Kent Roduck helps families make difficult decisions.
He owns Island Funeral Services, Elk Falls Cremation and Reception Centre with his wife Rosemarie Roduck, and said the most important part of being a funeral director is enjoying helping people during a hard time.
“The aptitude to do this kind of work is really the ability to appreciate doing things for people,” said Kent. “Being able to sit down with people at what is probably the most difficult time in their lives, in a place they don’t want to be, to do something they don’t want to do, that’s a challenge in itself.”
The Roducks started Comox Valley Funeral Services in 1992, and expanded to open Island Funeral Services in Campbell River in 2000. At this time all cremations had to be done out of town as there was no crematorium in Campbell River.
So seeing the need, the Roducks built Elk Falls Crematorium in 2003, and it’s still the only crematorium in Campbell River.
Built using state of the art methods, Kent said the crematorium is environmentally friendly. It’s monitored meticulously, and as the heat is set at about 1,700 F only a clear smoke comes out.
Situated next to the municipal cemetery, the crematorium and reception centre is the only place in Campbell River to offer cremations, burials, receptions, gatherings, and memorials in one location.
“It provided a full range of things that people could have, but then with this, the beauty of it as well, is that you can have everything here,” said Kent.
It also has a scattering garden called the Serenity Walkway, for scattering ashes, and a niche wall, called the Wall of Remembrance, for family to go to remember the deceased. Some people place an ash-filled urn in their niche, or create a time capsule of the deceased’s personal belongings.
Rosemarie said many people who simply scatter a person’s ashes later feel a need to have a place to go to remember that person.
“We find the families come back and say well we want to get a niche because we scattered dad, and we have no record of him anywhere, and we need a place to go,” explained Rosemarie.
Although not everyone chooses to have a service, Rosemarie said she feels it’s important to help bring family and friends closure.
“That gives you the time to accept that a death has occurred, and that actually kick starts the grieving process and the closure that is required in the end,” she explained.
According to Kent, about 50 per cent of his clients have no idea what they would like to do for a service, and it can be hard to make decisions when grieving. He urges people to consider prearranging services for this reason.
“We would basically have them make the decisions they would normally make if they were dealing with a death at the time,” explained Kent.
Whether helping someone to prearrange services, or helping a grieving family make decisions at a difficult point in their lives, Kent said the most rewarding part of his profession is when family or friends of the deceased appreciate the service even through their grief.
“It’s almost instant feedback that you’ve done something to the best of your ability and people appreciate what you’ve done,” said Kent.