Jacqueline Headrick is one of the owners of Ponte Vedra Valley, a local funeral home with onsite cremation center and cemetery. Hers is a profession that intersects with one of the most personal moments in people’s lives. Today, she tells us a little bit about what her role entails.
Tell me a little about Ponte Vedra Valley and the services it offers.
Ponte Vedra Valley is a family-owned and -operated funeral home with onsite cremation center and cemetery. We are available 24 hours a day to help families in their time of need and to assist with preplanning. Ponte Vedra Valley is also a licensed monument dealer here to assist with creating a lasting tribute to loved ones.
What is your role there?
I am one of the owners, along with my husband, Brent Headrick. I have the pleasure of helping families pre-plan services and cemetery property, working with families when selecting a headstone and assisting with funeral services.
Can you tell me about the importance of having a place like Ponte Vedra Valley here in the community?
We are the only funeral home and cremation center in Ponte Vedra Beach and Ponte Vedra, and our cemetery is the only cemetery for several miles to serve the growth in our community. I feel it’s extremely important for families and provides incredible peace of mind, knowing in their own neighborhood our family-owned business is here to help guide them through a difficult process.
It must be difficult to guide a grieving family in making all the arrangements after the passing of a loved one. How do you help survivors through that process? Many people struggle even to find the right words to say.
It’s always hard to find the right words, and I have been serving families for 18 years. I feel the most important thing anyone can do is make time to be there and listen, both at the time of need and as time passes.
In our office, we walk families through each step of the process and do our best to provide aftercare in the days, weeks, months and years after their loss. One way we help remember and honor loved ones is during the month of December when we have Memory Trees on our front porch with an angel for everyone buried in the cemetery. We see new families visit and many of the first families we served when we opened in 1998.
What are some of the benefits of pre-planning?
Pre-planning your funeral home and cemetery services can save your loved ones from having to make choices while they’re bereaved. One major conversation to start with is whether you would like traditional burial services or if your final arrangements are ultimately for cremation.
When you pre-plan, you can provide our funeral home all the necessary information they will need at the time of your passing: Social Security, birth certificate information, and veterans records are a great place to start. Having this information ahead of time alleviates the stress of your family needing to gather this data at the time of passing.
On a completely different topic, have you lived in this area long? What do you like best about it?
Our family of four moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 2004 from South Dakota, right after Brent and I graduated from college. Our girls were still very young, so Florida has always been home to them. Brent began working in the cemetery that summer while also starting classes to become a licensed funeral director, and I taught first grade that year before starting in the office at Ponte Vedra Valley in the summer of 2005. We love it here — the people, the weather, being able to go to the ocean any day after work!
How do you like to spend your free time?
Most of my free time is spent with my family and our dog, Dudley — watching movies, playing games, hanging out by the pool and going to the beach are some of our favorites.