Hollywood Booster president Angela McKenzie-Tucker, who manages four Northeast neighborhood funeral homes for Dignity Memorial, has accepted an offer to become general manager at Lincoln Memorial Park and Funeral Home near Mt. Scott. Lincoln Memorial is also a Dignity Memorial property. McKenzie-Tucker’s last day in her current position will be May 27th and she will begin her new job, fittingly, on Memorial Day.
McKenzie-Tucker has been with Dignity Memorial for more than ten years and has worked in a variety of positions. Initially hired at Ross Hollywood Chapel to do first calls at night and clean the funeral home after services, she has worked her way up to apprentice, then funeral director and is now general manager of Ross Hollywood, Gateway Little Chapel of the Chimes, the Caldwell’s home on the edge of the Kerns neighborhood and Zeller Chapel of the Roses on Northeast Broadway.
A Montana native, McKenzie-Tucker moved to Portland to attend mortuary school at Mt. Hood Community College. She holds an associate’s degree in funeral service sciences from the school and an associate’s degree in applied science from Portland Community College.
“When I first started working for Ross Hollywood, I lived upstairs in an apartment on the property,” said McKenzie-Tucker. “I was a young kid from Montana in the big city for the first time and I didn’t know a soul, so I spent lot of time just walking around the neighborhood by myself trying to figure out where things were. One of my favorite things about the Hollywood district now is that I can take a lunch break and walk down the street and I’ll still run into two or three people I know. It has that “small-town” feel to it, while also being in a big city.”
“I remember that big snowstorm that came in 2005 when everything iced over. I was trapped in the funeral home, because I lived there,” she said. “I had to keep all the phones answered and cancel all the services that were scheduled, but I remember how quiet and how peaceful it was – and I remember watching across the street for the people who still managed to venture out for their cocktail hour at the Ambassador. A lot of my Hollywood memories are tied to the Boosters, with the Casino Nights and the meetings and the picnics at Laurelhurst Park. Those are the things that I’ll treasure. I have a lot of good friends in the Boosters who I will be sad not to see every week.”
“I spent my entire twenties in the Hollywood district, learning my craft. I’ve learned a lot of really valuable life lessons here and I’ve done a lot of growing up,” she said. “The thing that surprises people sometimes about a funeral home is that while it can sometimes be a somber place and sad things happen there, there’s also a lot of celebration and the people who work at funeral homes are really fantastic people. I’m leaving a really great team at Ross Hollywood.”
Dignity Memorial has begun the search to find a replacement for McKenzie-Tucker and one of the new manager’s duties will be to helm the Ross Hollywood Chapel Veterans Day Parade, which has grown every year that McKenzie-Tucker chaired it and is now one of the largest Veterans Day parades in the state. Ross Hollywood will continue to be involved with the Hollywood Boosters as well and McKenzie-Tucker will assist with that transition.
“I’m currently the sitting president for the Boosters and I will definitely stay in my position through the summer. Then I’ll talk with the board about how we’re going to transition into the fall and I’ll try to be involved for as long as I can.”
McKenzie-Tucker is passionate about funeral service and especially loves training and mentoring new apprentices. Through her time with Dignity, she has participated in many community outreach activities including Making Memories Scrapbooking, Smart and Safe Senior, Escape School and Demystifying the Funeral Experience. She is also involved with Legacy Hopewell House and is a trained and certified hospice volunteer.
“The big shift that we’re seeing now in the industry is that more families are choosing to have a life celebration service,” said McKenzie-Tucker, who recently became a registered celebrant. “That has really been invigorating and fun. We’ve done things like having a Jaegermeister shot at the end of a service or have a marching band come in and play a song. The creativity that’s happening and the things that families are requesting are definitely outside the box. Pardon the pun. I’ll still be able to provide those services to Ross Hollywood families, as requested, in my new position.”
“Folks are definitely welcome to come and visit me at Lincoln Memorial and I can provide them with the materials and resources they’ll need wherever they choose to hold their service,” she said. “Ross Hollywood is open seven days a week and we always have a pot of coffee on, people should not be afraid to stop in anytime and say ‘hello’ to our friendly staff.”
To learn more about the Lincoln Memorial Park and Funeral Home at 11801 S.E. Mt Scott Blvd., call (503) 771-1117 or visit www.lincolnmemorialpk.com.