Family PrePlanner at Leavitt Funeral Home

I will be posting facts about funeral and cremation options. I assist family members with funeral and cremation pre-planning. I will assist you in home or at the funeral home with you and document the necessary information needed by the funeral home at the time you pass away.

I then will keep this information on file as a courtesy for you. There is no cost for my time.

Operating as usual


I have found some people feel overwhelmed with the responsibility of writing an obituary. So I decided to write this guide to give back to families, friends, and the community that I have served.

I hope that this guide will help you decide what you or your loved one may want in their obituary. Just to let you know, when you go with a full-service funeral home, part of the fee you pay may include the director's help in drafting the obituary.

A lot of times, if you don't want to post something in the local newspaper, you can always post it to various websites and social media. Your loved one's family, friends, former coworkers, and everyone who wants to send condolences may be able to do that online.

So below is helpful hints this may not be in a particular order.

1. Be sure to include first, middle and last names. Instead of a middle name, you could just ad the middle initial. Some people will even add a nickname. Also, maiden names are acceptable to add in the obituary.
2. Dates are so crucial to many of us. People will include the person's birth date and the date they passed away. If the person was married, what year they got married and the length of the marriage.
3. Some people may put the reason for the passing. Please use caution if you're adding this.
4. List surviving family members. The spouse or significant other should go first, then immediate family members first, and their spouses. You may include stepchildren or siblings also.
5. List any family members who passed away.
6. List any close friends or associates.
7. Some people want the name and year of the high school, colleges, and universities they attended.
8. If the person served in the military, were they in Army, Marines, Navy, or Airforce. The length of service and any honors they had received.
9. You can add the rank they obtained as well.
10. Memberships in organizations.
11. If the person was religious, you might want to add that information.
12. Some people have hobbies that they are known for as an example; maybe your loved one was an expert fisherman or hunter. Perhaps they could knit the best gloves or crochet the best blankets. Perhaps they could grow the best vegetables and flowers. Maybe they loved traveling or just staying at home watching a favorite show.
13. When and where they were employed can be listed.
14. Some people will even add a favorite charity so others can send monetary donations.
If you are going to have any service, include location, day, and time. If the service is private, indicate so instead of listing the time, date, and location.

You may want to publish the obituary at least a couple of days before the service.

I hope that this guide will be of value to you and your loved ones.

Brian Ritchie


Making a plan one step at a time.


Timeline Photos


Flowers say so much for someone who is grieving.


Photos from Family PrePlanner at Leavitt Funeral Home's post

Untitled Album 10/17/2019

Untitled Album


Life Happens

This video is so sad. We never know when today will be our last day on earth.

For help making funeral or cremation plans please call me at

Melissa's story really underscores the reason for young parents to have life insurance. Mark died two weeks before their daughter was born, but thanks to his life insurance, she's able to stay at home to care for her.


The Uplift

This is a great video. Truly inspirational.

92-year-old Jerry Schneider is a constant presence at this nursing home, but not because he lives there – he volunteers there every week to help his peers ❤️️


I found this today. I think it speaks a lot of truth.


Larry was a veteran who served our country. His nephew sent me this short video. Larry did not have kids of his own.
However, he loved his nieces and nephews like they were his own children.

RIP Larry.


Premier Planning Video Why preplan and fund


Thanks for the kind words.


If you’ve attended a funeral honoring a veteran who served our country, perhaps you witnessed the folding of the flag that once covered the casket of a loved one. Each of the 13 folds of the flag holds great significance.

At the ceremony of retreat, a daily observance at bases during which all personnel pay respect to the flag, “the flag is lowered, folded in a triangle fold and kept under watch throughout the night as a tribute to our nation’s honored dead. The next morning, it is brought out and, at the ceremony of reveille, run aloft as a symbol of our belief in the resurrection of the body.”

1. The first fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
2. The second fold signifies our belief in eternal life.
3. The third fold is made in honor and tribute of the veteran departing our ranks, and who gave a portion of his or her life for the defense of our country to attain peace.
4. The fourth fold exemplifies our weaker nature as citizens trusting in God; it is to Him we turn for His divine guidance.
The fifth fold is an acknowledgment to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decatur, “Our country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right, but it is still our country, right or wrong.”
6. The sixth fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our heart that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
7. The seventh fold is a tribute to our armed forces, for it is through the armed forces that we protect our country and our flag against all enemies.
8. The eighth fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day, and to honor our mother, for whom it flies on Mother’s Day.
9. The ninth fold is an honor to womanhood, for it has been through their faith, love, loyalty, and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great have been molded.
10. The 10th fold is a tribute to father, for he, too, has given his sons and daughters for the defense of our country since he or she was first-born.
11. The 11th fold, in the eyes of Hebrew citizens, represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies, in their eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
12. The 12th fold, in the eyes of a Christian citizen, represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in their eyes, God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost.

The last fold, when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”

This is great information from:

American Legion Auxiliary Blog
Official Blog of American Legion Auxiliary National Headquarters


Family PrePlanner at Leavitt Funeral Home's cover photo


The Romans introduced gravestones
As an imported practice, the first gravestones in Britain were concentrated close to Roman military forts and more urbanized Romano-British settlements.

Back then, gravestones were more frequently dedicated to women and children rather than Roman soldiers. This was most likely because Roman soldiers were not legally allowed to marry, so monuments to their deceased family members legitimized their relationships in death in a way they couldn’t be in life.

After the end of Roman control in Britain in the fifth century, gravestones fell out of favor and did not become widely popular again until the modern era.

Credit for this article is from:

Yvonne Inall
Research Assistant in Archaeology, University of Hull 07/31/2019

A to Z List of Cancer Types

I know several people suffering from cancer.
This is a list of the different types of cancer. Alphabetical list of all cancers, with links to disease-specific and general information about treatment, coping, screening, prevention, clinical trials, and other topics. 07/30/2019

A Pet’s Death Can Literally Cause a Broken Heart

This is an excellent article. The grief that comes with the death of a pet can be all-consuming. In fact, the pain can actually manifest with physical symptoms that mimic a heart attack.


You should listen to this doctor.


West Virginia residents and citizens of all
other states may respond to the urgent need for
support of the health sciences. Donation of one's
body is authorized by the laws of West Virginia and
all other states and clear statutory provisions have
been established for this priceless deed for
Who may donate? Any person 18 years of age or
older may be a donor. However, the Human Gift
Registry is under no obligation to accept any
gift and may, in its discretion, decline a
donation at the time of death. Certain medical or
physical conditions can prevent acceptance of a
donation. These include, but are not limited to:
organ donation, autopsy, major trauma, recent
surgery, amputations, obesity, sepsis, contagious
diseases such as AIDS, hepatitis, herpes or other
blood infections, and conditions treated with
therapeutic radionuclides. 06/20/2018

Why a donation may be denied - Body Donation - Mayo Clinic

Please check with the institution you are thinking of going with for a list of reasons why you may get denied. Body donation plays a critical role in the education of medical students and other medical professionals.


Till We Meet Again, A children's book about death and grieving

This book helps children grieve the loss of a loved one. The story shows them that it's okay to feel sad and that it's good to talk and share their stories w...


Grief through a Child's Eyes


What Grief Means to Me

What Grief Means to Me


Wilbert Burial Vaults: The Importance of a Burial Vault


Choosing a Casket

This video has good information in it.


On Mothers day this year, my daughter saw a man and child putting flowers on a grave. She looked at me and said dad that is really nice that they are visiting a mom on Mothers day.
She then said when you die I will put flowers on your grave.


My deepest sympathy to this man's family. 04/30/2018

A PetLoss Grief Support Community

Understanding and Coping with the Loss of a Pet by Dr. Sarah Shelton

“My children have four paws. My grandchildren have fur. My dog is smarter than your honor student.” Whether boasted on a bumper sticker or proclaimed aloud, these phrases capture the importance people place on their relationships with their pets. Indeed, the relationship between human and animal is special.

The loss of a pet is devastating, and many pet owners find the grief associated with the loss of a pet just as or even more challenging than the loss of human loved ones. People who do not experience the deep love and companionship of a pet find this difficult to understand and may not be able to validate the experience of the person who is grieving. Leave from work is not typically granted when a pet passes. Funerals for pets are becoming more common but are still not commonplace. Because the loss of a pet is not experienced in the same universal way that we experience the loss of a human in our lives, pet parents often feel isolated and misunderstood during their grief. When someone’s pet passes, only those who love animals a great deal and regard them as members of the family understand the magnitude of this event. That universal sense of support that we find so helpful in times of human loss and bereavement can be starkly lacking when a pet departs. This lack of universal empathy is one of several reasons why pet bereavement poses unique challenges.

Pets love us unconditionally. Being there to love and support us is a pet’s primary job. They think our extra 15 pounds is super snuggly, our garlic-laced lunch smells delicious, and our old tattered sweatshirt is the softest thing ever. Whether our bank accounts overflow or overdraw is of no concern to them. However we are is wonderful in the eyes of our pets. Unfortunately, human relationships often do not provide this level of loving acceptance.

Pets know our secrets. Our pets have seen the most vulnerable sides of us. They have bore witness to our best moments…and our worst. They have seen our tears and know our true feelings perhaps better than anyone else, partly because of their keen perceptiveness and partly because we do not feel the need to hide it from them.

Pets are dependent upon us and are, in a sense, like perpetual “furry children.” Our pets derive their food, shelter, affection and entertainment directly from us just like children. The deep love and intimacy of that bond does not change as our pets get older. Our pets do not move off to college, get married, and start families of their own. We are their entire world. And, for some of us, they are ours. To lose this very special type of relationship rivals or surpasses bereavement of other types, and can constitute a trauma in the life of the human left behind.

While the loss of a pet holds special challenges for the pet parent, the elements of grief that we feel when we lose a human still apply. For example, bereaved pet parents are plagued with irrational guilt. The last time you ignored the shaking toy at your feet and turned away to finish work on your computer haunts you, even if you usually indulged your pet with playtime. Questions like “What if I hadn’t been two weeks late scheduling the annual veterinary exam?” taunt you, even when nothing could have changed the outcome. Bereaved pet parents are often angry that their pet was taken from them by disease or accident or just generally angry that pets are destined for a shorter life span than us humans. For animal lovers, even a “long life” for our pet is simply never long enough.

If you are struggling with the loss of a pet, consider the following points to help you in your journey.

Your grief is valid. While some people who have a different type of understanding or relationship with animals may not be able to relate or support you in your time of need, other animal-lovers who feel similarly to you understand the depth of your pain. Connecting with others who understand pet loss can help lessen the feeling of isolation and negative judgment you may experience from others in your life. The rainbow bridge ( is a wonderful free resource and online community for those grieving the loss of a furry family member.

You should not compare your grief to anyone else’s experience. Focusing on whose loss is “worse,” as some are want to do, is not helpful. What matters is that this is your loss and you have to cope with it in your own way. Even if others do not respect that, respect that for yourself.

Realize that the guilt you feel is irrational in nature and is a normal part of the bereavement process. Simply knowing this will not stop these feelings from happening, but it will help you to work through them when they do.

Bereavement is a temporary state that feels like it is going to last forever. The passage of time will do a lot to help you to smile and laugh at the good memories and appreciate the positive impact that your pet had on your life.

You have a lot of love to give that can now be rechanneled. It is a very individual and personal decision if and when to invite another pet into your life. Realize that sharing your love with another animal is not a betrayal of your beloved pet. Opening your home and heart to another animal can be a way to honor your past pet. If you are unable or not ready to do so, consider volunteering your time or resources at an animal shelter or rescue. Do something to celebrate the life of your furry friend.

dr-sarah-shelton-2016-150x226Sarah Shelton, PsyD, MPH, MSCP
Licensed Clinical Psychologist – Kentucky
Board of Directors, National Register of Health Service Psychologists
President-Elect, Kentucky Psychological Association
To learn more about Dr. Shelton and her work, please visit her website at Rainbows Bridge offers pet loss bereavement support services. Create a memorial, a Monday Candle Tribute, submit a story, send an E-Sympathy Card and browse our resource articlles on healing from the worst day of your life.

04/30/2018 04/29/2018

You are way more likely to be killed by deer than by sharks, bears, and gators combined

Interesting Fact. It’s time America’s truly deadliest animal became known.




Parkersburg, WV

Other Funeral Services in Parkersburg (show all)
Leavitt Funeral Homes Leavitt Funeral Homes
403 7th St
Parkersburg, 26101

Since 1882, Leavitt Funeral Services and Crematory has been family owned and operated by the Leavitt Family.

Lambert-Tatman Funeral Homes and Crematory Lambert-Tatman Funeral Homes and Crematory
400 Green St
Parkersburg, 26101

Lambert-Tatman Funeral Homes & Crematory is a family-owned funeral home serving the families of Parkersburg, West Virginia.