The Women's Journal

Who We Are & What We Do

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By Maureen E. Krienen, Licensed Funeral Director Licensed Pre-need Consultant

How it all began

Krienen-Griffith Funeral Home goes back 107 years, when my great-grandfather, Carl Krienen, and his brother, Bill, incorporated Krienen Brothers Funeral Home. Since its beginning, a Krienen has been at the helm serving families in Delaware. I am the 4th generation Krienen serving as President of our family-owned and operated funeral home.

A lot has happened to get us to today. Krienen Brothers began in the City of Wilmington in 1917 and in 1928 opened a second location in Old New Castle. Carl and Bill operated the funeral home until 1963, when Carl passed away. His sons, Bill, II and Carl, Jr., left their jobs at Boeing and Bell Telephone, respectively, to take the reins at the family funeral home.

During this time, Krienen Brothers expanded. Russell Griffith owned and operated Griffith Mortuary in Elsmere. He was ready to retire. Krienen Brothers purchased Griffith Mortuary and became Krienen-Griffith Funeral Home in 1970.

History repeated itself when Bill, II passed away in 1993, and my father, Bill Krienen, III, purchased the business from Carl, Jr.  

I was named President of Krienen-Griffith Funeral Home in January 2020. My father is active in the business, but I have the privilege of running our family funeral home. 

I am a graduate of Padua Academy, University of Delaware, and the American Academy of McAllister Institute. I received my Funeral Director License in November 2017.  

My knowledge goes well beyond what I learned in the classroom. From the time I was born, I have been in and around the funeral home. I have learned from the best with regard to how funeral service works and how to meet each family’s needs . . . with compassion, dignity, and integrity. 

Planning a funeral

At-need funeral planning takes place when someone has died. There are many options available, and many decisions must be made when it comes to planning a memorialization of someone’s life. Families must answer these questions: burial, cremation, or maybe direct burial? Casket and vault, or what urn? Family cemetery plot or mausoleum? Mass, memorial service, maybe a graveside service? Minister, priest, or no clergy? Obituary?

There are many more questions to be asked and decisions to be made.

It is very uncommon that any one individual is THE person responsible for making all the decisions when a funeral needs to be planned. So, most people are unprepared, and also grieving, when decisions need to be made.

Preplanning a funeral

Preplanning begins when someone sits down and discusses their final wishes with a spouse, children, sibling, friend. After having that conversation, make an appointment with a funeral director. At no charge and with no obligation, I will sit down with the individual either at our funeral home or at their home. We discuss what services they want. A Cost of Funeral Goods and Services document will be completed. All this information is kept on file until the time of death. It is not required to pay for a pre-need funeral.

Prepaying is an option

Once the conversation has been had, the type of funeral has been decided, and the funeral director has been contacted, a discussion will take place to determine if it is wise to pay in advance. 

When you pre-fund a funeral, Krienen-Griffith is not permitted to hold those monies and cannot access those monies until the death has occurred. 

A funeral insurance policy is opened in the exact amount of the funeral at today’s prices. A policy is issued. The policy has a growth rate, and the expectation is that the policy will grow and keep up with the cost of the funeral. At the time of death, whether it be two years, ten years, or more, the funeral cost is covered. Krienen-Griffith guarantees that if the policy does not keep up with our increases, we will discount the funeral to meet the amount of the policy. If the policy grows at a faster rate than our increases, a refund is issued to the family.

Krienen-Griffith has never gone back to a family and billed them for any amount for the services they purchased in a pre-funded funeral. I guarantee that practice will not change.

What is left to do when you have preplanned your funeral?  Go live your life knowing that you have provided peace of mind to your loved ones.

Go live your life . . . to the fullest.

It is unknown the day or the hour a death will occur. My advice is this: become educated on funeral planning, let someone know your wishes, know a loved one’s wishes, be proactive, and be prepared.

There are countless advantages to planning a funeral in advance. Krienen-Griffith has served families since 1917 and will continue to do so with compassion, experience, and integrity.

Choosing the right funeral home matters – Choose Krienen-Griffith

– Serving the community for 106 years

– Owned and operated by the 4th generation of the Krienen family

– All details professionally handled

– Personable, compassionate, and caring staff

– Experienced in customizing services to fulfill family needs and desires

1400 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, DE  19805

101 W Sixth St., New Castle, DE 19720             


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