Women Build Business Packing For Deceased

January 25, 2011
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Lessons from packing the possessions of the dead: It helps to have friends in the funeral business; you might have to ask who gets the dog; and perhaps your business card should not include the phrase “deceased packing.”

Linda Parascando Gonzalez and Christine Cappelli De Laos started their business, In Your Time of Need of Packing and More, just four months ago. But the lessons are piling up quickly for the two Greenacres women. As are the rewards.

So far, those rewards aren’t monetary: At $60 an hour, with a two-hour minimum, the pair have packed up the possessions of six recently departed.

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They feel good about what they’re doing. “Filling a niche,” Parascando said.

“There are just so many older folks in Florida with no family at all. We just thought there’s got to be a need for this,” she said.

Cappelli De Laos and Parascando Gonzalez were longtime pals who were in the Diamond View Elementary School PTA in Greenacres together.

They were the first people Suzan Santosus thought of when the grief and aftermath of death became overwhelming.

Santosus had been in the PTA and lived in the same neighborhood with Cappelli De Laos and Parascando Gonzalez. They were supportive when Santosus’ mother died in February.

Parascando Gonzalez, a one-time nurse, had helped care for Santosus’ dad when he was very ill. The two women helped pack him up when he moved to a facility to be cared for and moved him back to his home when he was ready to die. That was September.

“I work with a nonprofit with a small staff. I have children at home. Once my father passed away it was too much time and overwhelming to pack everything by myself,” Santosus said.

The work inspired Cappelli De Laos, who was looking to supplement her part-time work as a personal assistant, and Parascando Gonzalez, whose husband left her in recent years and who was looking for a way to get back into the working world.

They wanted to do this for a living. But where to start? Well, with Google.

They could find only three similar businesses in their search

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