Celebrating a decade of ownership

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, May 10, 2016

CARING FOR THE COMMUNITY: Picayune Funeral Home co-owner Henrietta Brewer has been operating the local business for the last 10 years with her husband, Ted.  Photo by Jeremy Pittari

CARING FOR THE COMMUNITY: Picayune Funeral Home co-owner Henrietta Brewer has been operating the local business for the last 10 years in conjunction with her husband, Ted.
Photo by Jeremy Pittari

The Picayune Funeral Home celebrates its’ 10 year anniversary
One of the hardest things to do in life is to go through the process of losing a loved one. The loss of a loved one can emotionally cripple anyone without the proper assistance.
Funeral homes all over the nation help those in this exact scenario, one of those being the Picayune Funeral Home.
Henrietta Brewer, Funeral Director and co-owner of Picayune Funeral Home, made it her first priority 10 years ago on May 3 to make sure these people have a simpler road ahead of them.
Henrietta and her husband, Ted Brewer, were searching for a place they could not only call their home, but also a place where they could donate their kindness by helping those in their darkest times. Ted has contributed 50 years of his life in the funeral home business, making it more of a lifestyle for the Brewers than a job.
The Brewers travelled the nation for months trying to find the perfect fit for their dream, to run a funeral home, until bumping into Picayune near the Brewer’s favorite vacationing spot—Pensacola Beach. The Sims family had been operating the Picayune Funeral Home—at the time— for many years when Henrietta and Ted started to get involved. Henrietta loved the town’s character as well as the people who lived there.
“The town embraced us immediately. The people are so nice and kind. I will be staying here until it’s my days are over,” Henrietta said.
However, before they could commit to Picayune, Hurricane Katrina hit.
Ted decided, with out hesitation, that he would ask if they needed assistance at Picayune Funeral Home and the Sims urgently accepted. Ted helped them out for three weeks, repairing the structure of the funeral home as well as assisting with the necessary services the funeral home provides.
The Brewer family later purchased the business on May 3, 2006.
Picayune Funeral Home has six certified funeral directors on staff, but not all are full-time. Also, to set themselves apart from the other funeral homes, the Picayune Funeral Home provides a display of 32 partial caskets to their customers, when most of the other funeral homes only provide 15. To most people planning a funeral, the casket display room is the most difficult part of the process, however Picayune Funeral Home prides itself on the fact they do not display full sized caskets, allowing the display room to look less like a wall vault, and be more emotionally soothing.
“We can’t make this process easier, but we can make it simpler,” Henrietta said, “I have always told myself to treat the people that come in as if they were my own family. Treat them with respect and sympathy.”
As for the Picayune Funeral Home’s future, Henrietta’s son Nicholas, who just graduated from Mississippi College, plans to take over the business—keeping it in the family. However, for now, Henrietta has no plans of retirement. “It’s what I do. I have grown very attached to each person that walks through those doors. I feel like I never work a single day here because I’m simply doing what I love to do—helping others in their time of need,” Henrietta said with a smile.
The Picayune Funeral Home also has a crematory, which is something other funeral homes in close proximity can offer. In addition to his other duties, Ted works in the crematory in Picayune.

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