Mortician with a badge
Briefcase in hand, Steve Allen knocks on the back door of Rose Mortuary and Crematory. He’s been on the road for two hours, and it’s a little before 9; the late-autumn sun paints the distant cliffs of Mt. San Jacinto yellow and gold.
Manager Thomas Moen is surprised by the visit. He glances about to make sure that the consumer guide and price lists are displayed as required by law.
“How ya doing?” Allen’s voice projects a robust exuberance.
“Fit as a fiddle…,” says Moen without missing a cue.
“… and happy as a lark,” says Allen, completing Moen’s signature response.
They have known each other for almost eight years, and beneath the surface of their friendliness is a familiar tension. If the state’s funeral industry had police officers, Allen, 55, would be one.
He is a field representative for the state’s Cemetery and Funeral Bureau — a “mortician with a badge,” as he’s heard himself described — and is here to inspect the embalming and storage room and look at the price sheets.
Moen shares how busy the mortuary’s been, and Allen scans the room. He notices a framed newspaper article from 2009 when the funeral home invited visitors to sign memorial books for Michael Jackson, Ed McMahon and Farrah Fawcett.
Read Thomas Curwen’s full story: “A mortician with a badge.”
August 28, 2012, 1:22 pm
My dream in life has always wanting to be a mortician since i was the age of 15yrs now im 33yrs and still want to do it.I am in the medical field right now i love it but im missing something that dream of always being a mortician.Its so hard for me to find a collage that offers this type of studies.I am in the houston area and i call a lot of collages to see if they offer this and they say no so i dont know what to do to become a mortician can you give me any info on what i need to ask a collage to get started on my long life dream.I think what yall do is amazing it takes a special person to do what you do,i just wish i could pursue my dreams as well of being one, one day!!!!
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