Getting to Know Brian Wood of Wood Funeral Home
EastIdahoNews.com is highlighting hardworking people who make our local businesses a success. Every Sunday, we’re Getting to Know YOU!
1. Name and Job Title: Brian Wood. Funeral Director and Owner of Wood Funeral Home
2. What do you do in your position? The most important aspect of my career is walking families through the most difficult experience they may ever go through in life – losing a loved one – and doing so with grace, compassion and laser focus on their needs and expectations.
3. Where were you born and when is your birthday? I was born right here in Idaho Falls. My birthday is May 9. I will be departing my 30’s in a few short months!
4. How long have you lived in eastern Idaho and what city do you live in now? Outside of some missionary service in California and pursuing my Mortuary Science education in Arizona, I’ve lived here my entire life! We currently reside in Ammon.
5. Tell us about your first job after high school or college. After obtaining my Business Degree at BYU-Idaho, my wife had one more semester of school to receive her degree in English Education. I became a full-time dad by day, taking care of our first child, a newborn baby girl. We watched a lot of cartoons together in our pajamas! At nights I waited tables at Johnny Carinos Italian Restaurant.
6. What is the best business decision you’ve ever made? Trying to emulate my dad, Jon Wood. He was never focused on being a businessman. His focus was entirely devoted to the service of mankind. Even though he and I are wired differently, at the end of the day, I’m always reminded of the most important part of the funeral business – the individuals and families we serve.
7. Tell us about your family. Family is everything to me! I grew up with six kids in my family, three boys and three girls. Half of us work at the funeral home together. Today my wife and I have four kids of our own. My job often reminds me that life is short and unpredictable and so we try to live each day with our kiddos to the fullest. We go on many adventures and spend most of our time laughing and enjoying the moments we have together.
8. Tell us about a movie or book that has inspired you the most in life. My favorite book I’ve ever read is “The Fountainhead” by Ayn Rand. It inspired me to always be true and unwavering to the ideals and principles that I know to be right in business and in life and to never stop working on bettering myself. I felt so connected to the story and characters in the book that when I finished, I sat and cried, feeling as though these people that I’d grown to know and love in the book were suddenly gone from my life.
9. Tell us about a lesson you learned from a mistake you made in your career. I learned early on that there is no “one right way” to help our families. Each family we serve will have completely different needs for healing and getting through their grief. Some families will joke and laugh, remembering the happy and fun times with their loved one. Others will quietly mourn and expect a very dignified and composed, reverent exchange with our staff.
10. What is the goal you hope to accomplish in the next 12 months? We’re building a brand-new venue near our Ammon office that will serve as an event center for the families we currently serve as well as cater to other local events such as wedding receptions, business meetings and family gatherings. We hope that this new venue will help meet the needs and demands of our ever-changing profession, and focus on those families seeking a beautiful but unique funeral setting. Our plan is to have it fully operational by the end of this year.
11. What is one piece of advice you have for someone who wants to do what you’re doing? This isn’t a 9-5 job. This is a calling of great importance. If you’re in….you better be ALL in.
12. If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently? Probably stop and smell the roses a bit more often than I did while I was obtaining my education. When I started Mortuary School, I was so devoted to getting through it all and getting back to Idaho that I was gone day and night (in school and at work). By the time we came home to Idaho, my wife and kids were happy to have me back in their lives.
13. Where is your favorite place to eat in eastern Idaho? Texas Roadhouse. Those ROLLS! Longhorn is giving them a run for their money, however.
14. Tell us something surprising about yourself. I used to compete in competitive snowboarding events. My favorite event was “Big Air.” My wife made me retire from competing after an ambulance ride and a day spent in the hospital getting MRI’s and having amnesia.
15. How do you like your potatoes? As Funeral potatoes, of course!
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