Qualities of Exceptional Funeral Directors - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

Qualities of Exceptional Funeral Directors

A funeral service can be one of the most emotionally-trying experiences someone undergoes during their lifetime. Having a funeral director beside you every step of the way can help ease the stress and challenges that come with saying goodbye to a family member or friend.

Having an exceptional licensed funeral director – one who is compassionate, meticulous and organized – can make all the difference. From planning the viewing hours to selecting burial or cremation services, a funeral director will help you make tough decisions and support you as you grieve.

Whether you are considering a career as a licensed funeral director, or looking for one to help you with your pre-planning or immediate needs, here are the qualities that remarkable funeral directors share:


Having sincere qualities of kindness and empathy are not a ‘requirement,’ but must be the calling and passion of a funeral director. It takes a special kind of person and professional to carry out the service a funeral director provides.


A funeral director never works from 9-5. Their profession is to be ‘available’ 24-7, 365 days a year. That means, they sacrifice personal time in order to support families in-need of immediate services. For most of us, our own families always come first. But for funeral directors, sometimes, the families they serve must come before their own.


Attention to detail is critical. Nothing is more important to the family members of the deceased than having every aspect of the service be perfect. Funeral directors expect nothing less than perfection from themselves and their staff and their facilities and equipment. The family members of the deceased deserve personal attention to every detail.


The ability to remain ‘in the background’ while helping families is one of the most humbling aspects of being a great funeral director. A great deal of work goes into planning and executing a personalized funeral service, but the exceptional funeral director makes it look seamless. Their job is simply to comfort the family and make the celebration of life memorable for the family and friends of their loved one.

Sense of Humor

At first glance, this may seem like an inappropriate trait for a funeral director to embrace. But sometimes, in the midst of sadness, being able to lighten the moment may be just what the family needs.

The job of a funeral director is not for the faint of heart, but it is most assuredly for those who have a big heart. They must be a nurturer, comforter, and protector to all they meet. The reward of working in the funeral profession is emotionally beyond measure. Nothing is worth more than having a family member you served tell you how much the service meant to them, or how much you supported them during one of the saddest moments of their life.

Matthew C. Smith is the owner of Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory, and a licensed funeral director. Spicer-Mullikin is a three-time recipient of the NFDA’s Pursuit of Excellence award. In 2017, Smith was named a “Top 40 Under 40” achiever and innovator by the Delaware Business Times.