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Stories of Dallas Institute of Funeral Service
Every day we hear how Dallas Institute of Funeral Service has made a difference in the lives of our students. Whether it’s a promotion, pay raise, or you just love DIFS, we want to share your story with the world! Please send your High-Resolution photo and your story to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in the Story Spotlight.
So, what’s your story?
FRANK W. SEDDIO, SR. 1982
Education is the foundation of success for all colleges but sometimes it also creates additional stress and confusion during the student's emotional and transitional time in their life. Not so for Dallas Institute of Funeral Service. Giving me more than just an education, my experience at Dallas Institute was met with enthusiasm, passion, direction, and balance making my confidence in studying to become a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer a reality. Each of the faculty members truly shouldered the responsibilities of creating a perfect learning environment for their students. Through my years in the funeral and cemetery industry, I continue to look back on Dallas Institute as part of the mainspring that led me where I am today.
TENA HUTCHISON NU RHO, 1989
... boy, what a year that I wouldn't trade for all the money in the world. The instructors were the best and many lasting friendships were made. Passed my National Board and my Oklahoma State Board test on the first go around thanks to DIFS... still in the business and thankful that God has given me an awesome gift to be able to do this job.
MICHEAL ZA'MORRION NELSON STINSON
I enjoyed my 15 months of study at DIFS, I hated it at first cause of all the work but at the end I realized that it prepared me for a great career in the funeral industry, Professors and Staff are people that are really devoted and love the students, and If I could do it over again, I might just do so.
My experience at Dallas Institute for Funeral Service was exactly what I needed to prepare for a career change. I felt like I received a first class education to prepare me for a life in the funeral service industry. I have taken my education I received and built on it, and have continued the relationships I made while attending Dallas Institute. The educators were always eager to assist in helping me to reach my goal.
GLENN MANGOLD, 1977
It was much more than an education as I developed lifelong relationships both professionally and personally that enriched and changed my life. I asked many top respected professionals in the funeral industry which school would they attend and without hesitation I heard: "Dallas Institute of Funeral Service". I moved to a new city and began a new chapter in my life because of those recommendations and I am more than proud and happy to recommend my alma mater "Dallas Institute of Funeral Service" to our next group of Funeral Industry Professionals.
ARVIN STARRETT, 1982
I graduated from Dallas Institute in 1982; one of the last classes in the Worth Street location. I left the Institute equipped and prepared for my life in funeral service. My training enabled me to be qualified among my peers, and to serve not only my community, but my profession; on the board and executive board of my region, the executive board of my state association, the Policy Board of NFDA, the Executive Board of NFDA, and the Board of Trustees of the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice, where I currently sit as President. If one is searching for the best in funeral service education and training, Dallas Institute should be considered as a top choice!
DAVID A. PHILLIPS, 1983
I had worked in a funeral home for one and a half years before I attended Dallas Institute, so what limited knowledge I had was expanded to what turned into a very rewarding career in the funeral industry. With the knowledge gained from Dallas Institute, I worked in the industry for many years. I went from funeral director in a funeral home to owning my own commercial embalming service for 27 years.
Through the years, I had the great experience of seeing many more students pass through my doors on the clinical preceptor program and was able to pass on some of the hands-on experience I was given during school at Dallas Institute.
Thanks Dallas Institute of Funeral Service for being a cornerstone of my career path and for making life what it is today!
SAM C. SCOTT, 2003
I enrolled with the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service in the spring of 2002. Moving to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area from a small village in southwest Missouri, for me, was exciting and terrifying at the same moment. Not knowing where I would live or where I would work was frustrating. Upon meeting the caring staff at the school, they quickly understood I needed more assistance than just academic. The school gave me 11 funeral homes in Dallas that were hiring as well as a lead on a home I could rent a room in (an inexpensive room perfect for a student). Within 24 hours, I was employed at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home and found a place I could stay and study. Needless to say, I was impressed!
Once I graduated from the Institute, I no longer had restrictions on how I could serve families who had recently experienced a death. I was equipped with anatomical study, social study and the ways of business in our market. I was guided by both professors and administrative staff alike prior to, during and following my time at the school. We were encouraged during our school year to contact the professors if ever we had a professional need in the future. They have been faithful to help me and many of my colleagues in the years that followed.
Since graduation, I have remained in the Dallas area serving as both a Funeral Director and an Embalmer. Dallas has been a wonderful and safe place for my wife and I to raise our three girls. Without the influence of the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service in my life, I couldn't imagine where I'd be now.
JAVIER NAJERA, 1997
Sometimes timing is everything, and my time at the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service was a natural progression in my calling to this profession.
After college, a chance meeting at an insurance seminar led to a job as family services director with one of the most successful funeral directors in the state of Texas. That was the summer of 1994. Two years later, August of 1996, I was enrolled at Dallas Institute, and ready to begin the educational portion of this profession.
Everything about being a student at the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service felt right. From the faculty, to the student life, and the long-lasting friendships -- during my time at DIFS, I was accepted into the fraternity, elected to be class president and would receive The Bill Pierce Award upon graduation in August of 1997. And, had a medical doctor not been in my class, I might have had a shot at valedictorian.
Nevertheless, from my time at school many professional relationships were formed. The most of important was meeting the president of the current firm, where I serve. From a casual meeting in the school's library, a fifteen-year career blossomed. I have been very blessed to learn and serve alongside some of the very best in our profession.
One of the most important factors in attending small, specialized schools is the personal attention you receive from faculty and administration. Coming from a very large state college previous to my time at DIFS, the ability to interact with faculty members, who themselves have served in the field, was critical. Years later, I'm still able to come up to faculty at golf tournaments, conventions, etc., and they can call my name.
It is evident people from across the country recognize the continued commitment Dallas Institute of Funeral Service offers to people called to this work. It's a commitment honoring Mr. W.H. "Bill" Pierce's vision, another member of The Greatest Generation, and one I hope continues the test of time.
JIM MOSHINSKIE, PH.D 1972
In 1971, I selected the then Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science for my professional training. We met in the beloved former building at 3906 Worth Street, and the teachers patiently taught us everything about conducting funerals, embalming and caring for the dead, and sanitary science and chemistry. The skills I learned in those 12 months gave me confidence to enter what is now a 43-career in funeral service. I treasure the pride and heritage I gained there. Later, I was asked to join the faculty, and I enjoyed teaching generations of funeral directors, many of whom are still in funeral service. I am now president of Higginbotham Funeral Homes of Texas, Inc., a chain of Central Texas funeral directors based in Waco, Texas, still putting into use what I learned at Dallas Institute so many years ago. Whenever an aspiring death care professional asks about the best place to prepare for their chosen career, with confidence, I say: Dallas Institute of Funeral Service.
KIMBERLY MORRIS, 1996
When I started my class in 1994, it was a very scary time for me, a wife and a mother of 4 small boys, who had never had any education past high school!! I wasn't the oldest nor was I the youngest but all the instructors treated us all the same, and showed me they cared about me and my education there. I wasn't the best in the class, but I was treated as if I was. When I had difficulty with a subject, I was offered help and encouragement, and that helped me through more than anything. I am so pleased I attended the Dallas Institute and have sent family members and friends, because it's a school I trust. I would also accept apprenticeships from Dallas Institute. I am a partner and funeral director in charge of Scott-Morris Funeral Home. Scott-Morris is a firm that has been in business for over 100 years in a close community in which I love.