WEST JEFFERSON — A local funeral director was named runner-up in a national competition for Funeral Director of the Year by American Funeral Director magazine.
Linda Holman was one of three national runners-up. Holman started working for Boone Family Funeral Home in West Jefferson in 1996 as its bookkeeper. Holman was eventually pushed to obtain a funeral director’s license, which resulted in her graduation in 2008 from the Fayetteville Technical College Funeral Service education program.
Holman was named general manager immediately upon graduating. She puts long hours into her work, according to the funeral home.
The wife and mother of a 19-year-old daughter, Holman has spent many holidays at the funeral home making sure every family is taken care of in their time of need, according to Boone Family Funeral Home.
“There were a lot of Christmases where my husband had to cook the turkey and make the ham,” said Holman, the only full-time funeral director at Boone Family Funeral Home.
Jim Hartley, a part-time funeral director at Boone Family Funeral Home, said Holman not only selflessly helps grieving families through their worst hour, but also brings the funeral home staff closer, creating a family-like environment for workers and families alike.
“She is wholeheartedly the backbone of this funeral home,” Hartley said.
Hartley added that he has learned a lot from Holman, including compassion, treating others with respect and keeping cool when things get hectic.
While the job is not the typical profession, often asking Holman to work long hours, Holman said it is worth it to help families. She added that she tries to live her life to the fullest, because no one is promised the next day.
“She’s great with families — they love her,” Hartley said. “She gets up early and utilizes all her time. She’s proud to involve herself in any way she can.”