The history of funeral directing and funeral home ownership in the United States has been one of passing the torch to the next generation of the family to carry on. My family was no different. . . .we carried our cabinet shop, furniture store, funeral home from the 19th Century into the 21st Century. That was a time period that spanned 141 years, from 1872 when our roots were planted until 2013 when the majority of our firm was sold to a regional operator. It spanned four generations — from my immigrant great-grandfather to my brother and myself. The time came, however, when the next generation was not interested in funeral service and decisions had to be made about how to safeguard the legacy our family had left. . . and let that legacy continue to be shepherded by someone else.
I can tell you. . . that is not an easy time.
However, not every child wants to follow in dad’s footsteps or wants to work in the funeral profession. And, from my point of view. .that’s okay. My two sons are chasing career paths that they are passionate about. . . they just don’t include funeral service.
Children have dreams and ambitions of their own, which may not include funeral service. As the world seems to get more complicated, moves faster, and children have greater opportunities, it is a circumstance that many funeral home owners will face someday.
Today we report on Park Lawn Corporation’s acquisition of the J.F. Floyd Mortuary, Crematory, and Cemeteries of South Carolina. The J.F. Floyd operation is based in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and has been in operation since 1886. The operation brings to Park Lawn Corporation four funeral home locations, nine cemetery locations, and one stand alone crematory. According to this press release from Park Lawn, the company performs approximately 650 death calls per year and provides over 800 interments per year at their cemetery.
Again, according to the press release, the J.F. Floyd acquisition aligns with the Park Lawn strategy and will provide a platform for Park Lawn to continue to expand in the southeast region of the United States.
Pennsylvania acquisition — In acquisition news we also found this article from the Pottstown (PA) Mercury News. It highlights the acquisition of Pottstown’s Warker-Troutman Funeral Home by the Kuhn Funeral Home of West Reading, Pennsylvania, recently.
In the article Michael Kuhn, president of Kuhn Funeral Homes, is quoted as saying “the two companies shared similar values as well as synergies that come with expansion.”
Although not as celebrated as the mergers and acquisitions that we read about through the press releases of public companies, it is mergers and acquisitions like this, of neighboring community funeral homes, that allow for the businesses of funeral home owners who choose to do so, to expand, grow larger, and create more opportunities for those in their employ.
According to the article, it appears that the Kuhn Funeral Home, which was founded in 1937, has begun to expand its businesses by acquiring three funeral businesses in the last 5 years. Good for them. . . .that is the American way!!
- Here is the website for the Kuhn Funeral Home.
- Here is the website for the Warker-Troutman Funeral Home.
More news from the world of Death Care:
- Family warns that obituary pirates are exploiting the losses of metro Detroiters. WXYZ – ABC Detroit (MI)
- Obituary: Charles F. Mann – West Virginia
- Obituary: Leroy E. McKenzie – South Carolina
- Funeral homes keeping up on COVID-19 related deaths. Video news story. KELO Television (SD)
- StoneMor, Inc. announces date of conference call and webcast to discuss 2020 3rd Quarter financial results. Yahoo Finance
- Funeral directors hope law change will stop those out to make a “quick buck”. Stuff – New Zealand
- New Haven legend draws tourists to local cemetery. WCAX CBS 3 – (CT)
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