Jacob C. Vandenberg is the Mayor of Tinley Park, Illinois. He is also an owner and President of Vandenberg Funeral Homes which operate in Tinley Park and Mokena. You can see the funeral home web-site here.
Jacob is a 4th generation funeral director and with his brother, Josh, now operates the family businesses. As if he isn’t busy enough with his work and Mayoral duties, he has taken on the duties of producing his own reality series about the death care industry entitled “Undertaker 365”.
An article from the Chicago Tribune, which you can read here, gives great detail to what Mr. Vandenberg is doing. Instead of trying to recreate the article, which is very good, I will just post some excerpts here. The following italicized script are quotes from the Chicago Tribune article.
“Undertaker 365″ is the brainchild of Jacob C. Vandenberg, president of Vandenberg Funeral Homes. The number 365 relates to the fact that like his father, grandfather and great grandfather, Vandenberg signed up for the lifestyle of funeral director, which requires working every day of the year.”
“The point of ‘Undertaker 365′ isn’t to promote Vandenberg Funeral Homes,” said the lifelong resident of Tinley Park who also happens to be the village’s mayor. “It’s to educate people about the funeral industry as a care industry.”
“Vandenberg belongs to the Illinois Funeral Director Association and the National Funeral Directors Association. His earliest memories include his father, Gary Vandenberg, being called away from holiday dinners to attend to the needs of families who’d suddenly lost loved ones.”
“To capture the never-a-day-off, never-a-dull-moment lifestyle, Undertaker 365 explores a variety of topics and situations, from estate planning and grief relief to body retrieval, embalming and cremation.”
“While Vandenberg’s transparency regarding funeral practices may seem shocking to some people, the series still conveys unwavering commitment to helping families celebrate the lives of their loved ones.”
“Because Vandenberg intends to “break some of the stereotypes about the funeral industry and make people realize morticians are not just guys in black suits and ties and white shirts,” the series also shows him kidding around with his brother Josh, who serves as general manager for Vandenberg Funeral Homes.”
Funeral Director Daily take: The article states that there are a full 16 episodes of Undertaker 365 completed and you can view any of those on YouTube here.
Here is another article and a one minute radio tease from WBBM – Chicago about the reality series.