Enterprising Ideas

Heafey Hoffmann Dworak & Cutler

Helping Families Honor Loved Ones

By Angella A. Arndt

Losing a loved one is painful, and making funeral arrangements during the grieving process can be overwhelming. Where will you have the service? What type of service do you want? Where will your loved one be laid to rest? Fortunately, you don’t have to go through the process alone. Heafey Hoffmann Dworak & Cutler has been helping families with funeral arrangements for over 130 years, and they are ready to help you honor your loved one.


Heafey Hoffmann Dworak & Cutler offers a full spectrum of services, including funeral services (held when the deceased is present) and memorial services (held without the deceased’s presence). They also offer visitations, committal services, immediate burial, cremation, and funeral pre-planning. They provide burial products such as caskets, vaults, urns, and headstones.


David (Dave) Stranglen, the funeral director at the Bellevue Memorial Chapel location, first considered mortuary science in high school. Growing up in Omaha, he graduated from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He earned his degree in mortuary science from Kansas City Kansas Community College. Dave worked in Kansas City until his grandfather’s passing brought him back to Omaha in 1998. He went to work for Heafey shortly after that and has been with the company for 23 years.


A traditional funeral service includes a visitation or wake, a funeral or memorial service, interment, and luncheon. Although traditional services are still held, Dave notes that services have become more personalized. Video tributes are replacing photo slideshows, and recorded music that has personal meaning is often used. Other touches include balloon releases, dove releases, and patriotic themes. Eligible veterans may receive military funeral honors, with a gun salute, flag presentation, and the playing of taps.


Dave remarks that cremations have been on the rise lately. Families choose cremation for various reasons, including taking a loved one’s remains to a family plot, scattering ashes, or placing cremated remains in multiple urns for family members separated by distance. If cremation is chosen, a funeral service may be held before cremation, or a memorial service may be held after cremation.


Regardless of what a family chooses for their loved one, Heafey will create a meaningful, personalized experience to honor the deceased. “We do everything we can to accommodate families,” Dave says. “We’re locally owned, so we make our decisions at the local level. We aren’t reliant on a corporate entity’s directives to decide what adjustments we can make to meet a family’s needs.”


Heafey also offers advanced funeral planning services. Pre-planning reduces the family’s stress of making last-minute decisions during an incredibly emotional time. You can decide how you want to be remembered. What type of service would you like? Where do you want the service to be held? Do you want to be buried or cremated? Are there specific flowers, music, or readings that you want to be included in the service? Have you selected a cemetery? Would you like donations made in your name to a charitable organization? When you plan ahead, your family can make the final arrangements with peace of mind, knowing they are honoring your wishes. In addition to pre-planning, Heafey has a variety of pre-payment programs that allow you to lock in current pricing and remove the financial burden from your family.


Dave notes that the past year has presented unique challenges for families who lost loved ones but weren’t able to gather as easily as in years past. “We did a lot of live-streaming at our chapels, churches, and gravesites,” he says. “Some families are scheduling memorials this year for loved ones they weren’t able to have a service for last year.” Heafey has implemented extra measures in their chapels to ensure that public areas are disinfected and sanitized between services.


Heafey’s service philosophy is straightforward. “We go above and beyond to meet a family’s needs,” Dave asserts. “Attention to detail is important, whether it’s timing, services provided, or preparing a loved one for viewing. We make sure everything happens when it is supposed to and that it happens correctly.”


From deciding on the type of service and its details to laying a loved one to rest, Heafey can help families navigate their way through the process. “It’s gratifying when families tell us how much they appreciate our attention to detail,” Dave says. “We want families to feel comfortable. It’s a privilege for us to help people through a difficult time and honor their loved ones.”


Heafey Hoffmann Dworak & Cutler is located at 7805 West Center Road in Omaha, with additional locations at 5108 F Street in Omaha and 2202 Hancock Street in Bellevue. Call them in Bellevue at 402-291-5000 or 402-391-3900. You can find them online at heafeyheafey.com.

July '21 Enterprising Ideas -Dave Strang

Dave Stranglen, Funeral Director