Death Professionals

The people who work alongside death.

  • Jeff Jorgenson

    Jeff Jorgenson

    Jeff worked for years in the corporate funeral industry in Seattle, doing everything from pre-need sales to cemetery management. Fed up with how the death industry maintained outdated traditions, he struck out on his own, founding the Pacific Northwest’s first eco-friendly funeral home, Elemental Cremation & Burial. Elemental specializes in carbon neutral cremation & green burials. You can find him in the Is It Legal? video series.

  • Pia Interlandi

    Pia Interlandi

    Pia is an Australian fashion designer. Her project [A]Dressing Death: Garments for the Grave researched (alongside a specialist forensics team) the effects of clothing and textiles on decomposition. Pia now designs custom made bio-degradable burial garments with client family participation. She is also a certified funeral celebrant who worked in London with Clandon Wood Natural Burial Reserve.

  • Katrina Spade

    Katrina Spade

    Katrina Spade is the founder and director of the Urban Death Project, a new system for the disposal of our dead in cities. The project utilizes the science of composting to safely and gently turn bodies into soil-building material, which is then used by nearby parks and gardens. Katrina was recently awarded an Echoing Green Climate Fellowship for her work. She lives in Seattle.

  • Sarah Wambold

    Sarah Wambold

    Sarah Wambold is a writer and funeral director in Austin, TX. She was also caretaker at Eloise Wood, Central Texas’ only natural burial cemetery. Sarah’s work on The Order includes the essay series American Funeral Home Revolution and Real American Death Hero.

     

     

  • Jae Rhim Lee

    Jae Rhim Lee

    Jae Rhim is a visual artist, designer, and researcher. She created the Infinity Burial Project, training a unique strain of an edible mushroom to decompose and remediate toxins in human tissue. She also developed a decomposition ‘kit,’ and a membership society devoted to the promotion of death acceptance and the cultivation of decomposing organisms.

  • Chanel Reynolds

    Chanel Reynolds

    Chanel is the founder of Get Your Shit Together. After becoming a widow and single mother when her husband was killed in an accident in 2009, Chanel turned tragedy into action, creating a hub to give others the power to create wills, living wills, insurance and basic financial planning, thus removing mountains of what she calls ‘optional suffering’ at death.

  • Tanya Marsh

    Tanya Marsh

    Tanya is a Professor at Wake Forest University School of Law. She is a licensed attorney in the State of Indiana and a licensed funeral director in the State of California. She teaches the only course in a U.S. law school on funeral and cemetery law. Tanya is the author of The Law of Human Remains(2015), the first treatise on the subject in 70 years, and the co-author of Cemetery Law: The Common Law of Burying Grounds in the United States (2015), the first casebook in the subject. She is the founder and primary author of The Funeral Law Blog.

  • Greg Lundgren

    Greg Lundgren

    Greg is a Seattle-based artist, designer and curator with a diverse background in architectural design, sculpture, furniture and installation art. Greg Lundgren Monuments challenges ideas of memorialization – designing custom cast glass and granite monuments, modern urns and caskets, and producing original, thought provoking group exhibitions in their Seattle boutique. Greg has authored two illustrated children’s books addressing death and the cemetery.

  • Cassandra Yonder

    Cassandra Yonder

    Cassandra lives on a self-sustaining homestead in Nova Scotia, Canada. She is a practicing Death Midwife, focusing on home funerals and alternative body dispositions. Cassandra is a Canadian representative to the National Home Funeral Alliance.

  • John Carbone

    John Carbone

    John has over 24 years experience as a practicing mental health provider, specializing in general and forensic psychiatry. He is the Chief of Psychiatry and Director of Mental Health Services North Carolina Department of Correction for the Division of Prisons. This position involves clinical and administrative oversight of the largest single mental health provider in the state, serving over 40,000 incarcerated offenders, including those on death row.

  • Melissa Cooper

    Melissa Cooper

    Melissa is a California- based forensic artist. She performs skull reconstructions, post-mortem illustrations, age progressions and composite sketches for organizations ranging from law enforcement agencies to museums. Melissa has a background in taxidermy and anthropology and curates and shares macabre wonders a’plenty on the Order’s social media.

  • Nora Menkin

    Nora Menkin

    Nora Menkin is the Managing Funeral Director of the Co-Op Funeral Home of People’s Memorial in Seattle, one of the only not-for-profit funeral homes in the country. She has a background in home funerals and Jewish traditions, and a passion for natural burial and modern funeral practices.

     

  • Dr. Judy Melinek

    Dr. Judy Melinek

    Dr. Judy Melinek is a board-certified forensic pathologist doing autopsies for the Alameda County Sheriff Coroner, and is CEO of PathologyExpert Inc., a medicolegal consult firm. Her memoir, Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner, co-authored with her husband, writer T.J. Mitchell, is a New York Times Bestseller. They live, write and raise their three children in San Francisco.