ANDERSON – Scott Wilkins retired this week after 50 years of service as funeral director for Rozelle-Johnson Funeral Service.
Wilkins, 74, started at Rozelle-Johnson in 1964. However, working as a funeral director was not what Wilkins initially thought he was destined to do.
“I originally wanted to be a doctor,” Wilkins said. “Then, I went to Indiana State for the teachers program for two years, and transferred to Indiana College of Mortuary Science in Indianapolis after that.”
Wilkins said that after seeing what funeral directors were able to do for him and his family, he wanted to help others in their time of need. After that second year of college, Wilkins knew what profession to choose.
Wilkins said the people he has worked with and connections he has made are the highlights of his career.
Colleague Jason Privett said Wilkins' retirement will bring a “bittersweet feeling” and noted that Wilkins' profession suited him ideally.
“Scott is very well-liked and well-respected within the community," Privett said. "And I have known him for many years. I was in his troop as a Cub Scout, and grew up with his children."
Privett said that he and his colleagues are happy for Wilkins but saddened by his departure from the industry.
“The only other thing I could see Scott doing and enjoying as much or more would be gardening,” Privett said.
Reinhold Mueller, 52, funeral director at Brown Butz & Diedring Funeral Services, said Wilkins is “well-deserving of a good retirement.”
Mueller, who has known Wilkins since 1984, said Wilkins is a mentor and a role model to younger funeral directors.
In retirement, Wilkins plans to travel with his wife, Marita, while also helping with other needs in the community and in his church. He will also spend more time with his seven children and 15 grandchildren.