McComas Funeral Home
“It’s who you are. It’s what you’re meant to do,” says Kim Zavrotny, describing her calling to be a funeral director. “You don’t pick it; it picks you.”
Zavrotny, a funeral director at McComas Funeral Home in Abingdon, says she felt drawn to the vocation in high school, and the feeling never really went away. From an entry-level psychology class that included chapters on death and dying to visiting a funeral home and a crematorium, Zavrotny says she was hooked. She started college and realized after a year and a half that all she wanted to do was go to mortuary school. So, she followed her dream and earned her AAS from Simmons Institute of Mortuary Science in Syracuse, N.Y. She served her apprenticeship in Norristown, Pa., and obtained her Pennsylvania funeral directors’ license in March 1993. When she moved to Maryland in 2001, she became licensed in Maryland, as well.
Aside from the physical and scientific aspects of funeral directing – embalming, cremating, preparing the bodies – Zavrotny is strongly embedded in the emotional side of the business. “You don’t get hardened to people’s grief,” she says. “When I stop understanding the emotion, that’s when I’ll have to go do something else. I’m not doing my job if I’m not understanding what people are going through.”
Zavrotny says she can relate because she’s been on the other side of the table, with the loss of her father a few years ago and other loved ones passing away. “People just need someone to lead them and tell them what to do when they need it most,” she says. “We’re the head on your shoulders when you need it.”
McComas Funeral Home is a family owned and operated business in its sixth generation of the McComas family. Their team of nine funeral directors serves the needs of Harford County and surrounding areas through locations in Bel Air and Abingdon. Zavrotny says the company’s philosophy and the way they treat their clients mirrors her own beliefs. “When I’m offered the privilege of serving your family in their time of need, I do everything I can to help you make the funeral a reflection of your loved one – who they were and what they brought to this world,” she explains.
“People often tell their families, ‘Just put me in a wood box or throw me to the wind when I die,’ but it’s necessary to realize how important you are,” Zavrotny says. “Everyone is important to someone, and everyone deserves a proper funeral service. It’s really for the people who are left behind.”
Zavrotny says pre-arrangements for funerals continue to be prevalent. “It’s really the best gift you can give your loved ones – and it is a gift,” she emphasizes. A good investment both financially and emotionally, a pre-arranged funeral takes the burden off of those who are grieving and allows them to know that your wishes are being honored. It also helps relieve the financial worries about funeral payment.
When all the arrangements are complete, Zavrotny says her reward is the “thank yous” and hugs she gets from the families. “At the end of the day, when people say thank you, I know I’ve done what they needed me to do. I’ve been there for them.”
Zavrotny is active in the Harford County community. She is a board member for the Chesapeake Professional Women’s Network and a member of the Geriatric Assistance and Information Network. She has also been a member of the Mason-Dixon Business Association, BNI and the planning committee for the ARC Northern Chesapeake Region’s annual After D’Arc event.
When not working, she likes spending time with her husband and two children, ages 19 and 15. “They are the reason I do what I do,” Zavrotny says. The family enjoys traveling together, trying new restaurants and spending time at their Pennsylvania cottage. I95
McComas Funeral Home
1317 Cokesbury Road, Abingdon, MD 21009, 410-676-4600
50 W. Broadway, Bel Air, MD 21014, 410-838-4040