Join us as we wrap up another year, and while deliveries of everything around the world are apparently delayed off the coast of San Diego, we’re bringing you best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a loaded December issue sure to satisfy. At 68, and proving once again the profession does the choosing, Kenneth Poe still works full time and regularly makes arrangements and directs funerals – enjoy his story and ties to North Carolina. Next, we visit the historic Cedar Grove estate of Stevens Mortuary and meet Mary Evelyn Cantwell – perhaps the oldest working embalmer in America! From the oldest to a 16 year old with an old soul and his feet firmly planted in the profession – your faith in the future will be rekindled after reading about this young man.
Our December issue of Southern Calls is chocked full of exceptional photography and writing, with three amazing People, Places and Passions articles and so much more – you’ll read it cover to cover, again, and again! Don’t miss Southern Calls Issue 34, purchase a subscription today or purchase your individual copy of this incredible issue while they’re still available!
PEOPLE – Kenneth W. Poe
First generation funeral directors are fearless. With either none or very little familial connection to a funeral home, stories vary widely as to what initial interest or curiosity eventually evolved into a career. Dinner disruptions, missed family gatherings, working weekends, late nights, and early mornings were not a deterrent in deciding to enter the funeral ministry, but were viewed as a measure of humble devotion to a sacred craft.
PLACES – Stevens Mortuary
Stevens Mortuary occupies the historic Cedar Grove estate nestled in north Knoxville, Tennessee. When one arrives at the mortuary, surrounded by flowering dogwood trees, the stately antebellum era house, with wide, inviting porches, is reminiscent of a simpler time when friends came to call on Sundays after church and death calls were sent via messenger.
Passions – Jack Backer
At first glance, John Willmott “Jack” Backer, III – age 16, tall, handsome, varsity tennis player and straight-A sophomore at Sayre School in Lexington, Kentucky – appears to be a typical teenager who enjoys tennis and playing guitar, especially Southern gospel and anything by Don Williams, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings or Johnny Cash. But when you talk to Jack, you have to keep reminding yourself that you’re speaking to a 16-year-old who is mature beyond his years and not a seasoned adult.
Order this issue
Southern Calls Issue 34