Interview with a Funeral Leader: Bill Wappner


William “Bill” Wappner is a trusted authority in the deathcare industry, previously serving as president of the National Funeral Directors Association and the Ohio Funeral Directors Association.

Wappner is the co-owner of Wappner Funeral Directors & Crematory in Northeast Ohio. He attended The Ohio State University and the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science and received his funeral director and embalmer license in 1975.

Wappner recently sat down with Marilyn Jones Gould, president of MKJ Marketing, on behalf of The Leader to share his unique perspective on what has helped his firm continue to flourish over the years.

He says his success can be partially attributed to his desire to never stop learning, despite already being in the industry for decades.

“I wanted to make sure we were on the cutting edge and leading the community with the latest things in funeral service. You just can’t stop and sit back and say this is good enough. You’ve got to keep trying to improve and offer new services,” he said.

Wappner says he’s also trying to give the families more options for personalization, including offering engraving services.

“We wanted to offer some cremation products that we don’t see out there at other funeral homes, even monument dealers – and offer them right in house. They’ve got to be personalized. The old sandblasting doesn’t catch the new millennials and next generation – they want it really to be snappy and personalized – and laser engraving does that,” Wappner said.

Watch the video below to hear more of Wappner’s thoughts as a leader in the industry.

We’re profiling leaders in the deathcare industry to gather their ideas and insights. Do you want to be featured or know someone who should be profiled? Email us at

Watch our interview with Bill Wappner

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