It sounds strange, but death is what Stacia Osborne-Christian lives for. As the funeral director of Osborne Funeral Home in Evansville, she believes everyone should have a decent “homegoing.”
“It’s the last big thing to celebrate the life that was put here on Earth that touched people.”
For 21 years, Stacia has been celebrating many homegoings and helping families through the most difficult of times.
“This is what God put me here on Earth to do.”
But it has not been easy. In her 20’s, Stacia knew she wanted her own funeral home. But she was told from the very beginning that it just “didn’t make sense to try to open a funeral home.” She says people told her she “didn’t have experience, didn’t have financial backing, didn’t have knowledge to run a business.”
But that just made her work harder. “Because when you tell me I can’t, then I can. That’s like the fuel beneath my wings.”
So, after schooling, licensing, and working for others, in 1995 Stacia bought an old run down bar on Lincoln Avenue in Evansville. With her dad and family, they transformed it into her first funeral home.
“We built walls, we framed it out, painted, put roof on. We did it all. We didn’t have any construction companies that came in because we couldn’t afford to do that. We literally pieced it together. But it was great. I had a funeral at my Grand Opening.”
Five years later, a vacant funeral home on Gum Street became available. Stacia says it was a perfect setting, but she just didn’t have the money and thought it was all just a dream. Her family didn’t give up providing ideas how to make it work. And even though money was tight, Stacia paid the back taxes and moved her family upstairs, and her business below.
“Every freaking day has been a struggle and I’d do it all over again. I love what I do.”
That shows in all she does. At times throughout the years, she’s turned the funeral home into a mini-clinic offering health fairs, mammograms and other screenings. Stacia says it’s important for her community to have access in the neighborhood, and not have to drive, or ride the bus across town to get good healthcare.
“I just wanted to make sure we have access- easy access – to the things that are gonna help improve our lives.”
And for her families left behind – the widows and widowers hold a special place in her heart. Every year, Stacia throws a free Valentine’s Day Dinner.
“I give them a card from their loved one, to let them know they’re still thought of.”
Stacia’s sister, Shayla Osborne, nominated Stacia for Remarkable Woman. She says Stacia has been there for her all her life and is an amazing role model. She says Stacia puts other first, “I see the work that she does, and her heart that she puts into it. Just how much she loves her job.”
At the end of the day, Stacia is still doing what they told her years ago, couldn’t be done, and leaving a legacy of kindness, compassion, strength and determination.