Coyle Funeral Home - Megan Coyle-Stamos

Coyle Funeral Home has a long history of service to the community

By Barbara L. Roose

According to fifth-generation funeral home director Megan Coyle Stamos, her family’s business, Coyle Funeral Home, is only one of about eight family-owned businesses in Northwest Ohio that is 100 years or older. Her great-great-grandfather, James Coyle, opened the business in 1888 in Downtown Toledo. Megan is thankful for the reputation that the previous generations left for her to carry on in the community. “Our full-time employees give lots of time, energy and resources to churches, volunteer groups and the Rotary Club.”

Megan grew up in the funeral home business. “There is a little house right behind the parking lot, and that is where I grew up,” remembers Megan. “I used to come in and have lunch with my dad when I was little, even riding in the front seat of the hearse when we drove to a funeral out of town.”

Although Megan is one of three children, she is the only one in the family business. “My brother lives in New York City and my sister lives in Portland, Oregon–which means they are not coming back to Toledo,” she laughs.

After graduating from Bowsher High School, Megan went on to receive business management and liberal arts degrees from Indiana University. After three years in the retail industry, Megan was ready to look for a career that allowed her to make a difference in other people’s lives.

One day, Megan had a conversation with Coyle’s pre-arrangement counselor. “I told her that I was ready to find a new career,” began Megan. “She said to me, ‘You should do what I do. I love helping to pre-plan funerals; people give me hugs at the end of the day and it’s a very flexible job.’”

Megan left her job and went to work as a funeral pre-arrangement specialist in Michigan. She went back to the classroom to obtain her insurance license because of the funeral pre-funding regulations. When Megan moved back to Ohio, she also obtained the mandatory funeral director’s license.

Last year, her father, Joseph Coyle, made the decision to begin to slowly step back from the day-to-day business operations, and, now, Megan is in the process of taking over. “I’m in a CEO-learning role right now for the next two to five years.” As part of the transition, Megan also explains that her family’s business is re-positioning itself in the funeral home market. “All kinds of dynamics have changed, and so we have to be ready for the increasing numbers of baby boomers and the increased competition in our market area.”

One of the reasons Megan loves her job is that she has the opportunity to help individuals pre-plan for their final expenses. “Pre-planning gives people huge peace of mind … dying happens to all of us, and it’s so much better when someone is able to make decisions with a family member … no one is under any emotional stress, money is saved, and their wishes are honored.”

In order to assist families in creating lasting mementos of their loved one, Coyle Funeral Homes also offers a variety of services such as personalized video tributes. Coyle also has a line of keepsake jewelry, which allows family members to carry a memento of their loved one around with them.

Because her children are young, Megan works 25 hours a week. Megan’s efforts to promote the value of funeral and cremation pre-arrangements, however, have been noticed on a national basis. She has been awarded many national honors, qualified for leader’s conferences and been featured in a funeral industry trade publication. Additionally, Megan also credits her membership with Women’s Entrepreneurial Network (WEN) with allowing her to meet and make connections with other local business owners and professionals who help people with these types of estate plans and “end of life issues”.

If you found this story interesting, informative or inspiring, please let Megan know. Contact her at 419-865-1295 or mcoyle-stamos@CoyleFuneralHome.com. Coyle Funeral Home, 1770 S. Reynolds Rd., Toledo, Ohio, www.coylefuneralhome.com.