When was the last time that you spotted a funeral home on your local list of “Top 10 favorite small businesses”? While some of us don't like thinking about the end of life, let alone providing a service to those who grieve a loss, funeral homes like McCutcheon & Jones serve a need that goes far beyond laying loved ones to rest. When we sat down with Carl McCutcheon Jr. and his parents, he explained why his family’s business does more for their community than organizing a last farewell to loved ones. It’s a story about history, community, and pride.
“Funeral homes play an important role in tying together a community in a time of need. The relationship between families and the funeral home is very personal; many people make arrangements years, even decades, in advance, with a funeral home they know and trust. Black funeral homes in particular are a critical part of a community. During segregation, white funeral homes denied Black and other minority communities the ability to appropriately mourn their loved ones by refusing to host funerals for Black families. Instead, the mortician would prepare the body at the funeral home, and bring it back to the family's house where the funeral service would be held. Historically, Black funeral homes opened so that their communities and families could celebrate the legacies of their loved ones. Today these funeral homes service their community by providing comfort to grieving families.”
Carl E. McCutcheon Sr. founded McCutcheon’s Funeral Home in 1983 in Waynesboro, Virginia. About 10 years later Mr. McCutcheon also took over the operations of Kenneth L. Jones Funeral Home in Staunton, Virginia. In 2019, the two funeral homes merged to become McCutcheon and Jones Funeral Home and Cremation Services, in Waynesboro. Today, the funeral home is run by the second generation of the McCutcheon family, Mr. McCutcheon’s son, Carl McCutcheon Jr., and his wife Tammy McCutcheon, who serves as the Funeral Director.
Carl McCutchon Sr. always dreamed of opening a business in his hometown. After living in New York, he returned to Waynesboro and opened his funeral home just three doors down from where he was born. “ He worked hard in school to overcome the poor education we received in a segregated school system,” remarked Mrs. McCutcheon about her husband. Carl said, “When I returned to Virginia, I wanted my business to be an inspiration to Black and other People of Color, to prove that a Black business could succeed.” Mr. McCutcheon Sr. worked diligently not just to be a successful business owner, but also to be a strong father and provide for his family. Carl McCutcheon Jr. emotionally recalled the way his dad supported him throughout his youth, “He made sure I had everything I needed, and I’ll never forget that.”
Today, the McCutcheon family remains proud of their family business, and the service they provide to their community. They’re ready to expand further, and to serve all races and nationalities, to be able to serve their community best. Renovations are underway at the funeral home, as well as a project to refurbish a 1962 Cadillac hearse. What other funeral home has that? The family has operated their business with zero debt. McCutcheon and Jones Funeral Home and Cremation Services goes above and beyond to be able to serve your family so that you can honor your loved ones and their legacy. They’ll even provide you with a horse-drawn carriage for your loved one's funeral service, a true example of their commitment to their community.