About Return Home

Providing families access to inclusive, gentle, transparent death care that continues the cycle of life

Return Home exists to ensure families have access to gentle, inclusive, and transparent death care that continues the cycle of life, and contributes to the sustainability of our planet.

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Our Journey

How Return Home Became What It Is Today

Discovery

Return Home started as a spark of an idea between our CEO Micah Truman and his mother Lexi. With groundbreaking legislation relating to Natural Organic Reduction fast approaching in Washington state, a newspaper article sparked a conversation with our former investment capitalist CEO, his island-dwelling mom, and a group of their friends from the great state of New York. Micah’s reserved feelings on the upcoming law changes were met with great resistance from the others in the group, with a resounding decision that they, in fact, would want this for themselves and their loved ones and how could they make it a reality.

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Creation

Micah undertook two years of extensive research and development. He took time to compile an “Ocean’s Eleven” team of soil scientists, HVAC specialists, engineers, funeral directors, and embalmers. Slowly that spark of an idea started to become a reality. Vessels were constructed, organic mixtures and ratios were tested, walls were erected in the terramation center, and finally, in June of 2021, our doors opened to our first families.

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Outreach

The road trip began with Katey holding down the fort while Brie and Micah took the show on the road. They visited dozens of funeral homes in Washington state, presented at handfuls of meetings for the Washington State Funeral Directors Association, and showed funeral professionals the transparency that they had desired and not previously received. Brie also came in with the message that to truly be “full service,” they needed to offer their families all of the available options. At the least, they needed to be educated on the process, and we are happy to say that many of them showed support and appreciation for the effort.

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Experience

The original plan was for an inclusive and non-invasive service that could scale quickly and be made accessible to people across the nation. With the science dialed, the facility built, and the first families coming into our care, we quickly turned our heads to creating a family experience unlike anything else in the world. We quickly became obsessed with finding the middle point between technology and humanity.

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Transformation

Back on the home front, the Terramation Center started its own transformation. A local artist was commissioned to create a beautiful mural in the family laying-in area to provide a backdrop for families farewell visits. A building wide sound system was installed to allow families to create moments drenched in the sounds of the songs that shaped their loved one’s lives. A jungle of plants made their way one by one into our funeral home, both as an obsession of Brie and Katey’s, and to symbolize our statement that life really does grow on. In the most recent terramation center update, incredible facades depicting a lush expansive forest were installed to create a facility as beautiful as the families it was serving.

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Growth

The team very quickly realized that innately in all of us is a desire to return to the earth, but also to continue to care for the ones we love. Our services expanded to include families at every step of the process. Some people have driven their loved one to our firm themselves as a final act of love. Our serene bathing room allows families to give that final hair wash if they wish. Our laying-in space allows for families to say a meaningful final farewell. What we found was that, given the space to do it, families organically create rituals that are meaningful to them. Our bathing and laying-in services allow families to interact with their final farewell rituals, adorning their loved ones’ vessels with lights and photos or placing inside the vessel items that commemorate a life, like flowers, cake or candy. We encourage the hands that loved people in life to also love them in death. 

Our background story will continue to grow as our company does.

The Return Home Team

Micah

Micah truman

Chief Executive Officer

Micah is singularly obsessed with building a company that makes our world a better place. He founded Return Home in January of 2019, assembling an ‘Oceans 11’ team of engineers, funeral directors, HVAC specialists, death doulas, general contractors, and soil scientists.
Micah has been an entrepreneur and business owner since 1995. He has over 25 years of experience leading rapidly growing companies, both internationally and in the United States. A Seattle-native and experienced international entrepreneur, Micah spent years living in Asia running several online technology companies before founding AsiaWise, an international real estate investment company. Micah is a graduate of Oberlin College, and has been featured in Fortune Magazine, The Seattle TImes, The Los Angeles TImes, Buzzfeed, , Inc. Magazine and on National Public Radio.

Micah’s time at Return Home has unquestionably been one of the great privileges of his life. The families that come to Return Home are truly remarkable. It has been his great honor to see families laugh, cry, hold impromptu dance parties, and cover their loved one’s vessel in LED lights. He has seen a woman sing next to her recently passed wife like an angel. He will never be the same.

“It is our great privilege to ensure that our last act on this planet is to give back to it.”

Brie Smith

Brienna Smith

Chief Operating Officer

Brie is responsible for overseeing all operations and services at Return Home, ensuring that every process throughout the facility is optimized and organized. She is also the “voice” of Return Home, delivering our message of sustainable death care to both traditional media and social media alike.

Brie has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer in Washington State since 2014. After graduating with honors from Mesa Community College’s mortuary science program, she uprooted and made a pointed move to surround herself with the beauty and awe of the Pacific Northwest. Specifically, she wanted to be near her family and the beautiful resident orca pods.

After beginning her work in the funeral industry in 2011 doing death calls, she quickly found a passion for helping people during one of the most challenging times of their lives. With an immediate knack for gentle guidance and a complete lack of judgment, Brie found herself feeling deep compassion for every single decedent and each one of their family members. Because of this sincerity, she has been able to continue providing excellent support to each family that she encounters.

While Brie originally joined the Return Home team to challenge her professional aptitude, she quickly found herself passionate about the science behind the natural breakdown of the human body. Always up for a new adventure, Brie has been given the opportunity to dive deep into the process of composting. She takes joy in learning about the intricacies that make each terramation successful. Her passion to deliver an industry leading standard of care, combined with her vigor to learn and adapt to difficult situations, has made her a skilled leader of our team.

Outside of work, Brie can be found alongside her husband in their garden, seeking whales from the coastline, or reading books on patio lounge chairs with their dog Pepper May. They regularly spend time exploring the incredible beauty of the PNW..

“Leading the team at Return Home is one of the great accomplishments of my life, and it’s an honor to be trusted with each and every loved one that’s brought into our care. I do not take these responsibilities lightly, and hope to inspire my team by holding myself to incredibly high standards.”

Katey Houston

Katey Houston

Services Manager

Katey’s responsibilities include meeting with families at their time of need to create an experience as unique as the loved one lost. She physically cares for the decedents in our care ensuring their teramation journey is completed with love and care. She also leads Return Home’s educational outreach within the funeral industry.

Katey is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the state of Washington and also her home country of England. She is a certified celebrant and serves on the board of the Washington state funeral directors association.

After 10 years in traditional funeral service Katey desired to align her personal life with her career and Return Home offered her the opportunity to be a good steward of the earth while serving families in a new and unique way.  Being able to simply offer a service and space for families to create rituals that are meaningful to them allows Katey to guide families through the toughest times without the pressures of sales or outside schedules. Over the 60 day process the true relationships Katey is able to build with her families give her the love and light to continue to meet people at their darkest points.

Since joining the Return Home team Katey has found confidence in reconnecting people with their death experience and encouraging family participation. The company culture at Return Home has allowed her to be comfortable with the skills she brings to the table as exactly the person she is and encouraged her to explore talents previously undiscovered.

Outside of work Katey can be found with her doggy sidekick Dixie Barbara tending to their vegetable garden, participating in local advocacy groups close to her heart, exploring the PNW with her two adorable nephews and reading as many books as she can.

“I am passionate about equal and easy access for everyone in every walk of life to quality, approachable deathcare and death education. Knowing you can make you last act on earth one that heals is empowering”

Chris Stone

CHRIS STONE

Operations Manager

A key member of Return Home’s operations team. Chris helps manage the Terramation process and coordinate supplies and equipment.

Prior to Return Home, Chris spent three years at one of Washington state’s leading funeral service companies working directly with funeral homes, hospitals and medical directors, as well as in cremation services.

“Before transitioning to the funeral industry my background was in customer service,” says Chris. “I can’t think of a better use for my skills than serving families during what is a very difficult time for them.”

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