DALY CITY − After graduating from college with a political science degree, the last place Nick Proaño expected to receive a job offer from was a funeral home. However, much to his surprise, it ended up being a perfect fit. “I’d been out of college for nearly a year and still hadn’t found my ideal career when my mom told me about an upcoming opportunity at Duggan’s Serra Mortuary, where she worked as assistant to the president,” he recounts. “They were creating a new division to handle funeral pre-planning and needed someone to manage it. My name was suggested as a possible fit for the position, so I came in and went through the interview process.”
Despite some initial reservations, Nick soon felt right at home as part of the Duggan’s Serra Mortuary team. “At first, I was unsure about working at a funeral home, but I liked the fact that Duggan’s Serra Mortuary was a family-owned and operated organization that had been part of the local community for many years. Nowadays, the majority of funeral homes are owned by big corporations, so that’s something I still appreciate about being here. All in all, it has been a great fit for me.”
Today, as manager of Duggan’s Serra Mortuary’s pre-planning department, Nick says his favorite part of his job is the positive interactions. “I really enjoy working with my team of counselors and coaching them to excel in what they do. And, as an extension of that, I get a lot of fulfillment from serving the community by educating residents about the benefits of funeral pre-planning.”
A resident of South San Francisco (where he lives with his wife, Suzette), Nick appreciates his deep roots in the local area. “There’s no place like home,” he affirms. “I have a lot of family and longtime friends here. I went to Archbishop Riordan High School, and I enjoy going to class reunions and reconnecting with the people I grew up with.”
Outside of work, Nick spends his time on a variety of pastimes. “I’m a big sports guy, so I enjoy going to Giants, 49ers and Warriors games,” he says. “Also, my wife and I have a lot of family in the area, so we like being at birthday and holiday get-togethers, as well as our nephews’ and nieces’ sporting events.” Additionally, Nick likes exploring San Francisco and venturing into the Greater Bay Area to sample its many restaurants and breweries.
In regard to his professional career, Nick says a big part of his job is being a source of comfort. “Funeral pre-planning is a very good thing, but not everyone is comfortable with the subject matter, which is understandable. That’s why my team and I are focused on creating a comfortable environment and treating our clients like family, with the aim of putting them at ease.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Nick says he’d take a European vacation. “I haven’t been to Europe yet, so I would hop on a plane and do a tour. I’d hit England, Italy, France, Spain, Amsterdam—I’d see it all!”