Ask the Funeral Expert - Tina Wolfe

Updated: Mar 16

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March 2021

Living Well & Leaving Well

Organizing your estate so that your funeral, wills, and power of attorney are taken care of can be a daunting task. How do you even know where to start? Spring is typically the time of year when we host our Living Well & Leaving Well Seminars to answer your questions about each of these topics. Although that is not possible this year, we can still help you through this process with safe, one-on-one appointments with our experienced staff.

Wills: A Will becomes valid at the time of death and states a person’s wishes of how the estate is to be handled and distributed. A Living Will indicates a person’s desires regarding their medical treatment when they are incapacitated and appoints someone to make medical decisions for them when they are medically unable to give informed consent. We can help you set up both in under an hour and at an affordable price.

Power of Attorney: Gives another party authority to take control of all or a portion of a person’s financial and legal affairs. This can be short-term while the person is out of the country or long-term during a time of incapacity. This allows bills, taxes, banking, etc., to be taken care of when the individual is not able to do it themselves. If this is something you need, we can help you get the paperwork in order.

Funeral Pre-Planning: We plan ahead for the special events in life to make sure they fit our personalities, wants, and needs – think of weddings, vacations, and retirements. Funerals are a significant event and, with advance planning, you can rest easy knowing it’s personalized, planned, and funded. Our advance planning director will meet with you for a no-obligation appointment to answer any questions you have and walk you through the pre-planning process.

Funeral Planning Guide Book: If you aren’t ready to make an appointment but would like some more information to get you started in the right direction, stop by our office to pick up our complimentary Funeral Planning Guide Book.

Please give us a call with any questions you may have or to set up an appointment.

February 2021

(article by Tracy McFee)

Flag Retirement Program

Oliver’s believes in the importance of the Canadian flag as a symbol representing the nation in which we live. This last year has been difficult for everyone, but Canadians have shown their tenacity and resilience as we have supported each other through this time and shown what it means to be Canadian. There’s no doubt our flag is significant, but what happens to an individual flag when the trials of time have worn it down? If the flag hanging outside your business, organization or school must be replaced, we feel the old flag deserves to be treated respectfully.

We invite you to bring your retired Canadian flags to Oliver’s Funeral Home. Each year we honour their service as symbols of justice and freedom in Canada. The flags are laid to rest during a ceremony at Grande Prairie Cemetery with members of the Royal Canadian Legion Colour Party present.

This year, we will not be having our annual service in order to comply with current health guidelines. However, we will continue to collect flags and save them for next year’s retirement ceremony.

There is no cost for this service. We simply want to apply proper protocol and appreciation for our nation’s flag on behalf of our community.

Honouring our veterans is another important part of this. We at Oliver’s want to pay tribute to the brave men and women who fought to defend our flag and everything it represents.

Flags can be dropped off at Oliver’s Funeral Home at any point during the year for the annual commemoration in February. Please call ahead to book a time to drop off your flag, as our office is appointment only at this to comply with guidelines.

January 2021

(article by Chris Clements)


Although cremation is a common practice, the average person knows very little about it. Below, we have answered a few common cremation questions. To make certain that proper cremation procedures are followed at all times, Oliver’s Funeral Home owns and operates its own crematorium. This ensures that your loved one never leaves our care, giving us all peace of mind.

Remember cremation is not an alternative to a funeral, but rather an alternative to burial.

Is a casket needed for Cremation?

A casket or cremation container is required. This may be a simple plywood cremation container or a more traditional veneer or hardwood casket. At Oliver’s we offer a variety of options for cremations caskets.

Is embalming required prior to cremation?

No. However, we may recommend embalming if there is an extensive visitation or viewing.

Can the body be viewed without embalming?

Yes, within normal circumstances.

Can the family witness the cremation?

At Oliver’s, you can. We have a comfortable room next to the crematorium with a viewing window so the start of the cremation can be viewed if the family wishes. For some people, this can help with closure.

What can be done with the cremated remains?

While laws vary from province to province, for the most part remains can be buried in a cemetery lot, interred in a columbarium, kept at home or scattered.

How long does the actual cremation take?

It depends on the weight of the individual. For an average sized adult, cremation usually takes three to four hours.

Do I need an urn?

An urn is not required by law. However, if no urn is selected or provided by the family then the cremated remains will be placed in a minimum basic urn provided by our crematorium. Anything that holds remains may be used as an urn.

If you have questions, please give us a call. We would be pleased to have a conversation with you and there’s absolutely no obligation. If you prefer, please send us an e-mail or even drop by and speak to us face-to-face.

December 2020

(article written by Jordana Kluyt)

Christmas Gifts To Honour Your Loved One

The Christmas season we have unique gifts to remember those special people you’re missing. Personalized gifts, such as jewelry, ornaments, picture frames, keepsakes and candles, are a beautiful way to remember and honour your loved one.


There are many options available for jewelry - oval, tear drop, heart, memory tags and cross pendant necklaces, bracelets and rings, in sterling silver, silver, yellow and white gold or titanium. You could have the deceased’s fingerprint, name or other text engraved on necklaces or rings, or have their picture placed in a locket. Keychains, tie clips, money clips, pocketknives, and Zippo lighters are also available; all of which can be personalized with either fingerprint or text engraving.

Ornaments and Frames

We have crystal ornaments available in various styles and sizes. There are also Christmas themed crystal ornaments that can be personalized with fingerprint or text engraving. Your loved one’s actual handwriting or signature can even be engraved on the ornament. Some items can be engraved with a photo of the deceased as well. These ornaments make for a very unique gift and a special way to remember those we’ve lost. We also have photo frames that can also be personalized, available in 6 different styles and sizes ranging from 2.5”x 2.5” to 8”x 10”.

Keepsakes and Candles

There are many options for keepsake urns and/or candles that can be engraved and hold cremated remains, or candles that can be personalized with a photo and text (over 10 different styles to choose from). And for those who are missing beloved pets, we have gift ideas for you as well.

Visit to see the many gift ideas available or give us a call 780.532.2929 and ask for Jordana.

November 2020

(article written by Kimberly Talmey)

Oliver’s Christmas Programs


Sunday, December 6, 2018 at 7:00pm

At Oliver’s Funeral Home, we recognize that after the loss of a loved one, the season of light and song can be touched with a bittersweet sadness. The lighting of candles and singing of carols has long been a powerful symbol of remembrance. It is our hope that this simple, time-honoured gesture may provide a way of healing the past and bringing music back into your hearts.

This year, our service will be online in order to keep everyone safe while allowing for as many people to participate as possible. Because we have a video tribute with a picture of each loved one who will be missed this holiday season, we ask you to please register by Monday, November 30th. You can RSVP online at or call 780.532.2929.

Surviving The Holidays While Grieving

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 6:00pm

In addition, we will also be hosting a “Surviving The Holiday’s While Grieving” online GriefShare group. This is a helpful, encouraging, online seminar for people facing the holidays after a loved one’s death.

The seminar features video interviews with counselors, grief Experts®, and other people who have experienced the holidays after their loved one’s death and who offer practical suggestions and reassurance. These people share honestly about:

• Being prepared for surprising emotions that may hit over

the holidays

• What to do about traditions and other coming changes

• How to handle holiday parties and invitations

• How to survive potentially awkward moments with other


• Where to find comfort, strength, and hope in a seemingly

hopeless time

Those who attend will receive a Survival Guide filled with practical tips, encouraging words, journaling ideas, and exercises for daily help through the holiday season. There is a $10 fee to cover the cost of the guide. You must pre-register at

We sincerely hope you are able to join us.

September 2020

Suicide Prevention Week:

September 6 – September 12

At Oliver’s we see firsthand the devastation caused by suicide. Those struggling with suicidal thoughts can feel very isolated, but you are not alone. There are people who care and organizations ready to help. For those whose lives have been impacted by suicide, resources for attempted suicide survivors, and those who have lost a loved one to suicide are also available. Together we can provide hope to those who need it most.

Every year, approximately 4,000 people in Canada die by suicide, that is 11 people per day1. In 2018, 7254 Albertans visited the emergency department for suicide attempts; 50% of these visits were youth between the ages of 0-24 years2. 3 out of 4 suicide deaths are male, with almost 50% of deaths being middle-aged men ages 40-642. More Albertans die from suicide than car accidents2.

The Resource Centre for Suicide Prevention in Grande Prairie has many programs and resources available. Oliver’s also has a grief councillor ready to talk to you.

1. Government of Canada, Suicide in Canada: Key Statistics, 04/03/2020,

2. Alberta Health Services, Suicide in Alberta, 19/06/2019,

August 2020

Article Written by Craig McFee

Funeral Procession: What is the Legal Etiquette?

Most people are not intentionally disrespectful of a funeral procession. Many people just aren’t sure what to do. The question is: who has the right of way and how do you recognize a funeral procession?

In Alberta only the first car in a funeral procession, also known as the lead car, is required to obey traffic stops. For example, if the lead car approaches an intersection on a red light or a stop sign, the car must stop. However, once the lead car enters the intersection on a green light or proceeds through the stop sign, the procession may follow without stopping, even if the light should turn red. All other traffic is required to stop and give the right-of-way to the funeral procession.

It can be difficult for regular traffic to recognize a funeral procession; however, there are some ways for the procession to aid the public. All vehicles in the funeral procession should put on their four-way flashers and their headlights must be on. The lead car will drive slowly, which will allow each vehicle to closely follow the one ahead of them. This will make the procession a tight yet consistent line through traffic, including intersections. Funeral homes often have magnets or flags that can be put on the vehicles within the procession to allow for easy identification to regular traffic.

The right-of-way is given to the funeral procession and regular traffic should not attempt to pass. Regular traffic is required to stop and wait for the procession to fully pass before resuming. However, each vehicle within the procession should drive with extreme caution and not assume that others will know the legal requirements of yielding to a funeral procession.

If you have any questions about funeral procession etiquette, please give us a call.

July 2020

Article Written by Chris Clements

What is a Columbarium?

Columbariums are above-ground, outdoor structures made up of individual niches specifically for the entombment of cremated remains. Each niche houses one or more urns containing the cremated remains of the loved ones.

For those choosing cremation, Oliver’s owns and maintains its own Columbarium Walls conveniently located within both the Grande Prairie City and the Beaverlodge Town Cemeteries. Our columbarium walls are both warm and inviting, maintaining an atmosphere of dignity, and serenity.

While cremated remains can be kept at home by families or scattered somewhere significant to the deceased, a columbarium provides friends and family a perpetual place to come to remember and visit. Columbarium walls do not take up a lot of space and may prove to be a less expensive alternative to a cremation plot in a cemetery. To personalize your loved one’s memory, the front of each niche may include an engraving or bronze plaque.

Columbariums provide a distinct and dignified cremation interment option that blends elegantly into the natural landscape as an everlasting tribute to your loved one.

To learn more about Oliver’s Columbarium options please call us at any time.

We at Oliver’s have put together a wide variety of options to ensure your loved one’s final resting place is one that suits your family.

That is our promise to you.

June 2020

Article written by: Tracy McFee

How can I honour my loved one’s life in the midst of COVID19 restrictions?

Current health and social conditions have inadvertently added more stress and uncertainty to our lives. Losing a loved one amongst all this can be even more devastating and overwhelming. Oliver’s offers a number of alternatives for honouring your loved one during this time.

Webcasting or Video recording:

You can hold a small family service and webcast it so others may watch. Alternatively, a graveside service may be held and recorded. The video of the service can be viewed online on the deceased’s obituary page within a few days of the service.

Private Viewings:

Viewings may be held with a small number of people to give family members a chance to say goodbye.

Delayed Service:

Although the cremation or burial may be taking place now, a larger service can be planned in the future. Oliver’s experienced staff would be happy to assist you in planning a celebration at a later date.

Services and gatherings are an important step in the grieving process, and we encourage families to celebrate the life of their loved one. We can help you navigate the added protocols and procedures while still ensuring a beautiful celebration of life.

May 2020

Article Written by: Tina Wolfe

Wills, Living Wills, and Power of Attorney Many people struggle with establishing a Will, Living Will, and Power of Attorney. Even understanding the difference between the three can be overwhelming. Will: A Will becomes valid at the time of death and states a person’s wishes of how the estate is to be handled and distributed. An executor is also appointed who has the power to handle the estate. If no executor is appointed before a person dies, the family has to choose one. That person then has to apply to become administrator of the estate before anything can be done with it. Living Will: Indicates a person’s desires regarding their medical treatment when they are incapacitated and appoints someone to make medical decisions for them when they are medically unable to give informed consent. Power of Attorney: Gives another party authority to take control of all or a portion of a person’s financial and legal affairs. This can be short-term while the person is out of the country, or long-term during a time of incapacity. This allows bills, taxes, banking, etc., to be taken care of when the individual is not able to do it themselves. Establishing each of these can be a daunting task, but they are extremely important. It’s easy to put it off and say “Someday I will deal with it, maybe when I’m older” but you never know what tomorrow will bring. Having your affairs in order today can give you and your family peace of mind; it only takes an hour of your time and at an affordable price. If you would like help with setting up a Will, Living Will, or Power of Attorney, give Tina at Oliver’s Funeral Home a call and she would be happy to help you out.

April 2020

Article Written by: Chris Clements, Tracy McFee & Craig McFee We are here to help As we continue to monitor and gather more information regarding the current pandemic before us, we at Oliver’s Funeral Home would like the families of Grande Prairie and the Peace Country to know that our doors remain open so we can continue to provide our caring services to those families currently experiencing a loss. Please know our staff is committed to providing a safe and clean environment during your time with us. The government of Alberta has restrictions for gatherings. We can work with you to provide the best options to you and your family that complies with the government regulations. For the time being, services may need to be postponed until this restriction has been lifted. We do still encourage services to take place as we believe it is an important part of the grieving process. As our number one concern is the safety of the public and our staff, we are trying to limit the amount of in-person contact to practice social distancing. We are able to conduct funeral arrangements and provide other assistance by telephone, email conference call, or video conference (such as Skype or FaceTime). If meeting in person is best, we have increased sanitary practices in place as well as hand-sanitizer available. As we continue to monitor the situation closely, we will provide ongoing updates as needed. We thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.

March 2020

Living Well & Leaving Well Seminars

Funerals, wills, and estate planning can be a daunting task. How do you even know where to start? Oliver’s will be hosting a series of free seminars across the Peace Country to help answer any questions you may have. Topics covered will include:

• Power of Attorney and Personal Directives

– Learn how these planning tools benefit

your family

• The facts about Probate and your estate –

A simple overview to make things easier

for your loved ones

• Cremation and Burial Pre-Planning – How

to avoid the most common mistakes and

save money

• Simplifying Your Executor’s Job –

Removing some of the stress of estate


• Wills - Where to start, why they’re


Seminars will take place on the following dates and locations:

Oliver’s Funeral Home, Grande Prairie:

Wednesday, March 4th, 7:00pm

Spirit River Centennial Hall:

Tuesday, March 10th, 12:00pm & 7:00pm

Valleyview Public Library: Wednesday, March 11th, 6:30pm

DeBolt Centre: Monday, March 16th, 6:30pm

Saddle Hills County Complex: Thursday, April 16th, 7:00pm

Bezanson Memorial Hall: Wednesday, March 25th, 7:00pm

Big Horn Seniors Club, Grande Cache: Wednesday, May 20th, 12:00pm

Grande Cache Rec Centre: Wednesday, May 20th, 7:00pm

For more information, and to register for your free seminar, call 780.532.2929 or visit

RSVP required by phone or online. Late registrations will be accepted based on availability.

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