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Issue Date: December 2006 Issue


Fast Lane

All good things must come to an end. Bad things, too. Case in point: this column. As Fast Lane reaches its finale, who better to help us work through the emotional distress of this sad and tragic ending than Ed Romito, owner of Johnson-Romito Funeral Homes, in Bedford, Hudson, Northfield and Twinsburg. “My job is to help those in need,” he says. “Even 8-1/2-by-11 magazine pages.”

First of all, how does somebody get into the funeral business?
I needed a part-time job in high school.

You couldn’t have gone to a grocery store?
I played a lot of sports, so I needed something that had flexible hours. And I’m still here.

Is there any way to put the “fun” in funeral?
Absolutely. We’ve had services where people show videos and tell humorous stories to celebrate the deceased’s life. It’s wonderful therapy.

Does everyone get buried in a suit?
Oh, no. We’ve had people put to rest in their sweatpants and T-shirts — even their golf clothes.

Has anyone ever wanted to be buried naked?
We haven’t had that request yet.

From your perspective, who’s more difficult to put to rest: a large person or a tall person?
They both have their challenges.

How many boxes of Kleenex do you go through per year?
Thousands.

Your favorite movie: “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” “Night of the Living Dead” or “Weekend at Bernie’s?”
“Weekend at Bernie’s.”

OK, enough chitchat. Let’s talk about my memorial.
I see this as being a very intimate service with only the people involved.
I’m sure they’ll be busy.
After that, I’d suggest a public remembrance so the readers could be a part of this.

All four of them?
Wow, I’m actually starting to feel bad for you.

Your thoughts on the burial.
I’d recommend a casket or the recycle bin.

Is there a place in heaven for a magazine page?
God loves everyone.

Y’know, this really is the end. You could at least fake some tears.
My duty is to give you strength during this difficult time.

You’re a true professional.
Thank you. n


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