The daughter of a well-known retired funeral director has joined the business he set up more than 30 years ago.
Linsie Kemp is now working as a funeral arranger at J H Way Funeral Services in Dawlish, which was founded by her father John Way back in 1990.
This is her first job in funeral services after a varied career where she has previously worked as a teaching assistant and run local taxi company Dawlish Cabs.
But she is now, belatedly, carrying on in the family tradition as both her father and grandfather, Hedley, were funeral directors.
John retired 10 years ago, selling the business to Funeral Partners – the country’s third largest funeral provider – who have retained the name and the level of service families have come to expect.
Despite being around the business as a child, Linsie said she was glad to begin working in funerals later in life.
“I don’t think I would’ve been emotionally ready, and I’m not sure I would still be doing it now if I had started as a teenager,” she said.
“But now I absolutely love it – it’s the best thing I have ever done.
“It’s such a pleasure to help people with the last thing they’ll ever do for their loved one which is to arrange their funeral and see their wishes through to the end.
“It’s an honour and a privilege.
“No two funerals are the same – you might be arranging one funeral in the morning when you’re crying your eyes out with a family, and arranging a different one in the afternoon when you’re all laughing away.”
Linsie said she loves working at the branch in Brook Street, Dawlish, where her father used to work, and even answering the phone which was her home number as a child.
“My dad is really proud that there is a Way back at Way’s,” Linsie said.
“He used to live in the flat above the office and the phone number is the one we used to have. It gives me an amazing feeling when I answer it – I get goosebumps.
“I feel like I am making a real difference and representing my family every day.”