When someone in your life dies, who do you want with you? You want family. This is a universal desire, and the Jenkins family understands how important that personal experience is, especially in grief. Carl and Lori Jenkins, and their son, Ben, bring the comfort of family to the services they offer. The funerals they help us plan are designed to “warm the soul and illuminate the memory.” It’s a simple premise that brings out our best feelings even when we’re not feeling our best.
Carl Jenkins’ career has been one of service for 30 years. His decision to enter the funeral profession was personal and proved well suited to his nature. Carl is a gentle soul. “My dad died on Christmas Eve when I was 16. Neighbors came to see Mom, but she was inconsolable. When the funeral director came, sat beside her and held her hand, his words were like magic dust,” Carl recalls. “When Mom understood she could rely on him, that he would help her through this, her entire countenance changed. That captured my attention.
“I started working for a florist,” Carl continued. “God lined everything up so I could see, hear, and do things that helped prepare me. I haven’t looked back, except to remember the folks I’ve had the pleasure of serving since I started this journey.”
THE JENKINS FAMILY CARES ABOUT YOUR FAMILY
Unlike many funeral homes around our area, Jenkins Funeral Home is a family-owned and operated enterprise. “Since he was little, Ben grew up in several funeral homes,” Carl said with a smile. “He would answer the phone like he was the mini-boss and told me he wanted to do this when he grew up.” Ben is now a fully licensed funeral director and embalmer, as is Carl. Ben’s mark on the firm’s approach in today’s funeral service business is seen in many ways. “Ben understands this is a life, not a job. He also understands that families these days look for guidance in planning their loved one’s funeral in many the same ways they plan everything. They are tech savvy, so they want to email and text details. They respond to media, so they want quality sound and expertly edited family videos. They want to know what their options are, so we provide a lot of information on our website, including pricing,” Carl explained. “Ben is the face of the new funeral director, and at the same time, he is skilled and comfortable working with seniors, with our church families, and with the business people who support us.”
Lori’s experience working alongside her husband has set her in a special role. “We’re a team with shared values,” Lori said, “and I am pleased to say that our entire staff—we employ about 20 people—are dedicated to one principle, to help people feel at peace. The key is to listen. Everyone is unique, experiencing this time in their life differently. As they tell us their story, we’re led to discover what they need. Carl and I are personally involved with each family that comes to us.” Carl and Lori chose their career path because they’re committed to supporting families when they need it the most, and they do an exceptional job at that.
Lori’s mother, Linda Cooper, is known by many as the former owner of Dad’s Place, a restaurant in Hickory. “Mom is now the compassionate voice you hear when you call, and she’s always involved with the family,” Lori shared. “And, she’s our family pet specialist. Our pet cremation services are well-known, and Mom is a big part of that.”
AFFORDABLE SERVICES, COMPASSIONATE CARE
There was a time funeral directors offered one or two things. Your family might have used the same home for years, maybe until it was sold to a large corporation. Today, the funeral directors at Jenkins embrace the expansion of offerings they can provide. “We see trends, just like any business, and we honor our families’ wishes whenever we can. We also realize that we can serve families in the most affordable way by doing a lot of our work ourselves. I believe our costs are where they should be,” Carl said. “We have a creative, energized team who want to get it right for each individual. We pay attention so we can meet families’ needs and desires.”
Ben Jenkins keeps his finger on the pulse of the business. “Personalization, technology, the rise in choosing cremation and the options that go with that, green funerals, the interest in advanced planning and how to easily transfer previously made plans with other funeral homes—many times with significant savings—in all these areas, we believe we offer the best service and the best value,” he told me. “My dad is a master at turning a sad situation around and making people feel at peace. Partner that with our honest and compassionate staff, and you can’t make a better choice.”
Families have said they got the best and most helpful information from the people at Jenkins right from their first call. They want to understand their options. “We explain how our facility is flexible and accommodating. From our peaceful chapel to our expansive Celebration Center, we can personalize a service to match a family’s culture, personalities, and deepest wishes,” Lori explained. “After visitation, after the service, the Celebration Center will be set up to suit whatever you want next—a family reunion, perhaps, complete with Grandma’s living room furniture set up for her children and grandchildren to relax in, to Dad’s old truck in attendance or his fishing gear set out. A meal can be brought in by the family or catered. A life-video of home movies and photographs might be shown, special music played while family reminisce and share stories. It can be as peaceful or festive a celebration as you wish.”
Several on-site burial options can be chosen. The former Startown Cemetery, dating back over a century, sits behind the funeral home. Renamed Jenkins Cemetery, it includes the green burial section and the Garden of Angels, a truly unique place where infants are buried. “For children under two years, we don’t charge for burial services,” Lori shared. “All that’s needed is for the family to purchase a small baby marker, so the grave will be forever marked. For young families, single parents, this means a lot. Our hospitals know about this service and relay this to families.”
In the planning is a Cremation Garden, a natural area surrounding a meandering path where cremation markers are placed. Several cremation packages are offered. Families can create a permanent memorial for all members. “People come here to remember their loved ones in their own way,” Kim Pugh told me. “Families plan reunions, picnics, or just gather to stroll, talk, and visit.” As aftercare coordinator, Kim’s role is to be there after the service for whatever is needed then or later.
IT’S ABOUT PEOPLE
Jenkins Funeral Home is special because of special people. Carl, Lori, Ben, Linda, and Kim, and a family of caring professionals, bring serious consideration to their roles, as well as a healthy sense of humor. They know they are caring for someone you love. Carl explained, “We pray for our families and follow the Golden Rule. We offer the best we can, and if budget is most important to you, you’re at the right place; if quality service is critical, you’re at the right place.” The Jenkins family is there when you need them…you couldn’t put your family in better hands.
Jenkins Funeral Home & Cremation Service
4081 Startown Road • Newton, NC