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Funeral directors say J&S Mortician Service frees up employees

The Dothan Eagle
August 3, 2003

Funeral directors say J&S Mortician Service frees up employees, cuts costs for families

By Whitney McHugh
Eagle Staff Writer

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Photo by Jay Hare/Eagle
J&S Mortician Service owner Bill Snell has numerous credentials and degrees in the study of funeral service.
Funeral homes just like any other business keep an eye on the bottom line.

 

They look for ways to cut costs and improve efficiency without decreasing the quality of services provided to grieving families. That balancing act created a profitable niche for J&S Mortician Service.

“I could not put a man in the car on the road for as cheap as they can,” said Bill Searcy, manager of Searcy Funeral Home in Enterprises.

Searcy is not alone. Almost every funeral home in the Wiregrass contracts with J&S for long distance removals, casket transfers and graveside services. Some even use the service for local removals on particularly busy days. They also call for help when vacations and sick days stretch their full-time staffs too thin.

“It translates into cost savings because we only pay them when we need them,” said Robert Byrd, owner of Byrd Funeral Home.

Read more: Funeral directors say J&S Mortician Service frees up employees

On short notice, these hearses roll

The Dothan Eagle
August 3, 2003

On short notice, these hearses roll

By Whitney McHugh
Eagle Staff Writer

‘On a death call, we’re like an ambulance to an emergency’

2003-08-03-Dothan-Eagle-1-small
Photo by Jay Hare/Eagle
Howard McKnight, left , and Bill Snell roll an empty cot into one of the Suburbans called van hearses --- specially outfitted to accommodate cots and caskets to transport bodies. The bodies are in bags, placed on the cots or/in caskets, depending on the call
HEADLAND – Bags are packed. Suits neatly pressed. Everything is in order.

There’s no time for more than a cursory glance in the mirror, maybe snatching some snacks on the way out the door before climbing behind the wheel of a Suburban or passenger van. With only 10 minutes notice, the driver armed with only cellphones and a box of latex gloves leave on a mission.

There’s a dead body to retrieve.

“On a death call, we’re like an ambulance to an emergency,” said Bill Snell, owner of J & S Mortician Service.

The service, based out of Snell’s home in Headland, specialized in removing bodies from residences and hospitals and transporting them long distances for burials. It uses a fleet of Suburans and vans --- called van hearses --- specially outfitted to accommodate cots and caskets to transport bodies.

The bodies are in bags, place on cots or in caskets depending on the nature of the call. Once the service even transported a vault, and occasionally, an urn containing cremated remains.

“It starts at midnight with a cup of coffee and getting dressed in a hurry,” said Hilly Jones, a licensed funeral director with the service.

Death has no respect for the drivers’ schedule or their need for uninterrupted sleep. The calls from funeral homes rarely come at convenient times. And there seems to be more deaths between midnight and dawn, Snell said.

Read more: On short notice, these hearses roll

If you are contacting us for immediate transportation, mortician or funeral services, please call us at the numbers below.  If you are needing additional information on our services, please use the online contact form to your left.

Joe Watford
Bus: 334-693-5094
Mobile: 334-618-8641
jsmortser@gmail.com

Billy E Jones, LFD
Mobile: 334-790-3403

Jim Burnham, FDA

Mobile: 334-797-4995

Larue Lee, FDA

Mobile: 334-701-7881