Death is a part of life. I know Lynne Nayman from church and from Rotary. It does not surprise me that she is very comfortable working as a cemetarian due to the fact that she is a spiritual person. While some may be uncomfortable working in such an environment, I see Lynne as being unaffected by it adversely for the most part, and by being a calming presence to families in need of her services at the cemetery.
“The right thing is to be sympathetic without saying too much.” Says Lynne.
However, she does say that it has been tough lately with the death toll being up. “Sometimes I just take it all in”, says Lynne. (Specifically meaning that she is taking in the family’s feelings of grief.) But she also finds her job to be rewarding because she is serving others.
In addition, Lynne enjoys the genealogical research part of her job as far as people looking for their relatives such as their grandparents or great grandparents. “If they’re there, I can usually find them”, says Lynne. The cemetery itself dates back to the 1850’s, on a plot of land that is well over 130 acres.
Next month she’ll have been there for six years. The job fell into her lap because she knew most of the people on the board at the cemetery, and they knew she was looking for work.
In addition to working at Hillside Cemetery, Lynne does grant writing for Peekskill Rotary Club. Fittingly for Lynne the motto of Rotary is “Service Above Self”.
Lynne has been a Peekskill Rotarian since 1996, with Deb Milone as her sponsor.
She’s taking a course now called “Aging and Sage-ing”, which focuses on the spiritual aspects of aging, again, fitting for her given her profession and stage in life, although Lynne does make it clear that she does not want to retire anytime soon even though she is past retirement age. Her next assignment in her spirituality class is to write her own obituary. She struggles to find the right words when I ask her what she’s going to write, so I remind her that she is a loving and caring person that is gifted at serving others. Lynne’s husband Richard passed in 2017 and is buried at Hillside. He was the President of the Westchester PC Users Group.
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