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The first annual convention of the Association of American Cemetery Superintendents convened on October 19, 1887, at Spring Grove Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio, with representatives from 21 cemeteries. The organization has since undergone one merger (with the National Association of Cemeteries in 1981) and four name changes to reflect its current position as an international organization representing every aspect of the cemetery, cremation and funeral service profession.
Among the educational questions discussed during the inaugural convention were: "Are cobblestone gutters essential to cemetery roads, and if so, what is the best method of keeping them clean?" and "What is the best method of producing a good sward [an old English term for 'grassy area']?"
At the 2012 Convention & Exposition, topics included how to market via the Internet and smartphones, how to digitize the arrangement presentation and how one funeral home has incorporated alkaline hydrolysis into its disposition offerings.
"We had a great time celebrating the storied history of the ICCFA and to continuing to demonstrate why we are the association that will take this profession into the next 125 years," said ICCFA President Kenneth E. Varner, CCFE. "In many ways, this association is the same as it ever was, dedicated to providing answers to members’ practical questions on how to better serve their communities. It is the questions that have changed, and the ICCFA continues to be the best source for education, innovation and inspiration for every area of our profession—cemetery, funeral service and cremation."
The 2012 ICCFA Convention & Exposition included more than 50 educational sessions and more than 450 supplier booths, as well as numerous receptions and networking events. A wealth of memorabilia from ICCFA's archives was displayed at the entrance to the expo hall and general session area (as seen in the photo to the right). Some of the documents that were on display are available below.