Sharon Stacy, a full-time funeral director apprentice at Keohane, completed her degree in Funeral Science in October 2018 and is on her way to becoming a compassionate and professional funeral director. She continues to work with our funeral directors and families in need while studying for her board exams to receive her Funeral Director/Embalmers license.
"Sharon has a great ability to look at the big picture and prioritize what needs to be accomplished during the day. She enjoys meeting new people and learning about their lives and then offering them kindness during the time they are in our care," said Co-president John Keohane.
Massachusetts licensing requirements include two years of apprenticeship, and Sharon has been fulfilling her apprenticeship at Keohane while finishing her Associates Degree in Funeral Science at Fine Mortuary College, a private two-year college in Norwood. Sharon completed her Review Class in the fall, the final class which summarizes the entire mortuary program, but has not had her graduation ceremony as of yet.
"The Review class was a challenge but studying hard with my fellow classmates we all made it through! I think the most important memory I can take from school is you can reach any goal you set your mind to. No matter how long it takes; YOU completed your goal and that's a proud moment," said Sharon.
Her next steps include taking both national and state board exams in order to become a licensed funeral director in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. "I'm currently in the process of getting my Funeral Director/Embalmers license. I review all my notes weekly in hopes of passing my state exam and national exam the first time," said Sharon.
When Sharon's great grandmother passed, she was inspired to follow the path to funeral service in order to make the experience better for those who must say goodbye to a loved one. "When my Great Nona passed away, I went to my first set of calling hours ever. I went up to the casket to pay my respects and knew she didn't look right. Since then funeral service peaked my interest," said Sharon.
While Sharon was in mortuary school, she saw a job posting for a full-time apprentice position at Keohane. After interviewing with senior staff, she started her two-year apprenticeship. "I like working for a family run business, and I like my coworkers. I appreciate being able to help families during the most difficult time of their lives. If you enjoy what you do, you'll never work a day in your life," said Sharon.
As an apprentice, Sharon's responsibilities include caring for the deceased, filing paperwork, creating stationary, sitting with families as they make arrangements, assisting at funerals and wakes, helping the office manager, and supporting the funeral directors. "I like knowing that I can help make a difficult time a little easier," said Sharon. "I love being able to provide a piece of a service that not many people can provide."
She is excited to continue her journey toward becoming a professional funeral director in Massachusetts. "I am very much looking forward to 2019 - growing as in individual, getting my license and growing into a new position, and reaching the goals I have set for the New Year," said Sharon. "I'm hoping to try new hobbies like yoga and taking a photography course, too!"
"Sharon has the ability to work with grieving family members while at the same time taking care of the details that create a beautiful ceremony for a family. Both skills are needed in an exceptional funeral director," said John.
Because Sharon's dad was in the Army, her siblings were born in Colorado and she was born in Kansas. But Sharon lived the majority of her life in Leominster and graduated from Leominster High School Center for Technical Education in the HVAC program. She currently lives in Braintree with her boyfriend Tim and his dog Bruschi. Adjusting to the move was difficult, but the South Shore is slowly starting to feel like home. She enjoys getting to know her community; meeting all the local people in and out of work; and trying new restaurants and breweries.
Sharon loves spending time outdoors hiking, running, camping and playing with Bruschi, especially on the paths at Pond Meadow Park and Bare Cove Park where she and Tim go for long walks. Sharon has been planning HER participation in the next Run to Home Base for Veterans. "Last year team Keohane had five members, and I can't wait to run and help fundraise again this year," said Sharon. "This cause is so important - just because you can't see wounds doesn't mean they aren't there! Those invisible wounds really impact our veterans, and I just want to help bring awareness to mental health and PTSD."
Sharon provides a caring and guiding presence as a funeral director. "When I work with grieving families, I always try to provide a listening ear. I love being of service at a time when each individual family needs to be shown what steps are needed and necessary as they prepare to say their final goodbyes."