When she reached the majestic height of 6’1”, her dreams of being a Rockette were dashed. Since death runs in her family, Nora decided to become a funeral director instead. Along with a lawyer, a mechanic, a plumber, and a doctor, everyone should have a funeral director in the family. For those families without one, Nora is happy to provide the service.
Nora was working as a stage manager in Seattle when the People’s Memorial Funeral Co-op was being formed in 2007. She jumped at the chance of being involved with such a wonderful organization. She began as an intern and has worked her way up to being named the Managing Funeral Director in 2013. With a background in home funerals, Jewish traditions and a passion for natural burial and modern funeral practices, Nora strives to help each family make their arrangements according to their needs and wishes. She makes sure meeting with her isn’t the hard part of dealing with the loss of a loved one.
Nora lives in West Seattle with her husband Nick (yes, they are Nick and Nora) and 4-year-old, Sam.
With a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology, Kimberly was destined for a future in art therapy or video store management. With Hollywood Video going out of business, she received a newspaper clipping from her Nana about “a man buried in a blanket” and she found herself daydreaming of the Natural Death Handbook world of DIY funeral care. When the opportunity arose to be an intern with the Funeral Co-op she knew she’d found a place to call home. That was in 2007 and since then she’s become a licensed funeral director. When not serving families at the Co-op she can be found digging in her garden, teaching herself piano, and playing with her toddler.
Jared was born and raised in Bothell, Washington. He has been working in the funeral industry on and off since he was 18 years old. It was his work as a crematory operator where his interest in this business really caught a blaze.
When he was 16 years old, Jared was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Being so young and going through such a life altering change, he gained a great sensitivity to the way death affects the family. At 17, he was choosing between Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird or Styx’s Come Sail Away for the song at his celebration of life. He went into remission just before his 18th birthday and he decided a little while after, that this was the field he wanted to be in. After going through the expectation of his own death, Jared has a unique perspective on helping families during such a difficult part of life.
He believes that in this industry, compassion for our fellow man or woman is the motivating force. To treat others the way you would want to be treated, and not make the experience any more stressful or emotionally straining then it already is.
Jared is getting married in September.
Victoria has been with People’s Memorial Funeral Co-op since day one. She is happy to be the first face people see when they visit our office on Capitol Hill and the voice people hear when they call. In her spare time she loves walking her dog, Panda, and riding her horse, Burma.
Kathy Long has just finished her first year as Office Manager of People’s Memorial Association. In addition to doing everything for the Association, she also takes care of Accounts Payable and office operations for the Funeral Cooperative. Kathy’s vocation is social justice which she lives out by bugging her local, state and federal representatives on any legislation that helps even the playing field for all Americans. She was pleasantly surprised to find that People’s Memorial provides its own style of social justice by educating and providing its members with affordable end-of-life arrangements that match their values and resources. When Kathy isn’t working or trying to change the world, she loves to read, garden and cheer for the Seahawks!
In the 1970’s, Pam came across the “bible” of traditional funeral business’ non-exemplary practices – Jessica Mitford’s “The American Way of Death”. Reading it, she was appalled. No “Google” in those days, but she managed to find PMA anyway and joined up her family in 1979.
Next – a long hiatus of having the solid assurance of PMA membership, attending an annual meeting every few years, and trying to tell others about PMA. Then, one annual meeting time, no other hands were raised to volunteer for a PMA committee, so she raised hers.
There was still much work to be done – given “death phobic” cultural values and reluctance to even talk about the subject. So she spent more and more time volunteering for PMA and got more and more involved with end of life issues. She relished working with vital, interesting, talented, committed and giving people – volunteers and staff – who share a passion for consumer education, rights and advocacy and openly and freely talk about end of life issues – with a dash of humor.
PMA is now 75 years strong. Continuing to want to further such a necessary and wonderful organization, she was told she could help by becoming the IED. She couldn’t resist. When the new ED is hired and in place, she can once again resume conquering “height fright” by hiking to high places without guard rails.