Angie Morales Sanchez (middle) was recently honored with the Mildred Lucas Award by the Texas Funeral Directors Association.

On May 4, Angie Morales Sanchez received the Mildred Lucas Award from the South Central chapter of the Texas Funeral Directors Association.

This comes after Morales received her 50-year pin in 2016 and was recognized by the Texas Funeral Directors Association for being the first woman to receive that pin in the state — as well as being the first female funeral director in New Braunfels.

While some may say Morales was born to be a funeral director, she was definitely born into the business.

Her parents owned Morales Funeral Home, the first Hispanic-owned funeral home in New Braunfels.

Morales graduated with her funeral director license from the Commonwealth College of Mortuary Science in 1966.

She then helped her family run the funeral home. When her father passed, Morales took over the business until it closed its doors in 2007.

After leaving the 85-year-old funeral home, Morales took a break from the mortuary business.

However, Morales doesn’t like sitting still, and her love for the field made her open to returning part-time.

After seeing a part-time position for a funeral director open up at Zoeller’s Funeral Home, she decided to go after the opportunity.

Throughout her years as a funeral director, Morales has learned about the importance of being compassionate and positive.

“I would say the best skill set I would learn would be always to be there for the families; be kind, compassionate, and considerate, and understand the pain they’re going through,” Morales said. “Because … I cannot feel your pain; you cannot feel mine, and so I would say those are some of the things that I really learned being there for the families.”

This skill set was not only what allowed Morales to become a decorated funeral director but a beloved one in New Braunfels.

Morales helped those grieving both during work and out of it, going out of her way to express her compassion.

One instance Morales recalled was a discussion she had with a young gentleman in a store. When he expressed how those around him were telling him to rush his grieving process over the death of a parent, she left him with some wise words.

“You’re going to have a lot of people tell you here to move forward,” Morales said. “But you know what? They don’t know how close you were to your father. They don’t know the relationship you had with your father, and they’ve never walked in your shoes. So the best thing you can do is let it go in one ear and out the other ear because it’s not going to take a day or two, it’s going to take time to heal, and all of us heal in different ways at a different time.”

In 2013, she began working at Zoeller’s and will celebrate her 10-year anniversary this month.

Along with being proud of the awards she won along the way, she’s proud of the friendships and people that she now calls family.

As she continues to help those dealing with loss, she remains resolute in her positivity.

“It’s like I tell everyone, you can accomplish anything you want,” Morales said. “Reach for the stars. They’re there. Just be positive.”

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