National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day: Evans St. Fort

National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day: Evans St. Fort
Evans St. Fort, Owner-Funeral Director/Mortician at St. Forts Funeral Home & Cremations.

SOUTH FLORIDA – National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day is today March 11. Its a day set aside to thank the professionals who consider every need during the most challenging time in a family’s life.

Funeral directors and morticians dedicate their lives to helping families, and loved ones celebrate their loved ones.

We caught up with Evans St. Fort, who is the Owner-Funeral Director/Mortician at St. Forts Funeral Home & Cremations. He has been in business in North Miami Beach for 15 years.

We had a chance to ask him some questions that we know some of our readers might want to know.

  • How did you get into the profession?

A: I got into the profession originally because my father was in the business when I was younger, and so as I was in school, I realized that I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps. So I decided to enter the funeral program, and hence that’s how everything pretty much started.

  • What was working on your first body like?

A: Working on my first body was pretty scary. I had a little phobia at the beginning of opening up body bags; I was never really into that. And so, I remember when I was in class, and I had to open up the body bag; it was like I did not know what I was going to encounter, so that was pretty scary for me, of course. The other frightening situation was that I wanted to make sure I did the right thing in front of my professor and all my colleagues, so the whole class was staring at me. The teacher was staring at me, so it was a little nerve-wracking because I wanted to make sure I did everything right in terms of how they taught me. 

  • Is it hard to dress a body?

A: No, it’s not. There’s a technique to the madness, and one of the methods that we use is cutting the clothing. The only time it does get tricky is when someone is overweight because then it has to deal with the moving, can get a little complicated, but we do have machines in the house for anyone that is overweight. So that’s kind of how we work that out.

  • How do you get all the fluids out of a person?

A: When we are embalming an individual, we raise the corroded artery, which is right underneath your neck, and we drain the jugular vein. And what we’re doing is pretty much removing all of your blood flow in your body and it’s coming out of the jugular vein, and we’re replacing that fluid with hermonide.* So that’s technically what we’re doing to make it simple, we’re replacing your blood with *formaldehyde*and that is what keeps your body preserved. The chemicals are pretty harsh, they’re not easy to work with, but of course, we use protective equipment when we’re doing them.

  • Have you ever embalmed an individual you were close to?

A: Yes, I worked on my grandmother when she passed away, and not that I was excited to, but the reason why I worked on her was that I knew how she looked, and I wanted to make sure that I worked on her and only me. I felt like just because that’s probably what she would have wanted and so I didn’t panic or freak out when I was doing the work. Still, before it started, I was just a little kind of saddened by the whole idea, but I was happy in the end because I made my grandmother look happy and I know for a fact that her looking down on me, seeing what I did to make sure she was right, she was probably satisfied with. So I’ve also worked on, I had to work on an employee that passed away here, and that was difficult because this employee was probably someone that had the highest level of energy in our office, and when I worked on her, it was just so sad. Because again, she was a ball of energy and to see that she passed away from cancer and as much as she tried to fight it, she had no control over it, was tough for us, and was sad. And even talking about it today, she was our make-up artist here, and I miss her till this day. She was just such a great person overall, and for her to have left two children behind and passed away from cancer at a young age, was just tough for all of us here. 

  • Have there been any cases that have shaken you up?

A: So yes, there was a specific case, in particular, there was an individual, he was married to his wife, and he had two children. I don’t know what happened in the household, but he claimed that the husband came home one day and he burned his wife, not only did he gas up and burn his wife, he gassed up and burned his two children too. And I’ll tell you when I saw them come into the funeral home; I was just devastated, pissed off, angry. I had so many emotions because I said to myself, “I don’t know how someone could do that to their family. To see little children, and we’re talking like kids that were probably five-six.”

About Evans St. Fort

After graduating from high school, it was Evans’s vision to grow what his father had started back in Haiti. So he enrolled at St. Thomas University and transitioned to Lynn University and graduated with a degree in Mortuary Science, graduating second in his class. After graduating, Evans encountered his first set back, not passing the board. The second time he mastered the test allowing him to move on to an internship at Fred Hunters. “I was a sponge there and learned a lot, and I am very grateful. I knew I would not be there for long, so I took up everything about the business”.

His funeral home resides at the location Evans found soon after his internship in North Miami Beach. Formerly a Jewish only funeral home, “I remodeled and made it my own at the age of 25” Soon after, he was working Monday through Sunday and having to wear all jackets. He did all embalming, picked up human remains, cosmetics, family meetings, funeral arrangements, and working funeral services, not to mention managing the business. The beginning was tough, and I faced a lot of challenges, at times I did not know if I was going to make it, but I had faith that God placed me here for a reason, so I never gave up and continued to work hard. 

His business now allows him to advance in the industry by bringing modern ideas to the table and technological advances. He is now one of the industry leaders in his community. Evans plans on continuing to grow his business by helping one family at a time.

For more information on St. Forts Funeral Home & Cremation visit

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The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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