Founder Holly Pruett
I’m Holly Pruett. I bring people together to help prepare for, live with, and talk about death.
Life-Cycle Celebrant, Home Funeral Guide, Conversation Leader & Consultant
- I work with families and communities to create unique, personalized ceremonies that support bereavement and remembrance, including supporting families to care for their dead at home.
- Since early 2013 I’ve served as principal organizer of PDX Death Café, acknowledged as the largest death café across 30+ countries. I’ve led Death Cafes at restaurants, libraries, hospice programs, community centers, college reunions, and a music festival.
- I led the successful 500-person, 10-hour day of programming Death:OK, Let’s Talk About It, held in Portland, Oregon in 2015.
- I volunteer as a facilitator with Oregon Humanities’ Talking About Dying conversation program.
- For 30 years I served the community through local, state, and national non-profit organizations as a community organizer, executive director, and consultant.
- My principal teachers in this work have been the deaths I have attended; I’ve written extensively about my father and my dear friend Marcy Westerling, among others. My work with Lynda Martin-McCormick on her husband’s home funeral was featured in a short video: Death DIY.
- I’m a writer with a popular blog on meaningful celebrations and commemorations; I serve as a frequent source for the media.
Education & Professional Training
- Three+ years of study with Stephen Jenkinson, MTS, MSW at his Orphan Wisdom School in the Ottawa Valley, Canada
- Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying & Bereavement by the Association for Death Education & Counseling
- Certified in Funerals and Ceremonies for Children and Families by the Celebrant Foundation & Institute and as a Home Funeral Guide by Final Passages
- Ordained interfaith minister
- Master’s degree from the Leadership Institute of Seattle; BA in history from Reed College
Holly is available to:
- Design and officiate customized rituals and ceremonies for individuals, families, organizations, and communities
- Provide public speaking, media interviews, and training on a range of topics related to how we die, how we mourn, and how we remember our dead
- Advise organizations and communities on designing and producing community conversation events
- Support new practitioners, inquire about monthly group informational interviews or personal consultation