altProfessional Service Awards

Golden Light Award | Community Service Award | Exemplary Service Award

By any measure, OGR members are stand-outs in terms of commitment to their profession, their families and their communities.

OGR's award and scholarship programs enable the association to acknowledge member achievements and support the career goals of promising mortuary science students. Winners are acknowledged in The Independent®, on the website and at the Annual Conference.

For questions, contact the Education Department, (800) 637-8030.

Golden Light Awardalt

In 2002, OGR instituted its most prestigious award, the Golden Light Award, to salute professional excellence exemplified by individual members who have inspired others by their commitment to service.

As an OGR member, you have opportunity each year to nominate a fellow member who has distinguished him- or herself in the funeral profession through OGR involvement, community service or volunteer activities that demonstrate "service measured not by gold, but by the Golden Rule."  OGR will be announcing this year's winner at the 2020 Annual Conference & Solution Center on Monday, April 20.

Current Golden Light Award Winner

OGR is privileged to bestow its 2019 Golden Light Award to Roger Beyers of Beyers Funeral Home and Crematory, Leesburg, FL

About Roger Beyers:

Roger has been dedicated to our profession and to the future of the Independent funeral home throughout his career. Twenty eight years ago after the Independent Funeral Directors of Florida was founded, he spent a tremendous amount of time in the Florida state capital, Tallahassee, fighting for the Independent Funeral Homes and the consumer. Roger served as treasurer for the first 8 years and became president of IFDF in 1998. He has received the association’s highest award for his timeless efforts for his profession, which is the W. Clyde Langford Award. He has also served on OGR’s board and has served on countless committees, pushing OGR to be wise with our spending, discerning with utilizing our resources, and creative in our approach to serving independent funeral homes. He joined OGR because he saw and felt a difference in the direction OGR was going to help the Independent compete and survive.

Roger Beyers is the third generation at his family firm. He has grown the business to five locations, making them the largest Independent funeral homes in Florida.  He is very active in his community with organizations like the Kiwanis Club of which he is a past president. He spent 12 years on the Lake and Sumter Hospice operation board and served as president. He also served two different terms on the Leesburg Chamber of Commerce.  He was elected to the North Lake County Hospital Taxing District for four years and was asked to serve as a trustee for Central Florida Health of which he is now Chair.

Roger is also dedicated to his wife Heather and his two sons, Roger Beyers, Jr. and Will Beyers.


Past Golden Light Award Winners

2018 - Kayla Carter, Carter-Ricks Funeral Home, Elsberry, MO.
2017 -
George Darte, George Darte Funeral Chapel St. Catharine's, ON
2016 - John Kreidler, Kreidler Funeral Home, McAllen, TX
2015 - John Dallas Slack, CFSP, Slack Funeral Home, Ellicott City, MD
2014 - Randal Earl, Brintlinger and Earl Funeral Homes, Decatur, Ill
2013 - Jeffrey S. Wages, Wages & Sons-Gwinnett Chapel, Lawrenceville, GA
2012 - Guy Linnemann, Linnemann Funeral Homes, Erlanger, KY
2011 - Robin Williams, R. Lee Williams & Son Funeral Home & Crematory, St. Petersburg, FL
2010 - William Brock, Vander Plaat Funeral Home, Wyckoff, NJ
2009 - Charles Rader, LeRoy Rader Funeral Home, Longview, TX
2008 - Harold Lake, Rindt-Erdman Funeral Home, Arkansas City, KS
2007 - Michael G. Butler, Livingston-Butler-Volland Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Hastings, NE
2006 - Thomas P. Lynch, Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors, Milford, MI
2005 - Billy K. Wages, Wages & Sons Funeral Home, Stone Mountain, GA
2004 - Bonnie Helweg-Campbell, Helweg Funeral Service, Jenkintown, PA
2003 - Glenn P. Taylor, Glenn Funeral Home & Crematory, Owensboro, KY

Golden Rule Community Service Award

Launched in 2008, the Golden Rule Community Service Award singles out a member firm for outstanding service to the community performed during the calendar year. Has your firm participated in community service or do you know of a fellow member firm you'd like to nominate? OGR will be announcing this year's winner at the 2020 Annual Conference & Solution Center on Monday, April 20.


2019 Winner:

Oliverie Funeral Home, Manchester, NJ

Oliverie hosted a blood drive was with Central Jersey Blood Center on Saturday February 17, 2018 from 10 to 2 PM. They posted the event on Facebook asking for a commitment from friends, neighbors and the great people who follow them. It only took two weeks but they had exceeded the necessary number of commitments and set the date with Central Jersey Blood Center.

Their motto was “Thank you for making a Life-Saving difference!”

They picked February for 2 reasons; first it was national blood donor month and second, Valentine’s Day. Oliverie wanted people to donate blood in memory of their loved ones who may have needed a blood transfusion in the months or years prior to their death. It was a way for them to offer their thanks and help pay it forward. All together we were able to collect over 35 pints of blood, a pint of rare blood type needed, and plasma from those who were qualified.

Past Golden Rule Community Service Award Winners

2018  Gardinier Funeral Home in Franklin, PA

2017 Toland-Herzig Funeral Homes & Crematory, Dover, Ohio

2016 Martin Funeral, Cremation, & Tribute Services, Mt. Morris, Mich.

2015 Oliverie Funeral Home, Manchester Township, NJ

2014 Brunswick Memorial Home, East Brunswick, NJ

2013 Gardinier Funeral Home, Franklin, Penn.

2012 Joseph Pray, Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte, Mich.

2011 Miles T. Martin Funeral Home, Mt. Morris, Mich.

2010 Brunswick Funeral Home, East Brunswick, NJ

2009 Arnett & Steele Funeral Home, Pineville, Ky.

Exemplary Service Awards

The Exemplary Service Awards recognize Golden Rule firms that have displayed outstanding professionalism and exemplary service.

The Exemplary Service Award is given to the top three nominees every year chosen by OGR members and is based on feedback OGR receives through the Family Contact Program. The Family Contact Program is an exclusive OGR member benefit that gathers feedback from families that participants have done services for.

The criteria for receiving an Exemplary Service Award are 1) Your funeral home must be a current participant in OGR's Family Contact Program and 2) Your funeral home must have received a comment or comments that represent family satisfaction with your services and indicate that the funeral home performed in an exemplary manner going above and beyond the expected. Visit for more information about the Family Contact Program and how to join

Contact the OGR (800) 637-8030 with any questions.


2019 Winners

  • John L. Ziegenhein & Sons Funeral Home,  St. Louis, MO
  • Aloia Funeral Home, Garfield, NJ
  • McDonald Funeral Home, Picayune, MS

2018 Winners

  • Davenport Family Funeral Homes & Crematory in Crystal Lake, Illinois
  • Weymouth Funeral Home in Newport News, Virginia
  • Pray Funeral Home, Inc. in Charlotte, Michigan

2017 Winners

  • Faulmann and Walsh Golden Rule Funeral Home in Fraser, Michigan
  • Cassaday-Turkle Christian Funeral and Cremation Service in Alliance, Ohio
  • Graham Funeral Home in Chesapeake, Virginia

2016 Winners

  • Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home, Covington, GA
  • Strunk Funeral Home, Vero Beach, FL
  • Ahlgrim Funeral Home, Elmhurst, IL

2015 Winners

  • Boone Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, West Jefferson, NC
  • Plummer Funeral Home, Litchfield, IL
  • Schuyler Hill Funeral Home, Bronx, NY