MoBay businesswoman sees much life in handling the dead
COLOMATHI... the prices for my services are very reasonable.

MONTEGO BAY, St James — Having recognised the need for more affordable funeral packages in her rural St James community of John's Hall, 34-year-old Jodian Colomathi took a leap of faith to establish a business geared at lessening the financial burdens of grieving families.

Colomathi's brainchild, Jo'Ann's Funeral Care, may be a slightly unconventional business venture, as she oversees the planning of funerals along with the preparation of the deceased individuals for their final place of rest. However, she told the Jamaica Observer that when she saw the market for the service, she could not resist the urge to go ahead and register her business in June of 2021. According to her, murders were plaguing that section of St James and more families were struggling to the foot the bills.

"We had a whole lot of killing in the area and I realised that there were families who are not able to pay for a funeral package, so I went and enquired about it and decided to give it a try. It was basically my way of giving back. I wanted to be able to offer affordable packages to people who could not afford their dead [relative's funeral] service," said Colomathi, who also works as a recruiter at a call centre in St James and is the councillor candidate for the People's National Party (PNP) in the Spring Mount Division.

"The prices for my services are very reasonable," she continued.

"My least expensive package goes for $290,000 and that includes a flat-top casket where families can choose the colour they want along with the design. They also get 100 funeral programmes with 25 pictures, 50 bookmarkers, 50 pins, transportation, one month of free storage along with dressing and embalment."

In addition to her desire to "give back" to her community and fill this gap, Colomathi stated that she also wanted to establish a solid business venture to set an example for her two young children. She said that she, too, was a youngster when she was first introduced to the funeral service industry through her stepfather who worked at Sam Isaacs and Son Funeral Home in St James.

Though she had no interest in ever venturing into funeral care, Colomathi's said that her stepfather began to nurture her curiosity and encouraged her to give it a shot as she became an adult. After all, she told the Sunday Observer, it was now time for her to start building a "legacy".

"I wanted to create a legacy and he wanted me to get familiar with the business. I initially blew it off because I was questioning why I would ever want to go into that business but what I realised as I got older and had kids, I no longer wanted to just have a job. I wanted a career," she explained.

"My kids also inspired me because I do not want them to struggle. I am a single mother and I want them to go to college, so I also want to prepare a legacy for them," Colomathi added.

She further explained that she currently carries out her services through a partnership with Sam Isaacs and Son Funeral Home in St James. So while Colomathi oversees the arrangement of the funeral along with the preparation of the body for the service, the embalming process and storage of the body before burial are done by the funeral home.

Colomathi stated that it has been a very fulfilling journey since she decided to establish Jo'Ann's Funeral Care. According to her, more families have reached out to utilise her services. This she credits to her passion for success and the assistance she has received from the funeral home.

"I pride myself on excellence and good customer service. I have people around who are more knowledgeable and experienced to help me out, and I can see the benefits of that because the business is growing. It was not like this before as we were not getting the support like the other prominent businesses, but I was very optimistic and understood that everything is a process," she said.

"I realised that we are now getting more calls to enquire about our packages or to collect a body. Back then we were the ones who had to reach out to families to advertise our packages," Colomathi told the Sunday Observer.

With Jo'Ann's Funeral Care still in its infancy, Colomathi noted that her ultimate goal is to employ youngsters living in the John's Hall community where the business is based. She also has big dreams of expanding her business across other rural communities. However, Colomathi admitted that she has experienced some difficulties establishing herself in the funeral care industry as it is sometimes viewed as a "man's world".

"I think of it as a form of growth for the community's economy. I am hoping that once it grows and develops, I will be able to offer more employment within my community," said the Maldon High School past student.

"I see myself having two other locations in other rural communities. It is good for business to be in the town areas, but I want to provide employment for the people living in these small areas. It is hard to break into this field and the challenges do come because a lot of people believe it is a man's world, but I am trying to rise above to show my daughter that she can achieve whatever she sets her mind to," she said.

Rochelle Clayton

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy