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Spotlight: The Evolution of Tradition

Times are changing. There's been a significant shift in how families are choosing to honour and celebrate their loved ones.
190313 Steckley Gooderham

After serving thousands of families since their inception in 1923, Steckley-Gooderham Funeral Homes in Barrie has noticed a significant shift in how families are choosing to honour and celebrate their loved ones.

“The traditional funeral service model isn’t being requested as often as you might think,” co-owner Jeffrey Scott states.  “Two days of visitation, followed by a chapel service, followed by a procession and interment isn’t the right fit for every family anymore – and if you’re coming to a traditional home, many think that’s the way it has to be.  We want to change how people think about funeral service, and work with families to always find the best way to celebrate their loved one – from their own personal perspective not from most funeral homes typical 'this is how we do it' approach. Whether that’s more streamlined funeral schedule, a celebration, gathering and/or reception all held at the same time in one room or having a Harley-Davidson and a motorcycle helmet as an urn present in the chapel to really showcase someone’s personality and passions.”

In order to help tailor their services to an individual’s or family’s needs, the Steckley-Gooderham team has been busy evolving their operations to make every client feel that their wishes, and those of their families, have been heard.

“We’ve recently introduced a concierge service to help support the family in all aspects of their lives during the time they are with us,” says Susanne Pretty, co-owner of Steckley-Gooderham.

“Our concierge discusses the services you’ve selected and then creates a support structure around that.  We will plow your driveway, look after the dry cleaning drop off and pick up, arrange for some quick property maintenance before the rest of the family arrives and that’s just the beginning – arrange and book hotel space, restaurants, transportation from the airport or walk the dog … we’re here to help!  We don’t want to sell you a package and support you only when you are in our building."

Apart from introducing cornerstone services like the concierge, Steckley-Gooderham has also been changing their entire business model to better suit the changing landscape of our community and funeral service alike.

“We are staying ahead of the curve. Needs are changing and so should we. Knowing that many are opting for shorter funeral schedules and alternative services, we’ve decided, as of March 4, that will be running all operations from our Worsley Street location,” states Jeffrey.

With this move and all staff under one roof, the Steckley-Gooderham team will be able to serve their families in any way they need with more focus and less overhead.

With the industry’s move away from chapel and visitation services, many families who do request those services will see reduced prices.

“When is the last time you saw a funeral home lowers its prices?” asks Susanne.

“We have big plans for Steckley-Gooderham moving into 2019,” says Jeffrey.  "Continuous improvements have been planned that will allow us to better service the families of today and tomorrow.”