The mortuary business is no longer a male-dominated industry. When Kim Perry was 10 years old, she attended the funeral of a relative in her native Fall River, Mass., and was “impressed by how really lovely and comforting it was, and how nice everyone was.” She realized then that she could plan funerals as a career.
The mortuary business provides the only service that we’ll all someday need. But for decades, women weren’t welcome (except as customers). Looking for her first job, back in 1986, Perry found that “men really doubted that women could handle it.”
One forward-thinking funeral director finally took a chance, hiring her and one other woman. “We were oddities,” Perry says. “People kept asking our boss, ‘How are those girls working out?’”
The “girls” worked out just fine. Perry eventually became a licensed funeral director and now works closely with about 30 New England funeral homes affiliated with Service Corporation International. Headquartered in Houston, SCI is the largest mortuary company in the U.S., with about 1,500 funeral homes and more than 450 cemeteries nationwide.
Read the full story – by Anne Fisher