Marker Funeral Homes earns Selected Independent Funeral Homes Membership
Marker Funeral Homes recently earned membership in Selected Independent Funeral Homes, an international association of premier, independently owned, and operated funeral homes.
“We are pleased to welcome Marker Funeral Homes to our association,” said Selected Independent Funeral Homes Executive Director and CEO, Robert J. Paterkiewicz. “Affiliation with Selected Independent Funeral Homes is considered an honor because of the high standards of funeral service that are required to receive an invitation to become a member.”
President and Funeral Director of Marker Funeral Homes Mike Marker said to be invited to join Selected Independent Funeral Homes was truly an honor and a validation of our efforts to always look for ways to provide better service to families.
“We look forward to learning from other funeral homes that are independently owned and equally committed to their communities and employees. Selected has some of the most prestigious and tradition-rich funeral homes in the world within their group. Most funeral homes belong to a state or national association, which anyone can join, but to join selected, you must first be nominated by a current member and then voted on by the entire membership. To be accepted by such an impressive group of businesses in an honor that I always hoped for but never really expected.
“Some of the areas that we are excited about are getting involved in their work study groups dealing with various challenges in funeral service, as well as the educational opportunities available to women in funeral service and the NexGen program that is directed toward our younger employees, as they represent our future. There were only two other funeral homes in Oklahoma that were members before we joined and we are very excited to move forward with these firms and Selected Independent Funeral Homes across the nation.”
The story of Marker Funeral Homes began in 1992 when Mike and Pam Marker made the move to Bixby and purchased the Leonard Funeral Home, located in its original location within downtown Bixby. The Leonard Funeral Home was founded in 1920 by Floyd and Lucille Leonard and was blessed with a wonderful reputation of providing care and comfort to area families and is recognized as one of the oldest family-owned businesses in Tulsa County. In June of 2003, the Markers moved the operations of the funeral home to its new, beautiful facility located at 151st St. and Sheridan, across from the Bixby Cemetery.
The second chapter of Marker Funeral Homes began in 2002, although this chapter was not planned nor necessarily desired. Mike and Pam became associated with the Dowdy Funeral Home in Haskell after the untimely death of its owner. Wanting to help the Dowdy family in any way he could, Mike agreed to serve as their funeral director in addition to his Bixby responsibilities and filled this role for five years. In 2007, the Dowdy’s decided to sell their funeral home to Mike and Pam and the name was changed to Dowdy-Marker Funeral Home. This location was founded in 1936 and is also blessed with a long-standing and strong reputation of serving area families.
The third location within Marker Funeral Homes became a reality after many years of dreaming and talking over the idea with very good friends. Ken and D’Ann Hargrove were friends and neighbors of the Markers and they have a deep and passionate commitment to Jenks. Both are lifelong residents and their families have been involved in just about anything related to Jenks. Their passion to serve was also a determining factor of leading Mike and Pam to partner with them in Hargrove-Marker Funeral & Cremation service which was founded in 2016. It has been very well received and supported by the Jenks community.
The final chapter of the story relates to our greatest asset, the staff that helps us serve those that are hurting. Mike & Pam began and built their business by following their mission statement, “Thoughtful, Dedicated Service Within the Means of All” and each of their employees is equally committed to serving the families of their community with kindness, compassion, understanding, hard work and professionalism. They all see funeral service as a calling rather than just a job and strive to make what is often one of the most difficult times in the life of a family a little less stressful by handling the many details of a funeral service with efficiency, grace, and finesse. It’s because of how blessed we are with those that work with us that we can say. “We are more than just a funeral home … we are a family at Marker Funeral Homes”.
The Marker Funeral Service staff is involved in the areas that we serve. They are very involved in our local Chamber of Commerce activities and events. We also have done outreach through walks, drives, service in our communities, have walked in events supporting The Demand Project Founded in 1917 as National Selected Morticians, Selected Independent Funeral Homes is an international association of approximately 1,200 independent funeral service establishments, which are operated by persons with integrity, good moral character, professional ability of a high level and who are dedicated to the principle that their calling involves special responsibilities to society.
As an active and leading association, Selected Independent Funeral Homes focuses on these four essential purposes:
-study, develop and establish the highest standards of service for the benefit of the public
-provide a continuing forum for the exchange, development and dissemination of knowledge and information beneficial to members and the public
-furnish information to members and the public regarding all aspects of funeral service
-cooperate with organizations, public and private, to achieve these purposes
Membership in Selected Independent Funeral Homes is by invitation and is extended only after a thorough review of character, service, performance and facilities. One primary condition of membership is adherence to the association’s “Code of Good Funeral Practice.” The 11 provisions of the Code clearly outline the key principles of honesty, respect and trust that are expected of members.
“As independently owned and operated firms, our members are truly vested in their communities,” Paterkiewicz said. “Marker Funeral Homes, like all our members, takes seriously their responsibility and dedication to providing the best possible funeral service to their friends and neighbors.”