STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Meghan Schmitt, Funeral Director, My Journey Into Funeral Care

By: Meghan Schmitt
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I will never forget the day I was in preschool at nap time and I thought to myself, “life is going to pass me by...” Funny to think about, but even then, the thought crossed through my little mind, “What should I be when I grow up?”  My first instinct was to become a teacher, of course!  During the middle school years, my vision became more specific, to be a math teacher! As a fresh graduate of Brighton High School in 2003 I exuberantly began as a freshman at Niagara University to fulfill this mission. Interestingly enough, it wasn’t until my last year when the realization hit, that being a math teacher was not my destiny.

Instead, as many confused, wandering, young 20-somethings do, I began work full-time at the restaurant I had previously found employment during college breaks, all while trying to find my niche in this world. I did some work in the tradeshow industry, then was offered a management position at a new restaurant which I took for a year. I knew I had to go back to school, I just didn’t know what for. I wrote out lists of my interests and researched and found all of my likes and interests continued to pop up in the funeral care industry. I had always been fascinated by professions in this trade and felt through my exploration that it could be a good fit for me. I remember as a child never feeling nervous going to a funeral home, but rather felt it to be calming and peaceful.  So off I went to Wheeling, Illinois to attend Worsham College of Mortuary Science! After a year in an accelerated program, I left with a diploma in 2013 (and future husband, Scott)! 

Though the profession of Funeral Directing is evolving, I was faced with a field that was still very male-dominated. “Breaking in” to the funeral care business as a woman was not as easy as I thought it would be. I am thankful to the Perottos for their forward-thinking, as they gave me a chance.  On the morning of my graduation, Dave Perotto called me, I almost didn’t answer, as I didn’t recognize the phone number. My fellow grad, Scott (now husband) said, “Answer it!”  It was good advice, as this was my call to interview! After my interview I had the usual feelings of doubt and uncertainty of how it went, but at the same time I felt positive as I was walking out of funeral home that I was meant to be right here, in this spot, at this moment.  Three weeks later, my professional career in funeral care began. After completing my residency requirement, I was offered a position. Just recently, I celebrated my 4-year anniversary, combining my time between sister companies, Bartolomeo & Perotto and Walker Brother Funeral Homes.

Currently I am a board member of the Rochester Genesee Valley Funeral Director's Association, working closely with the Community Outreach Committee. In my life outside being a funeral director, my husband, Scott Schmitt (also a licensed funeral director), and our two children, aka “the dogs” have a very full life. Our Rottweilers, Allie and Mack occupy much of our free time at this point in our lives. I also enjoy crafting and traveling. In 2015, Scott and I had a fantastic trip to Germany for our honeymoon where both of our families originated from. I’ve also been fortunate enough to travel to Switzerland, Italy, and France, and enjoy our family cabin in Quebec, Canada. The Midwest calls us back to Iowa to see my husband 's family from time to time, and along the way we try and stop in Chicago where we met and re-visit our favorite places. We love to travel, but we also enjoy working on and updating our home in Irondequoit. My latest hobby is becoming an independent fashion retailer with LuLaRoe clothing. It’s a great outlet outside of work where I can sink myself into fun, vibrant clothing that helps women feel good and confident about themselves!

My motto is: PASSION! Love What You Do! You need to love what you do – end of story. Though grief and sadness are a part of being a funeral director, I wouldn’t change my career choice for anything. It is very humbling, yet fulfilling to be able to help families through their grief journey and an honor to be trusted with their loved ones. I have no doubt, this is where I am supposed to be! 

Helpful Links:

Learn more about Bartolomeo & Perotto Funeral Home staff!   Click here:

Learn more about Walker Brothers Funeral Home staff!   Click here:

What is LulaRoe?   Click here:





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