I was born in Timaru and studied at Highfield, Watlington Intermediate and Timaru Girls High Schools. On completion of these years of education I moved to Dunedin where secretarial training was offered at the Otago Polytechnic and I entered the business world as a secretary.
After marriage and the birth of my two children I returned to full time employment, this time as a sales representative. I enjoyed the challenge of meeting the various expectations of those that I met and served. During this time, I was heavily involved with my children in our love of Musical Theatre. I choreographed many of the shows that they were involved with in Mosgiel, Dunedin and Waikouaiti. When not involved with the choreography I would hold the position of Production Manager. This role has fine-tuned my skills in event management.
When my mother passed away in 1990 I was amazingly supported by the funeral director caring for our family and it was at that time that I felt the desire to join the industry. It wasn’t until 2006 that I finally got the opportunity to gain employment with Gillions Funeral Services in Dunedin. After studying for several years I gained a double qualification with Diplomas in Funeral Directing and Embalming.
Coming home to Timaru was always in my heart from the day I left. With the purchase of Aoraki Funeral Home I am thrilled to say that I am finally living in the place I love caring for the community in my chosen profession.
I was born and raised in Dunedin and have enjoyed a career in the building industry, the last 25 years at management level. I met my wife Shelley in Dunedin and together we spent many holidays with her family in her home town of Timaru. Supporting Shelley in her role as a funeral director has given me insight into this rewarding vocation. After deciding that we would very much like to work together in the funeral industry, we began to search for a business to purchase. We were thrilled when the opportunity arose to purchase the Aoraki Funeral Home from Paul and Marie Lockyer.
As my role was to manage the Monumental Business, I spent six weeks at Dunedin Monumental Masons learning the trade prior to coming to Timaru. During 2013, I worked alongside Paul Lockyer who is a very experienced monumental mason. This has advanced my skills and I am now helping families to provide lasting memorials for their loved ones by having designed headstones or plaques painted and installed. When required I also lend a helping hand as a funeral assistant. I find my new career path to be both interesting and rewarding.
In my spare time I enjoy playing golf, reading and listening to music.
In 1997, my policing career brought me to the beautiful South Canterbury area, where my wife, Julie and family enjoyed serving the Twizel, Lake Tekapo and Fairlie communities.
The work was varied and unfortunately involved a lot of tragedy on the roads, mountains and farms. I found I really enjoyed helping families in their time of crisis and from that time on I eventually wanted to work in the Funeral Industry.
To relax, my wife and I enjoy snowboarding, mountain biking and our 3 grandchildren.
I was born in Invercargill, raised in Pukeuri (near Oamaru) and educated at Waitaki Girls High School, Dunedin Teachers College and the Great School of Life. We moved from Oamaru to mid and then South Canterbury in 1978.
My main career, spanning 52 years, is as wife to John, mother and nana to our five children, their spouses and our grandchildren. As well, I have had a range of self employed roles in Tupperware, café, grocery, electrical contracting and dry cleaning, followed by 17 years as Manager of Aorangi Academy – now called South Canterbury Community College.
“Retirement” has included early childhood education, business consultancy and voluntary work, alongside family involvement, and now – an invitation to join Aoraki Funeral Services as a Locum Funeral Director.
My initial connection with A.F.S. was through Shelley and from the first I was impressed with her honesty, integrity and total commitment to providing the best service possible to each family during their bereavement. These impressions have been enhanced by each member of this great team. I feel privileged to be offered this opportunity and look forward to being of further service to our community in this new role.
Working at Aoraki Funeral Services and having the opportunity to assist families in their time of need is a privilege. I have lived in South Canterbury all my life and consider this a great place to raised my boys alongside my husband. My employment background is community services, admin and events management. I love sport, especially hockey which I played since I was six years old, and now support my sons in a coaching role. Working at Aoraki is an opportunity I enjoy; the grounds, atmosphere and general well being offered by the team allows families to say goodbye to their special loved ones in a personal and comforting way.
While raising our three children in the Mackenzie basin, and assisting my husband Greg in his policing duties, we found we worked well as a team, and decided that one day it would be nice to work together.
With a varied background in admin, banking, sales and as a volunteer fire fighter, I enjoy the personal touch of funeral directing where I’m able to make a difference in a time of crisis.
My passion in life is my faith, cycling, snowboarding, yoga, travel and shopping. I love to spend time with our children and to hang with my favourite small people in the world, (my three grandsons). Life is too short not to live well!
Assistant Monumental Mason
After a hands-on career as a problem- solving engineer, it’s a pleasure to let my green fingers loose, as plants manager at Aoraki. I love gardening, and it’s important the gardens are beautiful here all year round. Working alongside Jim, it’s good to apply my practical skills to monumental masonry, and be part of the Support Team for Aoraki.
I’m into hunting and fishing, and enjoy woodturning and our vege garden. I’m married to Rosie Staite; together we have a large extended family who keep us on our toes.
I was born in Otematata, and at the age of 7, moved with my Family to Timaru. My Schooling was at Waimataitai and Timaru Girls High School. I think after 50 years here, I might be considered a local now.
My first job encaptured many of the skills that I enjoy and excel at –Accepting and helping people relax and feel at ease, in whatever stressful situation they are in, and looking at life from a positive perspective. I have been a chair side assistant, Orderly controller, X-ray Orderly and MRT Assistant. At Aoraki Funeral Services I have been able to utilize my empathy, artistic talents, and increase my respect for people experiencing a passing of a loved one.
I have lost both my only Sister and Mother in the last 6 years, so have experienced feelings of griefand emotions that some people have. My interests include Civil Defence, my Family Tree, and Home decorating. I have always had an interest in a career in the Funeral Industry, so when Shelley offered me my position, I accepted, and have enjoyed learning how to do the best for our ‘Families’. I have two Daughters and three Grandchildren, who accept ‘Granny Sue’s” new vocation.