Fairhaven Blog

Things of interest around Fairhaven.

A Movie is Worth a Million Words

- Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A picture is worth a thousand words, and in this day of technology, a movie is worth so much more. With the New Year upon us, creating a movie of your loved one may be the perfect way to commemorate his or her life, and a great way to capture memories that can be replayed for years to come.

A few years ago, I was fortunate to be able to have a professional company videotape my parents. Initially, Mom and Dad were uncomfortable with this process. However, the woman, Mary Ann Osness from CorElAnn Video Productions spoke gently as she interviewed my parents, helping them to relax. She asked about where they grew up, how they met and many other questions.

During my father’s funeral service, we played the movie; my nephew read a eulogy; and my sister, niece and a few close friends spoke. I couldn’t have talked without sobbing, and didn’t try. After the service, many commented on how much they appreciated seeing the movie. The video of my father brought tears to everyone’s eyes and even a few chuckles when my father made humorous comments.

On the recording, my father talked about how he met – and courted – my mother. Few people in the audience knew what a true romantic my father was. He talked about a vacation we’d experienced and many other memories. My father talked for maybe ten wonderful minutes, which we shared with those who attended his funeral.

We will have this video of my father to show great-great-grandchildren someday, along with the pictures, of which there are many. But a movie with my father talking, his mannerisms, his voice, the way he used his hands to emphasize what he was saying and his sense of humor, is so much more meaningful. This movie is a precious memory.

I have suggested this type of movie to others. One of my friends who had just months to live came to me to pre-arrange her funeral. She followed my suggestion and made a movie with Mary Ann. In her video, she talked about so many things; about her vacations, her community involvement, and the many aspects of her life of which her children weren’t aware. She started several organizations and helped so many people. She was truly an inspiring woman. She did not brag or boast, but talked about the things she enjoyed.

The woman’s children were in their early twenties, too young for children of their own. They will be able to share her with their children and those who follow, because she knew how precious a movie would be for them. A picture is worth a thousand words, and a movie, so much more.


- Friday, May 25, 2012

As we head into Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to take this time to remind everyone that the freedoms we have in this country weren't free. They were paid for with the lives of service men and women. We have had services and/or have graves here at Fairhaven for those who died in wars going all the way back to the Civil War. It's quite a legacy for the community and the company.

Each year the staff at Fairhaven puts on a huge Memorial Day event and, like Easter, you'll find the staff out on the grounds doing things they don't normally do in the course of their work. You'll find Jon Searfoss, the Accounting Manager, handing out water and hot dogs along with the rest of the Accounts Receivable staff. Jon's father was a veteran of the Korean War. You'll find Vice President Leo O'Connor making sure that his parking staff directs cars correctly through the park and that everyone finds somewhere to put their car.

Out by the flower shop, the florist, Edel Cabrera, and what seems like a cast of thousands spend hours cooking hot dogs for the event and putting on an "after the event" luncheon as a thank you to the staff for their hard work. One of those hot dog cooks is A.V. Donovan, our Records Clerk, who is the widow of a Vietnam vet and whose son has served numerous tours in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Bosnia. A.V. comes from a family with numerous war veterans. Liz Welch, the Human Resources Manager, will be dressed in red, white and blue, manning a golf cart, ferrying handicapped individuals, elderly persons and dignitaries. Liz's father was a veteran of WWII stationed in the Pacific theater.

Everyone on staff at Fairhaven does something on Memorial Day, from the grounds crew under the direction of Jay Rodriguez, who arrive not long after the sun rises to make sure the park is beautiful with no flower out of place, to our receptionists Yolanda Medina and Carol Sexton, who field call after call for locations of loved ones, to our hardworking Master of Ceremonies, Lou Carlson, who has to speak to the crowd of thousands in front of the historic mausoleum. It's an event we all take pride in regardless of what our job might be that day. And it is an honor for us to help people find the graves of their loved ones especially if they served our country.

Like Veteran's Day, Memorial Day reminds me of my father who so proudly served as a scout in the CIC (Counter Intelligence Corps) in New Guinea in WWII. He believed in honoring those who fought for our country while they are alive as well as in death and he was a member of the American Legion for many years. What we do here would have reminded him of the sacrifices of the men and women of the armed forces of this country and their families. As it reminds us all.

National WWI Monument

 National WWII Monument

National Korean War Monument


National Vietnam War Monument

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington Cemetery, Virginia

The Tom Wall USMC Columbarium, North Gardens, Fairhaven Memorial Park

Many thanks to the men and women of today's armed forces, their families and all those who served before them. Their sacrifice is not forgotten nor unappreciated.

Please do join us on Monday, May 28 at 10:30 am for Fairhaven Memorial Park's 20th Annual Memorial Day Service. We have  Military Guest Speakers, the Blue Eagles Honor Guard, an Aerial Fly Over, the Orange County Concert Band, the National Anthem Performed by our “Star-Spangled Singer” contest winner Jennifer Malman, the “Sound of Liberty” by Catherine Johnston, Tim Ringgold and The Traditions Singers and “America’s Wars” Life Sized Photo Essays, Antique Cars Display and more…Don't forget to  enjoy a complimentary hot dog and refreshments during the program!

Happy Memorial Day from all of us at the Fairhaven Family Group - Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary in Santa Ana, Fairhaven Memorial Services in Mission Viejo, Family Mortuary in Santa Ana and Infinity Cremation Society in Tustin.

Charity Gallardo, Blog CoordinatorCharity has been the Network Administrator for the Fairhaven Family Group for 13 years. When she’s not assisting staff with their computer issues, she is a published author of romance novels, an award winning cover artist and a blogger. 

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