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Dan Coates

Founder and Owner


I grew up in the cemetery business — my dad got into it when I was 13. He was a sales manager for the pre-arrangement side of the business, selling monuments, markers, caskets and funeral plans.

One day my dad told me why he got into this business. He’d gone out to the cemetery to check on the installation of a monument, which happened to be near a man sitting on a granite bench overlooking a grave. “This would have been our 50th wedding aniversary,” the man told my dad. Dad complimented him on the beautiful monument. “I wonder,” he said. He explained that he and his wife had talked about getting their arrangements settled ahead of time for many years, thinking that he was going to go first. “We just never got around to it. I picked this out myself and spent $6,000. The thing is, I don’t even know whether she would have liked it or not.”

My dad taught me that even though people don’t want to think about preplanning their funerals, it is critical that they do. I began in 1969, selling monuments and markers on a preneed basis. For 25 years, I worked for many family-owned cemeteries and funeral homes in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

I came to realize that there was not a single, trusted national company from which a person could purchase monuments, markers, caskets and anything else involved in burial. There were a lot of Mom and Pop stores with varying degrees of quality, protection and warrantees. It was truly a case of Buyer Beware. I saw the need for a well-organized, consumer-oriented company that would give consumers the ultimate in quality, protection, and warranty.

In 1993, my wife Karen and I founded National Memorial Planning with the mission of helping families make their memorial decisions together, before a death occurs, without the pressures of time and grief. We provide our customers with the ultimate in quality, protection and warranty in burial goods and services.

I view this profession as a calling. It is so gratifying to help people through what they consider the most difficult purchase of their lives. I have met with thousands of people over the 40 years since I’ve been in this business. I am proud to say that time and time again, our customers tell my staff and me that working with us was one of the best decisions they have ever made.



Dan Coates