Lovonne Mitchell: Mortician, Fashionista, Game Changer!

Lovonne Mitchell

Lovonne Mitchell

Growing Up in A Funeral Home

Although she spent most of her childhood in a funeral home, Lovonne Mitchell never predicted that she would follow in her father’s footsteps. But the latter perhaps, was inevitable.

As a child, she’d watch curiously as her father performed his duties, and when she was old enough, she joined the family business. Despite this, however, Lovonne always imagined that she’d work in an office—enjoying a regular nine-to-five, and never saw herself becoming a mortician.

But of course, life doesn’t always go as planned.

“I have a background in (business), I never saw myself doing this,” she revealed.

Lovonne Mitchell

Lovonne Mitchell

“My siblings and I spent a lot of time around my father when we were growing up. I can remember (him) dropping us off at school on the hearse. My childhood was very interesting,” she said in an interview with YO! last week.

Whilst growing up in a funeral home might seem unappealing to most and especially terrifying, Lovonne said for her it was a perfectly normal experience.

“I don’t have nightmares; I sleep well,” she assured me.

When she became a mortician at Crick’s Funeral Home, naturally, her life took an interesting turn. Some things came as a surprise, however. Others, she expected.

Lovonne Mitchell

Lovonne Mitchell

“It wasn’t what I liked when I started. At first it was just a job for me: you go to work, do a preparation (for a burial), and go home afterwards. After a while I started liking it. I think it has to do with the end result of a preparation. I like the fact that (I can help) people look peaceful. It gave me the drive and the push to stay at the funeral home and to carry on with my father’s legacy. He’s been doing this for over 30 years,” Lovonne said.

A Mortician and Hearse Driver

The 28-year-old started turning heads when she became a mortician and (eventually) a hearse driver. It was totally unexpected and naturally people were stunned. She’s also gained a strong presence on social media. Lovonne has 11,000 followers on Instagram alone, and that number, no doubt, will increase in the future.

Her love for fashion also caught the eye of many. Whilst Lovonne makes the job look glamorous (she often wears fashionable pantsuits), make no mistake, she takes her job seriously.

Reconstructing Faces

“I love my job especially reconstructing. I get to bring people’s faces back to what it was prior to an accident, and for me, it’s like helping families during their grieving process. (It’s) my strength,” the young mortician said.

The process is not easy, however.

Lovonne Mitchell

Lovonne Mitchell

“Most times when bodies (cannot) be viewed, I work with it, and I try my best to get it back to what it once was. It may not be exactly the same, especially when there’s decomposition, but I try my best to get persons back to how they were looking,” she said.

“At first I started off by doing preparation of the dead where you bathe, towel dry and dress the dead. Upon doing so we (would) do facial enhancement. In due time I learnt how to reconstruct. I learned these skills with the help of my father and my cousin, but I took advantage of it and I mastered it. I also did an introduction to mortuary science (with Wayne State University),” Lovonne added.

Further, she noted, “there’s a lot of work (that comes) with this field. Sometimes I go to pick up bodies with my father. I also coordinate and direct the burial process. We do a lot.”

Becoming a Mortician: How it Changed Her Life

She loves her job, however, and most importantly, it keeps her in check. Being a mortician is sobering, Lovonne admitted, and naturally, it changed her life entirely.

“This job has humbled me very much and it has taught me to appreciate life a lot more. I’m a totally different person now. Being in this field has changed (me) a lot. A lot of things people might dwell on, I don’t. I also don’t hold grudges and I accept everybody for who they are. I don’t judge people,” Lovonne stated.

“There are so many young people being buried every time and it’s sad. A lot of them die because of violence and most of them leave babies behind. We have so many children growing up without fathers, it’s really sad. Sudden deaths make you appreciate life more,” she said.

Lovonne Mitchell

“The saddest part of my job is having to prep the youth. Half of these people didn’t even get to experience life and it is unfortunate,” Lovonne added.

She’s thankful that she can make funerals a celebration of life, however.

“I don’t want it to be about sorrow,” the young mortician said.

Lovonne has been in the field for almost nine years now. She’s hoping to inspire women everywhere and she wants women to know that the field is not for men only.

“My main motive is to empower women. For years I’ve watched funeral services and not once have I seen a female coordinator or a female driver. You’d get the females in the office and the men in the morgue or the lab. I just want people to know that career is not for males only,” she said.

“The point I’m trying to make is, if I can do it, they (women) can do it too,” Lovonne added.

One of six children, Lovonne is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at Marconi International University. The young mortician hopes to become a certified funeral director amongst other things.

Here’s her advice to those who want to follow in her footsteps:

“This field is very interesting, but you have to be prepared mentally. It’s very important in this field. Remember you’re seeing a different dead person every day, not everybody can grasp that. Some people think they can do it, but it’s very challenging, especially if you’re somebody that remembers faces, so you need to be prepared. And of course, you’ll need some form of experience; you can start off by working in a funeral home. It’s very interesting and you learn a lot. Every day is a different experience,” Lovonne said. — Story by R. Marvlin