Craig Cates, Owner
MeadowLawn Funeral Home – Crematory – Cemetery
San Antonio, TX

How long have you been in the funeral service?
I have been in funeral service since 1981.

What made you decide to become a funeral director?
My timeline in funeral service is quite different from most others. I started out in 1981 by buying a perpetual care cemetery, MeadowLawn Memorial Park. I was a cemeterian going into full funeral service. At the time, Texas law required crematories to be located on cemetery property. We put in 3 crematories in 1991 and served south Texas for 12 years. The law changed in 2003, allowing crematories to be owned and operated by funeral homes. So, I figured we we’re all in the same business now, so we renovated a historic home adjacent to our cemetery and opened MeadowLawn Funeral Home. At the same time, I went to mortuary school in San Antonio and received my funeral director license. As a result of our entering the funeral business, we lost most of our local trade cremation business. This gave us the capacity to enter the pet cremation market easily. So, in 2004, we opened All Paws Great & Small Pet Crematory. We served over 8,400 pet families in 2022. Many times, these pet owners become MeadowLawn families, using all our facilities. We have a human-pet cemetery in the works but the law must be changed. It is in the works, but it takes time.

What Funeral Home Gifts products do you provide to the families you serve?
We provide a blanket (unknown by family), upfront we ask for the best photo of a loved one.

How do you display/present them at viewings, visitations and services and how have they benefited your business and the families you serve?
We display the blanket at our chapel entrance (foyer). So, the family walks in, sees the blanket and the tears start flowing.

Any additional comments or thoughts?
I was sent a postcard from funeral home gifts, as a promotion. An employee and I decided to buy a blanket. He had an old black and white photo of his dad from WWII. The blanket was outstanding and we now order as a gift to every family we serve. They have the option to buy more from the company. We’re in our 14th year of blankets for humans and pets. Best marketing product I’ve ever used.

A few Notable Tribute Blankets Gifted by MeadowLawn

Judge William Steele Sessions
“In June of 2020 Judge William Sessions passed away. His sons and I were fraternity brothers and chose us to handle his funeral service. Their photo of him in his black robe was used for the blanket we provide every family we serve. It was hanging in the chapel and it was stunning. It was as though he was there with us.”

Border Patrol Agent Canine “Rocky” and His Handler

“The second blanket was in July when we got the call for a Border Agent Canine, Rocky, that died serving his country. Rocky was on duty chasing illegal aliens in the July heat and collapsed due to exhaustion. His blanket was beautiful as well.”

“Both Judge Sessions & Rocky are heroes in my eyes and they both had blankets made by Funeral Home Gifts. Were in the “memories business. Thanks for the great service, the blankets really hit the heart.”

Craig Cates, President
MeadowLawn Memorial Park & Funeral Home
All Paws Great and Small Pet Crematory
San Antonio Tx

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