Writer, Author, Taphophile and Funeral Director
Alexandra Kathryn Mosca is a writer, author, taphophile, funeral director, and funeral service activist. The New Yorker found her calling in funeral service when, while attending college, she worked part-time in a funeral home. Licensed for more than 35 years, Mosca is the author of three books: Grave Undertakings (2003), Green-Wood Cemetery (2008), and Gardens of Stone (2016).
In 2018, along with a respected colleague, Alexandra co-created The Morte Girls as a platform for keeping dignity in funeral service. Dismayed at what they were seeing in the media, the two women made it their mission to highlight the positive aspects of traditional funerals.
That’s only the latest focus in a life that has been filled with adventure and accomplishment. Alexandra has worked as a model and actress, been the subject of a Jeopardy question, stumped the panel on To Tell The Truth, and sat for interviews with some of television’s most iconic talk show hosts. All the while, she has continued to serve the public in her capacity as a funeral director, arranging and directing funerals, as well as preparing the deceased for visitation. She wrote about these experiences, and more, in her memoir Grave Undertakings (New Horizon Press, 2003). The book tells of Alexandra’s unique career as a female funeral director, beginning at a time when a female presence was uncommon. Grave Undertakings has inspired young women from around the country to forge their own careers in funeral service.
In the intervening years, Alexandra has become well-known and respected in her industry through her writing. Her two subsequent books, both about New York’s most notable cemeteries, helped her to become recognized as a cemetery historian. A topic near and dear to her heart, she is a leader in the effort to bring awareness to the importance of cemeteries. Passionate about cemetery preservation, she has not only written extensively on the subject, but has served as a cemetery tour guide. She is firmly convinced that: People need a place to memorialize their loved ones and cemeteries provide that.
Alexandra is also a regular contributor to funeral industry magazines: American Funeral Director, AmericanCemetery, and the Director. Among her writing specialties are Funerals of the Famous for which she has covered the funerals of Mayor Ed Koch, Gov. Mario Cuomo, comedienne Joan Rivers, and Justice Antonin Scalia—just to name a few. She is also sought after to profile her noteworthy industry colleagues.
With her special blend of wit, sensitivity, and a seasoned perspective, Alexandra continues to make her mark by writing about funeral industry concerns, debunking myths about funeral service, and funeral fads. Despite news items to the contrary, Mosca believes that the traditional funeral isn’t (and shouldn’t be) going away any time soon. An article she wrote for The Saturday Evening Post’s Jan./Feb. 2018 issue, titled ‘Let’s Keep the Funeral Traditional Alive’ makes a persuasive case for its continued importance.
Mosca’s most recent article for Next Avenue explains How the Pandemic Has Changed the Way We Grieve