Proko-Wall offers answers to frequently asked questions about funeral services, cremation, preplanning a funeral, celebrations of life, grief, aftercare, and funeral etiquette. Please email us at [email protected] if you have a question that was not covered below:


Do you offer cremation merchandise?

Proko-Wall Funeral Home & Crematory is proud to offer the Green Bay area’s largest selection of cremation merchandise. Our selection room offers many choices of in-stock urns, from breath-taking, one-of-a-kind, pieces of art ready for display in your home, to the sturdiest of urns suitable for burial. And we have the perfect sized urn for every need. Should you require a small urn suitable for keepsakes, or a companion urn for the couple who will not be apart, even in death, you will find it in our selection room. Many urns can even be personalized or engraved in time for your loved one’s memorial service.

And for those who want something different? Something extraordinary? Proko-Wall also offers keepsake jewelry, memory stones, Christmas ornaments, blown glass pieces, Rock & Water landscaping urns, clocks, touchstones, and is the exclusive provider for Lifegem in the area. Should you desire that special something as unique as your loved one, Thumbie jewelry is available in an array of selections and sizes.

Feel free to stop in and tour our selection room during normal business hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday) or call 468-4111 to make an appointment. A small selection of merchandise is available for viewing on this website.

And if you cannot find something perfect already in stock, our knowledgeable staff is ready to assist you in custom ordering the ideal tribute from a large selection of reputable vendors. Feel secure in allowing us to handle the details for you.

Do you offer rental caskets for cremation?

Proko-Wall Funeral Home & Crematory is proud to offer not only rental caskets, but also the Green Bay area’s largest inventory of alternative containers, cremation containers, and caskets suitable for cremation.  First, it is important to know that a casket is not required for cremation.  However, many families wish to have their loved one cremated following a traditional funeral service.  Proko-Wall Funeral Home offers rental caskets in oak or cherry, and also provides a plus-sized rental casket for a person of larger stature.  Rental caskets have a solid wooden shell, which looks exactly like a regular casket, but the inside of the casket is removed from the shell with every use.  Your loved one remains in the inside container for the cremation process.

Proko-Wall also offers solid wood cremation containers and a selection of traditional caskets suitable for cremation for the family that does not want to use a rental casket.  Some of these caskets can be personalized to celebrate the life of your loved one in a special way.

For those who wish to have a memorial service where no casket will be present, Proko-Wall Funeral Home offers a selection of alternative containers to suit your cremation needs.  Many families opt to purchase an urn for the memorial service and the funeral home offers an inventory of urns second to none.

No matter if you wish to have a traditional funeral service or a memorial service with cremation, Proko-Wall Funeral Home & Crematory has the perfect merchandise on hand to fit your needs.  Please feel free to stop in and take a tour of our selection room.

I am Roman Catholic. What do I need to know about cremation?

The Catholic Church does allow for cremation as a method of final disposition, unless cremation was selected for anti-Christian motives. However, the Church does have guidelines for the Catholic Funeral Rite that families should be aware of. The traditional Catholic Rite includes an evening of visitation with a parish wake service, the Mass of Christian Burial (also called a funeral mass), and the rite of committal. Proko-Wall Funeral Home in Green Bay offers a wide range of services and merchandise for a traditional funeral or a memorial service for those families desiring cremation.

Even when cremation is chosen, the Church prefers that the body of the deceased be present for the funeral services. Families would gather at the funeral home for an evening of visitation and a parish wake service, go to church the next day for a funeral mass, and go to the cemetery or mausoleum for the rite of committal after the cremation has taken place. In order to best accommodate families desiring cremation and a traditional funeral service, Proko-Wall Funeral Home offers a large assortment of rental caskets and wooden caskets suitable for cremation.

If the body is not able to be viewed due to the manner of death, the Church does allow for a funeral mass to be said in the presence of the cremated remains (commonly called ashes) rather than the body. The cremated remains are to be treated with the same dignity and respect that the human body is. The Church states that the cremated remains are to be buried in a cemetery, entombed in a mausoleum or buried at sea. Scattering would not be an option in the Catholic rite. Proko-Wall Funeral Home offers a wide range of urns for families choosing to have a memorial service. Remember to purchase an urn specific to burial, entombment, or burial at sea, as regulations for each may differ based on the cemetery or mausoleum.

Contact our staff at 920-468-4111. We will work with your priest or pastoral associate to answer any other questions that you have about the Roman Catholic Church and cremation.

I have decided on cremation. Can I still have a funeral or a viewing?

Some people believe it is not possible to have a funeral or a viewing with cremation, but think of cremation the same way as you would about burial or entombment…it is how our bodies are respectfully placed to rest after the services we desire. Proko-Wall Funeral Home & Crematory offers many options to those in the greater Green Bay area wishing to be cremated but still desiring to have a viewing for their loved ones. And remember, Proko-Wall offers the advantage of having an on-site crematory, ensuring the security and peace of mind of never having to leave our care.

The most popular choice for those wishing to have a viewing with cremation is the use of a rental casket. The rental caskets at Proko-Wall are beautiful hardwood shells with interior liners that are replaced after every funeral. Your remains stay in the liner, and that liner is what your body is cremated in. This option affords your human remains the dignity and privacy deserved. Any personal effects placed in the liner by your loved ones remain with you, undisturbed. Those attending the visitation would never know the difference between a rental casket and a purchased casket. (Rental casket liners are not accepted by local cemeteries or mausoleums.)

Should you desire a casket of your own, the funeral home offers a large selection of wooden alternative containers and caskets suitable for cremation in a wide price range. Remember though, Wisconsin law does not require that you purchase a casket for cremation.

These options allow you to have a service that celebrates the uniqueness of your life, allows your loved ones the opportunity for a final goodbye, and maintains your personal wishes and values.

My loved one wants their ashes scattered. What are my options?

The first step is to make sure that scattering is permitted by local laws and ordinances. Once this is ascertained, there are many possibilities.

Should your loved one want to be in or near the water, the funeral home offers water urns that will float for a short time before descending into a favorite lake or river. This affords time for a prayer or poem to be said while releasing the cremated remains. Some will use a trowel to carve a heart or circle into the beach, sprinkle the ashes into the sand, and allow the tide to slowly take the ashes. And some ocean lovers are having their urns taken to reefs to rejuvenate the marine habitat.

For those who love the open air, some professional pyrotechnicians offer a service where ashes can be made into fireworks, allowing a visual extravaganza to conclude a memorial service. Private pilots also offer aerial scattering over a favorite location, such as the family cottage or favorite sports stadium.

For the land lover, there are also many options. A popular choice is trenching a circle, filling the trench with the cremated remains, and planting a rose bush or tree in the circle. A rake can be used to mix ashes with earth along a favorite path or in a memorial garden. And some will choose to let the wind scatter the ashes.

However, let us end with a word of caution. Once the ashes are scattered, they cannot be recovered. It is possible to scatter some of the ashes, yet keep some in a place of permanence, allowing loved ones a place to visit and reflect that will always be accessible. Proko-Wall offers keepsake urns and keepsake jewelry if a family wishes to only keep a minute portion. And birdbaths, sundials and memorial rocks are available should a family want a portable but sturdy outdoor memorial.

Please talk to our staff about what will best work for your loved one.

What if I want simply cremation?

While it is possible to have a traditional funeral service or memorial service when choosing cremation, some families prefer simply cremation. Proko-Wall Funeral Home a number of different packages for those desiring simply cremation in the greater Green Bay area. Our direct cremation, basic cremation, and assisted not conducted packages offer families a variety of options to best fit their needs.

And, because we have an on-site crematory, you have the security of knowing your loved one never leaves our care. All packages include the basic services of the funeral director and staff, transfer of the deceased to our funeral home and crematory, alternate care, motor equipment, the cremation container, cremation, placement of the cremated remains into a temporary container, and all medical examiner fees for permits.

Furthermore, our staff can assist you in ways that other funeral homes or cremation businesses in the area cannot provide. Should you want a true celebration of life or end of life party, our sister business, Celebrating Life!, makes your event planning experience as easy as 1, 2, 3. Let us handle all of the details, making your event planning and celebration experience stress-free.

Why is it important to have on on-site crematory?

You may have noticed that some funeral homes have crematory in their title, and some funeral homes have cremation services in their title. At Proko-Wall Funeral Home & Crematory, we have our own on-site crematory to ensure that your loved one never leaves our care, giving all of us peace of mind. Funeral homes with cremation services in their title use an off-site crematory.

Because of our concern that all proper cremation laws and procedures be followed, funeral directors at Proko-Wall Funeral Home & Crematory are certified specialists in cremation. We strictly adhere to the Cremation Code of Ethics and are members of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Service Association, as well as the Cremation Association of North America, which provides advanced training. You can be confident that your deceased loved one is receiving dignified care in a safe, secure environment.

Our state-of-the-art equipment is meticulously maintained and we offer personal inspection for your peace of mind.

Preplanning a Funeral

What are the benefits of preplanning a funeral?

Life is a series of milestones, milestones we mark, honor and celebrate. The birth of a baby, the graduation of a child, a wedding, a retirement, all require thoughtful planning. For all these significant events, we honor the occasion and take pride in every detail.

The passing of a loved one brings sadness and grief, but it also brings the opportunity to celebrate a life well-lived. Like any other milestone, there is comfort in knowing that a plan is in place to honor and celebrate that life. And having that plan in place brings real emotional and financial benefits.

Pre-planning is a “gift” to loved ones. It enables them to focus on honoring a loved one’s life, rather than worrying about difficult decisions at a distressing time. It allows them to celebrate the life of a loved one and the memories they treasure. It gives family and friends a chance to celebrate a life together knowing they are honoring very special and sacred wishes.

For the person who pre-plans, it can bring peace of mind. It is a record of individual wishes that results in a unique service without guesswork or undue stress on the part of others. Overwhelmingly, our families agree that a funded, pre-planned funeral is a good idea and are grateful to their loved ones for easing their burden at a difficult time.

The costs of funeral services, on average, have risen 4.5 percent annually in the past 27 years. Like any other milestone, funeral arrangements can be complex and costly. Pre-planning helps assure rational, thoughtful decisions are made and helps avoid the emotional over-spending that may occur in a time of crisis and grief.

By pre-planning funeral expenses, you do more than eliminate financial strain on your family. The funeral home can also ensure that expenses are Medicaid and Social Security exempt and will be there when needed. Finally, pre-funded funeral arrangements can be transferred to any funeral home in the United States, especially helpful for the Wisconsin “snowbirds”.

Why should I preplan my funeral?

Just thinking about planning your own funeral leaves most people feeling a bit uncomfortable. However, most find that preplanning a funeral offers emotional and financial benefits, both for themselves and for their families. With preplanning, individuals find comfort in knowing that the funeral reflects their lifestyle and religious beliefs. It also gives them peace of mind knowing that their families will not have to guess at their wishes at a stressful time. Decisions can be made with level heads and confidence.

If you are considering prearranging a funeral, you should contact the staff at Proko-Wall Funeral Home. Our professional staff has many years of expertise in preplanning and can carefully walk you through the process. Simply call 920-468-4111 and ask to speak to a funeral director or a preplanning counselor.

Once you have made your confidential arrangements, we will keep a copy of the plan and any pertinent paperwork in a secure file. You should also notify your family that arrangements have been made, and where the information may be found.

Prepayment is not necessary, but if you choose to pre-fund your funeral services, there are significant financial benefits, the most important being that a nursing home could never access these accounts. This will ensure your family will never be responsible for your final expenses.

We funeral directors hear it over and over again, preplanning is one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give your family.

How can I be sure that my wishes will be followed?

Many of us have very specific ideas about what we would like for funeral or cremation services. When we prearrange our funerals, we would like some assurance that our wishes will be carried out. Previously, the law stated that the rights of the next of kin were paramount over the rights of the deceased. But a new form, called an Authorization for Final Disposition, can supersede the wishes of the next of kin.

For example, let’s say that a person wishes to be buried, but is fearful that their next of kin may want to have them cremated. The person can fill out an Authorization for Final Disposition, naming someone other than their next of kin as the person responsible for arrangements. And vice versa, should a person desire cremation, they can ensure that their wishes will be carried out by the person named in the document.

An Authorization for Final Disposition is also a good idea for people in a second marriage who wish their children to be responsible for arrangements, for someone who has a significant other but is not married, for someone with no children, for someone with children out of town who wishes to take the pressure off of them as they travel back for services, or for those with many children who wish only one or two to be in charge of arrangements.

The Authorization for Final Disposition is a legal document that must be filled out completely and correctly in order to be legally binding. For those in the Green Bay area, it can be obtained at Proko-Wall Funeral Home. Our funeral directors and prearrangement staff are willing to assist you with drafting the document and putting your wishes down in a confidential record. Call 920-468-4111 to set up an appointment. Have peace of mind knowing your wishes will be followed.

Should I buy travel insurance when pre-planning a funeral?

Basic health insurance plans and even Medicare do NOT offer coverage that addresses dying away from home. It’s the last thing you would ever plan during a vacation, but the financial and logistic burden of dealing with a death away from home can be staggering.

Thankfully, there is a way to give yourself and your loved ones lasting peace of mind with MASA TRS (Transport & Relocation Solutions). MASA covers both the expense and logistics of transporting your body if the unexpected were to occur while traveling 75 miles or more away from home.

Getting started is easy! Submit membership information. Submit your one-time membership fee. Receive your Out of Area Protection Plan membership card and you’ll enjoy peace of mind anywhere you travel.

Whether on a day trip or traveling the world, MASA TRS makes sure you’re never far from home and your loved ones are spared from unnecessary financial and emotional pain. Call Proko-Wall today to make your appointment with Barb Holford at 468-4111.

Is There a Fee to Preplan my Funeral

There is no fee for meeting with our preneed counselor to plan your funeral or celebration of life in advance.  At Proko-Wall, we feel strongly that this service is so important that it should be provided to our families at no charge.  Some people will opt to set up an irrevocable funeral trust in order to pay for their funeral expenses in the future, but some opt to only record important information in a file held at the funeral home.  Barb Holford can meet with you at Proko-Wall Funeral Home located at 1630 E. Mason St. in Green Bay, or in your home if that is more convenient.  Please call 920-468-4111 to make an appointment.

Celebration of Life

What if I want a party and not a funeral?

Proko-Wall Funeral Home & Crematory, in conjunction with former Seize the Day event planner Peggy George, is now offering Celebrating Life Unique Funeral Events to honor the deceased that are as unique as the lives that they lived. Staff will assist you with choosing the venue, menu, and theme for your personal tribute.

Themes range from gardening to motorcycles… from football to baking… from gambling to golf. We have partnered with the most interesting locales in the area such as VanderVest, the National Railroad Museum, Sepia, Heritage Hill, and the Green Bay Botanical Gardens, and can provide catering ranging from desserts and coffee to a sit-down meal. Relax while we iron out the details to make your celebration a memory-making event.

Celebrating Life is also available to families who wish to add a unique twist to a traditional funeral service. Contact the funeral home at 92-468-4111 for more information.


How can I support my friend who is grieving?

When a friend, a family member, or a co-worker is grieving, we often have anxiety over what to say or do to ease their pain. We want to say the right thing, and provide comfort, but wonder if we are doing too much or not enough. We may be uncomfortable with the raw emotions we may encounter, or feel helpless to alleviate their loss. However, just the gift of caring presence is often a tremendous comfort for someone who has lost a loved one.

While each situation is unique, and every loss is different, most people are appreciative if we just let them know we are thinking of them. A simple “I am so sorry.” goes a long way. Be okay with reactions such crying or anger. It is not your job to make someone feel better, you cannot. Their grief is a process that will continue. But you can lighten their load.

Let people know that they have been on your mind, but avoid phrases such as “I know how you feel.” Encourage them to talk about their loved one and say their loved one’s name. A grieving person needs friends who are willing to listen to them, cry with them, and tell stories about the loved one they have lost.

Avoid phrases like “Let me know if you need anything.” Grieving people will probably not make that call. Find creative ways to be a physical presence for your friend. Do some laundry, bring a meal, mow a lawn, schedule a visit, play a game of cards, take them for a ride or a movie. Widowers especially tell us that weekends and evenings are very lonely times. And the healing power of hugs should not be underestimated.

Remember that in today’s society we want to rush people through the grieving process. Grief is not over after the funeral, it is just beginning. Continue to check in on your friend in the weeks and months to come. After the initial hustle and bustle, your friend will need the most support after most people have returned to their everyday lives. Little things can go a long way to easing your friends transition throughout the difficult process of finding their new normal.

How do Deal with Losing your Spouse as a Senior

Losing a spouse is a monumental change in your life. You’ve spent decades with this person, and when they leave, you’ll enter a state of mourning as you feel grief and sorrow. Knowing what to do and who to turn to can help ease some of the distress you feel.

How You’ll Feel

You may feel numb, shocked, and scared when the loss first occurs. Don’t be alarmed if you feel guilty for being the one who is still alive or if feelings of anger arise because your spouse left you. Different people mourn in different ways, and all of these feelings are normal.

Grief can bring on emotional and physical pain. Tears may easily come to your eyes, and you may have trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, and difficulty concentrating and making decisions. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms in the early stages of grief. It can be so bad that if feels like the flu and can make daily tasks difficult. You may have feelings of loneliness or isolation where you feel like you’re not connected to the world or to anyone around you.

What to Do

At first, you’ll be busy taking care of details and keeping busy, and you’ll be surrounded by family and friends. However, after a few weeks, things will settle down and people will return to their normal schedules, while you’ll likely have to fully face the change in your life. How can you handle this abrupt change and immense grief you feel?

Remember to take good care of yourself. Ensure you’re getting adequate sleep and exercise. Eating a well-balanced diet is important. You may lose interest in cooking and eating. Try having lunch or dinner with friends or turning the radio or TV on during meals.

Having something to occupy your time in a positive way is helpful. Take a walk with a neighbor, volunteer somewhere, or spend time with your grandchildren. Take a cooking class or exercise class. Join a singing group or bowling league. There are many ways to productively spend your time.

Where to Turn

Sometimes talking with people who are going through the same thing as you is helpful, so consider joining a grief support group. Check with hospitals, religious communities, and local agencies to see if any support groups meet near you. Other members who are further along in the grieving process may be able to offer helpful ideas based on their own experiences.

Many people dealing with the loss of a spouse find support in grief counseling or grief therapy. In grief therapy, you’ll learn effective ways to cope with the stressors associated with the loss of your spouse. You’ll also learn ways to manage the symptoms using techniques such as relaxation or meditation.

Other Considerations

Although it’s not imperative in the beginning, eventually you’ll need to ensure your legal and financial affairs reflect the change in your life. Once your spouse passes, writing a new will and an advance directive become necessities. Put joint property, such as your house or car, solely in your name. Also, check with your health, life, car, and homeowner’s insurance to ask about changes you might need to make.

Whenever you feel up to do it, go through your spouse’s clothes and other personal items. To help you sort and to make the process less stressful, ask your children or a friend to help. Consider gifting other family members with a special piece of clothing, watch, favorite book, or picture. If you’re ready to pass on heirlooms, be sure to handle them properly and protect them from becoming damaged.

Losing a spouse is one of the hardest things you can go through in life. Experiencing sorrow, shock, anger, fear, and many other feelings is a normal part of the grieving process. Take care of your health, and don’t be afraid to reach out to support groups or mental health professionals. As each day passes, the intense pain will lessen. You’ll still miss your spouse, and there will be good and bad days. Eventually, you’ll experience more good days than bad, and you’ll find yourself enjoying life again.

Author: Jackie Waters (

What are some tips for making it through the holidays while grieving?

Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and Chanukah, as well as birthdays and anniversaries, can be extremely difficult for those who have experienced the death of a loved one. The perceived joy and happiness that everyone seems to be experiencing may only intensify the sadness, grief and loneliness felt by the bereaved. However, with a little planning, the holiday season may be less painful.

First of all, we must realize that it is okay to be sad or anxious during the upcoming season. Our grief may manifest itself as loneliness, anger, guilt or fear. Or we may feel headaches, a change in sleeping patterns, a change in eating patterns, a loss of energy or a surge in energy. All of these are normal and may be exaggerated during the holidays. And remember that it is okay to cry. Tears are healing and cathartic.

And secondly, we must give ourselves permission to feel joy. Feeling good, laughing, and relaxing are in no way disrespectful to our loved ones.

We must set limitations on what we are able to handle this year, and decide what traditions may need to be tabled for a year or two. Are we going to put a tree up? Are we going to cook and bake? Are we going to midnight services? Are we going to shop? It is okay to alter traditions for a year, or to end some traditions altogether. Give yourself permission to do what you want or what you can, and to exclude what you can’t.

Finally, take some time to memorialize our loved ones. Light a candle for them or purchase a gift for them and then donate it to charity or offer a special prayer for them. Maybe make a special trip to the cemetery. Put an empty stocking out and tell visitors to write their favorite memory down and tuck it in the stocking. While these activities may bring some tears, these activities can be a source of comfort and strength.

Hopefully, these tips will help make your holiday season a little less painful than you anticipated.

Coping with a Terminal Illness

Handling a Loved One’s Terminal Illness with Compassion and Care by L. Rosetti

When someone you love is ill, life is always a bit disrupted. When you learn that an illness is terminal, life can feel completely and suddenly derailed. Terminal illness can turn grief into a more complex process, but you can honor yourself and honor your loved one for a lifetime by following a few kinds words of advice.

Dealing with the Diagnosis

A fatal diagnosis can leave all involved with a mixed bag of strong emotions. The person who is ill, as well as family members, are likely to feel shocked and afraid. Depending on your relationship with that person, you may feel the same numbness, as well as anxiety and guilt. During this initial stage, it’s important for you and your loved one to be able to speak honestly about your feelings. Talk about your fears, but above all, let each other know how much you care. You may also want to consult a therapist or counselor to help guide you all through these tough conversations. By taking care of your mental health from the beginning, you will be better prepared for what lies ahead.

Planning for What’s to Come

Coping with the terminal illness of someone close to you can bring on an avalanche of emotions, but it’s important to take some time to make necessary legal and end-of-life arrangements. Help your loved one go through their finances and put together a will, if necessary. This is also a time to have tough talks about items such as living wills and funeral arrangements. Dealing with these details now will help relieve a great deal of stress when it comes time to actually carry out these wishes.

Caring for Your Loved One

From the beginning of the diagnosis, you’ll want to determine what role you’ll play in caring for and supporting your loved one. How much time are you comfortable giving? What are the wishes of your loved one? Finally, how would you like to be cared for if the situation was reversed. “After all, that’s what it’s all about: caring for your loved one and treating him or her as you would want to be treated,” says HomeAdvisor. “As long as we show kindness and compassion to our loved ones throughout the process, they will be able to say goodbye with the dignity they deserve.”

Caring for Yourself

As expected, taking care of your loved one is your first priority but you can’t forget to take care of yourself as well. You likely will not be able to manage the intense level of care a terminal illness requires, so take some time to find someone to provide palliative care. Maintain a healthy diet and get out for some exercise and fresh air as much as you can. Try to avoid using alcohol or other substances to dull your pain. Many addictions begin with users who cope with grief and loss by drinking or getting high, so try to find healthy outlets for your distress and anxiety.

Saying Goodbye

There are so many elements of terminal illness, but, of course, the hardest part is the last: letting go. The last bit of time may seem like a roller coaster, with days of marked improvement and days of clear deterioration. The final days of your loved one’s life are going to be difficult for everyone involved, but they also present an opportunity many who deal with death never get: the chance to resolve issues and really say goodbye. This is the time for true honesty. Once your loved one is gone, you can carry out their final wishes with a clear mind and closure on the relationship you shared.

No one is ever ready to let go of the ones they love, and it’s always hard to hear that loved one has a terminal illness. It’s important to be there for your loved one and be prepared for the tough journey that lies ahead, for you all. Nothing can take away your pain, but we hope this advice can at least make your battle a little less daunting.

Common Questions

Do you offer thumprint jewelry?

Proko-Wall Funeral Home offers a variety of keepsake jewelry, made all the more special because it contains the fingerprint of your loved one. Many people find great comfort in these pieces that remind us how our lives have been “touched” by another.

Legacytouch Keepsakes carry dog tags, rings,lockets, pendants, charms, and urn pendants all with a turn around time of 24 hours.

Meadowhill Thumbies provide everything everything Legacytouch does, and can also provide charms, urns, pocket knives, lighters, money clips, tip tacks, earrings and key fobs. Thumbies can also be made with more than one print, so a husband and wife could be memorialized together. And Thumbies can be made with a child’s hand or footprint for those who have experienced the death of a child. Turnaround time for the Meadowhill pieces is usually 4 to 6 weeks.

Most metal pieces are able to be engraved, and some allow the addition of a birthstone. Metals available include bronze, sterling silver, and gold. All of this allows you to make your piece as individual as your loved one.

Memorial Glass offers blown glass with the imprint of your loved one’s fingerprint. A myriad of colors and sizes are available.

Stop into Proko-Wall and take a look at the many options of handcrafted beautiful keepsakes that will offer comfort for years to come.

Other than sending flowers, how can I express my sympathy?

Flowers are a welcome addition to most funeral services, memorial services or celebrations of life. Families are touched by the beauty and comfort they add to the ceremony. However, there are times that we wish to do something different to let the family know we are there for them. Friends of the family are welcome to send wind chimes, garden benches, garden stones, or bird baths to a visitation. Proko-Wall does provide equipment suitable to display these items. You can find a list of florists who can provide these items on the funeral home website under related businesses.

Proko-Wall also keeps a large inventory of memorial items. Candles, picture frames, fountains, framed inspirational readings, garden rocks, and memorial clocks are immediately available. The funeral home staff can put together a memorial video for you with cherished photos. Stop into the funeral home to see what is available.

There are times that someone in the family is allergic to flowers. In this case, silk arrangements may be a welcome addition so that the family might experience the beauty of flowers without the sensitivity. Proko-Wall does offer two silk casket sprays for those with extreme sensitivity to floral arrangements, or for anyone who likes the simplicity of silk. Of course, wind chimes or garden memorabilia are also appropriate in these circumstances.

Some people may want to offer comfort with food. Fruit bouquets, a meal for the family, or snacks for the visitation are other ways to let the family know that you are thinking of them. The funeral home does have a lounge with outlets for crock pots and a full-sized refrigerator for snacks during visitations. Of course, the coffee pot is always on! Check out the Sympathy Store on our website for gourmet meals delivered directly to the home of the family.

If you would like to make a monetary gift, you could make a donation to the deceased’s favorite charity, or, in the case of a Catholic, have masses said. If the family requests donations to a memorial fund, but does not list a specific fund, make the check out to the family member that you know, and they can deposit it in the memorial fund for you. It is very difficult for the family to cash a check made out to the deceased, or to the estate of the deceased if no estate account is going to be established. Proko-Wall does have envelopes available in order to leave a gift of money for the family.

Regardless of how you express sympathy, the gift of your presence is always welcome. Many times being present is the greatest gift that you can give.

What do I need to know about organ donation?

Many families who have lost a loved one find comfort in knowing that others are able to live a more comfortable and productive life as the result of organ and tissue donation. Although the decision is difficult, the rewards are great. Many times, families struggle with the decision to donate simply because they don’t know what their loved one wanted.

The easiest way to make these decisions is if you and your family have discussed donation previously. Express to your family your willingness to be a donor if the circumstances allow it. You can also personally register with the Wisconsin Donor Registry by going to or by visiting any of the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles locations who would be happy to assist you with the registration process. However, even if you have not discussed donation previously, the next of kin is still able to give permission for donation after the death of their loved one.

Organs that can be donated include the heart, lungs, liver, pancreas, and kidneys. A single donor can save the lives of 7 people. Tissues that can be donated include skin, corneas, bone, heart valves, tendons, and veins which may be used for transplant, therapy, research or education. You are able to restrict what tissues are recovered and what their uses may be however most donors choose to maximize the gift. A single donor can benefit over 50 people.

There is no cost to the family for donation and by law no compensation may be received. Organ and tissue donation will not interfere with funeral services, whether it be open-casket visitation, memorial services, burial, or cremation. Proko-Wall Funeral Home does not charge a fee to the family for donation and works closely with the Lions Eye Bank of Wisconsin (LEBW), Versiti Organ and Tissue, SightLife and American Tissue Services Foundation. In fact, our facility can be utilized by the tissue recovery teams in the Greater Green Bay Area ensuring your loved one never has to leave our care.

What is the difference between a memorial service and a funeral service?

When reading obituaries, you may notice that some services are referred to as funeral services and others, as memorial services. Traditionally speaking, a funeral service implies that the deceased will be present in a casket at the service. A memorial service implies that the body of the deceased will not be present for the service. However, many people use memorial and funeral interchangeably in describing services.

Both types of services allow loved ones to gather in a supportive atmosphere to celebrate the life of the deceased and acknowledge sorrow at their passing. Some people feel that being able to say goodbye by seeing their loved one further affirms that the death has occurred. At some memorial services, an urn may be present, at others, pictures or favorite items of the deceased may be the focal point.

The emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of every family are different. Allow the staff of Proko-Wall Funeral Home & Crematory to assist you in planning a funeral service or memorial service to best celebrate the life of your loved one.

What should I know about caskets?

Most people know very little about caskets, and therefore, purchasing a casket for a loved one can cause a great deal of anxiety. So, let’s begin with the basics. The word casket simply means a case or chest for something valuable. Indeed, one should say, invaluable. Caskets can be used for burial, entombment, or cremation. The staff at Proko-Wall is aware of the requirements for all local cemeteries, mausoleums, and crematories.

A casket is usually made of wood or of metal. Wooden caskets are crafted much like fine furniture. They are made of either solid wood or veneers from pine, oak, cherry, birch, poplar, walnut, or mahogany and vary in price much like furniture does. For example, a solid oak casket will cost more than a veneer oak casket. People will often choose a wood casket if they worked with wood, enjoyed the outdoors, or just like the warmth of a certain species of wood.

Metal caskets also vary in their composition. Most are manufactured from gauged steel, but stainless steel, copper, and bronze caskets are also available. And, metal caskets will vary in price according to the thickness of the gauge or weight of the semi-precious metal that are composed of. People will often choose a metal casket because of the large variety of colors they come in or because of their durability.

Some caskets are able to be personalized with a favorite colored lining, or some other detail that makes it uniquely your own. From an eagle to an angel, from deer to a putting green, from a rosary to praying hands, many choices exist to allow you to make your casket perfect. Come visit the selection room at Proko-Wall Funeral Home to view many personalization options. Proko-Wall Funeral Home & Crematory offers the largest selection of caskets and manufacturers in the greater Green Bay area, including Mikota Casket, a locally owned company.

And, as a side note, many times people ask the difference between a casket and a coffin. Coffins were oblong boxes, often widest at the shoulders, while caskets are rectangular. However, the words casket and coffin are often used interchangeably now.

Where can I find information about probate?

The Register in Probate assists the public by handling estates, guardianships, and trusts. The Brown County Register in Probate Office is located in the Brown County Courthouse at 100 S. Jefferson St. Hours of operation are from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday excluding holidays. The phone number for the office is 920-448-4275.

The following website is extremely helpful for those with questions on wills, those dying without a will, and estates under $50,000.

Why do we need to provide a social security number?

During the arrangement conference the funeral director will ask for the social security number of your loved one. The purpose of this is two-fold. First, the information is needed for the death certificate, but secondly, the funeral director will notify the Social Security Administration of the death. Remember, the family should still contact the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 to apply for any benefits. You can also access their website at The local office is located at 1561 Dousman Street in Green Bay and their direct line is 920-433-3904.

Here is a list of family members who usually qualify for benefits: widows or widowers age 60 or older, widows or widowers at any age if caring for the deceased’s child who are under the age of 16 or are disabled, divorcees age 60 or older if they had been married to the deceased for 10 years or more, widows or widowers, or divorcees of 50 years of age or older if they are disabled, children up to the age of 18, children 18-19 if they are in elementary or high school full time, and children over the age of 18 if they became disabled before the age of 22. If the parents of the deceased are age 62 or older and they had been supported by the deceased, they may be eligible for a benefit.

In addition to these benefits, a one-time payment of $255 may be paid to a spouse or child if they are eligible for the previous benefits and living with the deceased at the time of death. This payment will not be made if there is not an eligible child or spouse.

The Social Security Administration may require the deceased’s social security number, proof of earnings for the past year, a birth certificate for the person applying for benefit, a marriage certificate, a divorce decree, and/or the social security numbers of those eligible for benefits in order to process the request.

Also, if your loved one was receiving Social Security benefits, any checks which arrive after death will need to be returned to the Social Security Administration. If the deceased was receiving the benefit by direct deposit, remember to notify their bank.

Why do we have funerals?

For thousands of years, the funeral ritual has helped us make sense out of an important life event, the death of a loved one.

When we experience a death of someone we care about, a funeral service, memorial service or life celebration provides for several important needs. First and foremost, it fills the immediate need of dignified and respectful care of our loved one by trusted professionals.

Equally as important are the needs of the survivors. Funeral services help us acknowledge the reality that someone we love has died and allow us to express our sadness in a safe environment. A funeral allows us to say goodbye, honoring the person who has died while celebrating a life well-lived.

Furthermore, a funeral service provides a support system of family and friends who can mourn with us, comfort and support us. It has often been said that a grief shared is a grief diminished.

Finally, the funeral reminds us that even as we reflect on the meaning of life and death, life goes on, even providing hope for the living and a sense of continuity to our common journey.

What should I bring to the funeral home for an arrangement conference?

If your loved one has preplanned their funeral or has a funeral trust, please bring your copies to the arrangement conference. The funeral director will review the information with you and make sure everything is current. If there is a funeral trust, it is the funeral director’s responsibility to access the trust for payment. If no preplanning has taken place, do not worry. The Proko-Wall staff will expertly assist you with all aspects of funeral arranging.

During the arrangement conference, the funeral director will be gathering the information for the death certificate. It would be helpful to have the deceased’s legal name, address, birthday, social security number, parents’ names, place of birth, spouse’s name, normal occupation, military service record and years of education readily available.

If you plan on having the funeral home publish an obituary in a newspaper, the funeral director will be asking for a list of survivors and a photo (or photos) of the deceased. The funeral director is adept at helping you fine-tune your obituary to make it a worthy tribute for your loved one.

If you plan on having a visitation, please bring in the outfit you would like your loved one dressed in, including undergarments, jewelry, glasses and cosmetics.

Finally, if your loved one is a veteran and you wish to have the funeral director coordinate military honors or secure a flag, please bring in the Discharge Papers (DD214).

Some people choose to have their loved one buried or cremated with some personal mementos. It is not necessary to bring these to the arrangement conference. You will have ample time to provide these items at a later date.

Why is choosing a funeral home that belongs to Selected Independent important?

Proko-Wall Funeral Home & Crematory is a proud member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes. Proko-Wall is also the only funeral home in Green Bay to be a member. Why is that important to you?

The independent funeral homes that are members of this trade association are here to help you before, during and after your time of need. Member firms are invited into membership only after meeting rigorous selection criteria.

Firms are carefully screened for their commitment to quality, range of consumer choices, affordability and high standards. All firms are privately owned, meaning that your needs come first. They view their reputation as their most valuable asset in their community. Firms must demonstrate ongoing high standards based on feedback from the families and individuals they serve. As you can see, the criteria for membership is stingent and everything one looks for in selecting a reputable funeral home.

In addition, should your loved one pass away from home, our membership in Selected Independent allows us access to fellow firms throughout the United States, insuring that if an out of town funeral home is required, they will also adhere to the standard of excellence that you selected Proko-Wall for.

Funeral Etiquette

I am going to a memorial service. What should I wear?

Traditionally, funeral attire has been quite somber and formal. Women wore black dresses and men wore dark colored suits, white shirts and a tie. And just as society became less formal, so did funeral attire. Dresses gave way to pants suits and suits and ties became sports coats and khakis. Now, it is common to see both men and women in blue jeans and a nice shirt or sweater.

Some families request that those coming to a visitation or service dress in a certain way. If this is the case, of course you should join in. For example, the Red Hatters show their pride in bright crimson outfits. Harley-Davidson enthusiasts dress in black, orange or their biking leathers. Sports enthusiasts wear their team colors (you can never have enough green and gold in Green Bay). These tributes truly make the visitation a celebration of the life our loved one lived.

Remember, honoring your loved one and supporting the family is the most important thing you can do. Wear what you are comfortable wearing. Your presence is more important to the family than what you are wearing!

How can I express my sympathy to a friend who has lost a loved one?

There are many ways to offer express sympathy and offer support to a friend who has lost a loved one. The following are examples of how to help in the days and weeks following the death. The simple act of attending a visitation or funeral service is a gift of presence, letting your friend know that you are there for them. Please sign the guest book and provide your full address to make it easier your friend to send thank you cards. Sending a letter or card letting your friend know that you are aware of their emotional difficulties is another way to express sympathy. Messages of “I am sorry for your loss”, “I’m thinking of you”, or “I will miss him” acknowledge the pain and loss and remind the bereaved that they are loved. A traditional way to offer support in a time of loss is sending flowers. Flowers, plants, chimes, benches and statuary lend beauty to a service and may be brought home after the service to be enjoyed for days, months, or even years to come. A gift to a memorial fund or a gift of money to the family is another way to express sympathy. Check the obituary to see if the family has a favorite charity, otherwise memorial fund envelopes are usually present at the service. As grief saps both emotional and physical energy, doing the laundry, cutting the lawn or shoveling the sidewalk, making a meal or grocery shopping may be overwhelming to your friend. Offering to complete everyday tasks is much appreciated.

As the weeks turn into months, the reality of the loss settles in and usually support from the community begins to wane. The bereaved often have the most difficult time during evening hours or on the weekend. Plan a visit, take them to a movie, make a phone call, offer to take them to church during these times. Know that your friend may say yes and then cancel, or say no and then ask if they can change their mind. Social interactions often cause anxiety for those who are grieving. Do not be afraid to bring up the name of the deceased. Those mourning usually long to hear their loved ones and continue to share their story. Acknowledge anniversaries, birthdays, and holidays with a card or a phone call.

Your friend may grieve for a long time following a death, but your expression of sympathy will be remembered, appreciated, and will help to ease their burden during the transition to their new normal.


Are there benefits for a deceased veteran?

Our veterans made great sacrifices for our beloved country, and we will help to secure any eligible benefits they desire to as part of their memorial service or funeral service.

All eligible veterans are entitled to a flag, military honors, and a Presidential Certificate. Your Proko-Wall Funeral Director will work with the State of Wisconsin Military Funeral Honors Program to coordinate a bugler for Taps, a firing detail for the gun salute, and active duty military personnel who will present the flag to the next of kin. This solemn ceremony is full of emotion and touches the hearts of all who witness it.

The funeral home staff will also secure the flag from the Brown County Veterans Service office and assist the family with applying for any other benefits the veteran may be entitled to. The phone number for the Veterans Service Office is 448-4450 and it is best to have an appointment with them. We can also provide transportation to this appointment. Remember, it is the Veterans Administration that ascertains who is eligible, and what they are eligible for based on the service record of the veteran and what veteran services they were receiving at the time of their death.

Benefits may include burial in a national or state veterans cemetery. State cemeteries include Spooner, King, and Union Grove. If the veteran is eligible for burial in the state cemetery, this benefit includes the grave space, perpetual care, a graveliner, opening and closing and the monument. Spouses, even if they are not a veteran, are able to be buried with their loved one. For those who wish to be buried in a private cemetery, the veteran may be eligible for a headstone.

Some veterans may be entitled to other monetary benefits, or may have veterans insurance. For all benefits, a DD214 is required (discharge papers), and some benefits require a certified copy of the death certificate.

It is our honor to assist you with making the funeral service of your veteran the dignified tribute they deserve.

How do I Secure Military Honors for a Funeral or Memorial Service

If your loved one was a veteran, they may be entitled to military honors for their funeral services. Please bring your loved one’s DD214 (Discharge Papers) into Proko-Wall. Your funeral director will contact the State of Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Military Funeral Honors Program in order to secure an American flag, the formal flag presentation, the playing of taps and a firing detail on your behalf. The Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, or Air Force active duty personnel will coordinate with the local Veteran Service Organizations, providing your loved one the dignified ceremony they deserve for their service to our great nation. Proko-Wall staff will also assist you with securing a Presidential Certificate and a headstone if your loved one qualifies. Weather permitting, funeral home staff will provide an avenue of flags at the funeral home while a veteran is in state. It is our honor to provide these services for our veterans.

Proko-Wall News

Searching for Recipes

Proko-Wall Funeral Home is searching for recipes for our quarterly newsletter Tomorrow. The newsletter is one of the ways that Proko-Wall offers aftercare to families who are grieving the death of a loved one and adjusting to their new normal. Recipes should be for one or two people and suitable for people who have limited skills in the kitchen. Recipes have ranged from breakfast, to smoothies, from dinner for one to a tasty dessert. Peggy George awards a $25 gift card to cooks who submit a recipe that is published. Email Peggy at peggy@prokowall or call 468-4111 to submit your recipe. Take a look at this quarter’s recipe Quick Fruit and Oak Breakfast Bake. in the Spring 2019 edition of Tomorrow available at your local church, resource center or Proko-Wall Funeral Home.

COVID 19 Updates

COVID 19 has certainly changed our day-to-day lives, and funerals are no exception. Proko-Wall remains open during these turbulent times, ready to assist you in celebrating the memory of your loved one. The staff at Proko-Wall would like to assure you that we remain committed to providing services in a safe and clean environment and offering options to best suit your family’s needs. We realize everyone has a different comfort level right now. Some families choose not to come into the funeral home at all, and arrangements can be made over the phone or the computer. Some are limiting funerals to immediate family only. Some are comfortable with the public masking and socially distancing for a visitation. The Proko-Wall staff strives to provide as many safe and flexible options as possible.

Should you be visiting the funeral home, please know that hand sanitizing stations are available throughout the building and our facility is cleaned daily. We do pay diligent attention to high-touch surfaces and have personnel manning the automatic door during visitations. While we do not have stickers on our floors, we find that people are accustomed to socially distancing, and we ask that you respect the boundaries of those around you. Please provide your own mask when entering. With patience and understanding, it is our hope we can safeguard the health of everyone who enters our doors.