BELVIDERE, IL – Anderson Funeral & Cremation Services, which has been helping families since 1890, is the first Boone County funeral home to receive the Pursuit of Excellence Award from the National Funeral Directors Association.

Anderson was one of just nine funeral homes in Illinois and 165 in the entire United States to receive the award in 2017. In the more than 35-year history of the Pursuit of Excellence Award, only 30 Illinois funeral homes have ever received it. The NFDA is the world’s largest funeral service association with more than 19,700 individual members.

To qualify, Anderson’s ownership and its staff had to meet and document an exhaustive list of 29 criteria in six categories as well as describe an innovative program or service.

“It was a lot of work to meet all of the criteria, but I was encouraged that we were already doing a lot of the things that were required,” said Patrick Anderson, funeral director and embalmer.

The innovative service Anderson highlighted is an annual celebration during the holiday season of all the loved ones lost that they serviced during that year.

“When you lose someone, everyone is sad and comes together to show support,” Anderson said. “Then when the services end, people go back to their lives and the family still has this huge void in their lives. The first Thanksgiving and Christmas is really difficult and this celebration helps them get through that.”

Anderson’s Service of Remembrance is scheduled for December 2.

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Anderson Funeral owners Stephen and Diann Anderson are available to talk about what the award means to them personally and professionally as well as discuss the evolving funeral home industry in general. You can reach Diann Anderson at diannandersonfcs@gmail.com.