Lewis Funeral Home is the oldest black-owned business in San Antonio. While East San Antonio has been changing, Lewis Funeral Home has not – and it’s not just the wood paneling in the lobby that’s stayed the same. It’s an essential institution in the community for both its long-term presence and the real, tangible services it offers. The employees of Lewis Funeral Home know how to care for their community in times of grief. They have carefully choreographed rituals that create space for people while mourning. But in the private corners of the funeral home, particularly in the embalming room, you begin to see what really makes Lewis Funeral Home unique.
As he nears retirement, National Embalmer of the Year, James Bryant, reflects on the personal cost of a career working with the dead in, The Funeral Home.