Article Category: SC27
The New Tradition

Issue 27 Available Now

Posted Friday, Apr 03

It’s all about the B’s for our latest issue… from the small Southern town of Bremen, Georgia, to urban downtown Baltimore, Maryland and out to a cattle pasture in Brewton, Alabama we cover a broad range of People, Places, and Passions – and there’s even real Bees (see Passions article). The photos are compelling, the stories are moving, and they’re all told from a Funeral Director’s Perspective. There’s only one place you can find inspiration like this, Southern Calls – The Journal of the Funeral Profession.

PEOPLE  By Luke Teague
The definition of professional success is subjective. For a funeral director, it might be determined by job security, salary or seniority. An owner, perhaps, could measure triumph by consecutive years in business, call volume or gross revenue. Patty Hutcheson, CFSP, executive director of the Academy of Funeral Service Practice, would credit her career accomplishments to the love and support of family, especially Danny, her devoted husband of 40 years. Since 1983, the couple has owned and operated Hutcheson’s Memorial Chapel and Crematory as she simultaneously served as a longtime instructor at Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service, subsequently becoming the institution’s first female president. However, the last two years have been challenging, a direct impact of the massive stroke Danny suffered at the funeral home. 

“Live each day as if it were your last,” said Hutcheson, who celebrates continued blessings and praises and is forever thankful for God’s faithful presence during their journey of life and love.

PLACES  By Todd Harra
When Joe Brown couldn’t secure financing during the recession to build a crematory, he leaned a ladder against the side of his funeral home and climbed onto the roof. Setting the choke on his chainsaw, he pulled the cord and plunged the blade into the roofing membrane to cut out the stack hole. Then, Joe rallied members of his community to help him finish installing a 15 ton newly purchased—and self-financed—B&L Phoenix II. That was 10 years ago, and just the beginning.

Completed in 2019, Joseph H. Brown, Jr. Funeral Home’s new $2 million dollar “Cremation Plaza” is changing the disposition paradigm in an urban area. The funeral home has served the community of Baltimore for four generations, and Joe Brown, the current steward of the business, is aggressively marketing cremation to the African American community with amazing results.

“I’ve taken cremation out of the garage,” Joe says. Read about Joe Brown’s 5,000 square foot crematorium in March’s issue of Southern Calls.

PASSIONS  By Alice Adams
Passion is a deeply, overwhelming human emotion — so overwhelming, in fact, one must wait years before experiencing it for the first time. For Heath Wilson, owner and director at Craver’s Funeral Home in Brewton, Alabama, that overwhelming emotion — called passion — came earlier to him than most kids.

Growing up around grandparents who added emphasis to his DNA, Heath as a youngster cultivated a passion for the outdoors. Raised on the family farm, like the two generations before him, his developed a passion for growing gardens and living off the land. He was driving his first vehicles around the farm before he was 10 and learning cattle before he graduated from Brewton High School.

But his overarching passion for caring for his community and for funeral service came to him when, at a much younger age, as he held services and buried pets who died and dead animals he found. He pronounced eulogies, directed mourners. “It was a calling from God. I never questioned it. “I just knew.”

Little did the youngster realize his life’s path was already being planned for him at that early age. However, there also were surprises in store, some sweet as honey, others involving cattle auctions, rearing a family and becoming an important pillar of the community he has loved all his life.

Order this issue

Southern Calls Issue 27

In stock

Articles Relating to Issue 27

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.

Other Recent Articles

Issue 35 Available Now!

Issue 35 Available Now!

It’s our first issue of 2022 and what a way to start the year – the inspirational story of Rhonda Keyes Pleasants details a fortuitous encounter that led her to the profession – our People article is compelling on many levels. Places visits the beautiful and historic...

read more
Jack Backer

Jack Backer

At first glance, John Willmott “Jack” Backer, III – age 16, tall, handsome, varsity tennis player and straight-A sophomore at Sayre School in Lexington, Kentucky – appears to be a typical teenager who enjoys tennis and playing guitar, especially Southern gospel and...

read more
Stevens Mortuary

Stevens Mortuary

Stevens Mortuary occupies the historic Cedar Grove estate nestled in north Knoxville, Tennessee. When one arrives at the mortuary, surrounded by flowering dogwood trees, the stately antebellum era house, with wide, inviting porches, is reminiscent of a simpler time...

read more
Kenneth W. Poe

Kenneth W. Poe

First generation funeral directors are fearless. With either none or very little familial connection to a funeral home, stories vary widely as to what initial interest or curiosity eventually evolved into a career. Dinner disruptions, missed family gatherings, working...

read more
Issue 34 Available Now!

Issue 34 Available Now!

Join us as we wrap up another year, and while deliveries of everything around the world are apparently delayed off the coast of San Diego, we’re bringing you best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a loaded December issue sure to satisfy. At 68, and proving...

read more

Join Our Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter to periodically receive article updates, industry news, and details about new issues before they are released.

The Magazine