It is with deep sadness we share news of the death of Funeral Service Foundation Trustee Todd Van Beck. He was a beloved and trusted colleague and friend to many in funeral service, including his fellow Foundation Trustees.
Todd’s countless contributions of time and advocacy fulfilled the Foundation’s mission – investing in people and programs to strengthen funeral service & lift up grieving communities. We will miss him immensely.
Todd was a person who had a half-century love affair with both funeral and cemetery service. He willingly admitted that he was, “no expert!”, but also quickly admitted that there was nothing about this work and life that he did not enjoy, and have intense interest in. Todd had said: “have never done a day’s work in my life, it has all been fun and interesting.”
Todd earned his Professional Diploma in Mortuary Science in 1973 from the New England Institute of Funeral Service Arts and Sciences (MA), his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Psychology from Mount Mercy University (IA), and his Master of Arts in Religion from Athenaeum of Ohio (Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary). In 2005, he was awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Degree from Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service, (Houston, TX). Todd held several certifications and licensures, including the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP), Certified Funeral Executive (CFE), and licensure in several states.
Prior to his employment as Program Director at Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science (CCMS), Todd served as Faculty/Director of Continuing Education at John A. Gupton College (TN); General Manager of Forest Hill Funeral Homes & Memorial Parks (TN); Director of Family Funeral Care and Public Relations at A.S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home (GA); President and CEO of the Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service (TX); and Director of Education for the Loewen Group, Inc. (OH). His academic career began at CCMS in 1982.
Todd was an active writer and speaker internationally for many decades covering most every topic that is relevant to our profession. He authored 8 books and over 400 articles on death care topics. A historian and academician, Mr. Van Beck grew up in Southwestern Iowa and declared at the young age of 5 years old that he would become a funeral director when he grew up. As he often said, he was still growing up, still learning, still trying to make some kind or worthy contribution to his beloved profession. Todd operated funeral homes, cemeteries, and mortuary colleges during his career. Todd selflessly served the death care profession in many arenas across the nation and internationally, which satisfied his desire to see the world. He was thrilled and humbled to return to CCMS where he planned to continue his mission until retirement.
Visitation will occur on Saturday, May 27, 2023 from 12 noon until 2 PM at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, 645 W North Bend Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45224. A Masonic Blue Lodge service will begin at 2 PM, followed by a Celebration of Life service.
Additional visitation will be held on Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at Handcock Methodist Church, 204 Kimball St., Hancock, IA 51536 from 12 Noon until time of service at 2 PM, followed by interment at Oak Hill Cemetery in Hancock, Iowa.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to be made to the “Todd Van Beck Memorial Scholarship Fund” at CCMS Donate.
Arrangements are being made by the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, in conjunction with Vorhis & Ryan Funeral Home.