Meet the St Margaret’s Hospice Funerals Team
Julie Lacey – Head of Funeral Services
She now lives in Burnham-on-Sea with husband Mike and their Labradoodle Monty. Despite the ferocious winds, they can often be found wandering the beaches along that stretch of coastline so if you see them, stop to say hello!
Julie felt a calling to the funeral profession after attending her Brother-in-Law’s funeral over 15 years ago. It was the first funeral she had attended as an adult and she felt it was such a worthwhile business to be involved in as well as providing the opportunity of being able to do something sincerely rewarding at the end of a person’s life. Driven by a passion to help others Julie looked for the opportunity to work within the funeral industry and it took several years for her to find a suitable position as she wanted to combine a part-time role whilst looking after her young daughter, Charlotte. Charlotte is now 20 and studying at the University of Preston.
Julie’s funeral career began as a part-time Funeral Arranger in Clevedon, and she loved it. However, handing over the families she had cared for throughout their time of grief to the Funeral Director on the day of the funeral service saddened her. Julie felt that the personal relationship she had established with those families should be seen through from beginning to end allowing a consistent level of care from a familiar person to the client. Julie worked hard, asked lots of questions of her colleagues and volunteered for other roles to enhance her professional development in order to carry out the role she felt families both wanted and deserved.
In 2013 Julie’s hard work was recognised as she was promoted to Funeral Director. Having a flare, enthusiasm and commitment to excellent standards of service saw her promoted once again the following year to Principal Funeral Director. This role was perfect for Julie who loved being able to help families, assist in the care of their loved one, organise the team to help her deliver high standards of support and became a vital part of the wider community.
In 2017 Julie found herself taking another promotion to Senior Funeral Director in and around the Bristol area, but soon realised that it was not a good fit for her as she missed the hands on, day to day contact with the families and her teams and she felt that the individual, unique funerals that she wanted to conduct were now drifting further away from her.
In order to fulfil her desire to work closely with families, Julie joined St Margaret’s Funerals in December 2017 and has said “it feels like the perfect match for me. I truly believe that we can make a difference for bereaved families by offering a totally unique, personal funeral for everyone that captures special memories and meaning. We are at the start of something very special here in Somerset and I feel both excited and privileged to be able to serve the people of this community for many years to come”.
Angela Morteo – Funeral Assistant
In 2001 Angela moved to Weston Super Mare to be near her Niece and Nephew. This turned out to be a great move for Angela as she soon met and married her husband Pete and become a step-mum to three lovely boys.
Angela has enjoyed a successful career spanning 26 years in the financial industry. Initially Angela had worked in the field of Insurance and Pensions, followed by twelve years in Banking, where she steadily worked her way up to the position of Branch Manager.
Whilst working for the Bank, Angela was lucky enough to get a career break opportunity and being driven by a passion to help others she travelled to Nepal and did voluntary work in an orphanage. This was an amazing and life changing moment for Angela who witnessed first-hand the extreme poverty and suffering that some people face in life compared with the wealth and opulence of others. She decided to pursue a career away from the Banking sector on her return to the UK.
Angela initially joined an accounts office and utilising her drive and ambition simultaneously retrained and studied for an accounts diploma which after three hard years of night school resulted in the worthwhile experience of graduating and a cap and gown ceremony.
In 2015 Angela’s father was unfortunately diagnosed with Lung Fibrosis. Angela had a huge desire to spend more time with him and be available to look after him as he became more poorly. In order to do this Angela looked for a part-time position locally. It was at this time that she saw an advert for a Funeral Operative. Having been intrigued by this line of work for a long time Angela applied and with her natural personality for caring for others shining through, the company were delighted to offer Angela the position. It soon became apparent that she had found her vocation in life and she quickly realised that she received great fulfilment from helping others at a time when they needed it most.
Her father died in 2017 and working in the industry she felt luckier than most to be in a position to personally help with his funeral arrangements. Her colleagues were all very supportive and the experience gave her a first-hand insight into the importance of caring, compassionate and professional people to guide families at a time of bereavement.
Angela joined St Margaret’s Funerals in January 2018 and is a valued member of our team. Taking a huge pride in her work she says “A lot of family and friends are surprised by the career I have chosen in life and ask me why I picked this particular path? I tell them that it is the most rewarding work I have ever done and that I feel very privileged to be able to be part of such an important event in people’s lives. The loss of a loved one is the most stressful and traumatic experience we face in life and to be given the responsibility to help and support families through their time of grief is a difficult role but one that is immeasurably rewarding”.