An Interview with Monument Counselor, Damian Smith

Setting a Memory in Stone

Having a flat grave marker or monument created are two ways to represent a loved one’s final resting place. Although with more people preferring to be cremated, not everyone finds it necessary to have a flat grave marker or monument made. For those who are interested in these options, here is a brief introduction to grave markers and monuments.

Grave markers are flat bronze plaques that are installed on a granite stone base for the purpose of identifying the deceased. Monuments are upright for the same identification purpose. There are many different styles and types of flat grave markers and monuments available, with different designs, granite options, and personalization options. Because monuments provide more space, more can be personalized in terms of shape, size, and inscription. Whether you choose one over the other, it is a sure way to show that the deceased was loved and continues to be remembered.

Monument Counselor of Our Culpeper Chapel, Damian Smith

Damian has been in the funeral industry since 2010. He joined Found and Sons Culpeper Chapel in November 2014 as a Funeral Assistant, Crematory Operator, and Monument Counselor. He is a native of Richmond and currently resides in Madison County with his wife, Trinity, and son, Noah. Damian is a funeral service intern with hopes of completing his funeral service education in the near future.

How long have you been a Monument Counselor at Found and Sons?

I began my career in the funeral industry in November 2010. My first 4 years were in Louisa and I have been with Found and Sons close to 6 years. I have been a Monument Counselor for about 4 years.

What type of monuments do you tend to recommend to families and why?

All of the monuments we sell are granite, but the finishes vary. The finish that I recommend the most is a polished face because they are the standard base. That finish helps protect and preserve the stone over time and environmental changes.

What’s the most rewarding part of the process when helping families with their monuments?

The most rewarding part of the process is when I am able to meet with the family to learn more about them and what their loved one enjoyed in life. Once I have that information, I then create a proof of the monument to share with the family. It’s nice to see a family’s reaction when they are satisfied with the proof. It’s rewarding to capture the essence of a person and create something that will last for years to come.

What’s the most elaborate monument that you were able to assist a family with?

My favorite monument that I’ve had the honor to work on is the monument that I made for Cynthia Godfrey. I arrived at the home of Cynthia Godfrey after her passing, and quickly noticed a beautiful wall border of trees and leaves that Cynthia had painted. That inspired the design of the monument. I presented the proof to her daughter, Christi, and she loved it. I’m glad that I was able to assist by incorporating the design into the monument.

What is one common misconception that families have when it comes to having a monument made?

A lot of the families do not realize there are rules and regulations at each cemetery with regards to size, height, placement, and what is on the monument. I often find that they are unaware of how creative we can be when designing the monument.

If there was one thing that you could tell a family about monuments, what would it be?

One thing I would like to emphasize to families is the importance of patience. When ordering a monument, there is a turn around time of 3 months from the date it is approved. If you are in a position to plan ahead in regard to designing and ordering a monument, then I would encourage you to do so.

Is there anything else that you would like to inform people about?

Monuments are not limited to gravesites. Monuments can also be placed at residential entrances, parks, business storefronts, possibilities are endless. Come meet with me and together we can think outside the box to create something unique to you or your business.

Do you work closely with the VFW, American Legion, Sheriff’s Departments, and Cemeteries?

I work closely with the VFW, American Legion, Sheriff’s Departments, and Cemeteries on both a personal and professional level. Found and Sons donates to all of these organizations. Most recently I created a monument for Emergency Services. We are working closely with the VFW on a monument for the near future.

When you aren’t assisting with families or helping families with monuments, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I spend time with my family. Metal detecting is my most enjoyable hobby when I am away from work. I look forward to finding relics and researching the objects to learn more about them and that time period.

What is one quote that you have lived by?

“Treat others as you would like to be treated.” I may not always follow through, but it is something that I try to live by daily.

To see more monuments by Damian on our website or to set up an appointment, click here. We look forward to assisting you in creating a monument that best represents your loved one.











A beautiful customized monument that is set in Fairview Cemetery in Culpeper, VA.















Granite Stone Options for Monuments