Caswell County natives Faiger Blackwell Sr. and his son Faiger “Grea” Blackwell Jr. own and operate Blackwell Funeral Home in Burlington. Now the duo, along with cousin Kim Blackwell, have decided to return to Caswell County and open a second location in Yanceyville.
Blackwell Sr. said a lot of preparations have taken place in order to get the building ready before the grand opening.
“We’re painting the walls with colors of the period that aren’t a bland white like pink and pastels,” he said. “We’ve changed our floors to wood even if it isn't the original wood the building had and I’ve been helping [my son] restore the building to make sure it is ready for the grand opening”
Senior also said he is excited about opening this location because his son will be managing the facility.
“He’s a proprietor of this business and I will be assisting him,” Blackwell Sr. said. “We used to have a business in Caswell County, but this is a return with my son being the general manager of this facility.”
Blackwell Jr. said he is also excited to be back in the county to follow in his father’s footsteps.
“It’s inspiring having someone to look up to and knowing hey, you better do right,” Junior said. “It is really inspiring, because if I become anything good it’s because I had a dad to lead me there.”
The Blackwells said they know losing a loved one is a difficult thing for families. Add financial and emotional burdens into the mix, and it can cause more stress to an already grieving family.
“One of the things we do is demonstrate a sense of peace in the midst of that sadness because things can be chaotic,” Blackwell Jr. explained. “They need the balance of peace while they are going through the storm. We also exude love and joy. Showing love helps families sort of gets their mind off this time off sadness and turn it into a celebration of life. We pray with every family before we start our conferences.”
Blackwell Sr. added, “We have a ministry that gives us a chance to be empathic, sympathetic and yet at the same time be an encouraging force for those going through [this].”
“The biggest thing we will offer you is professional, courteous service,” he explained.” This is sometimes the first time a family is going through this and sometimes it’s repeated times. However, each time it’s still a loved one and we believe that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect.”
Blackwell Jr. said they also offer services to people from different backgrounds.
“The Jewish like to bury their loved ones within 24 hours, and Muslims within 48 hours, so we accommodate those folks as well,” he said.
His father added, they have seen an increase of multicultural clients using their services. They also offer cremation, and those services increase in number by about 10% each year.
Blackwell Funeral Home encourages families of deceased loved ones to make their funeral services a personal as possible.
“I’ve had families who’ve come in and set up a beach-like atmosphere with sand, candles and beach chairs,” Junior said. “We see that all the time and we encourage it. We had one person who loved books so the family brought in a table full of books. Another person played baseball and the family brought in a baseball, different things like that to make it as personal as possible so it’s not just a dull feeling.”
Both father and son said they want the business to be more than just a funeral home and want to allow the community to use their facilities for more than just funerals.
“We want a lasting relationship with the families,” they said.
Blackwell Sr. said one of the beneficial services they offer is grief counseling.They also plan on adding workshops and seminars as well.
“We want to have meeting rooms available, where people can use our conference room for meetings,” he explained. “Our workshops will cover topics like wills, medicaid, medicare, how to plan for pre-arrangements, insurance needs and much more.”
Kim Blackwell said she never pictured herself working in a funeral home, but after the death of a close family member it brought her into the business.
She also said she’s utilized grief counseling services after the death of her father, mother, and sister.
“My daddy was my best friend and the pain is still there,” she said. “I’ve called my grief counselor and she helps me through it. So, offering grief counseling and other workshops to families is a way of giving back.”
Blackwell Funeral Home will host its grand opening at 1331 N. Main St. in Yanceyville on Saturday, June 15 at 2 p.m. They welcome the community to come out and tour the facility and enjoy themselves. There will be food, guest speakers, and entertainment. For more information or funeral related questions contact Kim Blackwell at 336-694-4019.