Ethics | Foundation | Staff & Leadership | History

About OGR

The International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR) is an association of independently owned funeral homes across North America and overseas who pledge to a strict code of ethical business and service standards conduct. The men and women at Golden Rule funeral homes lead their businesses with compassion, dignity and the cornerstone philosophy of "Service measured not by gold, but by the Golden Rule" (to do unto others as you would have them do unto you). OGR has worked for over 90 years to resolve common challenges that independently owned funeral homes face, and to prepare them for and guide them through the next stages of funeral service.

Ethical Standards

Golden Rule funeral homes are held to the highest service standard. Fewer than 5% of independently owned funeral homes can call themselves Golden Rule funeral homes, pledging their efforts to the pursuit of the standard of the Golden Rule in all of their personal and professional relationships. Those that do hold this title promise to adhere to a set of 11 ethical standards:

  • We pledge to treat you and your loved one with compassion and respect.
  • We pledge to serve any family in time of need.
  • We pledge to abide by a strict code of ethics.
  • We pledge to be truthful in all we do.
  • We pledge to respect all faiths, creeds and customs.
  • We pledge to keep families’ confidences.
  • We pledge to disclose prices fully and clearly.
  • We pledge to clearly explain charges.
  • We pledge to provide the highest level of competence and care.
  • We pledge to further our education to better serve you.
  • We pledge to help meet the needs of those in grief.

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OGR Foundation

The mission of OGR’s charitable foundation is to fund, perform and/or support activities on behalf of the International Order of the Golden Rule. Its ten-member Board of Directors is responsible for identifying projects that advance the standards of funeral service or contribute to the compassionate care of individuals in need.

The Foundation orchestrates OGR's Awards of Excellence Scholarship Program, which provides annual scholarships to mortuary students based on strong academic performance, funeral service experience and an essay describing the student’s commitment to serving grieving families with compassion, fairness and dignity.

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Staff & Leadership

Board of Directors

Mary F. Steele
President
Arnett & Steele Funeral Home
106 S. Cherry St.
Pineville, KY 40977
606.337.2045

Evan J. Strong
President-elect
Evan J. Strong Funeral Services
5502 2 St. SW
Calgary, Alberta T2H 0G9
403.265.1199

Paul A. Hummel, III
Secretary/Treasurer
Hummel Funeral Homes, Inc.
500 E. Exchange St.
Akron, OH 44304
330.253.6126

Thomas L. Hemmerle
Past President
Barnett-Strother Funeral Home
2285 N. Main St.
Madisonville, KY 42431
270.821.7135

Kim R. Hunter
Director
Humphrey Funeral Home
1403 Bayview Ave.
Toronto, Ontario
416.487.4523

Raffy S. Jose
Director
Arlington Memorial Chapels, Inc.
Quezon City, Manila, Philippines

Christopher B. Miller
Director
Thoams Miller Mortuary & Crematory
1118 E. 6th St.
Corona, CA 92879
951.737.3244

Jamie L. Wieting
Director
Wieting Family Funeral Home
411 W. Main St.
Chilton, WI 53014
920.849.4941

Peter Urban, Jr.
Director
Anton B. Urban Funeral Home
1111 S. Bethlehem Pike
Ambler, PA 19002
215.646.8556


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Professional Staff

Mark McSweeney, CAE
Interim Executive Director
512.334.5504, ext. 130

Nancy Weil
Member Resources Director
512.334.5504, ext. 304

Evan Hoffmeyer
Communications Director
512.334.5504, ext. 143

Emilie Perkins, CAE, CMP, CMM, PMP
Education & Events Director
512.334.5504, ext. 161

Alyssa Castille
Membership & Meetings Coordinator
512.334.5504, ext. 131

Adeline Border
Communications & Marketing Coordinator
512.334.5504, ext. 189


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History

By the 1920s, funeral homes had moved out of the backs of furniture stores and livery stables and established a place for themselves among the business community. The public, however, had no way to determine the reliability of a particular firm in this relatively new industry.

To a group of funeral directors in 1928, the "Golden Rule" - a fundamental principle that is universally admired and upheld - became the cornerstone upon which to build a professional association.

The founders embarked on a mission to seek out dependable, ethical funeral directors in every community by means of a carefully tested screening process. They wanted to establish a quality-minded identity in the minds of families everywhere. The Golden Rule credo - "Service measured not by gold, but by the Golden Rule- speaks to that identity.

Today, the International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR) is affiliated with independent funeral homes worldwide that share common goals such as outstanding service and care and compassion to families in their time of need.

Our long-lasting association offers members several ways to maintain their legacy of great service through OGR’s advantages of membership.

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