Why I’m Attending Mid-America College of Funeral Service By Verna Wilson

My journey here has been long. I grew up in the funeral home watching my parents and grandparents deal with people in time of sadness. Our family was well respected throughout the community for their work. They were the best embalmers/directors in the black community. Known around the state for their kindness and work ethic. I would always follow my grandfather and mother around (she styled the hair and directed) and watched everything they did. By the time I was 17, my grandfather passed and all my knowledge had left. I was lost and wasn’t sure what to do.

Due to finances, the funeral home shut down, and the business was gone. I became very frustrated because I was the one who wanted to take over the business, but they said I was too young. So my future took a turn. I attended EKU and played basketball and softball (hoping to go pro). I studied police administration/psychology. I did not finish and left school. I decided after school I would go work with special needs adults as my goal was to help people in whatever way I could. That lasted 5 years.

Then I decided to protect the country and joined the armed forces where I was a tanker driver hauling fuel and a cook. I served my country for 10 years. After the military, I was still trying to find a way to open the funeral business back up, but my timing was always off. I cared for my ill mother until she passed away. I went to barber school to get licensed to style hair.

I found myself lost again. Before I knew it, my cousin asked me what I wanted to do for the rest of my life (mind you, he worked under my grandfather). I stated, “Open a funeral home.” So, we got together and came to Mid-America to make our dreams a reality. I pray every day that I keep my strength to succeed and keep up with my classes as much as possible to get through. It has been a long time coming, and I’m not getting any younger. I must bring this back for the future of the younger generation in the family, to leave something behind, to keep the legacy going.

Editor’s Note: Ms. Wilson and her cousin, Mr. Frank Collins, are currently attending Mid-America together.

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