Our Parks Services employees, including groundskeepers, maintenance workers and landscapers, are responsible for the day-to-day upkeep of our cemeteries and any special issues that arise. As Stewart Enterprises’ President and CEO Tom Kitchen says, “To be a Park Services employee, you must be dedicated to the work. Whether it’s 95 degrees outside or 25, they’re out there doing what needs to be done.”
These workers understand the importance and significance of their job. In August, Company employees from every department celebrated these employees' hard work during Park Services Appreciation Month. “We chose August because it’s the hottest month of the year. We want these employees to know how greatly we appreciate the work they do. It’s not an easy job in any weather, but in this heat, it’s grueling,” says Kitchen.
Our cemeteries across the Company celebrated the month in unique ways. In some locations, the families we serve heard about our appreciation month and wanted to contribute to the celebration. One example of this took place at Washington Memorial Park in Sandston, Va., where customer Wyatt Renick visits the grave of his wife twice a day. He often stops to tell cemetery manager Louis Johnston how much he respects these workers, and what an outstanding job they do every day. When Renick heard that August is Park Services Appreciation Month at the cemetery, he insisted on contributing sodas for workers. “I’ve been in the death care industry for 15 years and have to say that Mr. Renick is one of the reasons I enjoy doing what I do,” Johnston said.