LOCUST — Stanly Funeral and Cremation Care, one of Stanly County’s oldest businesses, has opened a second location in Locust. The new site is located at 501 N. Central Ave.
This second location opened for business in December after nine months of renovations. Stanly Funeral and Cremation Care bought the building, which formerly served as a doctor’s office, in 2015. The space has been completely renovated to serve its new purpose.
“It’s a smaller building than the one in Albemarle, but despite the smaller size, still allows us to meet the needs of this community and we have room to expand the building once business grows,” said Stephen Aldridge, director at Stanly Funeral Home.
Aldridge, who has been working with the company since fall of 2000, has family roots in the business.
“My uncle bought into the Stanly Funeral Home company in 1951 and my dad joined him in ownership in 1966,” said Aldridge.
“Part of my dad’s vision for our company was a second location in Locust. He passed away in 2015 but the day we got approval from the state I drove to his grave and, as silly as it sounds, I got out of the truck and told him that I had completed what he wanted.
“We have a unique opportunity to love on people during some of the worst times in their lives,” he added. “Our company’s culture and values center around creating events that celebrate people’s lives and help people heal from loss. Now we feel we are able to serve families in all of Stanly County with the same level of compassion. What a tremendous honor.”
Stanly Funeral Home, Inc. was formed in 1928, but traces its roots to 1891 under the name Kirk and Swaringen. That was purchased by P.J. Huneycutt Furniture and Undertaking and then merged with Finch Morgan’s Furniture and Undertaking, finally taking on the name Stanly Funeral Home in 1928. In 2016, the company began operating under the name Stanly Funeral and Cremation Care to reflect its emphasis on care and the addition of cremation services.
The new location includes a chapel, a visitation room and a meeting room.
Luke Widenhouse will serve as the manager of the Locust location. He began working for Stanly Funeral Home in 2011.
“I am from this area and I am very excited to have my first managerial position,” said Widenhouse. Widenhouse has his funeral service license as well as his sales license.
The Locust chapel can seat approximately 100 people, but there are plans to expand in the future. It opened the week before Christmas and is now open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.