MINOT, N.D. - End of life planning is something that no one really wants to think about, but a Minot business guides families through that process with grace and compassion--and they've done so now for nine decades.
Minot has changed an awful lot over the past 90 years, but one constant has been Thomas Family Funeral Home.
Bryan Thomas is the third generation. His grandfather founded the business back in 1926.
“There are probably only three or four businesses that I can think of that are still in existence in Minot that have continued that practice within the family structure,” Thomas said.
The home is a part of Minot history, in and of itself, pictured here in 1908, long before it was a funeral parlor. The Thomases moved their business into the building in the 1940's, and have been there ever since.
The business has evolved over the years, with the staff incorporating modern technology, so families can have a more personal service for their loved one.
“It can be as simple as bringing some pictures in for a video tribute, maybe doing a personalized cap panel for the back of their casket, or just enlarging a picture,” said Mark Roth, the Operations Manager at the home.
But, as with the family, the tradition and service has stayed the same.
“Thankfully, I've been able to have our children grow up with it, and so they have walked alongside us, with this--what I call--a ministry of helping people that are hurting,” said Sue Thomas, the Aftercare Specialist at the home.
“I view, and I know Brad and Bryan do the same, view this profession as a ministry, and it allows us to guide through the emotions of families to be a leader when they need it, but also to give them a shoulder when they need,” said Roth.
The Thomases also offer what's known as ‘aftercare,’ meaning they follow up with a family after the service, offering counseling options, but above all, keeping near and dear with the people of Minot.
Special thanks to the families of Norah Dahl and John Munch for allowing us to include memories of them in our story.
If you want to learn more about the history of the Thomas Family, or you have questions about end-of-life planning, you can find out more information on their website: http://www.thomasfamilyfuneralhome.com/
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