The Willow Foundation provides affordable, environmentally sustainable death-care products to grieving families, allowing them to focus on the bereavement process -not the bottom line.

April 20, 2018- In her presentation, Tracy Gomillion, Adjunct Professor of Sociology and Founder of The Willow Foundation discusses how dying became a commercial enterprise, and how the rising cost of a good death is a major societal problem. She then discusses how that process can become a more affirming, meaningful and affordable experience for both the person dying and the family left behind. Tracy Gomillion is the founder of the Willow Foundation, and a social worker from the Texas hill country. Tracy has 10+ years of work/volunteer experience serving vulnerable populations. Tracy individualized her MSW program of study in preparation for leading the Willow Foundation. The title of her uniquely tailored program was: Developing a Social Venture to Improve Social and Economic Outcomes for Low Income Families and Special Populations with Mental Illness.

“Most people don’t want to die in hospitals, but most people do,” she said. Death has become so medicalized and removed from our home lives, Gomillion said. Funerals are too expensive for many families, and she sees people from across age groups wanting to reclaim control over their end-of-life issues.”  Aisha Sultan. “Write your own obit, plan your funeral: How to have a good death.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 25, 2018. The latest Post-Dispatch article in which our founder is interviewed regarding what makes a good death. 

Our founder speaks to The St. Louis Ethical Society. Check out her talk on the Ethical Society of St. Louis podcast here.

Tracy appears on Episode 423 of Stay Tuned with Casey Nolen on 9 Network! The panel discusses end of life care, aging, and death.


“People who go to Death Café meetings don’t have a morbid fascination with death, just an interest in planning and discussing end-of-life issues, said those who attended a recent meeting at Café Ventana in St. Louis. The discussions are more empowering than depressing.”  Blythe Bernhard. “Welcome to Death Cafe: A place to discuss end-of-life decisions.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 27, 2016.


Photos by David Carson.