Family undertaking: Third-generation funeral director brings new life to Hot Sulphur Springs business
Grand County, CO Colorado
HOT SULPHUR SPRINGS – Mark Shearon grew up accompanying his father and grandfather on hearse emergency calls as a young boy.
He has memories of roller skating in his grandparents funeral parlor, or playing hide-and-seek among the caskets.
Both his grandparents and parents ran the family’s funeral home in Tennessee, and dinner-table conversation always included updates on who had died, Shearon said.
“It was an everyday part of life,” he said. “I never gave it any thought because I grew up around it.”
Now, the third-generation funeral director with 26 years of service has reopened Grand County’s only funeral home, under its new name “Grand County Mortuary.”
The funeral home had been closed for longer than a year until Shearon purchased the foreclosed Foran-Schoenfeld Mortuary from Grand Mountain Bank and has since updated the interior to create a “home-like atmosphere.”
With wife Tina, Shearon has owned a home in Granby Ranch for two years. He acquired the Grand County funeral home after selling the business “Shearon Funeral Home” in Steamboat Springs, which Shearon operated for nine years prior to working on the seminar circuit.
During Shearon’s time in Steamboat Springs, he authored the book “Good Grief: Making Sense Out of Death, Dying and Funerals.”
Prior to moving to Colorado in 1991, Shearon operated the Shearon Funeral Home in Ashland, Tenn. He attended college at Gupton Mortuary College on Vanderbilt’s campus in Nashville, Tenn.
During his funeral services career, he’s lived in a mortuary, he’s lived above a mortuary, and has lived in an apartment beside a mortuary, he said.
And, the funeral director said he is striving to make the Grand County Mortuary feel as much like a home setting as possible for grieving clients. Adding a wood-burning fireplace to create a sitting area furthers that goal, and he has reorganized spaces to return the building to its former layout with a chapel, display room and foyer, Shearon said. New carpet and paint completed the recent interior makeover.
“My grandparents started their business in Tennessee by opening the comfort of their home to families in need of funeral services,” Shearon said. “Likewise, my hope is that families and their friends feel comfortable at our facility.”
Shearon plans to offer a full-range of services, including the sale of caskets, urns, grave markers, and by providing cremation, memorial and traditional services.
In his practice, he said, he strives to always focus on “celebrating the life that was lived.”
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