If you’ve taken a drive down Oxford Road in Henderson over the past week, you may have been surprised to see that the long-standing sign that previously read Flowers Funeral Home now reads Sossamon Funeral Home.
That change in name and ownership came about last week when John Sossamon, age 36, purchased the business from previous owner John Ayscue.
“We’ve been working on it for quite some time; it didn’t happen overnight,” said Sossamon.
In an interview with WIZS Radio, Sossamon put to rest any rumors that Ayscue was full-fledged retiring after the business transaction. “He’s not exactly retiring. We are going to call it ‘semi-retiring.’ John has been with Flowers Funeral Home for 40 years. That’s a long time! He’ll still be here every day – Monday through Friday – but I think we’ll give him the weekends off,” joked Sossamon.
Sossamon, who had been out of the funeral home business for several years, said his desire to help people in difficult times brought him back. “I’m ready to get back. I enjoy helping people, especially in their time of need.”
“Their time of need” includes looking for guidance, direction and comfort, according to Sossamon. “As a funeral director, people pay me to carry out their wishes or their loved ones’ wishes the way they want them carried out and that’s exactly what we intend to do.”
While he intends to honor the traditions established by previous owners Carlton Flowers, Irene Flowers and John Ayscue, Sossamon said services will undergo a “modernization” with additions such as slideshows and live streaming of videos for those family members and friends who are not able to physically attend.
In the spirit of honoring traditions, Sossamon wants to reassure the community that any prearrangements that were made with Flowers Funeral Home will be upheld and honored.
“We’ve had a lot of calls and texts asking about prearrangements; preparations that were done by Flowers Funeral Home are safe with Sossamon Funeral Home.”
When asked what prompted the name change, Sossamon replied that it was all about family and passing the business on to future generations. “We wanted to make it about our family to your family. I want my children to continue on with it one day.”
The Sossamon name is a familiar one in the local community as John’s father Rev. Frank Sossamon is the long-serving senior pastor of South Henderson Pentecostal Holiness Church.
When asked about the Reverend’s involvement at the funeral home, Sossamon replied that his father will remain at the church full-time but will be available for visitations or services “as he knows most of the families that will come through these doors.”
Sossamon agrees that he and his father are very much alike in all but musical talent. “Since I closed on the business, I can’t tell you how many people have said I look like my dad and sound like him. I always tell them that I don’t sing like him!”
Along with working with his father, Sossamon is also looking forward to his interactions with other funeral homes in the community and said he is grateful for the respectful relationship that they already share. “I think a lot of those people. We are all in the service industry and we serve people.”
Sossamon welcomes all those with questions or those who just want to say hello to call (252) 438-4717 or stop by Sossamon Funeral Home for a chat.
To hear the interview with John Sossamon as played on Thursday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program, please click here.
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