2014 Annual Convention

May 2014 – Members of the Nebraska Funeral Directors Association (NeFDA) celebrated 128 years of funeral service during their 2014 Annual Convention, May 6-8 at the Younes Conference Center.  More than 140 attendees participated in continuing education sessions, met with exhibitors in a full exhibit hall and enjoyed networking activities.  Educational sessions included: presentations about OSHA training; personalized funeral service; the funeral profession past, present and future; Vital Records update; embalming and post mortem reconstructive surgery techniques; and a Nebraska Issues Forum.

A memorial service was held honoring those in the funeral industry who have lost a loved one. Later, members enjoyed an evening banquet to honor outgoing president Vaughn Wright from Harman-Wright Mortuary in Beatrice. The entertainment for the evening was 176 Keys Fun Pianos.

During the annual meeting, Wright read a proclamation from Governor Dave Heineman, congratulating NeFDA members on their 128 years of service to Nebraska citizens and proclaiming the week of May 4-10, 2014, as Funeral Service Professionals Week. NeFDA members elected a new secretary.  The members of the 2014-15 NeFDA Board of Directors are:

  • President: Gary Straatmann, O’Brien-Straatmann-Redinger Funeral Home, Kearney, NE
  • President-Elect: Timothy Strauser, Blasé-Strauser Funeral Home, Gothenburg, NE
  • Secretary: Brad Perdue, Zabka Funeral Home, Seward, NE
  • Treasurer: Jim Wintz, Wintz Funeral Home, Hartington, NE
  • Immediate Past President: Vaughn Wright, Harman-Wright Mortuary, Beatrice, NE
  • Director and District 1 President: William Cutler, IV, Heafey-Heafey-Hoffman-Dworak-Cutler Mortuaries, Omaha, NE
  • Director and District 2 President: Misty Brestel, Metz Mortuary, York, NE
  • Director and District 3 President: Tray Van Metre, Brockhaus Funeral Home, Creighton, NE
  • Director and District 4 President: Scot DeWitt, Lincoln Family Funeral Care, Lincoln, NE
  • Director and District 5 President: Stefanie Sawyer, Jolliffe Funeral Home, Scottsbluff, NE
  • Director and District 7 President: Jason Tickle, Berryman Funeral Home, Cozad, NE
  • Director and District 8 President: Mitch Solt, Solt Funeral Home, Central City, NE