“Hard work is required to have any success in life.”
“Pay attention to the small details. They really do matter.”
“Take care of people.”
These are a few life lessons that have been passed down in the Newcomer family. As a fourth-generation funeral director, owner and president of Newcomer Family Service Group, Ren Newcomer has learned plenty of life lessons from his father who he describes as “a world-class people person.”
Ren started working part-time at his family's funeral home as soon as he was old enough to drive. He remembers, after school, he delivered caskets to the family funeral home, summer jobs working in the cemetery trimming headstones and doing lawn maintenance and working on weekends as a support staff.
After graduating from the University of Kansas, Ren joined his father in Topeka and went to work as a funeral director in 1975.
“This has been my life’s passion,” Ren said. “Creating an environment in our family business that puts the families that we’re helping first and investing in our facilities and our associates to continue to meet the needs of our families. This business is all about people.”
Ren’s children, Maggie and John, have followed in their father’s footsteps. Maggie is a licensed funeral director in Kansas City, and John is a manager in the Louisville, Kentucky area.
A lesson Maggie learned from her father: “Not to be afraid of failing, so long as you've done your absolute best,” she said.
“Our dad cares about the people he works with, and it shows,” John said. “We work in such a people-oriented business that you have to take care of colleagues and coworkers for them to take great care of families and visitors. It's all interconnected.”
Ren has made a point to continue to reinvent the family business to stay relevant in consumer’s eyes to provide memorable and meaningful memorials and celebrations.
“I look at it as an art form,” Ren said. “Continuing to paint the most beautiful painting in the world. Stroke by stroke, on the canvas and seeing the painting continuously improve.”