” to earn his PhD in Business Administration with a concentration in organizational leadership from Northcentral University on November 28, 2018.  Dr. Putnam also holds a MBA and BA in Business Administration from Ottawa University and a Diploma of Funeral Service from Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service.

Dr. Putnam has spent the last ten years studying generational theory.  In choosing his dissertation topic, he explains that “Each generation has distinctive characteristics and expectations.  Baby boomers and generation Xers who have been in leadership roles for several decades have experienced the frequent turnover of the millennial generation.  Little to no research is available from the older generations’ perceptions of the younger generation, however, millennial perception is abundant.  I wanted to fill a research gap from a leader’s perspective as to why millennials “job hop” more frequently than other generations.  Moreover, as a small business owner, I find it essential to understand how to retain millennial workers.  According to the Small Business Administration, millennial turnover costs American small businesses $64 billion dollars annually.”

Dr. Putnam’s research participants included members of the baby boomer and generation x generations who were small business owners in Central Texas and employed millennials. He found these leaders expressing frustration over a perceived lack of work ethic. Given the lack of existing information, most of the leaders did not have a specific strategy to improve relationships and increase retention; and the strategies they did employee contrasted significantly with what little literature exists that pertains to supervision and mentoring across generations.

Based on his research and conclusions, Dr. Putnam believes that there is a huge misunderstanding and communication barrier between the various generations.  The millennial generation is a very ambitious and productive group that walks to the beat of its own drum.  The baby boomer generation is very similar, and much can be learned about its influence.  The size of both the baby boomer and the millennial generations is squeezing the smaller generation X and forcing its members to acclimate and adapt to both generations to be successful.  And for those generation Xers who have waited patiently for their baby boomer supervisors to pass them the torch, they will be sorely disappointed when it is the millennial who grabs it from them.

Dr. Putnam thanks his wife Jessamyn for supporting him through his doctoral experience.  The four-and-a-half-year journey was full of studying, teaching at Schreiner University and Central Texas Community College, and research engagements that came with emotional highs and lows.  He also thanks his children: Liam, Connor, and Anson for the missed evenings and weekends and life interruptions his goal caused.  Last by not least, he wants to recognize and thank his Putnam team: Jim Simmons, Eli Heatley, and Brittany Carrington, for picking up his slack and maintaining an extraordinary level of service at Putnam.  Dr. Putnam’s research broadened the theories of job embeddedness and leader-member exchange and he plans to apply his findings to the Putnam organization and teach other business and organizational leaders how to increase employee retention by using positive relationships and encouraging a work-life balance.

Dr. Putnam launched the Putnam brand with Putnam Funeral Home in Kingsland, Texas in 2000.  After adding in a crematory in 2006 that is now the only crematory in the Highland Lakes area, Dr. Putnam opened Cremation Advocates by Putnam in Marble Falls in 2017 as a contemporary and alternative approach to a funeral home and opened Bertram Funeral Home in 2018. Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC is located at 145 Texas Avenue in Kingsland, 325-388-0008, www.PutnamCares.com,; Cremation Advocates by Putnam is located at 206 Ave. H, Suite#204 in Marble Falls, 830-798-8413, www.CremationAdvocates.net; and Bertram Funeral Home is located at 1010 East TX-29 in Bertram, 512-355-8201, www.PutnamCares.com.  Putnam is a member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes, National Funeral Directors Association, the Cremation Association of North America, the International Cemetery, Cremation, and Funeral Association, National Association for Grieving Children, and Business Network International.

For more information or to request Dr. Putnam as a speaker, please email him at chris@putnamcares.com or call him at 325-388-0008.

Steve Dishman

Marion Arthur Beasley

Putnam Preplanning and Bereavement Guide

Patsy Richardson

Introducing Grief Therapy Dogs In Training – Anubis & Anput

Meet Anubis and Anput, the newest members at the Putnam family of Funeral Homes – Bertram Funeral Home, Cremation Advocates by Putnam in Marble Falls, and Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC in Kingsland.  Anubis and Anput are in training to become grief therapy dogs.  Their initial training includes acclimating to various people and situations and as such, they will be rotating between the three Funeral Homes.  Anubis has already shown his aptitude as a grief therapy dog as he will sit next to anyone feeling uptight or grieving and rest his head in their lap.  Anput, on the other hand, prefers to sleep most of the day.  As the entire training process can take 1-2 years depending on the dog, a facebook account has been created to allow people to follow their journey – https://www.facebook.com/anubisandanput/.  At the end of their training, we expect Anubis and Anput to be available for pre need and at need funeral planning, visitations, celebrations of life, services, and for community outreach.

The Alliance of Therapy Dogs provides more information about how therapy dogs offer comfort at funeral services at www.therapydogs.com.  Accordingly, “therapy dogs allow those grieving to receive some comfort and relieve their stress and anxiety for a bit. This is especially true for grieving children who may not be comfortable talking about their feelings with adults. Therapy dogs give them someone to talk to and comfort them during an emotional and confusing time. Death is difficult enough for many adults to understand, let alone trying to make some sense of it for children.

Not only do therapy dogs provide comfort, they also help improve overall mental and physical health. Petting a therapy dog increases serotonin and dopamine levels in our brain, which improves our mood by lowering stress, anxiety, and depression. Petting a therapy dog also lowers blood pressure and helps those who are feeling lonely, which could be the case for someone who lost a loved one.

Therapy dogs have the innate ability to sense a person’s emotional needs and act on them with unconditional love. Since those who are grieving may experience many of these emotions, therapy dogs make the perfect companion to help ease anxiety and confusion of death. It can simply be the therapy dog’s presence that distracts from stress and grief, even if for a moment or two. The power of a therapy dog to change the mood of a room is amazing, and funeral directors are discovering how to promote healthy healing in people who are grieving the death of a loved one.

According to Jessica Koth, public relations manager for the National Funeral Directors Association, “Therapy dogs have an amazing ability to put people at ease in a very emotional and difficult situation,” Jessica says. “I’ve heard of families coming into a funeral home to make arrangements for a loved one’s funeral, and when the therapy dog comes into the room, the mood changes and the family begins to open up and share their loved one’s story so the funeral director can help them understand how to plan a meaningful funeral. She adds that some funeral homes also use their therapy dogs in the grief support groups they offer.”

Anubis and Anput are rescued Labrador/Great Pyrenees mix puppies who are very laid back and gentle.

What is Your Testament?

by Guest Blogger Chris Putnam

I awoke this morning to complete at least twenty-five tasks before passing out this evening fully exhausted. Somewhere I will fit in a passing kiss for my wife and try to graze my kids with a peck on the forehead or a sideways hug before sending them to the shower and finally to bed. The routine will end after a few reminders and maybe even a few threats to get them to sleep. To credit my wife and I, we do read to our three-year-old before the battle begins to get him asleep every night.

Many of the people reading this blog know I am a funeral director and many have sat with me describing a loved one who recently died. Over the last couple decades, I have heard “he was a hard worker” or “she was dedicated to her job or civic organization” countless times. When I follow up with a second question about hobbies or experiences of which the individual was proud, I am met with a “it was always about work” or “he/she did not fish, travel, hunt, read, etc.” Nothing! Loved ones cannot think of anything except how serious non-family commitments were prioritized over internal family commitments.

The prompt to write this blog post is inspired by two women in different situations. Top Chef contestant and star Fatima Ali announced this week she only has a year to live with or without new chemotherapy treatment. Ali, 29, recently wrote “I was looking forward to being 30, flirty and thriving. Guess I have to step it up on the flirting. I have no time to lose.” She continues by describing a desperate need to “overload my senses in the coming months, … and smothering my family, giving them the time that I so selfishly guarded before.”

U.S. ambassador to the United Nations announced Nikki Haley her resignation this week.  She offered no reason for the life change other than the perspective that government officials must know “when it’s time to step aside.” Clues to her future are known only by her, but she told President Trump about six months ago she wanted to take a break. Haley referred to herself in the Oval Office resignation interview as “a private citizen.”

One can only speculation how long Haley’s break will last, as the political door remains open. My wish for Haley is to live like she is dying without the dying part. To “overload her senses” as Ali described. My hope for Ali is a treatment or miracle will happen and this all turns out to be a lesson on life perspectives and what is truly important.

Both women are teachers coaching us on how to use time.  What will they say about you? What is your testament? The regret of being self-absorbed and selfish with time is short-lived only when an end of time is in sight.  However, being generous with time and living for yourself, friends, and loved ones is a gift that is priceless.  Maybe a description I hear about you is “he knew when it was time to step aside” or “she was flirty and thriving when 30 and overloaded her senses with every breath.”

©2018 Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC

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