History of Sechrest Funeral Service
Sechrest Funeral Service is one of the oldest continuing businesses in the city High Point, North Carolina. It was founded on April 12, 1897 by J.W. Sechrest, more affectionately known around High Point as, “Uncle Joe”.
On occasion, older residents of the area, comment on how they can still remember from childhood, the black shiny horses Uncle Joe owned and used in funeral processions to pull the horse-drawn hearse.
The funeral home’s first location was in the 100 block of N. Main Street. In 1907, Uncle Joe’s son, Robert Sechrest “Mr. Bob”, joined his father in the business at the age of 18, and helped move J.W. Sechrest & Son to W. Washington Street, now part of Martin Luther King Drive, sometime around 1910. It remained there until relocating to the 400 block of N. Main Street in 1930 and eventually moved up, one block north, to the old H.A. Moffitt home, at 500 N. Main Street.
Uncle Joe, who also helped establish the city’s first hospital, along with the Junior Order, died in 1938 at the age of 78. Mr. Bob suffered a heart attack on Christmas Day in 1944 and died three days later at the age of 55. Bob’s widow, Mrs. Florence Sechrest sold the firm to four of the company’s loyal employees, Bill Lee, W.D. Lemon, Edgar Johnson, and Bud Hoskins in 1946.
Sechrest Funeral Service provided the first motorized vehicles for funeral use in High Point and was the first to offer family car limousines instead of sedans, for transporting families. As did most funeral homes, Sechrest offered 24 hour ambulance service to the community for years. Guilford County took over the ambulance service from the funeral homes in 1967.
Sechrest remained on Main Street until 1962 when land was purchased on Lexington Avenue for the purpose of building a state of the art facility exclusively designed for funeral service. In 1963, the funeral home bought the Koonce Funeral Home at 414 S. Main Street and in 1965 changed its name to Sechrest Funeral Service. In later years, the S. Main Street location was merged into the Lexington Avenue property. Due to expanded growth of the business during the 1970’s, two additions were made to the facility with a new larger visitation room, open-area lobby, enclosed garages, additional office space and a port-cochere.
In 1977, to extend its services into Davidson County, Sechrest took ownership of the Siler Funeral Home in Thomasville and has since renamed it, Thomasville Funeral Home. In 1986, Sechrest Funeral Service in Archdale, was built to serve the Archdale and Trinity communities of Randolph County. In 1989, the firm became associated with the Sentinel Group, which later merged with the Dignity Memorial network of funeral homes and cemeteries.
Still today, Sechrest Funeral Service is a proud member of the Dignity Memorial network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers. Dignity Memorial providers offer exclusive benefits, including National Transferability of Prearranged Services, the Bereavement Travel Program, the 24-Hour Compassion Helpline and access to an acclaimed grief management library. As North America’s largest provider of funeral, cremation and cemetery services, the Dignity Memorial brand is your assurance of quality, value, caring service and exceptional customer satisfaction.