The National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association, Inc. is a membership association of professional funeral directors and morticians and embalmers, whose members and members-at-large are also members of state associations of funeral directors, morticians and embalmers dedicated to promoting the common professional and business interests of its members.
THE OBJECTIVE OF THIS ASSOCIATION ARE:
(a) to foster research, conduct workshops and seminars, investigate funeral practices, develop and maintain standards of conduct designed to improve the business condition of its members and to maintain high standards of service for the benefit of the public;
(b) to provide a continuing program of service and to develop and disseminate information beneficial to members and the public at large;
(c) to represent the common professional and business interests of its members before various Federal, state and local legislative, administrative and judicial bodies, subject to the limitations of Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Code;
(d) to engage in any other activities consistent with the enumerated purposes and objectives of this Association; provided that such related activities are not inconsistent with the Code of Laws of the District of Columbia or Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 or the corresponding provisions of any future United States internal Revenue Law.
JUST A LITTLE HISTORY
NFD&MA was organized under the name of the Independent National Funeral Directors Association in 1924 under the leadership of R.R. Reed. It was organized by a group of licensed funeral directors seeking to maintain high professional standards for the benefit of the public and their own business community. The funeral directors had been meeting with the National Business League, but there was a feeling that the funeral directors were not able to develop their full potential in the Business League because it was made up of general business groups.
The first official president of the National Association was G. William Saffell, Jr. of Shelbyville, KY. In 1926 the name of the Association was changed to the Progressive National Funeral Directors Association. In 1940, a merger of the National Colored Undertakers Association and those members still a part of the Independent National Funeral Directors Association took place to become the National Negro Funeral Directors Association.
In 1949, Robert “Bob” Miller, a Chicago funeral home owner, was elected the first General Secretary of the Association and in 1957, its present name was adopted, the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association.
African American funeral directors have had vast involvement with many historical events.
During the 1800’s and the Yellow Fever epidemic, the Free African Society furnished volunteers to assist the stricken whites. These activities included gathering the human remains and carrying them away.
In 1978, African American funeral directors traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to recover victims of the Rev. Jim Jones Mass Casualty from Guyana. Many of these victims were transported to African American funeral homes to be buried by their loved ones. The NFD&MA member and past national treasurer, Andrew W. Nix, Jr., owner of the Nix Funeral Service, in Philadelphia, PA had the government contract and was in charge of handling the human remains from this tragedy. There were 913 bodies, including those of Jim Jones and his family.
The NFD&MA’s State Association, The Georgia Funeral Service Practitioners assisted during the mass flooding in Albany, Georgia in 1994 where more than 400 caskets were displaced from cemeteries throughout Albany.
In April of 1995, the NFD&MA’s State Association, the State Embalmers and Funeral Directors Association of Oklahoma coordinated their efforts with others after the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people.
Under the direction of John McGuire, the lead Disaster Coordinator for Washington, DC, funeral directors traveled to Dover Air Force Base to receive the victims of the Croatian air crash. Among them was Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and other members of his party.
The NFD&MA has a number of organizations in its association. There are some members of the NFD&MA who are also members of Epsilion Nu Delta Mortuary Fraternity, Inc. founded in 1944 in Chicago. The National Ladies Auxiliary founded in 1952. The Birdies and the 100 Black Women in funeral service founded in 1993. The NFD&MA is comprised of chapters throughout the United States, Caribbean and South Africa.