Class of 1988
By Michael Livsey
Mitchell Dodo is the vice-president and operations manager of Dodo Mortuary, Inc., managing the daily operations and Hilo and Kona branches of the company. He is also a licensed embalmer and a funeral director, who meets with bereaved families in their time of need and makes arrangements for services and final disposition.
His is a unique profession; most people would rather NOT deal with him at all, but are forced to because of their loved one’s death. Mitchell has a strong sense of wanting to help others at the lowest point in their lives and is grateful that he can help them. He is the fourth generation Dodo family member to run this over 100-year old business. His father and grandfather were influential in his continuing to enter the “family business.” He mentioned that such television programs as HBO’s “Six Feet Under” and “Family Plots” have brought a lot of awareness and curiosity about the funeral industry. After viewing a current episode, he is often asked whether or not a certain part of these programs are true or not.
The funeral business is definitely not an 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. career. When services are held during the night or on weekends, personal plans must be postponed to accommodate the client’s family. Besides displaying a gentle and caring disposition, Mitchell says that a funeral director must also “possess a strong mind as to not succumb to the daily encounters with grief.”
A graduate of the class of 1988, Mitchell credits all of the staff and teachers at Waiäkea High for preparing him for his job. Michell graduated from UH Hilo with a degree in Business in 1992, then the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science to prepare for his career.