The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 1, 2001 · Page 28
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 28

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 1, 2001
Page 28
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8 MAKINGADIFFERENCE SDAY, MAY 1,2001 Funeral Director Ed Karber looks Into the monument he sold to the family of former K-State mascot Jamie Adcock, who was killed In a motorcycle accident In 1999.The grave Is In Gypsum Hill Cemetery In Sallna. Helping .from the. heart I i mi mi lillfliSIPff After meeting with Margaret Frank and her sisters, Ed Karber gives Margaret a comforting farewell hug. Ed was the funeral director in charge of their sister's funeral In March. Working with grieving families, and making them feel comfortaMe Is the hardest part of Ed's |ob. ^ I Funeral director focuses m support, meeting needs of grieving families PHOTO STORY BY JEANEL DRAKE argaret and Edna Frank shared a special kind of bond as sisters. For 74 years they shared the same address. Neither one married. Margaret asked - Edna to vow to live longer, so that she • would not have to experience the grief of -Ipsing her sister. But on March 21, Edna 'Frank passed away Ed Karber was a friend to both Edna and Margaret, and served on church commit- 'tees with Edna. So it was natural for Margaret to ask Karber to handle the funeral. At Ryan Mortuary & Crematory, ;there is no telling when the phone will ring "with a "death call" from families who have just lost a loved one like Edna. It takes a special person to help these families. Funeral director Ed Karber exemplifies that person. Born in Salina, and raised in Gypsum, Ed Karber got his start in mortuary service at 14, working with his father at the Gillum Funeral Home in Gypsum. When he was 16, he went on his first death call by himself. Eventually, Karber and his father bought the funeral home. A year later he bought out his father and ran Karber- Gillum Funeral Home by himself. In 1990, Karber sold out to Ryan Mortuary, moving to Salina to be a part of a larger business. Ryan employees still operate the Karber-Gillum Funeral Home in Gypsum. "Working for Ryan's is like working for myself, without the hassles," Karber said. Karber said that funeral directors have to know how to take care of every part of a funeral, from the embalming to working with families arranging the funerals. "People don't realize the pressure that is put on a funeral director," said Steve Ryan, president of Ryan Mortuary & Crematory. "Everybody thinks of the ghosts and skeletons and Halloween of it all, and don't think about who the efforts are made for." Ryan said that everyone thinks that working with the dead is the hardest part of a funeral director's job, but it's not. He said that part is more of a science. It's working with the grieving families and meeting their needs that's the real challenge. Karber agreed. "In what we do, it all boils down to taking care of the family," Karber said. When Clarke and Elizabeth Garnett lost their 15-year-old son, Karber showed compassion and professionalism. "You just can't think and your mind shuts down for a while," Clarke Garnett said about his loss. He said Karber supported him and his vrife. Garnett said Karber told him to call if he needed anything, no matter what the hour. "It is unfathomable to me that anyone could have handled our situation in a more professional and sensitive manner," Clarke said. "He did it just like breathing." Father Kerry Ninemire works with Karber on many funerals, and Is also his priest at St. Mary's Queen of the Universe Catholic Church in Salina. "Being a funeral director is a unique opportunity to be of very special service to people at a tough time," Ninemire said. "Ed does this well. I also really appreciate when funeral directors view their work as an extension of Christ's ministry, and Ed does this." He serves as chairman of the parish building and grounds committee which is organizing the parish school's $1.5 million expansion. He also assists with communion. "Ed's been a very reliable and imaginative committee chair," Ninemire said. "He's not content with just keeping the status quo, but is willing to dream big for the future. He's very responsible. When he says he'll do something, he'll do it." Karber's wife, Connie, summarized. "He's really very good at everything he does, because he puts his whole heart into it." After preparing a body for a funeral, Ed Kart)er places a rosary in the hands. Ed directo many of the Catholic funtrait that ar^ held at St. Mary's because that Is his parish. 4 ABOVE: Funeral Director Ed Kartier explains the Afferent features of caskeU to family members. LEFT: Ed Kartier hel^ the casket bearers at Mt. Calvary Cemetery remove the casket from M hearse. Most of Ed's work for the funeral Is done at this point. He sayi^ it Is a relief when everything has gone smoothly. ^

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