Gail Ruben comes from a background in television and public relations. During her second marriage in 2000, she held a creative Jewish-Western wedding, which made her want to write a book about creative life-cycle events titled “Matching, Hatchings, and Dispatching.” That led Ruben to do a monthly feature in the Albuquerque Tribune about weddings, births, and deaths. The stories that received the most viewer responses? Death and funerals.
There are many books on wedding planning. However, Rubin noticed there weren’t many on creative funeral planning. “Funerals are the parties no one wants to plan.” With that, Rubin shifted her focus on funerals, and it changed the course of her career.
Gail Rubin became a Certified Thanatologist and The Doyenne of Death®. She is now a pioneering death educator who uses humor, film clips, and outside-the-box activities to teach about and encourage people to plan for end-of-life issues.
Rubin is the author of three books on end-of-life issues, a public speaker, a blogger, and a YouTube video creator. She is the annual Before I Die New Mexico Festival coordinator and is one of the first people in the United States to hold a Death Cafe, a worldwide movement.
She’s also the nonprofit organization president supporting Albuquerque’s Historic Fairview Cemetery, founded in 1881. She is leading efforts to maintain and improve the cemetery and share the state’s history through the lives of the people buried there.
Rubin is also a Pilates instructor in her spare time. She and her husband have two black cats, no kids.