Josh Walter’s Journey with Dodds

An accidental career

It’s often said that if you find a job doing something you truly love, you will never work a day in your life. Thus starts Josh Walter’s journey with Dodds.

For me this axiom is true, although I can honestly say that I wasn’t seeking a job to be a monument salesman just because I truly loved talking to people that are hurting from the loss of a loved one. As a matter of fact, if 25 years ago I had to guess what job I would have the longest, truly love, and would have some misgivings about retiring from, a memorial salesman would have likely been my last possible choice.

Time for transition

As much as I love what I do, I recognize it is time to retire from my ultimate job as a monument salesman. When I started 25 years ago I didn’t know anything about monuments, I didn’t consider myself to be artistic, and I would have avoided conversations regarding death. But as I began my career with Dodds I found out that a Dodds Memorials salesman was anything but a tombstone salesman.

With a little uncertainty I began my career at Dodds in March of 1999. What I quickly found out was that the qualifications to be a successful salesperson at Dodds Memorials is simply to be honest, genuinely compassionate, caring, and a good listener, and basically to not be a salesperson at all. I found that our true mission at Dodds is to help people to find peace as they visit the gravesite of their loved one.

It’s about the story, not the stone

What I learned was that memorials were not just stones with name and dates, but that each memorial has a story to tell. Memorials can be made into many sizes and shapes, but what really makes a memorial special are the memories it represents. It’s these memories that can provide peace with every visit at the grave site.

I met so many good, loving and interesting people over the years. They all had stories of their loved one to tell. I helped create memorials for some very important and well known people. Some include the very first crew chief of Air Force One for the President of the United States, the person that invented the oxygen mask still used by military pilots today, a well known actress on the Muppets television show, several professional athletes, politicians, and business leaders.

Ordinary people, extraordinary stories

But I have also helped create memorials for teachers, nurses, plumbers, factory workers, students, mothers, fathers, grandparents and even children. I can tell you that regardless of wealth and status, the tears are no less plentiful and genuine than for those of any lost loved one. It so true that death is the great equalizer.

There were at times some very difficult circumstances that surrounded the death of a person, but there were also those that felt comforted by the passing of a long life well lived. But in any case, the souls to be remembered all had a story to tell and someone that wanted to tell it with one being no more important than the other.

I will miss hearing the stories, am proud of what I have accomplished at Dodds and treasure the lifelong friendships I have gained. I will miss the loving and caring people I have worked with. There could be no more professional caring group of people that are true craftsmen of their trade. For 160 years, Dodds Memorials has left its mark in cemeteries and communities all over. More importantly they have left their mark in the hearts of countless people.

I am so honored for 25 year, to have been a small part of that too.

If you are thinking about pre-planning your memorial or find yourself at-need for a memorial now, our professional and caring staff like Josh can help you find the right way to tell the story of a life well lived. Schedule a consultation today.

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