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Michele Fiorelli-Rupar Smith



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More than  two decades of experience supporting grieving individuals and families.


Michele has a diverse professional resume with credentials that make her a leader in the field of Death & Dying, Thanatology and Critical Illness in Children.  She is a sought-after speaker and guest lecturer.  Her experience is extensive and rich both in theory and in personal life experience.  Her professional insight and experience make her a leading educator in the mortuary sciences and grief counseling profession.


Michele Fiorelli Rupar is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the state of Georgia and a licensed funeral director in the state of Ohio. She has served as a licensed professional in the death care profession for 19 years. She is certified through the American Institute of Health Care Professionals as a grief counselor.   She holds a master’s degree in The Science of Psychology, a bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in Cultural Diversity. 


In 1999, she was the Third-Place winner of The North Central Sociological Association Undergraduate Student Paper Competition for a controversial paper on “Same-Sex Domestic violence: Social and Political Issues.” Michele is a former Patient Advocate of the North East Ohio Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America and served as their Team-In-Training Honorary Patient Ambassador from 1993-1997. 


She is a sought-after speaker and has delivered keynote and motivational speeches at events hosted in Chicago, Illinois, Albuquerque, New Mexico, San Diego, California and Anchorage, Alaska. 

She has guest lectured at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, to medical professionals on “Parenting a Child with Critical Illness” and “Death & Dying from a Parent’s Perspective.” 


She served on the Board of University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Family Faculty (Cleveland, OH) from 1993 – 1998, where she advised and advocated for families with critically ill children. 


Michele is a mother of four grown children, and a grandmother of eight.

I learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. 

Maya Angelou

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