What To Do When Death Occurs

The time will come for everyone — the death of a loved one, a family member, a friend, a community member. You will then be faced with some, if not the most important, decisions that you may have to make. But — you are not alone and the Calvin and Leonard Funeral Homes stand by our families 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure the process — from initial removal to the end of the funeral service, runs as smoothly and as dedicated to you as it possibly can.

In order to ease your mind when the time of death occurs, we have simply compiled a list of ideas and things to consider when it comes to organizing your loved ones funeral. Please note that this list does not include every single thing you might need in order to properly run your funeral the way you would like, but it is a step-by-step process on how to handle arrangements in the near term.


1) After death has occurred, it is the duty of a hospital, hospice nurse or in certain cases, ambulance or medical examiner to contact Calvin Funeral Home at (269) 621-4101 or Leonard Funeral Home at (269) 674-8131. Some of the following may be required when first contact with the Funeral Home is made:
  • Full Name of the Deceased
  • Location of the Deceased, whether it is a hospital, nursing home, home, etc.
  • Next of Kin’s Contact Information, including Name, Phone Number and Location
  • Information on the Doctor signing the Death Certificate
After initial contact with us has been made, we will contact the next-of-kin to make an appointment time for them or more members of the family to complete the funeral arrangement process. Here are some things to consider when you come in and make arrangements with the Funeral Director:
  • Social Security Number and Information of the Deceased
  • The Deceased’s Date of Birth, along with the City and State of Birth
  • The Deceased’s Relative Information, including parents, brothers, sisters, etc.
  • The Deceased’s Educational information, including High School or College
  • The Deceased’s Martial Status — if they are married, widowed, never married, etc.
  • If Deceased has Insurance or is a Veteran, bring papers or claim numbers
After the next-of-kin or the family members make the initial arrangements, here are some more things that, as a family, you should be thinking of leading up to the burial or memorial services:

1) Gather up or research any and all information to compile an obituary for your loved one. Most obituaries include, but are not limited to: photo, place of birth, place of death, parents, background information (such as graduation from High School / College, employment, churches attended, etc.) and family members from the immediate and close family. In most cases, families choose to work with the Funeral Home in compiling the obituary, but the family is also encouraged to write their own, personal obituary that reflects the loved one in a personal way.

2) Contact a Minister. This could be the minister or clergyman of the church that the loved one attended. In certain cases, the loved one may have not attended a church. Then, the minister or clergyman could be one from the church in which a family member attends.

3) If you choose to make donations to a charity or an organization, you need to choose a specific one. Examples of charities or organizations include, but are not limited to: schools, churches or hospice.

4) If you choose a regular funeral with a casket, you may want to select pallbearers to carry the casket following the service and at the cemetery. These pallbearers can be family or friends of the loved one. If you can not supply enough pallbearers, please contact the Funeral Home and we can make arrangements to help out.

5) Determine how many death certificates you may need. You will be in need of certified copies of the death certificate if you have legal documentation you need to take care of.

6) The Funeral Director will contact the Social Security Administration to inform them of your loved ones death. We will also fill out a form that will notify them, legally, of the death.

7) Check on possible sources of income that a family member or members may receive after their loved ones death. These sources of income include, but are not limited to: Social Security, Military and Insurance money. If your loved one has insurance, the Funeral Director will be happy to help with getting the insurance money to you. Please talk to the Funeral Director about that and bring along the policy or claim number and the name of the insurance company.

These are just a few of the things that you should do after the death of a loved one has occurred. There are many more things you should consider when the time of need comes. If you have any questions after the passing of a loved one, our Funeral Director is pleased to help you. Just contact us by phone or by e-mail and we will be glad to assist you with anything you may need.