Alumnus Finds Reward in Making Dark Days Brighter

Name: Geoff Carlson ’13
Major: Funeral Home Management
Hometown: Falls Village, Connecticut

What factors influenced your decision to come to Mount Ida College?

The primary factor for choosing Mount Ida was my major, Funeral Home Management. The reputation of the program in the industry is exceptional, making it an easy decision when I was accepted. It is one of, if not, the most respected mortuary colleges in the country.

Why did you become a funeral home management major?

Being a funeral director was never one of my career dreams growing up. However, once I started working for Brian Kenny at The Kenny Funeral Homes Inc., in Sharon, Conn., that changed for me. At the time I worked there, I was also dating his daughter. Initially, I was simply trying to make a good impression. As time passed, I began to see how everyone in the community loved and respected him. After being under his wing, I found it impossible to imagine myself not in this profession.

What do you love most about our campus community?

Living on Mount Ida’s campus, I can honestly say that I love the sense of family here. Whether you commute or live on campus, you will love it! I know because before I pursued my bachelor’s degree in funeral home management, I earned my associate degree in funeral service here.

How have you gained experience in your major outside of the classroom?

Having already earned my associate degree, I passed the National Board Exam easily. After that, I completed my one year apprentice then passed my state board exam. I am now a licensed Funeral Director at Funk Funeral Home in Bristol, Conn.

Being in the business of death and dying, what is your take on the cycle of life?

Linda Ellis, I believe, said it best in the last two lines of her famous poem, The Dash: “What matters is how you live and love; and how you spend your dash.” She is referring to the dash on one’s tombstone between their birth date and date of death. What is important is how you live and love. Because we don’t ever know what day will be our last, it is important to say I love you and not stay angry at the people we care about for too long. That is part of the reason that I chose funeral service. I want to be there, to help one person, one family make the pain of losing a loved one a little bit easier; to help them heal a little bit faster.