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CCMS Welcomes President Jack E. Lechner, Jr., CFSP, Certified in Thanatology

CCMS and the Board of Trustees are proud to announce the appointment of Jack E. Lechner, Jr., Colonel (Retired), United States Army, as President of the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.

After an exhaustive search, we are privileged to introduce Mr. Lechner. Having taken into great consideration the input of alumni, students, and college administration, we feel confident and excited to move forward into an ever evolving future.

Here are a few highlights which make Mr. Lechner right for CCMS:

Shares a history with CCMS

Mr. Lechner has a long history with the College, beginning nearly two decades ago when he earned the Bachelor of Mortuary Science degree, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Over the years, Mr. Lechner has maintained a welcomed connection with CCMS as a mentor and guest speaker in the classroom. Mr. Lechner was also selected by the student body to present the class address during the fall 2015 commencement ceremony. He has collaborated extensively with CCMS faculty in the development of the specialized grief and bereavement training program currently in use by the civilian staff serving at Arlington National Cemetery.

Values education as a foundation to success

Since entrusting his funeral service education to CCMS, Mr. Lechner has continued on to earn a Master of Science degree in Logistics Management, Florida Tech and a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy, National Defense University. He earned his funeral director and embalmer licenses in Ohio, Virginia, and New Jersey.

Fully invested in funeral service as a profession

His commitment to lifelong learning and to the service of this profession is exemplified in having earned the distinction as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) from the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice. Mr. Lechner is also Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying, and Bereavement from the Association for Death Education and Counseling. His affiliations with professional organizations is an asset to the growth, and success of CCMS.

Respected leader with a commitment to service

His commitment to serve this profession is second only to his commitment of service to the United States. Mr. Lechner most recently served at Headquarters, Department of the Army, Pentagon. Prior to his service at the Pentagon, Col. Lechner was assigned as part of the new leadership team given the mission to restore the trust of the American public in the face of the major 2010 scandal at Arlington National Cemetery. He served as the Executive Officer, Cemetery Administrator, Deputy Superintendent, and culminated his five year tenure by serving as Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery until August 2015. Mr. Lechner retired from the United States Army in 2011 after serving 29 years on active duty.

Mr. Lechner’s history of strong leadership and dedication to the death care profession is an asset to CCMS.

Vetting the New President

John Gay, Board Chairperson, states: "We as the Board of Trustees could not be happier to have Mr. Lechner serve as CCMS President. It was imperative that we select someone who would lead CCMS to the next level of funeral service education excellence. This was vital for the good of our students and the very dedicated faculty and staff at the college, as well as for the general good of our profession. After a very robust vetting process it became clear that Jack was the person to assume this important leadership role."


Cincinnati Foundation Annual Meeting to Coincide with OFDA Convention

In hopes of making the annual Cincinnati Foundation for Mortuary Education (CFME) meeting accessible to more alumni members, the Board of Trustees has reserved space in the Hilton Easton on Thursday May 19th at 10 a.m., during convention week. We invite you to become a part of the foundation and join us for the annual meeting to hear updates and financial positions for the foundation and college. This is also a great opportunity to learn how you can contribute in the college's self-study strategic planning for the upcoming HLC reaccreditation.

We hope you will join us in foundation membership as we work collectively to ensure a secure financial future for CCMS and student scholarships! Dues remain modest at $100 annually.

Join the Foundation online or by using the membership form and return envelope provided with the Annual Membership Drive and Meeting Notice Letter in mid-April. For information please contact foundation@ccms.edu or contact Alumni Relations at 513-761-2020.


CCMS Faculty Melissa Kloss Named in the 2016 NFDA Meet the Mentors Program

In February, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) announced the names of the 50 young funeral professionals selected to participate in the association's 8th exclusive Meet the Mentors education program events.

Congratulations to CCMS Instructor, Melissa Kloss, on being selected to participate in this prestigious program!

Participants are NFDA-member funeral directors and embalmers under the age of 40. Meet the Mentors took place March 13-15 in the Conference Center of Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia. Meet the Mentors is held in cooperation with the Funeral Service Foundation.

During Meet the Mentors, the 50 selected licensed funeral directors and embalmers met, learned from, and talked with three innovative and successful funeral professionals:
  • Patrick Lynch, president and co-founder of the Clawson, Michigan, location of Lynch and Sons Funeral Directors. Lynch is a past president of NFDA and currently serves on the Spokesperson Team.
  • Kristin Newman (CCMS Alumna 1996), co-owner of Panebaker Funeral Home in Hanover, Pennsylvania. Newman also serves on NFDA's Professional Development Committee.
  • Lynn Ochiltree, owner of Ochiltree Funeral Service and Aftercare in Winterset, Iowa. Ochiltree is Iowa's representative to the NFDA Policy Board and serves on the Pursuit of Excellence and Professional Development Committees.
Complete details about the NFDA Meet the Mentors program, including the videos announcing the 50 attendees, can be found on the association website, www.nfda.org/mentors.

CCMS Faculty Insight Trainers Announce Certified Celebrants

B.M.S. students spent a rigorous few days training to become Certified Celebrants. Insight Celebrant Trainers, Wanda Lee and Teresa Dutko, are honored to award certifications to the following students (pictured above):

Lorenzo Bentley
Rebecca Campbell
Brandon Catchen
Jessica Cornist
Cameron Crofoot
Kelly Cunningham
Sara Dotson
Erin Faith
Jessee Hagan
Demetrius Hughes
Ebony Jackson
Amanda Jones
Emily Kingrey
Miranda Mackey
Leigh Matchison
Bree McLaren
John Noorda
Miranda Robinson
Kandice Saulsberry
Ariana Thompson

Commencement of the Spring Class 2016

Commencement for Spring 2016 graduates was held December 19, 2015 at the Kolping Center. It was a privilege to have Mr. Don Catchen deliver the graduate address, where he shared his experiences and the importance of graduates holding true to their commitment to a career in funeral service.

We congratulate the graduates and celebrate their determination, commitment, and accomplishments.

Scott Anderson
Lexington, KY

Alex Bable
Columbiana, OH

Lorenzo Bentley
Minford, OH

Rebecca Campbell
Clovis, CA

Brandon Lee Catchen
Park Hills, KY

Jessica Grace Cornist
Cincinnati, OH

Cameron Crofoot
Harrison, MI

Kelly Irene Cunningham
West Jefferson, OH

Sara Dotson
Hamilton, OH
Erin Faith
Belleville, IL

Jessee Hagan
Big Stone Gap, VA

Demetrius Hughes
Liberty Township, OH

Ebony Jackson
Detroit, MI

Amanda Leigh Jones
Chillicothe, OH

Trevor Kill
St. Marys, OH

Emily Brooke Kingrey
West Portsmouth, OH

Meriah Jane Kirk
Manchester, OH

Miranda Quinn Mackey
Cleveland, OH
Leigh Renee Matchison
Villa Hills, KY

Bree McLaren
Finneytown, OH

John Michael Noorda
Pocatello, ID

Jasmine Miriah Oliver
Martinsburg, WV

Theresa Richardson
Dayton, OH

Miranda Benge Robinson
Richmond, KY

Claire Sadler
Akron, OH

Kandice C. Saulsberry
Akron, OH

Ariana Thompson
Cincinnati, OH

Graduate Honor & Award Recipients — Spring 2016


Summa Cum Laude:
Scott Anderson, Alexander Bable, Lorenzo Bentley, Jessica Cornist, Miranda Mackey (4.0), Leigh Matchison (4.0), Bree McLaren (4.0), Miranda Robinson (4.0)

Magna Cum Laude:
Theresa Richardson

Cum Laude:
Sara Dotson, Ebony Jackson, Amanda Jones, Meriah Kirk, Jasmine Oliver, Ariana Thompson


Administrative Support Recognition
Jessica Grace Cornist
Recognition for commitment and contribution to daily administration operations

Lab Assistant Recognition Plaque
Scott Daniel Anderson
Miranda Benge Robinson

Recognition for commitment, diligence, and contribution to daily clinical lab operations

Clinical Intake Recognition
Scott Daniel Anderson
Recognition for student employee commitment and contribution to nighttime and holiday lab operations

The James C. Lyerly Management Award
John Michael Noorda
Scholastic achievement and potential for outstanding business and management skills

The Ivan P. Bowsher Award
Leigh Renee Matchison
Academic excellence and artistic skill in restorative art

The Joel E. Crandall Award
Ebony Jackson
Miranda Benge Robinson

Outstanding artistic competence in restorative art

The Homer D. Leffler for Funeral Directing Award
Trevor M. Kill
Potential for excellence in ethical and compassionate service, development, and community relations

The OFDA Leadership Award
Alexander Lee Bable
Exemplary leadership qualities and abilities

The Class President's Award
Scott Daniel Anderson
Recognition for leadership and representation of both the student body and the College

The Nunnamaker Memorial Award
Bree McLaren
Highest class standing

The Dr. George M. Sleichter Award
Miranda Benge Robinson
Second highest class standing

The Charles O. Dhonau Memorial Embalming Award
Scott Daniel Anderson
Highest competence in both embalming theory and clinical application

The Ohio Embalmer's Association Award
Alexander Lee Bable
Columbiana, Ohio

Ohio resident displaying achievement in the combined theory and practice of embalming

The Arthur J. Russler Memorial Award
Jessee Patton Hagan
Highest competence in the clinical setting as evaluated by the clinical faculty

The Dodge Award
Amanda Leigh Jones
Exceptional advancement in the art of embalming


'Vivo ut Serviam' — Reflecting in 'Living to Serve'
Melissa Kloss, CFSP, CCMS Faculty

Why do YOU do what YOU do?

A poignant question that many of us as funeral professionals do not always think about. Between the day-to-day works of seeing bereaved families, taking care of your own families, and having time for a social life, many of us do not take time to really think about that question. But really, why do you do what you do?

This was the challenging question presented to all participants of NFDA's 2016 Meet the Mentors program. Networking together with participants from across the world, we each had an individualized answer. The theme of the workshop was to really understand the difference between service and stewardship. Why we do what we do may lie a bit in between both of those definitions.

Service, by definition, is one that serves others; one that performs duties about the person or home of a master or personal employer. In many ways, we are providing service to our employers and the families we serve in this regard each and every day. Mentors are encouraged to take that very valuable service we have and expand, thus becoming stewards of the profession. Stewardship is defined as: "the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care."

Being in mortuary education, I truly feel like I have an opportunity to make a difference by inspiring and educating stewards of the funeral service profession. This is often not an individual effort – it takes an alive and active collective group of funeral service mentors in every community to mentor those of the future: young, old, newly licensed, forever licensed, apprentices, allied professionals, and educators. In between seeing families and running a business this is often hard to do, but take time to do this. The encouragement from the mentors was to keep active in our communities and within the profession – listen and take notes. Be a forever learner. From the "to-dos" to the "ta-das" we are always improving; complacency and arrogance have no place in funeral service. If you have the latter of those in your business, you will never get out alive.

I often use a quote by Ghandi in my classroom, and keep it near and dear and often plastered on all of my teaching binders: "Be the change you want to see in the world." Participation in Meet the Mentors has truly elevated my personal and professional awareness of why I do what I do and the importance of my profession in the world. Each of our students here at CCMS has the desire to make this world a better place – a funeral service world filled with less personalization and more of the personal. Getting back to our roots – listening, aiding our bereaved families, and the details of service all happens with mentoring. The impact we can have on the future generations of funeral service, preparing them for a "Vivo ut Serviam" starts in the classroom each and every day and for that I am forever grateful.

Tomes From The Tomb
Book review by Chelsea Force, CCMS Alumna

Does This Mean You'll See Me Naked?

By Robert D. Webster

Funeral director Robert Webster, a CCMS alumni, has created a memoir that is both mundane and insane. From the perspective of any graduate, apprentice, or director the lengths that Webster takes to describe each element of the business is repetitive. However, the insight this information provides to the public is invaluable. The process that many people will one day experience after the death of a loved one is outlined in a manner that is relevant to people from all walks of life, with the added bonus of unbelievable anecdotes that Webster has heard of, seen, or personally experienced. From a coroner's case being buried instead of delivered to his funeral home, to being paid for a funeral in the form of a classic Cadillac, the tales only become more elaborate and incredible. A review, a history lesson, and a wild trip, Webster's Does This Mean You'll See Me Naked? is worth picking up and hard to put down.

See this book in the CCMS library catalog

Book review by Elyse Hall, CCMS student

Autopsy: The Memoirs of Milton Helpern, the World's Greatest Medical Detective

By Milton Helpern, M.D.

If you are someone who enjoys watching television shows like CSI or NCIS, then Autopsy is definitely a book for you. Milton Helpern was one of the most famous Chief Medical Examiners of New York City, holding office from 1954-1973. During that time he worked on many fascinating cases and performed over 20,000 autopsies. The book does not dwell much on Helpern's past, but focuses on his career as Chief Medical Examiner. Helpern was a revolutionary mind in the field of forensic science, and as such this book is not for the faint of heart; it can get a little gory but is well written and worth the read. Milton Helpern had a compelling career in forensics that will captivate your imagination.

See this book in the CCMS library catalog


Visit Our Exhibitor Booth During the 2016 OFDA Convention May 17-19

Stop by the CCMS Exhibitor Booth (#39 off Juniper Hall) May 17-19th during the Ohio Funeral Directors Association Annual Convention. Meet CCMS President Jack Lechner and reconnect with our faculty, staff, and Board members.

We will have giveaways and samples of new merchandise which may be purchased right on site using our new online store!

CCMS Online Store Coming in April!

We have heard your requests and are excited to announce the return of the CCMS online store!

With the recent launch of the all new CCMS website comes the new online store featuring your favorite logo apparel, drinkware, and accessories.

Stop into our webstore in the coming weeks to see your favorite alma mater gear!

Publications Featuring CCMS

Recent publications and broadcasts featuring CCMS may be accessed through the links below:

NFDA Memorial Business Journal February 11, 2016, Volume 7, Issue 6

Live Radio Broadcast on 91.71 WVXU: CCMS Has Trained Funeral Professionals for More Than 130 Years

American Funeral Director, March 2016 (Kates-Boylston Publications)

Give Us Your Feedback!

We'd love your feedback on the CCMS website. Take our short survey and let us know what we're doing right and how we can improve the website.



Ducro Funeral Service and CCMS Board Trustee Kathleen Shaffer Remembers Troops For Valentine's Day

Content courtesy of the Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — Ducro Funeral Services and Crematory is one of almost 1,000 Veterans and Family Memorial Care providers nationwide who sponsor the annual VFMC Operation Valentine initiative. The project is simple and meaningful, according to J.P. Ducro IV.

"Students and individuals throughout the community write messages to the troops on Valentine Cards, cut-out hearts, or whatever they like, and we make sure that they are delivered to the brave men and women serving our country," he said.

This year, valentines were received from numerous schools, churches, and patriotic citizens and were sent to five different veterans with connections to Ashtabula County to share with their units. For more information on other initiatives, such as Cell Phones for Soldiers, contact Ducro's at 440-992-2191.

Alumnus and Founder of Chicago Jewish Funerals Receives Prestigious Award

Alumnus, David I. Jacobson, founder of Chicago Jewish Funerals was presented the B’nai B’rith International Achievement Award March 16 during a B’nai B’rith recognition ceremony. This Achievement Award recognizes the accomplishments of key community and corporate leaders from around the world.

Mr. Jacobs was honored for his longstanding commitment and excellence to service in conjunction with Chicago Jewish Funerals, which he founded in 1997. Chicago Jewish Funerals has locations in Buffalo Grove and Skokie.

Congratulations to Mr. Jacobson! www.chicagojewishfunerals.com

Read more about Mr. Jacobson's achievement here.

Hoping to Hire a Student or Apprentice in 2016? Let Us Help You

Looking for a student employee?
New student orientation is August 25, 2016. Let us know if you would like an opportunity to join us during orientation as a prospective employer to meet new students or get a head start by submitting a student job posting on our website.

Looking for an apprentice?
AAS graduates become available in December each year.
BMS graduates become available in April each year.
BMS graduates are becoming available NOW as they complete Co-Op curriculum.

View our Enrollment Calendar for key dates through 2018!



Leigh Matchison, Student and Military Veteran, Shares Her Story
Beth Williams, CCMS Student Relations

Leigh Matchison
CCMS Alumna
Above photo courtesy of U.S. Army
As funeral professionals, we each have a unique story. Each story is built upon the individual circumstances and events in our life and is significant in our decision to serve in our chosen profession. At CCMS, we are privileged to become a small but significant contributor to each student’s story as they come full circle in achieving their mission.

SGT Leigh Matchison, U.S. Army Veteran and BMS student, has an exceptional and humbling story centered on a single tragic and unwelcome life event which altered her course forever. It was in this pivotal moment that Leigh found direction in her desire to be of service, both through enlistment in the United States Army and later through answering the call to funeral service. She completed AAS program requirements in December, graduating 4.0 Summa Cum Laude, and is currently fulfilling her Co-Op requirement as she prepares to complete the BMS program with Honors.

Leigh has graciously honored my invitation to share her story...

To know Leigh is to respect her. Authentic, funny, kind, and intelligent, she has continued to embrace a life that could easily prove challenging to navigate with such positivity. Her decision to enroll in CCMS last spring was made long ago. A decision made after suffering one of the greatest losses imaginable, the murder of her brother, Ryan, at age 22.

Fifteen years after her brother’s death, Leigh’s story is coming full circle. She has continued to navigate her lifelong process of grief in a positive and healthy manner through service. In tragedy, Leigh emerged with direction – knowing that somehow she received a gift through her unconscionable loss. An unsolicited gift, but a gift nonetheless. She has been afforded the ability to gain a true and sincere understanding of the uniqueness of grief. She has found solace in supporting others, which has in turn established a perpetual tribute to her brother Ryan.

After high school, Leigh attended an Open House at CCMS, but subsequently attended Northern Kentucky University to pursue a different field of study. Leigh enlisted in the United States Army as a medic in May of 2007. Her decision came six months after her twin brother, Brent, was injured while deployed to Ramadi, Iraq with the U.S. Army’s 1st Armored Division. After medic training, she attended Airborne school in Fort Benning, Georgia and was assigned to 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In December 2008, she deployed to Baghdad, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. There, she spent much of her deployment with the 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion Military Police. She conducted convoy patrols in search of explosive ordnance and foot patrols conducting interviews with Iraqi citizens around Baghdad. After completing her four-year Army commitment, she began studying nursing, but soon realized she again felt the undeniable pull to attend CCMS, as she had prior to joining the military.

Leigh's story exemplifies that tragedy does not preclude anyone from fulfilling his or her mission. Although Leigh may wish for a different story to share ... this is HER story ... one I am thankful to know.

CCMS is honored to have Leigh as a distinguished alumna.


CCMS Means Family — It's Not Just Something We Say

At CCMS we laugh a lot. We form bonds quickly. We lean on one another without expectation.

Many students enter CCMS embarking upon a second career, sometimes later in life and bringing with them a family who supports their venture. It is a joy to build relationships with these spouses, partners, and children.

Occasionally we find ourselves sharing in the journey of an entire pregnancy alongside a student and remain in awe at the motivation of CCMS students. An unplanned pregnancy might stop a student in her tracks, but rarely do we see a damper on their momentum. This is in part a result of peer support, where students rally behind one another with the common goal of lightening the load and extending unconditional support.

A very recent example of this is a beautiful baby girl, Dynver, who became part of the CCMS family from the time of conception. Her mother, Ebony Jackson, remained steadfast in delivering a healthy baby as she was completing the AAS program and continued into the BMS program without skipping a beat. While doing all of this, she also parented her handsome 4-year-old son Thomas, whom we equally adore.

We enjoyed a similar experience in 2015 with the birth of another beautiful baby girl, Eve, whose mom Shirley Wagner pushed through some incredible hardships to complete her program requirements. This was possible because of the amazing support of her family and husband Adam, along with the support of her CCMS family. Shirley is currently an apprentice funeral director in Ohio. Shirley and Adam are also the parents of two other amazing young children, a son Pierson and a daughter Annette. Kudos to Ebony, Shirley, and to the spouses and families who sacrifice to make student success possible!


Co-Op Is Underway For Spring 2016 — Thank You Preceptors!

The Spring 2016 AAS Graduates embarked upon their Co-Op service this month. Without the participation of Co-Op Preceptors nationwide, this learning opportunity would not be possible.

CCMS and our students continue to be thankful for the dedication of licensed professionals and their willingness to mentor.


Delta Gamma Pi Sorority Community Outreach Initiatives

Delta Gamma Pi Sorority has been very busy with community outreach in Cincinnati. Here is a peak at what these wonderful ladies have been doing to give back:
  • Yeatman's Cove Breast Cancer Walk – the sorority raised $500 in donations and dressed in pink to participate in the walk with 18,000 other supporters of The American Cancer Society in support of those who suffer from the disease and those who are being remembered.

  • Clothing Drive & Bake Sale Fundraiser for Cincinnati Homeless – the sorority hosted a bake sale to raise funds for the purchase of winter gift bags for the homeless which included hats, gloves, scarves, socks, toiletries, and food items. Additionally, the ladies clothing drive initiative on campus was a huge successful in collecting items for Cincinnati families who are homeless during the cold Ohio winter.
Great job ladies! Your efforts towards community service are commendable.



It Is Always a Pleasure Running Into Alumni

Student ID photo recent snapshot
Ben Zimmerman, 2014 Alumnus, hasn't changed a bit! This photo sums up Ben's expression of excitement while running into instructor Melissa Kloss at the University of Dayton on March 16 while both were in attendance for the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Looks like Ben will keep on sharing the cheer, just like the days when he graced the halls of CCMS! Along with Ben was Spring 2013 alumnus Nick Pierre.

Ben is a licensed funeral director with Jamieson & Yannucci Funeral Home in Piqua, OH.


"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."A.A. Milne

The CCMS family exists indefinitely, making it always difficult to say goodbye. We share in the grief, paying tribute to the life of those we have lost. We share the death announcements which have recently been reported to CCMS.

Anderson, Tracie, class of 2013, age 42 died March 20, 2016. Tracie's Life Celebration of Tracie Anderson-Blackwell Saturday, March 26, 2016 Spring Grove Norman Chapel 4521 Spring Grove Ave Tribute View obituary.

Brater, John, class of 1966, died March 21, 2016 at the age of 70. After graduating CCMS John purchased Lutz Funeral Home in Harrison and a few years later changed the name to John C. Brater Funeral Home. As a funeral director he comforted many during his 43 years of service to many communities. John also never missed a good funeral meal. He was a fair and honest man that was well respected in the communities he served. John & his wife Kathie operated the funeral homes until 2011. He had a wonderful sense of humor and could tell some great stories. View full obituary Brader-Winter Funeral Home.

Doty, Kenneth “Bernie”, class of 1969, and CCMS instructor in the 70’s, died April 10, 2015. Originally from Delaware, Ohio, Bernie was currently living in Clearwater, Florida. He is survived by his wife, Linda, and their two children as well as his grandchildren.

Gonzalez, Justo, class of 1961, died in 2010. Mr. Gonzalez owned and operated Funeraria Gonzalez, in his native town of Guayama, Puerto Rico.

Leibensperger, M. "Domer", class of 1961, died December 12, 2015. Leibensperger Funeral Home, Inc. obituary may be viewed here.

Ridgeway, George F., class of 1973, died January 13, 2016 at Mt. Carmel East Medical Center, Columbus, OH. Throughout his 35 year career as a licensed funeral service professional he had worked at Weir-Arend Funeral Home in Columbus, Walker Funeral Homes in Toledo, Henderson-VanAtta Funeral Home in Newark and Brucker & Kishler Funeral Home in Newark. He also owned and operated a Mortuary Trade Service, Genesis Mortuary Service. For the past ten years he has been an Investigator with the Licking County Coroner's Office. Mr. Ridgeway served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Era with the 197th Attack Helicopters Unit. www.vocfh.com

Ritondaro, Samuel, class of 1996, died on November 21, 2015 at age 60; beloved husband of Theresa (nee DeSano); loving father of Justin, dad to Robbie, Olivia and Madeline; cherished son of John and the late Magdalene (nee Tvergyak); dearest brother of Anthony and the late Jane. Sam and Theresa purchased the Ritondaro Funeral Home from his father when John retired. They owned it until 2012. A Memorial Mass was held in Newbury, Ohio. View obituary.

CCMS and Alumni Come Together for Life Tribute

View Tracie's obituary.
CCMS employees Teresa Dutko, Dr. Blanche Kabengele, Melissa Kloss and Wanda Lee shared a difficult day this past Saturday, coming together to share in the Life Tribute of 2013 alumna Tracie Anderson Blackwell at Gwen Mooney Funeral Home, with Tracie's former CCMS classmates, friends and colleagues:

Kimberlynn CaraDonna
Shaniqua Cole
Senta Folds
Leigh Hampton
Martha Henry
Larissa Jones
Aubrey Weir

"Remind us to carry one another
when the load is too heavy."

~ an excerpt from the Friendship Cross


Thank you to the following visitors, volunteers, and donors for your time and student mentorship!


David Hicks, 1994 alumnus, with Pierce Chemical Company presented cosmetic application techniques to Embalming Theory II students.

Clint Eastman, 1999 alumnus, with FDLIC presented funeral planning options to students March 7.

Codi Kindoll, 2013 alumnus, assisted students during Restorative Arts lab March 10.

Newcomer Family Funeral Home representatives Bev Lawson and Dave Rees presented students with available scholarship and employment opportunities March 2.

Josh Martin, 2015 alumnu, visited campus with his master funeral director Tim Roberts, owner of Roberts Funeral Home in Logan, OH and 1977 alumnus of CCMS. Several faculty and staff got to enjoy lunch with Josh and Tim. Tim was able to resolve a long running mystery in confirming the identity of the "mystery bronze head bust" adorned on campus. We are thrilled to identify the "mystery bust" as long time instructor Russell Millicent, affectionately known by his former students as "Milli". Mr. Millicent's teaching contribution spanned several decades between the 1940's-70's. Thank you Tim, we are thrilled in being able to publicly identify Mr. Millicent!

Paul Bauman of Champion Company and Duane Hedrick of Dodge Chemical Company for hand delivering embalming fluids and supplies to our clinical lab!

Gabrielle Angner
Heather Bressert
John Combs
Liz Dunn
Adam Dwyer
Clint Eastman
Matt George
Kathy Griffieth
Kyle Kight
Jason Kinn
Dave Kolbe
Ryan Meeker
John Mueller
Constance Scheanon
Ashley Thacker
Rusty Williams
Ben Zimmerman


Thank you to our wonderful student mentor volunteers for making the March open house a success! We appreciate your commitment and willingness to spend your Saturday with us.

Laura Starks, David Caplinger, Angie Carter, Jessica Cornist, Kyle Eveland, Nick Nester, Paul Ulmer, and Mike Hurtado


Dave Rees and Newcomer Funeral Home, Mt. Healthy, have donated a custom refinished memorial service table for use by students during Capstone.

What's In This Issue?

Welcome President Lechner

Annual Foundation Meeting

Faculty Invited to Meet The Mentors
Insight Faculty Trainers Certify Celebrants
Commencement Spring 2016
Graduate Honors & Awards

'Vivo ut Serviam' – Living to Serve
Tomes From The Tomb

Visit Us at 2016 OFDA Convention
CCMS Online Store Launch
Publications Featuring CCMS
Give Us Your Feedback


Ducro Funeral Service Remembers Troops
Alumnus Receives Prestigious Award
Hoping to Employ a Student in 2016?


Student Shares Her Story

CCMS Means Family

Student Co-Op

Sorority Initiatives


Running Into Alumni

In Loving Memory
CCMS and Alumni Pays Tribute

Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science
Board of Trustees
CCMS Staff
CCMS Faculty
Adjunct Faculty
Accreditation Statements
Job Classifieds
2016 CCMS Calendar

Board of Trustees
John Gay – Chair
Frank Rosenacker – Vice Chair
Mike Ryan – Treasurer
Jan Borgman – Secretary
Duane Hedrick
Tim King
Arlene Lawrence
Mark Merz
Bill Peoples
Kathleen Shaffer
Bill Smith
Dennis Stanley
Nicole Wiedeman
Leadership and Staff
Jack E. Lechner, Jr.
Jack E. Lechner, Jr.
Dr. Blanche Kabengele
Dr. Blanche Kabengele
Admissions Director & Registrar
Leslie Boehm
Leslie Boehm
Business Manager
Pamela Donlon
Pam Donlon
Articulation Specialist
Molly Jones
Molly Jones
Director of Library
& IT
Beth Williams
Beth Williams
Admin Coordinator & Alumni Relations
Teresa Dutko
Teresa Dutko
Academic Chair
Wanda Lee
Wanda Lee
Clinical Director
Melissa Kloss
Melissa Kloss
John Vinnedge
John Vinnedge
Adjunct Faculty
(not pictured)
Robert Campbell
Adam Dwyer
Senta Folds
Mike Gedert
Joe Getts
Keith Hughes, PhD.
Mark Ivey
Pete Minges
Martin Molony
Holly Sauerbrunn
Tim Schmidt
Robert Shank
Accreditation Statements
The Mortuary Science degree programs at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science are accredited by the American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), 3414 Ashland Avenue, Suite G, St. Joseph, Missouri 64506 (816) 233-3747. Web: www.abfse.org.
The Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, 230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500 , Chicago, IL 60604 (800) 621-7440 Web: www.hlcommission.org

Job Classifieds
Visit the CCMS Professionals page of our site to Search and Post Jobs, it's that easy!

Search job openings

Post a job opening

2016 Calendar
Jan. 1: Holiday Closure
Jan. 7: New Student Orientation
Jan. 11: Spring semester starts
Jan. 18: Holiday Closure


MARCH 2016
Mar 28-Apr 1: Spring Break

APRIL 2016
Apr 4: Classes Resume
Apr 29: Term Ends

MAY 2016
May 9: Term Starts
May 25: On-Site Con. Ed. (tbd)
May 30: Holiday Closure

JUNE 2016
June 16: Open House

JULY 2016
July 4: Holiday Closure
July 13: On-Site NFDA CCO Con. Ed.

Aug 12: Term Ends
Aug 25: New Student Orientation
Aug 29: Term Start

Sept 5: Holiday Closure

Oct 8: Open House

Nov 4: On-Site BIE Con.Ed. (tbd)
Nov 21-25: Fall Break
Nov 23-25: Holiday Closure
Nov 28: Classes Resume

Dec 16: Term Ends
Dec 17: Commencement

Mortuary Science Minutes

Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science
645 West North Bend Rd
Cincinnati, Ohio 45224

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Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science

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