Andrew Loos: Creatively connecting with the community

Andrew Loos didn’t intend to become a funeral director, but when you marry a 4th generation funeral director, it may not be a shock when you slide into the profession. A few years after joining the family business, they converted it into what is now the Heartland Burial & Cremation & Burial Society, an OGR member firm in the Kansas City area.

Loos says he came into the profession like many members of the public who don’t really understand the funeral profession.

“They don’t really understand what the day-to-day of the funeral business is like and how rewarding it can be and how you’re not really working with the dead, you’re working with the living,” Loos says.

And that’s where he found his connection to this line of work. His degree is in public relations, plus he describes himself as being trained by birth to “be around people, be with people and be a good communicator.” So he put those skills to work with the living to honor the dead.

One way is by leveraging his love of spirits. About 5-6 years ago, that passion grew into creating craft cocktails, which became the launching pad for his “Cocktails for a Cause” and “End of Prohibition”-themed fundraisers at a speakeasy in the basement of one of his locations.

“Ironically, the funeral home that I run and work at was owned by a Southern Baptist family who had the funeral home across the street form the largest Southern Baptist church in the suburbs,” he explained. “The men used to sneak over and tell their wives they had a men’s meeting or a deacons meeting and drink in the basement of the funeral home with the funeral director who owned it at the time, who was a Southern Baptist deacon in the same church.”

They uncovered the “speakeasy” while remodeling the funeral home, so they restored it, renamed it “Til Death” and have been utilizing it for those themed fundraisers ever since.

Andrew Loos spoke with Geri Oliverie as part of Season 2 of OGR’s Digital Dialogue Series podcast. Use the player below to listen to the full episode to hear Andrew's other ideas for connecting with your community (that don’t require having a speakeasy in your basement). If you don't see the player, click here. then be sure to check out all our past episodes.

Season 2 of the Digital Dialogue Series is sponsored by The Dodge Company, the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of preparation room supplies, and an OGR Endorsed Supplier.

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