A local funeral home representative was recently recognized for her work.
Angela Mercer, of Lee Funeral Home and Cremation Services, received the Valued Employee Certificate for her 10 years of service during a presentation at the 720 Buol Road location.
Owner Eric Lee said Mercer has been a great asset to the business over the past decade.
“My father James runs Hites Funeral Home in Henderson, which is the parent company of Lee, and he needed a little more help there,” he said. “Angela was always working for us at that time and she was doing such a fabulous job with the funeral arrangements and directing, we felt that it was appropriate to make her the general manager of this office. She has done a fabulous job for us since that time and we are just glad to be able to show our appreciation to her for all of her loyalty.”
Mercer, meanwhile said she is grateful to the Lees for her valued employee status.
“I worked my way up the ranks here,” she said. “I was sitting at the desk in the lobby as a receptionist and I guess they saw something in me. I became a funeral director and then general manager here at Lee Funeral Home. This is a very proud moment for me. Who knew 10 years ago that I would be standing here 10 years later.”
Planning the inevitable
Mercer also spoke about the importance of pre-planning.
“That involves sitting with families who have lost someone and helping them to plan their services at the time of their need,” she said. “I’m able to help educate our friends and neighbors on why pre-planning is important and what benefits are available to them. We recommend everyone to pre-plan.”
As Pahrump is a tight-knit community, Mercer also said she, from time to time, has made funeral service arrangements for families of individuals she has known personally.
“I have someone right now that I was lucky enough to know for several years,” she said. “We are always careful to protect people’s privacy. The family that we are working with determines how much they want the public to know. If they are having a public service, then we will share that information. In this case, there is a public service that has been announced, but it’s tough on me personally. At the same time, when I sat with the people making those arrangements, I was able to look them in the eye and say, ‘I’m glad I’m here right now to be taking care of this person and taking care of you,’ because it means something when you know them.”
The right stuff
As emotionally taxing as the funeral business can be at times, Mercer said she really doesn’t have a problem retaining employees, such as body removal technicians.
“Inherently, it’s a tough job being a body removal technician,” she said. “Waking up in the middle of the night and being on call goes with that position. We fluctuate anywhere from six to eight because every member of our removal team is an employee, which is one of the most important jobs here. We had a gentleman who worked as a removal team member, who is now a Nye County Sheriff’s deputy. We are always looking for the right person.”
The Lees purchased the funeral home in 2002 when it was known as the Neptune Society of Nye County.
In 2006, the name was changed to Lee Funeral Home.
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter: @pvtimes