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Abraham Lincoln, Embalming and Springfield’s Oak Ridge Cemetery
Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Albuquerque, NM
Wednesday, December 8, 2021


Abraham Lincoln and the Modern Funeral“Abraham Lincoln’s Impact on Modern Embalming” is a Before I Die New Mexico Festival session that covers the history of modern embalming. The practice took off in the United States during the Civil War. You’ll learn how the huge number of deaths during the war, President Lincoln’s assassination, and the funeral procession that took his body across the country influenced death care in America for the following century. The history of embalming is presented by Joshua McManigal with the Park Lawn Corporation.

In this video, we also virtually visit Lincoln’s Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield, Illinois. Speakers Lashonda Fitch and Justin Blandford provide insights about the monument to Lincoln in the cemetery and how the monument highlights lessons from history.

Video: Abraham Lincoln, Embalming and Monuments

Session Speakers

Joshua McManigal, Director of Operations, Park Lawn Corporation. Josh attended Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Services in 2005 and worked in Houston before joining the Daniels family in 2018. He is the Director of Operations for all locations in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. He is currently the President of the New Mexico Funeral Service Association.

Lashonda Fitch is the Executive Director of Oak Ridge Cemetery, established in 1856 in Springfield, Illinois. She manages the second most-visited cemetery in the U.S., after Arlington National Cemetery.

Justin Blandford is the Superintendent of Historic Sites for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. He shares the history behind Lincoln’s Tomb, a National Historic Landmark within Oak Ridge Cemetery.

Festival Sponsors

2021 Before I Die Festival Sponsors

Thank you to these companies and organizations that made the Before I Die NM Festival possible.

A portion of the sponsorship proceeds and ticket sales from the Before I Die NM Festival were donated to 501(c)(3) charitable partner, Historic Fairview Cemetery, established in Albuquerque in 1881. The cemetery is the final resting place of 12,000 individuals, with remarkable stories reflecting the history of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the United States of America. The website is www.HistoricFairviewCemeteryABQ.org.

Gail Rubin, CT, is author and host of the award-winning book and television series, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips, and KICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die.

Rubin is a Certified Thanatologist (that's a death educator) and a popular speaker who uses humor and films to get the end-of-life and funeral planning conversation started. She "knocked 'em dead" with her TEDx talk, A Good Goodbye. She provides continuing education credit classes for attorneys, doctors, nurses, social workers, hospice workers, financial planners, funeral directors and other professionals. She's a Certified Funeral Celebrant and funeral planning consultant who has been interviewed in national and local print, broadcast and online media.

Known as The Doyenne of Death®, she is the event coordinator of the Before I Die NM Festival. She also hosts A Good Goodbye Internet radio show and produces Mortality Minute radio and online video spots. Her YouTube Channel features more than 450 videos!

Rubin is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, Toastmasters International and the National Speakers Association New Mexico Chapter. Her speaking profile is available at eSpeakers.com.

Gail Rubin has been interviewed about funeral planning issues in national and local broadcast, print and online media. Outlets include The Huffington Post, Money Magazine, Kiplinger, CBS Radio News, WGN-TV,  and local affiliates for NPR, PBS, FOX, ABC-TV, CBS-TV and NBC-TV. Albuquerque Business First named her as one of their 2019 Women of Influence.

Sign up for a free planning form and occasional informative newsletter at her website, AGoodGoodbye.com.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Gail Rubin
Group: A Good Goodbye
Dateline: Albuquerque, NM United States
Direct Phone: 505-265-7215
Cell Phone: 505-363-7514
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