The business of death

ST. CHARLES, Minn. (FOX 47)– The word “mortician” might bring to mind frightening images of skeletons or men lurking around graveyards, but in the state of Minnesota, the number of females pursuing careers as morticians is exploding. 

It’s a job title St .Charles native Ashley Hoff never thought would be on her name tag.

“I always said there was no way that I am becoming a funeral director,” said funeral director Ashley Hoff.

It’s a job she was quite literally born to do, growing up above her family’s funeral home until she was in second grade.

“Our playroom was the chapel when there was nothing going on. Kids would ask questions about it, but we didn’t know any different,” said Hoff.

She changed her tune after a visit home from college, where she was studying nursing.

“I was back home one weekend and some lady told me about how my dad and grandpa had really helped her when her husband died. That just kind of changed my whole way of thinking,” said Hoff.

Ashley is not alone on her journey. The number of females pursuing careers as morticians in the state of Minnesota has exploded over the past four decades.

In 1975, only 5% of students enrolled in the University of Minnesota’s mortuary science program were women, according to the University of Minnesota.

This year, 68% of students enrolled are women.

It’s a job that is about much more than just headstones and hearses for Hoff.

“We see families at their worst. When someone they love has died, that is unimaginable pain that they are going through. We try to make the funeral for their loved one as memorable as possible, as meaningful as possible,” said Hoff.



Top Stories

Mason City
Albert Lea
Morning rain and afternoon sunshine

Morning rain and afternoon sunshine

We're off to a wet start for our Friday, but conditions will improve as the day processes.

Connect with My FOX 47
Top Stories

Rochester Salvation Army holds annual Harvest Festival Auction

Bidding baskets and other donated items come from all across the Rochester area.

Duluth requesting millions in emergency disaster aid in wake of October storm

City leaders say that preliminary number of $18.4 million could change as more detailed assessments are completed.

USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service announces salad & bowl recall

They were produced between October 6 and 14 of this year and shipped to retail locations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan,

The National Eagle Center offers extra activites for MEA weekend

With the MEA break in full swing, kids had to stay busy somehow, luckily the National Eagle Center offered a

11th annual Flyway Film Festival begins

The 11th annual Flyway Film Festival began on Friday, October 19 and goes until the 21.

Scroll to top
Skip to content