New York State Funeral Directors Association

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Two Native Americans sang Mohawk farewell songs while drumming, as the roar of U.S. Military helicopters split the air overhead.

Unique as the man it remembered, the funeral for Louis Levi Oakes in early June was a multi-faceted project and an honor for Funeral Director Chad Green.

Not long after a near-fatal crash, second-generation funeral director David Murphy considered leaving the profession.

A severed spinal column, broken bones, organ injuries and temporary paralysis left him a bit less agile than he’d been before.

Today, after six years of recovery, Murphy can pick up and transport more bodies to funeral homes in one day than most funeral directors.

Funeral home guests generally leave with little more than memories, grief and any advice they receive from funeral professionals.

And they hope not to be returning soon.

But after the addition of a new feature at Nolan Funeral Home in Long Island, some may be leaving with a book and coming back to visit a week later.

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