Technology is seeping in all areas of our life. We’re practically inseparable from our phones. But that doesn’t mean that all industries are at the same level of technology adoption. As part of our Conversations with a Funeral Director series we spoke with Tye Langehennig of Englunds Funeral Service & Chapel based out of Slaton, Texas. Tye has a keen understanding of how important technology is for funeral services and has a ton of stories to share with us.
Working with Families Helping Them Organize Funeral Services
As a funeral director, Tye works in a tight knit community in Texas, where many are ranchers and farmers. To provide the most valuable service to families, he wants to take care of everything for them and make things more manageable. This often includes him handling all the insurance, cemetery details, setting up events and more.
We try to make it as smooth as possible. And that’s a compliment we often get…Is how smooth the process is. We’re told we do way more than we’re required to do and the families appreciate it.
With organizing funerals in the community, one big challenge is logistics. With today’s mobile society, funeral homes serve families that have moved to where their jobs and families take them, nationally and internationally. But families still want to come home when a member has died. Family members call upon his services as a funeral director to comfortably arrange travel and funeral details for their loved ones.
Introducing Technology As a Connectivity Enabler
Tye sees the adoption of technology increasing as the funeral industry is moving along with new family expectations. It’s the biggest change and not everybody in the death-care industry is as quick to accept it like other industries. Tye shares that his funeral home had limited internet presence. Thanks to the technology focus shared by Tye, they now have a greater internet presence.
With the cost of funerals and obituaries rising, the prices are getting so high that once people pay the price of a funeral they can’t pay for an obituary to get out. That’s why Tye has introduced his families to a free and efficient tool like Everdays.
I sit down with everyone, including helping those that are technology challenged* and walk them through using the app. Or I let their children be technology consultants. Younger generations will spread the announcements and that’s when it really blows up.
A Personal Story
When Tye first started using Everdays, a 59 year old male had passed away. His 82 year old father came in and said “we don’t need that (Everdays) and we don’t want to use it.” However, the deceased’s 27 year old daughter didn’t come in for the funeral service planning. Tye called her and explained the technology to her. She and her grandfather expected only 3-4 people at the graveside service, but once she shared it with contacts and tagged her dad on Facebook, over 50 people showed up. She spent most of the service getting to know all of these different people from her father’s life that she didn’t know. After the funeral, the grandfather – quite obviously moved, came back to the funeral home and shook Tye’s hand to say “thank you.”
A simple technology tool had changed the experience one family had. Tye believes this is how funeral services will be organized in the future. As we become more mobile- both in terms of our physical and digital footprints, it’s only natural that all services, including those related to end of life will play catch-up.
We’d like to thank Tye for his valuable insights today and hope more care providers stay as family-centric as him.
About Tye Langehennig
Tye spent 21 years working in law enforcement and retired with his wife. The two went back to mortuary school after friends suggested that they’d do well in the funeral industry. While in law enforcement, not only was he a lieutenant but was also known as the IT Guy. After graduating from mortuary school, Tye has been a funeral director now for a few years. Tye has helped multiple funeral homes come into the technology age and expand their customer base.
*People who have a limited internet presence and are not familiar with cutting-edge consumer technology