Meet  Funeral Director Samantha Waltermyer from Ohio

I met Samantha in DC at the 105th CANA convention just this past month as she was enjoying an interesting looking blue drink with a matching color glowstick in her glass. We were among the first few people who showed up on time at the after party (guess that makes us not cool) to meet and greet fellow funeral professionals after the first day of the convention. 

Somehow I knew who she was as she stood next to the older man Tom I met just moments before whose stoic but comforting presence, like a father's, beautifully complimented her lively and spunky personality. She was the other team member from The Cremation Center in Ohio that Tom wanted me to get in touch with to possibly work together on her upcoming pet crematory. 

Being both a business owner and a woman, I looked forward to meeting her. Little did I know, we'd actually strike up a friendship. We're both moms of young girls and a fan of Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I felt right at home.  

This is my hope with these interviews—that you will find down-to-earth and compassionate individuals in your local funeral homes whom you can completely trust.

Did I mention she was also one of the five scholarship recipients for this convention from the entire pool of applicants in North America? Pretty neat.

For those who might not be familiar, could you briefly describe what you do or the services you offer? 

Hi. I'm Samantha Waltermyer, a funeral director, embalmer, and cremation specialist from Edgar-Grisier Funeral Home and soon-to-be Tree of Life Pet Cremation Services, website coming soon so check back! I provide meaningful cremation services to families who have lost a loved one and to pet parents who have lost a beloved pet, aka family member.

Why did you choose to take on the path you're currently on? What do you like about it the  most? 

My bachelor's degree ultimately was not something I wanted to pursue long term, so I went on to mortuary school because I wanted to make a difference in the industry especially for women in the business. The reward of helping others is beautiful. Service above self for client families 100%. They need to know more about the industry so they understand their options. A well-informed consumer understands their choices and is comfortable with the choices they have made. They also value quality when it comes to options, services, and memorialization.

Can you share one or two memorable stories doing what you do? 

Many, many memorable stories. A young marine who had a tough-go at life from the very beginning took his own life while stationed in CA on a Marine Corps base. The details the military put into his service, logistics, preparation—it was heartfelt. The family received the closure they needed and it felt good to know our service men and women are given the proper respect when something like this tragically happens. There are many stories of running into families I have served that thank me months or years later. They recognize me or my voice and they just thank me. It’s touching to know that at a low moment in their life, they still feel gratitude and have the courage to continue on.