What is your current occupation (or where do you attend school), and what does that involve?
"I am the Funeral Director in Charge/Embalmer in Charge at Palmer Mortuary and Cremations. It involves, at times making removals, meeting with families, (sometimes) embalming, dressing/casketing/cosmetizing, arranging all the details that could be involved with any type of funeral service(s) (church, escorts, obituaries, gravedigger, staff, etc.), driving a vehicle (coach/hearse), filing death certificates, insurance and loads of paperwork."
What do you do off the clock “Just for fun?”
"I don't normally have a lot of time off, spending time with my husband and daughter, reading a magazine, checking out a new restaurant or catching a recent flick."
What city and state were you born in?
"I was born in San Jose, California."
Who are the members of your immediate family?
"My immediate family consist of my husband Christopher Aguilar, my daughter Kamille a.k.a. 'Smalls,' my mother Elvira Cooper, a Boston Terrier, 'Black Betty Davis,' and a Pitbull mix, 'Dixie' a.k.a. 'Barky,' and a cat, 'LaDonna Versace Aguilar."
What is the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced?
The biggest challenge I've ever faced is losing my dad to cancer, while finishing my last semester in college. At the time, I didn't care if I finished school or not. Once I took it all into perspective, I realized that I couldn't let all my hard work and dedication be wasted because of my grief. My dad encouraged me to succeed, showed me how to work hard. I know he would've wanted me to finish what I had started. It was God's grace that pulled me through. Walking across the stage at my commencement was beyond difficult. My knees were shaking, I was in tears and I had a picture of my dad in my graduation cap."
What is your favorite TV show and movie?
"A&E's The First 48, is my favorite TV show. The real life tragedies, drama and pursuit of justice, always intrigue me and Amadeus is my favorite movie. An excellent film about the great Mozart! His struggle to be the greatest composer, the on going emotional battle between he and his father, his hysterical laugh, the flamboyant wigs and the depiction of who he could've actually been; will keep your attention the entire length of the movie."
What type of music do you enjoy (favorite band, song, etc…)?
"I enjoy listening to everything, however, I mostly listen to R&B and Hip-Hop (80's & 90's era). Reminds me of my childhood, growing up, in the Bay Area and Central Valley (California)."
What is your favorite Seguin business and restaurant?
"My favorite restaurant is Tavern on the Creek, the atmosphere and food are such a refreshing change for Seguin. My favorite business is any business here in town, that focuses on quality and customer service. It is so important!"
What is something folks may not really know about you?
"I'm not very athletic. I've never really played any physical sports. I do not enjoy being outside, getting all sweaty and dirty."
If you could assemble a dinner party with any five guests (living or dead) -excluding immediate living family members - who would they be?
"My dad - Curtis Cooper (cancer), a loving family friend - Mr. (Ray) Morrison (cancer), one of my best friends from high school - Christina Carrillo Robinson (cancer), my cousin - Rocky Luna (suicide) and a grandmother figure - Marie Wessells (heart attack). All people that I loved and showed me love in return. Unfortunately, they are all gone, taken way too soon from this world."
What are your roles in the community?
"I try to help out and contribute in the community as much as I can, volunteering and donating, however, the biggest role comes from being a local Funeral Director and Embalmer. Being of comfort, support and earning a family's trust; when you are caring for their loved one, can be a huge task. I sincerely feel honored when they choose Palmer Mortuary as their funeral home of choice."
Discuss your professional background/achievements/leadership roles.
"I have an Associates Degree in Mortuary Science from San Antonio College, licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, licensed insurance agent (Pre-paid Funeral Policies) and I am a member of the Texas Funeral Director's Association."
What are the proudest moments in your personal life or in your career?
"The proudest moment in my life is being the woman that I am today. Overcoming adversity, not becoming a statistic and never giving up on my hopes and dreams. Any time that I see my daughter doing well, also gives me a great sense of pride. I strive really hard to be a good example to her. I take a lot of pride in my career. Living in Seguin, working here in town and serving the families here; mean every thing to me. I also take a huge amount of pride in working at Palmer Mortuary and Cremations. The staff and I have worked extremely hard in the last year and half to turn things around and I believe we are doing an excellent job. I also feel proud when I'm out in town and families that I've had the honor of handling their loved one's service, come up to me, hug me and thank me."
What do you believe are the strengths of this community?
"The strengths of this community are the people themselves. I've made such great friends and acquaintances here in Seguin! People from all walks of life are friendly and courteous. If there is a need, folks band together for the good of all. Seguin is taking strides to become updated without losing that small town feel; hope it will stay that way for a long time to come."
What do you find as the most interesting thing about Seguin?
"I realized that some people that live here or have moved away, hate Seguin (Texas). I just have to laugh to myself because I think living here is quite grand! I totally enjoy raising my daughter here, love the friends that I've made and genuinely appreciate the community and all that it has to offer. Soon, we'll have a new library, high school and downtown is starting to buzz. It really is exciting!"
What are your future plans?
"To take myself and my health more serious. Many times, I put my job and my family before my own needs. I struggle with it constantly and would like to find that happy balance."
What message do you have for the residents of Seguin?
"Please don't wait to handle (or take care of) plans for yourself or a relative's funeral. There are so many things you can do to try and prepare! There are pre paid funeral insurances, life insurances, etc. You can write down your wishes, visit funeral homes to get an idea of their products and what you'd like, or simply ask for a price list so you are aware of costs. I've witnessed, too many times, families that are in shock, trying to grieve and don't know where to begin; because a family member passed away suddenly. You're never too young to get educated on how funeral planning works. I've also seen families that knew that their loved one was going to pass away and still didn't make any plans because they were in denial. The stress and hardship can all be avoided if you simply ask for information. Any funeral home here in town should be able to help anyone that may have questions or explain the process of funeral planning. At the very least, make your plans or wishes known. Unfortunately, death IS a part of life that we all cannot avoid."