Grace Posey finds it easy to be a woman in a male-dominated profession. Her love of her profession makes it easy to brush aside the comparisons to Morticia Adams or the looks she gets when telling people her profession.
That’s because being a funeral director and embalmer is something that Grace has wanted to do since she was in the fourth grade.
“You get very strange looks from teachers when they ask what you want to be when you grew up and your answer is ‘funeral director’ after all the other kids said doctor or teacher. But it all started from two things,” the Fayetteville native said. “First, when my father was growing up, his parents were very close friends with the family who owned the local funeral home. He claims that he and his siblings would play hide and seek with the owners children in the casket selection room. He would tell me that story all the time as a kid and it just fascinated me.
“Second, I love reading and when I was in fourth grade, I read a book on the Egyptians and of course the book talked about the mummification process. I became so intrigued by the whole process of mummification that I ran with the book to my mother to show her. She calmly explained to me that mummification was no longer a thing, but there was still a profession that was similar. That’s when I decided to become a funeral director.”
Like many dreams people have in their youth, Grace’s faded with time. The granddaughter of three doctors and a nurse eventually decided to enter the medical field and was accepted to Gordon College. Grace was on track to become a nurse but soon discovered a simple truth: she hated nursing school. She turned to her mother, explaining that she was miserable and didn’t know what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. With maternal love, Grace’s mother reminded her of the passion she had in her youth for wanting to become a funeral director and embalmer.
“I’m very sure no one has ever withdrawn themselves as fast as I did from college and the next thing I knew, I was enrolling myself into Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service,” Grace said.
To obtain her dream job, Grace had to graduate from mortuary college, pass both national and state exams, serve 18 months as an apprentice with a funeral home and meet a variety of requirements during that time working. It was when seeking an apprenticeship that Grace came to realize there are some hurdles to overcome being a female in a male-dominated profession.
For the full story by Robbie Schwartz in the latest issue of Walton Living Magazine by Robbie Schwartz, click or tap on this link or pick up a print copy of the magazine at any city hall or library in Walton County or at the Walton County Chamber of Commerce.