About

At Cotten Funeral Home & Crematory, we have been an important part of the New Bern, North Carolina, community and surrounding Craven County areas for more than 100 years. Our caring team members are committed to providing you with guidance and support every step of the way, whether you’re planning in advance or have an immediate need for our funeral and cremation services.

We celebrate life

Reception area at Cotten Funeral HomeWe believe that each funeral service should celebrate the unique and special qualities of the individual being honored. Our team members will work with you to help create a memorable, one-of-a-kind tribute that reflects your loved one’s passions and personality. Adding a personal touch to a funeral or memorial can include everything from distinctive music and displays of photographs and memorabilia to professionally catered receptions and extravagant themed events.

Here for you in many ways

When the tribute event is over, our service to you does not end. We can assist in family matters such as veterans and social security benefits, insurance and other aspects of your personal affairs. Please don't hesitate to see how we can help you.

Trusted provider

We are proud to be a member of the Dignity Memorial® network of funeral, cremation and cemetery service providers. When you choose Cotten Funeral Home & Crematory, you not only receive the compassionate care you expect from a New Bern-operated establishment but also the value you deserve from the largest and most trusted network of funeral, cremation and memorialization providers.

Contact us

Signage at Cotten Funeral HomeYou are always welcome to visit us at 2210 Neuse Blvd. in New Bern. Our team members are available to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please give us a call if you need immediate assistance or if you would like more information about our funeral and cremation services.

History

Cotten Funeral Home began not as a funeral home, but as a firm known as the Joe K. Willis Company, a local tombstone maker. The exact dates of when the firm was founded are unknown, but it began well before the turn of the century and has been in continuous operation for more than 100 years.

From tombstone maker to funeral home

The grandson of Joe K. Willis and Albert Willis Jr. formed a partnership with Frank Ballard to create a business that became known as Willis & Ballard Funeral Home. Albert went on to become a history teacher and never returned to work at his funeral home. He eventually sold his part of the company to his partner, Frank.

New owners take over the firm

Through the years, the funeral home changed owners again. Eventually Tommy Best and Billy Dowdy became partners in the funeral home. The new owners continued to operate under the name Willis & Ballard Funeral Home. During these years, the funeral home operated a public ambulance service along with its funeral home operations. Billy eventually sold his part of the partnership to Tommy. At this point in the funeral home’s history, it was relocated from what is now known as the Pugh Building in downtown New Bern to its current location at 2201 Neuse Blvd.

The Cotten family purchases the business

A while later, Russ Conner purchased part of the business and became a partner in the company. In March 1970, the funeral home was sold to R.L. Cotten Sr. and R.L. Cotten Jr. The name of the business was then changed to Cotten Funeral Home. The Cottens actively operated the funeral home until September 1, 1978. At that time, the business was sold to James Ray Odham Sr. He had been a funeral director and embalmer of the funeral home for many years. In 1981, Eastern Carolina Crematory was added on site at the funeral home.

A century of funeral service

Today, we are members of the Dignity Memorial network of funeral, cremation and cemetery providers. After more than 100 years of service, we continue to grow, evolve and provide quality service to families in New Bern and the surrounding areas.

Amenities

Location

Cremation

Service

Religious & Cultural

Other

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Express your sympathy with flowers & gifts

1-800-Flowers

View arrangements

Bouquet of flowers on a cemetery 

Remember the one you love

Honor the memory of your loved one with cemetery flower placement. You choose the flowers. You choose the months. We do the rest.

Learn More
Floral component background

Express your sympathy with flowers & gifts

1-800-Flowers

View arrangements

Bouquet of flowers on a cemetery

Remember the one you love

Honor the memory of your loved one with cemetery flower placement. You choose the flowers. You choose the months. We do the rest.

Learn More
Floral component background

Express your sympathy with flowers & gifts

1-800-Flowers

View arrangements

Vintage photos scattered

Unable to find an obituary?

Not finding what you are looking for? Search for your loved one's obituary across any of our other locations.

VIEW OBITUARIES
Floral component background

Express your sympathy with flowers & gifts

1-800-Flowers

View arrangements

Vintage photos scattered

Unable to find an obituary?

Not finding what you are looking for? Search for your loved one's obituary across any of our Washelli locations.

VIEW OBITUARIES
Bouquet of flowers on a cemetery

Remember the one you love

Honor the memory of your loved one with cemetery flower placement. You choose the flowers. You choose the months. We do the rest.

Learn More
Vintage photos scattered

Unable to find an obituary?

Not finding what you are looking for? Search for your loved one's obituary across any of our other locations.

VIEW OBITUARIES

Ratings & Reviews

Verified Customer Reviews

Since 2005, many of our customers have taken the time to tell us how we did each year via our Voice of the Customer program. Our star ratings and comments from families come directly from these surveys.

"Walter Elks is one of the nicest people I have met. He helped my family & I get through a very difficult phase. He was patient, kind & professional. Please thank him for us."

jd-power-verified-checkmark Verified Customer

June 2021

"On behalf of my family, I extend our sincerest appreciation for the professionalism and sincere compassion afforded us during the most difficult time of our life. The staff's caliber of excellence was beyond our expectations. Everything was flawless -- all our requests were met. We cannot express our appreciation for the outpouring of affection and concern displayed to our family. Special recognition and appreciation to Rex Bennett and Jennifer Hodges for their utmost respect, compassion, and kindness. They are perfectly suited to their profession, displaying such caring and tenderness at such difficult times in people's lives and we will be eternally grateful for their support, guidance, and empathy."

jd-power-verified-checkmark Verified Customer

May 2021

"Cotten Funeral is absolute the best to help you deal with this tremendous event in your life. I can't thank Walter Elks and the staff I worked with enough for helping me through this time."

jd-power-verified-checkmark Verified Cremation Customer

May 2021

"everything went so well"

jd-power-verified-checkmark Verified Burial & Memorial Service Customer

May 2021

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