The next generation of funeral directors?

Posted on January 13, 2017 by Errol Castens under Community, People
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Students from Benton County Career and Technical Center visited Coleman Funeral Home on Jan. 12.

A Health Sciences class from Benton County Career and Technical Center visited Coleman Funeral Home in Oxford on Thursday, Jan. 12. The students got an eyeful and an earful about what’s involved in serving families who’ve lost a loved one to death.


Instructor Bethany Pipkin and school counselor Karen Patterson accompanied a baker’s dozen of students as co-owner Glenn Coleman led them on a tour of the facility.

After entering the Great Hall, where food is served for visitations and other events, students saw the chapel/community room set up as it typically would be for a funeral. After walking quietly through the visitation parlors, they crowded into the casket display room and asked questions ranging from the average cost of funerals (somewhere above $7,500 nationally) to who can perform a funeral (practically anyone the deceased designated or that survivors choose).

Most students seemed fascinated by the (unoccupied) prep room and Glenn Coleman’s explanations of processes, products and respectful procedures used to prepare the deceased for their family to see one last time.

Health Sciences students from Benton County schools tour the casket display, asking Glenn Coleman about funeral costs, procedures and other issues.


The final stop on the tour was Coleman Funeral Home’s crematory, where students saw the equipment used to cremate pets and people, respectively.

“For most of them, it was a unique experience,” Coleman said. “How many times does the average teenager get to see the working side of a funeral home?”

The visit has already yielded a potential future funeral professional, he added.

“One girl who is truly interested in forensics and possibly in working in the funeral industry has already set up a shadow day to see more of what we do,” Coleman said.

Aftercare coordinator, Coleman Funeral Home of Oxford/Olive Branch

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