An Interview with Funeral Director, Tonya Backe

Posted on March 11, 2019 by Scott Found under Interview With a Funeral Director
2 Comments


How long have you been a funeral director? What were you before you became a funeral director? 

I’ve been a licensed funeral director for two years. Prior to becoming a funeral director, I worked in a local medical office for 28 years.

What led you to this profession? 

I was led to the funeral industry through friends that are directors. I was looking for a second career and thought the funeral industry would suit me as I enjoy serving others.

What is the most rewarding part of doing what you do?

The most rewarding part of being a funeral director is when families express their gratitude for all that you’ve done to help pay tribute to their loved one.

What does a typical work day look like for you?

I don’t think there is a “typical” work day for a director. Our industry is so unpredictable. A work day could consist of meeting with families to make funeral arrangements for a death that has occurred, or meeting with families to make pre arrangements for funeral services, perform embalming, preparing for visitations/viewings, etc.

What is one misconception that you think people have about funeral directors?

A typical misconception people have about funeral directors is that directors are mostly introverts that are odd, creepy, and uncaring.

If there is one thing that you could inform people about in regard to this industry, what would it be?

That pre-need arrangements are transferable. If you have made pre-arrangements with a funeral home and decide you would prefer another funeral home to serve you, they can be transferred.

What advice would you give someone who is considering becoming a funeral director?

My advice to someone considering becoming a director would be that this profession can be a very demanding profession with long hours and even sleepless nights, but if your desire is to truly help serve others, this has to be one of the most rewarding careers you could choose.

What advice would you give someone who is considering becoming a funeral director?

The funeral industry is not 9-5; it is 24/7. When you serve a family, it doesn’t begin at 9:00 AM and end at 5:00 PM. It is when they need you. Keeping a good balance of work life and personal life takes a bit of planning. I have to be certain to schedule time off to rejuvenate. That is the key for me to maintain a healthy balance of work and personal life.

What do you enjoy most about working and living and working in the Culpeper area? What are some things that you enjoy doing in the area?

What I enjoy most about working the Culpeper area is that our community is still quaint and although we are ever-growing, we are maintaining a bedroom community. You can still walk down the street and know someone that passes you, be it on the sidewalk or driving on the street. I enjoy the shops on Davis Street and the rich history our county holds.

Who is one person that inspires you? What is one quote that inspires you?

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” – Theodore Roosevelt

My biggest inspiration are my children. They inspire me to be the best person I can be. 

2 Responses to An Interview with Funeral Director, Tonya Backe

  1. Avatar Lisa Arrington Kilby says:

    Tonya gave me hope when she was there for me &my daughter’s on 2018 she made me feel like she was my family and today I still thank her and today when I saw her at another family member service i said to myself she always do an amazing job.

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