Andy is an outstandingly accomplished embalmer whose knowledge and professional skills are matched by his humanity and respect for people who have died.
Overwhelming endorsements from many of the funeral directors that he works with were the reason why Andy has been picked as the Embalmer of the Year. Unfailingly he was described as ‘a credit to his profession’, compassionate, dignified and dedicated, someone for whom nothing was too much trouble.
One lengthy handwritten account told how Andy was willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, responding to a desperate text at 3.00am from a funeral director who urgently needed help to restore the appearance of a lady he had just collected before her daughter arrived to see her. Another account told how he made an 80 mile detour while on holiday with his son to assist with an urgent repatriation case.
The only thanks Andy ever receives are from funeral directors, as families rarely if ever ask about who has tended to their loved one, but it is clear that the he is highly regarded by the funeral profession, and indeed really well liked for his deep respect for the deceased and his happy, helpful and positive nature.
Andy’s phone message humorously informs callers that he is “embalmer to the rich and famous” and indeed he has embalmed some big names – eg George Martin. But the vast bulk of Andy’s work has been for ordinary people who will forever carry a beautiful memory picture of their loved one as a result of Andy’s handiwork. Great embalming is part science, part skill and part art. Andy is an outstandingly accomplished and artistic practitioner. He always does his best, carefully and compassionately, whatever the circumstances or the time of night. He’s a great embalmer and a really lovely guy.
Andy is, in industry jargon, a ‘trade’ embalmer, i.e., a freelancer who works for several funeral directors.
Runner up in this category – Angie McLachlan