Press & Guide: Dearborn Heights Rotary Foundation donates $25,000 to Mortuary Science scholarship endowment
This story originally appeared in the Dearborn Press & Guide.
By John Zadikian For MediaNews Group
The name of a venerable Dearborn funeral director will live on in perpetuity thanks to a scholarship endowment from the Dearborn Heights Rotary Foundation.
Club members gathered at Caroline Kennedy Library on Sept. 18 to present a $25,000 donation to Wayne State University to fund scholarships for mortuary science students. The official name of the scholarship is “The Dearborn Heights Rotary Club Scholarship for Mortuary Science in Memory of William A. 'Biff' Querfeld.” Biff Querfeld was a 1956 graduate of the program.
On hand for the check presentation were William N. Querfeld, son of Biff and the third generation family member to manage the funeral home which bears the Querfeld name; Mark Evely, Health Sciences Department Chair and Director of the Mortuary Science Program at the university; and Tim Schramm, WSU Mortuary Science Advisory Board member and owner of Howe-Peterson Funeral Home.
“The university will invest this money with other scholarships, and the interest will be used to fund a scholarship,” Evely said. “So, every year, we will have a student who receives at least $1,000 from the Querfeld scholarship so they can do an incredibly important job in the community.”
Bill Querfeld, Everly added, has agreed to be part of the selection committee choosing the recipient of the scholarship which bears his father’s name. He is also a graduate of the Wayne State Mortuary Science program, earning his credentials in 1984. The Querfeld scholarship is the 13th such financial aid award available to mortuary science students at Wayne State, which boasts a graduation rate of over 90 percent annually for the program.
Biff Querfeld was a founding member of the Dearborn Heights Rotary Club and served twice as its president. He was also a Paul Harris Fellow, and is fondly remembered by Rotarians for his culinary and sportsman skills. A 50-year licensed funeral director and son of one of one of Querfeld Funeral Home’s founding brothers, Biff died in 2007.
“I have a lot of memories with my dad and the Rotary Club, selling Christmas trees and enjoying good times,” Querfeld said. “My dad was quite involved with the club and I appreciate this opportunity.”
Forty-nine students are currently enrolled in mortuary science classes at Wayne State, where both Querfelds learned their trade. Evely noted that in recent years, more female students with no family history in the funeral business are registering for classes at the university.
“This scholarship means Biff’s name will be carried on forever, and I think this is an amazing thing you people have done,” said Schramm, a Wayne State mortuary science alumnus. “The impact he had on the Dearborn Heights Rotary Club was tremendous. Biff’s name and the Querfeld family name will go on because you have recognized him in legacy fashion.”
The Dearborn Heights Rotary Foundation was established several years ago to fund college scholarships and fund special projects. Club members are active throughout the community, building and distributing bookcases for schoolchildren, selling Goodfellows newspapers, and participating in other service-related activities.