What is VRISM  and how does it affect you? The Tennessee Department of Health has undertaken a project to upgrade the system our state uses to maintain death, birth, marriage, and divorce records.  The project, called (VRISM) stands for Vital Records Information System Management will result in a user-friendly system that allows for electronic communication between the Tennessee Office of Vital Records and those partners who help to register vital events that occur in Tennessee. The new system is a web-based, electronic system and will replace the predominantly manual, paper-based process currently in use.


The new system will significantly reduce the time between the occurrence and registration of vital events.

Via: https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/vital-records/vrism.htmldeath-certificate-state-by-state-default-750_41


This information, of course, is straight from the department of vital records. See article above for the entire explanation. While the system will be of great use to funeral directors and families it is currently going through new launch pains.  State trainers are working hard to train funeral home staff as well as doctors. However, it has been proved to be slow and flawed. While some funeral homes use it, some doctors do not. It has caused an untimely lag in the production of death certificates.

The state has the best of intention for this program and is our hope in the next few months it continues to improve.  As for the moment, however, there is to be some expected downtime between the funeral home submitting a death certificate, and it returned signed.

This can be a problem when preparing paperwork for cremation. While a death certificate does not have to be certified we do have to have signed copies and permits in place to do the cremation.

In the future requesting all vital records forms will not only be more accessible for the funeral homes but also for the families they serve. In the meantime, the transition will continue to take time to be done correctly.



Find Joy – and Healing – in Eating Together

Think about the major life events you’ve celebrated: weddings, births, anniversaries – at the center of it all is usually food that brings comfort and invokes memories.

Despite this, we have found some Columbia families are surprised to learn that in addition to our funeral home facilities, we also have our own reception center – the Blevins Hall Reception Center. When we tell families this is an option for them with a funeral, we often hear the question: Why would a funeral home serve food?

There are a number of reasons why we decided to offer receptions. First of all, we knew it would be a space our community could put to use for many life events. With its resort-like décor, our neighbors in Picture1Columbia use it for family reunions, holiday parties, or professional events. Since we can seat 80 inside and up to 120 people when using our “rain or shine” covered patio with an outdoor fireplace, it’s the perfect space for nearly any event. And if you choose to have a non-funeral related event here, we can make a separate entrance into our reception center available to your guests. Looking to host a larger event like a wedding? We can accommodate up to 300 by utilizing our chapel as well.

But beyond what Blevins Hall Reception Center means for the community, it means so much more for families saying farewell to a loved one. Here are just a few of the reasons why families say they appreciate the convenience of our on-site reception center:

Stress Relief
Since we’re there for families in the first moments after a death, we have seen firsthand the kind of pressure they face during the planning stage. By offering a beautiful and comfortable reception area, we make it easier for them to gather without having to worry about booking a restaurant for a large group or cooking for a crowd. We wanted to be able to handle every detail for families from beginning to end – whether it’s the menu, dishware, set up, linens, and beyond. Having our own reception facility allows us to take care of your family.

There’s something about sharing food that brings people together and provides comfort. It can even change your mood. Having a reception before or after the visitation or service gives you a moment to connect with others who loved your friend or family member and talk, remember, laugh, and even cry together. It also gives you the chance to connect with family and friends that perhaps you have not seen in some time.

Use a Reception to Tell Your Loved One’s Story
Imagine serving your grandfather’s favorite meal – barbecue brisket and slaw– or treating your guests to your grandmother’s famous chess pie, and then passing out recipe cards afterward. Playing a moving video tribute on our 80-inch televisions. And our state-of-the-art A/V system, including microphones, make sharing your thoughts a little bit easier. Want to host a champagne toast? We can help you make that happen. Just a few more ways a funeral reception can help you tell your loved one’s story.

Thank Your Support System
People can come from all over Tennessee, and even the country, to pay their respects to a family member or friend. Sharing a meal is one way to thank them for their support and let them know how much their presence is appreciated.

We have helped thousands of Maury County families plan their funeral service ahead of time, and we always encourage them to consider including reception services in their 2plans. It’s a wonderful gift of love to give to your family – relieving the burden of entertaining their guests as they grieve your loss. It also gives you the chance to express your own personality. Whether you’re the type of person who prefers an elegant, sit-down dinner, or a simple “coffee and cookies” type gathering, the expert hospitality team at Williams Funeral Home & Crematory can make it happen for you and your family.

We invite you to tour our facilities any time by viewing our virtual tour online. But really the best way to see it is in person. Stop by anytime – we always have a fresh pot of Starbucks coffee on, and we’d love to share a cup with you.

Slow Ride

“How do you work at a funeral home?”

The answer is simple. There is no feeling other than being behind the wheel of a hearse carrying a casket draped with an American flag while being escorted by some of the finest departments in the state. In case you didn’t know, Mt. Pleasant Police Department will lead you through town and then they quickly hop from the vehicle with their hand over their heart for the family/veteran…seeing the city fire department pulled to the end of the drive standing in front of their engine to pay respects….while passing through your hometown of Hampshire, the people at the stores, yard sales, and walking on the sidewalks quickly stop or pull over as a sign of respect.. You will find the answers to that question above.. As we traveled to the cemetery I was most humble for what the American flag represented in my rear view mirror.

These are not horrible places to live, these places are what we call home.
#funeraldirector #confession



New Chapters & Fire Alarms

”  Sometimes Life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going [ after being fired from Apple ] was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it gets better and better as the years roll on.  So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

 – Steve Jobs

Stanford University, 2005


Its easy to quote Steve Jobs because he believed in passionate work.  He created fans of a company and product instead of simply a consumer,  by being passionate about his work. It’s easy to admire him for that. I’m not going to elaborate much more on Steve Jobs even though I feel I could but rather the impact of loving what you do. Here lately more less the impact of loving what I do has had on me and other members of this staff.

Many of you know we endured a horrible fire nearly two years ago this April and spent a full  year rebuilding. That year was more tethering to core values then anything we have ever experienced. We remembered on some level that we are privileged to have each little thing that we have no matter how small. We redefined how we wanted to serve families, and we resided to only keep family  (staff) who truly knew how to serve people the way they should be.  We didn’t settle….we began a new chapter. We continue to look for ways to serve families in a way that best suits each one.

Serving families is the reason we exist however to run a funeral home not corporately owned it often means that the funeral directors and family take true ownership. Those that went through the fire with us especially. So in the middle of the night last week when the fire department notified us to our horror that our alarm was going off. In fear our funeral director Kerry drove here in praying we would not be experiencing this once again. Well obviously we were not…malfunction of an alarm…I arrived a short time later, when they put us on fire watch. Fire watch means your alarm is off so it will not notify the fire dept. so somebody has to stay in the building. So we sat together in the back hallway of the funeral home while we waited on multiple people to show up to fix our malfunctioning fire alarm. My point…..Kerry took ownership of it….he cared. Like any of them would have if they would have answered the phone that evening.

We do what we love, and in order to do that some times it means sitting in a building till 3 am while they fix a fire alarm. It means cleaning bathrooms in between funerals so each time its clean and prepped for a family.  It means often that your day begins at 1 am and may not end till well into the next night. Sometimes there are small things that are necessary in order to truly do “great work”. The life of funeral director is full of change and adaption each day at least for or some may say it is  full of new beginnings and fire alarms.







Why I do what I do…Kerry Boshers style

Growing up my mother immediately noticed me scanning the newspaper columns while searching for the obituaries. Once I found the obituaries, I would examine the pictures of those printed. This started around the age of four. In 1999 at the age of 10 my great grandmother passed away. I remember staying with my grandmother to keep her company as she had just lost her mother, and I was somewhat angry I wasn’t allowed to make arrangements with her because the funeral home wasn’t a scary place to me like they described to me to lure my wants of going away. At the time I didn’t realize that making arrangements wasn’t a place for children.

Several years later, I lost both of my grandfathers within seven months of each other. Both grandmothers were extremely devastated and I remember ‘smothering” them with love in hopes of giving comfort in those days surrounding the visitation / service. They were just exhausted, and I didn’t want them to lift a finger.

Fast-forward several more years to graduation and college where I was attending Columbia State to become a registered nurse. During my second semester I lost a friend, in a horrible automobile accident, and was able to help her mother during the loss and funeral. These horrible minutes, weeks and months after her death molded my life. I found my purpose in life and it was to serve the community and people I love. I was able to come to Williams Funeral Home hoping for an interview, and they gave me that chance. Now that nursing school was out the window they guided me into Mortuary School.

Here we are 5 years later and I am now a licensed funeral director and crematory operator. Often, I have people ask me, “How did this happen and why do you work at a funeral home” They speak like its something that happens to the unfortunate, but to me there is no where I would rather be. I love serving the families placed before me.




481592_10151146776566074_1628017453_nKerry in Glasses



Why we do what we do…

Being only 29, and having been a licensed funeral director for the last 5 or 6 years, it is more than common to have someone ask (with an odd look) why did you choose this, after telling them what I do for a living. Each and every funeral director has a story on why we do what we do. We started this blog in hopes to shed light on what we do, and why we do it. To answer some questions that people have or misconceptions. We also hope simply to tell our stories, the ones about hope and the ones where we were given such grand opportunities to help someone in need.

Here we will share our stories…and we hope by doing so you will learn that it is indeed not a dismal trade but rather a blessed one. One we are grateful for each day.   Ask us questions….meet our staff…hear our stories…yes we are funeral directors, morticians, undertakers. Whatever you want to choose to call it,  we choose Williams Funeral Home as our home so we will share parts of our lives, and hopefully just some good info as we are Undertaking Williams.








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