Types of Tributes - Farley Estes Dowdle
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Types of Tributes

A funeral is so much more than a way to say goodbye; it’s an opportunity to celebrate the life of someone special.

Today, a funeral can be as unique as the individual who is being honored. From simple touches like displaying personal photographs to events created around a favorite pastime, funerals can reflect any aspect of a person’s life and personality.

The following are questions you can use to help you decide how to personalize a service:

  • What did the person like to do?
  • What was the person like as an individual?
  • What was the person like as a professional?
  • Was the person spiritual?
  • Was the person proud of their heritage?


For additional ideas on personalizing a funeral, please contact us at (800) 962-5527. Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, the Michigan Funeral Directors Association, and has locations in Battle Creek, Augusta, and Richland, Michigan.

What did the person like to do?

Often people have hobbies that become more than just a casual pastime. Their activity could have been as much a part of who they were as their smile. Why not showcase that important part of their life during the funeral? Incorporating a hobby can be as simple as:

  • Displaying items used for their hobby; e.g. sports equipment, gardening tools, paintings, classic car, Harley, or collections
  • Personalizing the casket or urn with a symbol of their hobby
  • Displaying trophies or awards they won
  • Creating a picture board or video presentation featuring pictures of them engaged in their hobby, with their family, at work or play (we personally make videos or other memorabilia)
  • Having someone speak about the person

By adding these or other personal touches to a funeral, the service becomes a reflection of the person’s life and personality.

What was the person like as an individual?

One way to enhance a funeral is by bringing a piece of the person’s personality to life. Consider what made that person special, what made them who they were. Then find ways to link their individuality to traditional aspects of a funeral service. As an example, if the loved one was a avid sport fan there are some tasteful ways to honor this:

  • Have the family wear the favorite team shirt during the visitation or funeral service
  • Playing the fight song
  • Displaying sports memorabilia that may have been collected
  • Incorporate the flowers with the team colors


Other themes you may want to consider:

  • Military honors for a member of the armed forces
  • Tailgate party for a sports enthusiast
  • Harley-Davidson rally for the Harley owner


What was the person like as a professional?

Many people take great pride in their career. Perhaps they dedicated a lifetime to a profession that transformed into more than just a job. If this holds true for your loved one, you may want to consider ways to include their professional life into their funeral service.

Following are two examples of how you could incorporate a profession into a service:

For a teacher:

  • Have the choir or band from the school perform during the visitation or service
  • Encourage students to write essays about the person, which could be displayed
  • Invite a past student to speak at the service


For a fire department employee or a police officer:

  • Incorporate any honors or traditions that their department has established
  • Use fire trucks or police vehicles in the procession
  • Have bagpipers play at the visitation or service
  • Display their uniform and equipment


Was the person spiritual?

Through organized religion or personal beliefs, most people have some sense of spirituality in their life. Often those values are from the very core of who the person was in life. Therefore, you may feel it is important to incorporate the individual’s sense of spirituality into their funeral service.

Following are ideas on how to incorporate spirituality into a funeral service:

  • Hold the service at the person’s parish or religious facility
  • Have someone read excerpts from a key religious publication (i.e. Bible, Koran, etc.)
  • Use mementos to decorate the place where the services will be held with symbols of the person’s faith
  • Have the person’s cremated remains buried or scattered at a place of spiritual significance to them
  • Read a prayer that touches on their key beliefs
  • Include sacred music from the religion in the service



Here is an Interesting set of questions to get answers to if you want to get to know someone:

Current home:
Marital status:
Job status:
When I was young:
Military history:
The last good movie I saw was:
When I have an afternoon:
Favorite food:
Favorite song:
The book I am reading:
Favorite performer:
If I had one week to live, I’d spend it:
My favorite kind of people are those who:
I hate:
I’m a sucker for:
I try to teach my children that:
The one thing I can’t stand is:
If I could change one thing about myself:
My best advice to today’s young people is:
My best asset is:
The worst thing about me is:
I’ll always regret that I:
People who knew me in high school thought:
When I am feeling sorry for myself:
The worst time of my life:
My hobbies are:
My ambition:
Organizations I am a member of:
My parting shot: