Becoming a Funeral Director

“Along the way, I learned the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, which means 'the healing of the world' and is accomplished through presence in the midst of pain. It can be summarized in the phrase "I'm here with you and I love you" and is accomplished through simple acts of presence. It became a rallying cry for me in my work as a funeral director. Rachel Naomi Remen, in an interview with Krista Tippett, describes it as 'a collective task. It involves all people who have ever been born, all people presently alive, all people yet to be born. We are all healers of the world...It's not about healing the world by making a huge difference. It's about the world that touches you.' Presence and proximity before performance. As I took that to heart, I started to see small, everyday examples of tikkun olam everywhere. When a mother comforts a child, she's healing the world. Every time someone listens to another - deeply listens - she's healing the world. A nurse who bathes the weakened body of an elderly patient is healing the world. The teacher who invests herself in her students is healing the world. The plumber who makes the inner workings of a house run smoothly is healing the world. A funeral director who finds that he can heal the world even at his family's business. When we practice presence and proximity, we may not change anyone, we may not shift culture or move mountains, but it's a healing act, if for none other than ourselves. When we do our work with kindness - no matter what kind of work - if we're doing it with presence, we're practicing tikkun olam.” - Caleb Wilde, Confessions of a Funeral Director: How the Business of Death Saved My Life

Funeral directors provide compassionate, proficient, and individualized professional services to meet the needs of families facing the death of a loved one. Their career satisfaction comes not only from the work itself, but from seeing the results of helping families during a devastating time. Funeral directors make a difference in their communities and take great pride in the services they provide. The funeral director will supervise substantially all of the activities of the final disposition, including removing the body, embalming, cremating, or burial. To practice funeral directing in the state of Illinois, an individual must be a licensed funeral director in Illinois.


Funeral Director Requirements

Already Licensed?

Accredited Illinois Schools of Mortuary Education

American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE)

Scholarship Opportunities

Funeral Service Foundation