For The Independent
Neil Wright’s goal is for his funeral home to be a home.
“We want everyone that walks through the door to feel like they are part of the Wright family,” said the owner and operator of Wright’s Funeral Home in Greenup. It’s a business he is proud to say was started by his father and mother in September 1960.
At the time, Wright said, the main street through Greenup was U.S. 23. Despite numerous changes over the years, the funeral home is still what it was always intended to be — a small-town funeral home serving family and friends.
Neil Wright took over the family business in 1991, and continued his family’s tradition of service.
To keep up with the continuing and changing needs of that service, Wright took stock of the condition of the building. The property had undergone additions and renovations in 1967, and again in 1986 and 1987 there were other expansions. After Wright and his wife, Renee, took over, however, they came to the conclusion more was needed. And once they decided to renovate, the decision was made to renovate the entire location.
“Once you decide on a course of action, you have to decide what path to take,” he said. “We decided to embrace the fact that the building was over a hundred years old, and restore that look.”
Rather than opt for a somewhat antiseptic-looking stainless steel and white, Wright chose a more comforting appearance that would remind people of home.
The renovation included repairs and replacement of floors, wiring and sheetrock. Commercial-grade linoleum flooring, wainscoting and stained glass were custom fit and tailored to achieve an appearance similar to what the building would have had when it was originally built. The methods of construction were even similar, Wright says, pointing out everything was hand-fitted. And the result of all of that effort is a beautiful and nostalgic business with all of the modern necessities.
Along with the renovations Wright has added another virtually unique facet to the funeral home. Renovations to another building, a home adjacent to Wright’s, is under way and should be completed shortly after the first of the year. That home will have several bedrooms where those traveling from out of town for a family funeral will be able to stay until the service without worrying about additional expenses.
“Almost every service now, people have to travel from out of town,” Wright said. “It is something that is definitely needed, and we are glad to provide it.”
Wright said everything his family does is designed to make others feel comfortable during the most trying times in their lives.
“When we see someone take off their shoes and relax, then we know we have made them feel at home. And they should, because they are.”