A stunning set of evergreen trees stand tall within the foyer of Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory. The branches of each tree are filled with golden pineapple ornaments, a trademark symbol of the local family business, and now a symbol of hope.
Since the Christmas of 1990, Glenn Family Services has been giving back to Owensboro and Daviess County in a memorable way each holiday season. What started out as a small gesture to honor lost loved ones, has now grown into a tradition.
The inspiration behind The Tree of Memory Program stems from a unique question chairman Glenn Taylor pondered.
“I thought to myself, had there ever been a Christmas Tree in a funeral home? I knew there must be some way to incorporate the memory of someone during the holidays,” Taylor said.
The memorial trees have since “taken on a life of their own,” Taylor said. Some 3,000 name-adorned ornaments have decorated the trees since the program began nearly 28 years ago.
“We’ve extended our program to the entire community. Memorial ornaments are no longer just limited to Glenn families,” Taylor said. “Anyone within the community who would like to honor a loved one may do so simply by contacting us.”
In addition to the Tree of Memory, names are also published in the Messenger-Inquirer on Christmas Day. Glenn Family Services also makes a contribution to local charities in honor of those named.
“Our hope is two things; to preserve the memory of loved ones and to contribute in honor of those who have passed away during the holiday season,” Taylor said.
The Tree of Memory Program has been so influential over the years, that new staff is added seasonally to oversee the project and assist families who wish to participate. This measure is a true testament to the longevity of the outreach, and the broad base it impacts.
Traditionally a difficult season for families who have experienced loss, Taylor notes he is “grateful” for the opportunity to give back to those in need.
“We’re just grateful. We’re grateful for the families who have allowed us to serve in some way during difficult and vulnerable times,” Taylor said. “We’re grateful to give back in a sense and be a positive part of memorializing their loved one in a special way, during a special season.”
To honor and pay tribute to your loved one during the holiday season, click here.