Patti Muldoon became president in 2018 as a new board member. This year she also officially became a death doula after helping family and friends through the dying process. Patti joined FCAEM in 2006. “My interest in the end of life journey began with my father’s death 25 years ago. As my family vigiled during his last days, we took turns painting stories of his life on a cardboard coffin my siblings finagled from a funeral director. My eldest brother told the stories shown on the coffin as our dad’s eulogy. Six months later when that brother suddenly died, we again had an Irish wake at home. Old and new traditions merged to fit my family’s needs. I think everyone should be able to shape their own funerals as they want and can afford.”
Paula ChasanMembership Secretary
Paula Chasan has been a member of FCAEM since the 1960’s when the group was known as The Memorial Society, Inc. She became active about 8 years ago, becoming Treasurer, when FCAEM needed people to fill in for officers and board members who were no longer available to serve. In 2018, Paula is now Membership Secretary. She also responds to calls that come in on our 24/7 FCAEM phone line.
Claire McNeill Treasurer
Claire McNeill became treasurer in 2018. She has been a member of FCAEM since 2013. Before moving to Massachusetts in 2012, she had been president of the Funeral Consumers Information Society in Westchester, New York for over 10 years. That FCA affiliate had to close due to the inability to find enough active people to take responsibility. Claire is happy to see that FCAEM is still a going venture. She has enjoyed working with other members of the expanded Board since last summer, clarifying our roles and modernizing our website and outreach materials.
Ruth Faas Member of the Board
Ruth Faas was thrilled to learn about FCA in 2006, both because of the way it offers important information and and because she thinks every industry needs a watchdog. She knows her relatives who are funeral directors work with integrity, for example, but when her father died in 1984 the cemetery acted stunningly unethically. She started Mourning Dove Studio in 2007 because of the huge environmental impact of conventional funerals and because using art and personally-meaningful creative expression was an important way she grappled with grief after her mother died. She sells green burial containers that can be decorated and helps people plan ahead for their after-death care choices. She was nominated for a Leadership Award by the Green Burial Council.
Eva MoseleyMember of the Board
Eva Moseley joined FCAEM (at that time called “The Memorial Society”) more than 40 years ago, but became active in it only around 2010–11. Through 2017 she fetched and opened the mail and welcomed new members. Now she attends board meetings and shares what she hopes is wisdom. Before retiring in 1999, she was curator of manuscripts at Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. During her three decades there, she learned how to help acquire and organize the archival evidence for some forgotten aspects of that history. She used the knowledge of archives gained there to find a home for FCAEM’s historical records.
John ParkeMember of the Board
John Parke is interested in helping others with the end-of-life journey that began with helping his father, a Unitarian-Universalist minister and editor, to proactively organize his estate planning, which included working closely with him to craft his obituary before his death (a process he found very rewarding and enjoyable). Through this experience, John learned about resources and options available to help people plan ahead for after-death care. But he also became aware of how many people do not prepare their own obituaries, and what a burden this can place on their loved ones.
He first learned about FCA when my in-laws became lifetime members in Connecticut (an example of how our departed loved ones continue to positively influence our lives!). After more than 20 years running his own international consulting practice to help nonprofits and associations with strategic planning, he looks forward to contributing to FCAEM’s strategic direction, supporting its efforts in consumer advocacy, and advancing its mission through outreach and education.
He teaches a class called “How to Write Your Own Obituary: The Story Only YOU Should Tell,” through the Cultural Center of Cape Cod, senior centers, and other venues. This type of education is designed to enable people to make choices that are appropriate for their themselves, their families, and loved ones. Early in 2021, John launched Great Beyond Life, LLC, to expand my offerings in this area. He is intrigued with traditions and rituals throughout human history that demystify death and dying and bring grace, compassion, acceptance, and honor to the process for all.
Frank C. SingletonMember of the Board
Frank Singleton retired after working 50 years in local public health and environmental health positions. He remains active in a voluntary capacity on several boards and commissions that work on health and environmental issues, such as the Weymouth Conservation Commission. Frank became interested in FCAEM after his experience as a local public health representative on a steering committee working with the state to revise the antiquated paper-based burial permit and death certificate system, to the present digital on-line system. Doing this work, he found he wanted to learn more about how the death industry operates and how it is overseen by government. Using his background and skills to support the work of FCAEM, Frank is glad to be helping achieve our mission.