Jeff Edmonds (right) and Justin Robertson (left) dig a grave Wednesday, Nov. 10, at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Winona, Minn. Both men found their positions through Winona Workforce and are thankful to have a job, despite the unconventionality of the work.
A warmer than average November morning wind blew through the air as two gravediggers continued their daily work at St. Mary’s cemetery early Wednesday morning. The sounds of labored breathing and cars passing by without taking notice of Justin Robertson and Jeff Edmonds is a typical work day for the men.
Robertson and Edmonds continue their oftentimes silent work while digging a small, cremation grave. Edmonds crawls out of the shallow grave and into the Yardsport ATV and drives away to dump excess dirt off at a different location at periodic intervals during their duty.
Both men found their atypical job through Winona Workforce. Robertson has been a worked with local cemeteries for about five months, but Edmonds has only been on the job for one month.
“It was an emotional [job] at first,” Robertson said, “but you get used to it.”
Edmonds, who directed Robertson through much of the dig, had different feelings about his work.
“Somebody’s got to do it,” Edmonds said. “People will always die.”
Though their job may seem unconventional to most, both men are happy, no matter the task at hand.
“It’s a job that pays money; can’t complain about that,” Edmonds said.