Funerals, Weddings In Question Due To ‘Social Distancing’

Mar 14, 2020, 4:32 PM

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah – Coronavirus concerns have forced some tough decisions from families planning or preparing for life-changing events, including weddings and funerals.

Some have chosen to move forward as planned, while have decided to cancel and reschedule.

South Jordan couple Dave and Susan Pulsipher have chosen to move forward with their funeral plans for Dave’s 94-year-old mother, Martha, who passed away on Monday.

“I lost someone who is irreplaceable. I lost my mother,” he told KSL.

Dave said with all the family coming into town and everything already in order, they felt it was best to move forward, knowing there may be those who would not attend.

“It was difficult to roll back these plans,” he said.

The Pulsiphers made changes to the luncheon after the funeral by doing away with a buffet-style gathering.

Susan, who is also a state representative, said it will be very challenging to avoid shaking hands or giving hugs.

“My daughter, who was driving from Arizona, I talked to her last night and she said, ‘Mom, we have to not hug,’ and I said, ‘how do you not hug at a funeral,’” Pulsipher said.

The Kennedy family from Draper has decided to cancel their mother’s funeral, set for Saturday. They were expecting more than 300 people to pay their respects for 72-year-old Jodee Kennedy.

“She was the greatest of all women,” said her son, Matt Kennedy. “We had to make some hard choices (but) I’m able to ask myself, ‘What would Jodee want here?’ The answer is, she would want everybody that she loves and cares for to be happy, healthy and safe. We felt like it was the right decision.”

Funeral director Kurt Soffe said these are very difficult decisions families deal with, and ask him about. Soffe owns the Jenkins-Soffe Funeral Home in South Jordan.

He said his funeral home was handling five funerals on Saturday.

“There might be a new norm (where) families will not be able to select the place and time for their tribute to their loved one. We may need to change a day or two,” Soffe said.

Across town from the funeral home, DD Davis was setting up for a more joyful event. Another wedding. Davis owns The View Event Venue in South Jordan and had a big wedding on Thursday night. She had another one on Saturday night.

Davis said Thursday night’s wedding lost about 10 percent in attendance due to the coronavirus scare, and was unsure if a Saturday wedding was still going to happen. She said her phone has stop ringing for spring weddings and events.

“What I’m seeing are people only asking about events later on in the year. August and September,” said Davis.

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Funerals, Weddings In Question Due To ‘Social Distancing’