Over the last week I’ve read several articles from around the world that describe different aspects of funeral directing, working as a mortician, or operating a funeral home and the people that do those tasks. Without much editorializing on my part I am just going to present the articles for you to read.
- This article that you can read here from CentralMaine.com highlights funeral director Jeff Forsythe for being named Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce 2018 Business Person of the Year. According to Mid-Maine Chamber CEO Kim Lindlof, “Jeff has taken a traditional business and successfully grown it locally in the face of growing national dominance within the industry”. Forsythe’s story is very interesting. He left home at age 15 and was later mentored by Maine funeral home owner Ed Gaunce and his wife Marilyn. Today, Forsythe owns and operates five locations in central Maine known as First Family Funeral Homes and Cremation Care.
- This article from the Coshocton Tribune that describes the generational aspect of the Fischer Funeral Home and its heritage as the oldest business in Warsaw, Ohio. All of the children grew up joining the family business that has operated in Warsaw since 1937. What may be surprising, however, is that each of the funeral directors had other aspirations before they joined the family business.
- Another very interesting article comes to us from Stars and Stripes and you can read it here. It describes the employment of a couple of morticians who are members of the Pacific Air Force’s Western Regional Mortuary at Yokota Air Base in Japan. Serving in our country’s military service as a mortician is not an employment opportunity many of us think about, but the men and women featured in this article have found a tremendous sense of dignity in performing this duty for their country.
- And finally we bring you this article from the Japan Times that can be read here. It describes the job of a Japanese “nokanshi” which can be translated into “encoffiner” which is a term describing traditional morticians who dress, clean up and prepare the deceased for their final farewell in Japan. The article describes the work of the nokanshi that work for a company called Aqua Quality Staff Company. To me, the company seems like a company between a trade service and a temp agency for funeral directors. An interesting article.