Doug and Jamie Morrow Connected to Three Communities Through Funeral Homes
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
After purchasing the three Scrivner-Morrow Funeral Homes from founders Jim and Honey Scrivner, Doug and Jamie Morrow have become a vital part of the communities of Versailles, Stover and Russellville. Jamie is the daughter of Jim and Honey and began her time in the business by assisting her parents while growing up in Versailles. She said her parents started with the funeral home in Versailles in 1952 and eventually bought funeral homes in Russellville and Stover. Doug became involved in the business through his relationship with Jamie.
"Doug and I met after I graduated from college and moved to Russellville," Jamie said. "We started dating, but the last thing he thought he would ever do was work in a funeral home. One night, however, I asked if he would help with a removal at about 2 a.m. in the morning and he said sure. A couple of days later I called again and he has helped ever since."
Jamie is a licensed funeral director and Doug is a licensed funeral director and licensed embalmer. Jamie and Doug were married in 1986 and had managed the business for 15 years before purchasing it from Jamie's parents. Daughters Carrie, a junior at Drury University, and Hannah, a freshman at Russellville High School, both help out with the business like Jamie did while growing up.
"Growing up around the funeral home was actually quite fun," Jamie said. "We had the house with the big room where everyone could play in when the weather was bad. It was also nice because my mom was always home when we came back from school as she was the bookkeeper. Dad had been the embalmer until Doug took over. My sisters and I helped out on a daily basis growing up as my daughters have as well. They have learned a lot about being able to interact with people and have good people skills which I think is a lost art."
Jamie added Carrie is on track to go into a career in public relations and recently the Morrows took their first vacation, going to Washington, D.C., to pick up Carrie who spent the summer interning in the nation's capitol. Doug said with their line of work they do not have a scheduled life.
"You go to plan things and they get changed all the time because someone dies," he said, "and that was the hardest thing for me to get accustomed to was you just cannot schedule or make plans."
Doug added he liked doing what he wanted but has learned to put others needs ahead of his own as it is the most important thing in a time where someone has lost a loved one. Jamie and Doug see the funeral homes as what they do to make a living, but are more focused on serving the communities they are in.
"I think we all have roles to play in a community," Jamie said. "My father was very civic minded and was actually the mayor of Versailles. He believed no matter who you are you can make a difference and should make where we are a little better. This is something Doug and I agree on as his parents taught him to treat others how he would want to be treated. I think with our business it is extremely important. I think as small funeral homes, we have not lost the value of serving the families. Because we do know the families and they are friends. You make a living, but you are meeting a need. How would we want to be treated in a time like they are going through? If you put yourself in those shoes it is easy to take care of the family."
Doug added they try to make sure the family is comfortable with what they choose for the service and is not going to look at selling anything. Instead he said he listens and sees what they are looking for and finds it for them and figure out how to meet their needs.
"The service has to have meaning for them," Doug said, "because what others may have done has no meaning to them. It is about reliving and celebrating someone's life and the memories they have left."
Jamie said what she likes to see are people bringing items which are special to them about the person they are remembering. She added they have had everything from quilts to a saddle to a tractor and when Doug's friend died, they had a car he restored in the driveway of the funeral home.
"Everyone who knew him knew it was his car," Jamie said, "so as they came in for the visitation they saw his car. A lot of funeral homes have got caught up in 'personalization,' but to me personalization is when families bring in items and go, 'ah, I remember that.' That is personalization when families go through items and remember memories of the person. It is about the life which has been lived and the memories which go along with that. And that is what helps the healing process."
Jamie shared a special memory of a couple who had lost a child and years later visited them when they found out they were expecting again.
"That is when you know you have made a difference," Jamie said. "We shared in their loss and they wanted us to share in the new life which would be born. I think the Lord gives you those moments to know you are doing something which is making a difference."
Going forward they just want to continue serving the communities they are in. When not working, they have made it a priority to spend time with their daughters as much as they can and also help out with community activities in Versailles, Stover and Russellville.
Scrivner-Morrow Funeral homes are located at 210 East Jasper, Versailles, 204 West Third, Stover, and 5414 Simpson, Russellville. For more information, call 573-378-4676 (Versailles), 573-377-2212 (Stover) and 573-782-4815 (Russellville) or go to www.scrivner-morrow.com.
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