Hometown Helpers: Cemetery worker takes care of the deceased and those who visit
IDAHO FALLS — Every week, EastIdahoNews.com is introducing you to Hometown Helpers in our community. We want to spotlight a firefighter, police officer, city worker, snowplow driver and others who quietly keep our cities and counties running.
This week, we are featuring sexton Scott Davis, a cemetery caretaker. He is part of the Parks and Recreation Department for the city of Idaho Falls. He’s been working for the city for 28 years and has been a sexton for six.
“I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be working in a cemetery. It’s a lot different but I love my job, absolutely,” Davis said.
He maintains the grounds at Rose Hill Cemetery and Fielding Cemetery. He loves the crew he works with to keep everything running.
“We do burials and we do cremations. We interact with people all the time, people that are in emotional distress,” Davis said.
It’s a job Davis has adjusted to over time.
“At first it was really difficult for me just dealing with people who have died because nobody really wants to deal with that and nobody really thinks about it until it happens to you and it is just an odd feeling to have,” he said. “The first burial I did, I didn’t know how to feel. It was just something different. It was an emotion I have never experienced. After a while, you get used to it.”
He has learned a lot on the job and by talking with people who visit their loved ones.
“Prepare before it happens because when there is a death, usually people are scrambling and trying to buy (burial) property and trying to deal with funeral homes. It’s best if you already have a place. That’s probably the best advice I can give,” he said.
The cemetery can be a peaceful place to visit. On beautiful days, Davis said people will often take walks on the grounds.
Both cemeteries he works in are rich in history.
“As you work here, you get to see the headstones. There are some different names in here that you come across from working here. We have a Harry Potter, a Clark Kent,” he said. “We’ve got Curley. That’s Kate Curley — that park is named after her.”
His job can also be very interesting.
“We’ve had a ghost tour here (at Rose Hill Cemetery) which was pretty neat and then we’ve had a tour where prominent people of Idaho Falls were focused on,” Davis said. “It’s just a really good job and I really love my job.”
Davis shows every day that he’s a Hometown Helper by taking care of those who have passed and helping those that visit.
If you know a Hometown Helper that we should feature, please email email@example.com.