Obituary for Todd W. Van Beck
Former Funeral Director and Program Director at Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science
VAN BECK, Todd Wesley. Passed away on Tuesday, May 23, 2023. Beloved father of Thomas Van Beck. Loving son of the late Thomas Anthony "Tony" and Norma Jean (nee Feekin) Van Beck. Dear brother of Scott (Sarah) Van Beck; and uncle of Wesley, Helen, Sam and Neil Van Beck.
Todd was a person who had a half-century love affair with both funeral and cemetery service. He willingly admitted that he was, "no expert!", but also quickly admitted that there was nothing about this work and life that he did not enjoy, and have intense interest in. Todd had said: "have never done a day's work in my life, it has all been fun and interesting."
Todd earned his Professional Diploma in Mortuary Science in 1973 from the New England Institute of Funeral Service Arts and Sciences (MA), his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Psychology from Mount Mercy University (IA), and his Master of Arts in Religion from Athenaeum of Ohio (Mount Saint Mary's Seminary). In 2005, he was awarded the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters Degree from Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service, (Houston, TX). Todd held several certifications and licensures, including the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP), Certified Funeral Executive (CFE), and licensure in several states.
Prior to his employment as Program Director at Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science (CCMS), Todd served as Faculty/Director of Continuing Education at John A. Gupton College (TN); General Manager of Forest Hill Funeral Homes & Memorial Parks (TN); Director of Family Funeral Care and Public Relations at A.S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home (GA); President and CEO of the Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service (TX); and Director of Education for the Loewen Group, Inc. (OH). His academic career began at CCMS in 1982.
Todd was an active writer and speaker internationally for many decades covering most every topic that is relevant to our profession. He authored 8 books and over 400 articles on death care topics. A historian and academician, Mr. Van Beck grew up in Southwestern Iowa and declared at the young age of 5 years old that he would become a funeral director when he grew up. As he often said, he was still growing up, still learning, still trying to make some kind or worthy contribution to his beloved profession. Todd operated funeral homes, cemeteries, and mortuary colleges during his career. Todd selflessly served the death care profession in many arenas across the nation and internationally, which satisfied his desire to see the world. He was thrilled and humbled to return to CCMS where he planned to continue his mission until retirement.