Funerals serve an important purpose: they provide family and friends a caring and supportive environment to gather and recognize the life of their loved one and to acknowledge that the life has come to an end. Each funeral should be as unique as the life that was lived. Gunderson Funeral Home provides many service options for you to choose from in order to meet your religious and cultural traditions, costs and personal preferences. We are happy to give you our recommendations based upon your needs. Services may be conducted in our chapel, at your church or at the graveside. Community and fellowship rooms are available for those who wish to include food and refreshments before, during, or after gatherings, visitations and services.Our staff is committed to handling every little detail in order to make your time of need as comforting as possible, we want you to feel at ease knowing that the services you need will be provided. When a death occurs, your primary responsibility is to yourself and the ones you love. Some of the services we provide include:
- Arrangement conference with family or representative for funeral arrangements
- Transfer of the deceased to funeral home from place of death
- Sheltering of remains (in compliance with government mandated regulations by FTC, ADA, OSHA and the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing
- Care and preparation of the deceased
- Preparation and filing of legal papers and placing obituary and funeral notices in newspapers
- Coordination with cemetery, crematory or other facilities involved in the final resting place of the decedent
- Arranging flowers, luncheon, catering and monuments
- Securing necessary permits and death certificates
- Coordinating all details with the clergy, honorary guards, etc.
- Use of funeral home, equipment and staff for funeral ceremony, memorial service, viewing, or visitation.
- All necessary arrangements for transportation, funeral service, and burial if the deceased is to be sent to a distant location
A funeral can and should be as unique as the life that is being celebrated. We believe that each family deserves to honor their loved one’s life in a way that is most meaningful to them. Our staff will provide you with a wide variety of choices that will personalize and reflect the life that was lived. Personalization can be found in three forms:
Participation: Participation is the direct involvement of family members in activitivies held at the visitation, service or graveside. When someone participates in a ceremony, ritual or tribute, they establish a direct connection not only with their loved one, but with all the others who participate in or witness the activity. Participation may include serving as pallbearer, musician or reader. It may include jotting down your favorite memories to be read or giving a eulogy. Almost no age is too young or too old to participate in a funeral in some way.
Props: Props have always been a good way to personalize. The emotional outlet of selecting things to bring to the funeral home-pictures, memorabilia, clothing-is important for the family. Bringing them to the funeral home or place of service allows the family to be surrounded with memories and good feelings. Well thought out, meaningful items can spark conversation and stories, remembrance and love.
Product: Personalization with product can be accomplished through the use of personalized caskets, casket panels, urns or stationary products. Not only do these personalized items reflect a unique life that was lived, but in many cases, they make a meaningful keepsake for the family. (Used with permission of Lifetimes author JoAnn Baldwin)
The following are ways in which you may personalize a loved one's funeral:
- Dove, butterfly or balloon release
- Photographic collages
- DVD tribute
- Personalized music selections
- Memorial folders and register books that reflect personal style and interest
- Keepsakes; from angel or footprint coins, blooming hearts to grandma's cookie recipe or golf balls and tees
- Display of personal memorabilia, such as uniforms, awards or favorite pastime items
- Special customs unique to certain faiths, ethnic groups, and fraternal organizations
- Honor guards or escorts for military, emergency service personnel, etc.
- Funeral procession led by service vehicles or motorcycles
We encourage you and your family to ask questions and share your ideas, customs and wishes with us; creating a special tribute to your loved one is important in honoring their memory. Personalizing your loved one's service can also be therapeutic, it gives you and your family the opportunity to reflect and share as you relive special memories.
Gunderson Funeral Home assures you that your loved one is safe in our hands. It is important for families to know that our cremation process takes place at our own private crematory, run by certified cremation specialists. We uphold the highest legal and ethical control of our crematory to ensure integrity of the cremation process and of the cremated remains.
Cremation is a personal preference. Gunderson Funeral Home recognizes and understands that religious, personal, cultural and financial needs and expectations are significant attributes when considering cremation. Our staff will explain and help guide you through the different cremation services and options we offer that will best meet your needs.
Gunderson Funeral Home also offers direct cremation. Direct cremation entails cremation of the body following death, without having funeral or memorial services.
Cremation Q & A
The type of service chosen varies with each family, but one thing is constant: a service provides a focal point for remembering the deceased at the time of death and provides emotional value into the future.
Most families in our area still choose to say their last goodbyes through a traditional visitation funeral and burial service with family and friends. Saying goodbye is a critical step toward healing through the death of a loved one. Burial services can be arranged to fit your religious and cultural traditions, costs and personal preferences. Whether you prefer a traditional funeral, a graveside service or a private gathering, our experienced staff has the creativity to plan a loving tribute that is traditional, yet unique.Your funeral director will contact the cemetery of your choice, and inform you of their costs.
In order to contribute to our communities' environmental awareness, Gunderson Funeral Home offers alternate burial options along with traditional burial and cremation options. Green burials, or natural burials, are intended to ensure that the burial site remains as natural as possible. A green funeral
typically includes no embalming or embalming with formaldehyde-free products, the use of
sustainable biodegradable clothing, shroud or casket, and a natural or green burial. Traditional standing
headstones are typically not used. Instead, flat rocks, plants or trees may serve as grave markers.
Why have a green burial?
Many people believe that our bodies are intended to reunite with the earth; all organisms that have lived, have died and returned to the earth's soil to be recycled into new life. Nature will break down the buried body by constant microbial activity. Green burials are earth friendly options. Natural burial sites promote the growth of native trees, shrubs and wildflowers and will in turn invite birds and other wildlife to the area. A green cemetery will allow nature to take its course.
If you choose to have a green burial, you may still keep your personal values and have the service of your choice.
Gunderson Funeral Home is especially proud of the role our veterans have played in the freedoms we enjoy today. We offer specialty packages developed to honor each veteran's service. Our veterans deserve the utmost respect. They will be given full military honors and interment in a local, state or national veteran's cemetery.
Honorably Discharged Veterans are provided the following items:
- American Flag
- Military Rites (including gun salute, playing of Taps, and the folding and presenting the flag) performed at the cemetery or place of service.
- Burial in a national, state or locally owned veterans cemetery.
- Veteran's headstone or marker.
- In some cases, monetary benefits may be available.
- In addition, Gunderson Funeral Home provides a complimentary protective flag case and also a personalized, framed Ray Simon military print. The family is asked to bring in a copy of the discharge papers (DD214) in order for Gunderson Funeral Home to assist the family in obtaining those benefits.
Forest Hill Cemetery
Forest Hill Cemetery is a city owned cemetery that includes a veteran's section for Madison residents who honorably served in the U.S. Military.
1 Speedway Rd | Madison, WI 53705 | 608) 266-4720
Southern Wisconsin Veterans' Memorial Cemetery
Union Grove, WI
Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery is a state owned veterans cemetery that provides burial spaces for veterans meeting military service and Wisconsin residency requirements. There are additional State Veterans' Cemeteries in Spooner and King, Wisconsin.
21731 Spring Street | Union Grove, WI 53182 | (262) 878-5660
Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery
Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery is a national cemetery located 50 miles south of Chicago in Elwood, Ill.
27034 South Diagonal Road | Elwood, IL 60421 | (815) 423-9958
Fort Snelling National Cemetery
Fort Snelling National Cemetery (FSNC) is the home of the first all-volunteer Memorial Rifle Squad (MRS) in the National Cemetery Administration (NCA).
7601 34th Avenue, South | Minneapolis, MN 55450-1199 | (612) 726-1127
Arlington Park National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery is a national cemetery under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Army.
The primary mission of Arlington National Cemetery is to function as the nation's premier military cemetery and shrine honoring those men and women who served in the Armed Forces. In this regard, the cemetery performs over 27 funeral services each day. The cemetery also has become an increasingly popular visitor attraction in the National Capital Area, serving approximately four million visitors annually.