"Our Family Helping Yours"
By Angella A. Arndt
Losing a loved one is one of life’s most difficult experiences, and it is made even more difficult as family members have to navigate funeral arrangements while dealing with their loss and heartache. For more than a century, the Roeder family has been helping Omaha-area families make customized arrangements for their loved ones with compassion and respect.
The mortuary, opened in 1912 which was originally named Haines & Roede, Theodore “Teddy” Roeder took over complete ownership of the business when Mr. Haines decided to retire. His sons, Norman and Ronald, succeeded him until Norman’s son, Jon Roeder, took over in 1998. Jon retired in March 2019, and his son, Brian Roeder, is the fourth-generation president of this family-owned and operated company.
The original business location was on 24th Street in Omaha, which is now Thomas Funeral Home (3920 N. 24th St.). Teddy sold that location to the Thomas family and built the 50th and Ames location in the mid 1960s. That is when it became Roeder Mortuary. In recent years, Roeder Mortuary has expanded to include locations at 108th and Maple and Standing Stone Drive (in Gretna).
Brian started his career in the military, serving in the Navy. “I wanted to get out into the real world to learn a trade, but I didn’t want my parents to pay for college,” he recalls. “I studied data systems electronics and weapon systems electronics.” It was during his service that he decided he wanted to get into the family business. “The military is steeped in tradition, and our family business is the same,” Brian notes. “My dad never pushed me to get into the business—he wanted me to make my own decision. I returned to the family business when I realized it was the right path for me.”
To meet the needs of different families, Roeder Mortuary offers several types of funeral services, including traditional, memorial, and graveside. A traditional funeral service memorializes a deceased person with the body present. A memorial service memorializes a deceased person without the body being present; this type of service may be more appropriate for families that need time to plan and accommodate people traveling to the service. A graveside service may occur after a funeral service, but it can also happen on its own.
Any type of funeral service can be combined with a cremation. For those who are cremated, a traditional service may take place before the cremation; a memorial service may be held after the cremation; or cremated remains may be returned to the family without a service. Options are flexible to create a customized, meaningful service.
According to Brian, funeral services have changed considerably over the past 20 years. Services have become more personalized. More services are being held at funeral homes instead of churches, and cremations are becoming more common. Also, many families are changing their service order to have the burial followed by a service and then a luncheon. Brian notes that this year has been particularly challenging for families planning funeral services, and Roeder Mortuary has adapted to meet their needs. “For example, we offer live streaming at the funeral home and have also provided live streaming at church services.”
Brian and his staff dedicate themselves to providing caring and compassionate service to the families and loved ones of the deceased. “Being a funeral director is like a ministry, and you have to treat it as such. We are helping people through a difficult process.” To be useful and successful, Brian believes, “you have to want to do that, to do a good job for the family.” Brian believes that education is an integral part of the planning process. “We want families to make informed decisions about services and products. We want families to receive value.”
Brian offers his thoughts on important considerations when selecting a funeral home. Is the funeral home locally owned? Where are decisions being made—locally or from a remotely located corporate office? How do you feel when you visit the funeral home? Are you treated with compassion, respect, and dignity? Do staff members seem to understand what’s important to you? What services are offered? Is live streaming available? Asking questions will help you choose a funeral home that can reduce the stress and anxiety of planning a service while providing a meaningful, caring experience.
Brian takes pride in the fact that Roeder Mortuary has been family-owned and operated for 108 years. “We are part of this community,” he says. Brian and his staff strive to make each service honorable and special. “It’s heartwarming when families take the time to thank us while they are going through one of the hardest things they have to experience. That means a lot.”
For more information, visit roedermortuary.com. Roeder Mortuary has three locations: 4932 Ames Avenue (402-453-5600), 2727 North 108th Street (402-496-9000), and 11710 Standing Stone Drive in Gretna (402-332-0090).
Brian Roeder, President