When Black’s Family Center opened their Marshall branch in January 2020, there was one thing the new funeral home did not expect, and that was that it would be too busy to host a grand opening.
In reality, no one could have predicted the deadly consequences that a then-still-unheard-of pandemic would have on the lives of Marshall residents.
However, the team at Black’s Life Center immediately got to work, working around the clock to provide personalized care for community members facing one of the worst days of their lives, the day they lose someone they love.
“We just had a lot of work,” said Jacqueline Yancy-Jackson, with the funeral home, “It was great for business, but also, it was heart-breaking to have that much need.”
The funeral home is unique, according to Yancy-Jackson, because they offer care for the family before, during and after the death of a loved one.
Black’s Life Center offers a range of free services to those who are looking to make preparations, including help with power of attorney, wills, notary and other pre-needs.
“What we see a lot in a small town like Marshall is a lot of good faith arraignments, where it is understood in the family that say after Mom passes, one person will get this and that,” Yancy-Jackson said, “But if that is not written down, then it doesn’t count, and Mom’s wishes aren’t respected. That’s what I want to be, the liaison who helps everything get in order before it is needed.”
They also offer care for after a loved one has passed away, including assistance with claim forms, insurance probates, IRS refunds and wills, all in addition to their full funeral and cremation services.
“I like to say that we are a one-stop shop,” Yancy-Jackson said, “And all of these additional services, they of course are at no cost.”
In addition to these added benefits, Black’s Family Center offers more than 20 years of expertise in the field, providing personalized funeral services and expert quality funeral preparation.
Two owners, Harold Lovely and Edwin Lee, met when they were both employees of Lewis Funeral Homes in Marshall.
Lee said that the two used to share an apartment above the funeral home and offered almost 24/7 service to those in need in the community.
“I know that they still have people who want to go to Lewis Funeral Homes because of the work my brother and Edwin did there,” Yancy-Jackson said.
Eventually, the pair branched off to their own business, opening their first location in Carthage.
“It seemed fitting to come back to Marshall and open a branch, because so much of our work was already coming out of Marshall,” Lee said. “This is where I grew up, this is our home.”
Lee added that the funeral home offers more traditional funeral options, as well as a more personalized service option, to cater to anyone.
Each family receives a free, personalized blanket with photos of their loved on during the time of their service with Black’s Family Center. The business also offers personalized guest books for interested family members, and portraits of their loved ones, to offer a unique and very personal funeral experience.
“We want to continue to offer more traditional services for some, and also offer a more personalized experience for the younger generation, who are not so tied into that tradition,” Lee said.