Steve McCowen, local funeral director, received recognition from the Michigan Funeral Directors Association for 25 years of service.
This award was given to him at the association’s annual meeting in Port Huron. “What made the award even more special to me was receiving the award with an old friend, David Cummings. David and I worked together in Jackson at the Wetherby Funeral Home,” McCowen said. “I started working there when I was 16 years old, and David was a few years older. We both cut the grass, painted, cleaned and washed the cars together. We both went to college to become funeral directors at the same time and then took different paths afterward.”
“Cummings and I were taught by the same mentor, the late Tom Tuthill. Tom was instrumental in us both knowing the business from the ground up. At the ceremony last week, David and I sat together and both thought of how proud Tom would be, not just for the award but for how we both do things the right way with families. David today owns two funeral homes in Muskegon and Whitehall; and I own four funeral homes in Vicksburg, Portage, Plainwell and Schoolcraft. A lot of hard work, long hours and some sleepless nights, sometimes multiple nights in a row go into being a funeral director,” McCowen pointed out.
“As I was looking around during the ceremony, I thought back to the journey. The award was for 25 years but I have worked in the industry and learned from some of the best for over 30 years. I didn’t become the funeral director I am today, by myself. I had Tom that gave me the foundation, Walt Harper and Jack Weston taught me some skilled trade for helping people with extreme issues, Chuck Nelson in Gaylord who owned the Nelson Funeral Home taught me the detail end of the business like none other and how to have class. And I had Sheldon and Marilyn Durham that taught me more than anything about being a funeral director in a small town. Marilyn taught me how to help people grieve and more importantly to live,” McCowen remembered.
“Then I also thought of all the sacrifices my family has made: Jenny, my wife, Mackenzie, Joey, and Stephen and Jenny’s kids, Evan and Emma, for some of the events I don’t get to make because of the business,” McCowen said. “This award wasn’t about me, it was about the shoulders I have stood on to get that award. They are the ones that made me who I am and with regards to my family allow me to be the person I need to be for the families in our community. They are the reason I earned this recognition.”
McCowen said, “I take great pride in the opportunity that families give our firm to serve them. It’s an honor that I am humbled by on a daily basis. McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, isn’t just Steve McCowen, it’s the people that work beside me every day.”