Two of the area’s prominent funeral homes will merge in an effort to provide a wider range of services to families who find the need in a time of grief.
Mark Grissom, owner of Grissom Funeral Home, announced Sunday that he has acquired Serenity Funeral Home from West Tennessee Funeral Associates.
It will now be called Grissom-Serenity Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
“I’ve been in the funeral business for over 30 years and I have seen the industry change dramatically over the last five years,” Grissom said. “Families are looking for a better value, especially in the area of better costs and families want to keep expenses down.”
He explained that cremation rates are on the rise in Tennessee, and Grissom Funeral Home can now combine the low cost affordable services that Serenity offered with the full services that Grissom has had for over 25 years.
“We have three parlors, a large chapel, kitchen area and plenty of parking,” he said. “Customers don’t have to rent a church facility or pay additional monies to conduct a funeral. We’re offering the best of both worlds.”
The history of the local company began in 1988 when Grissom purchased the Goodner-Allen Funeral Home.
In January of 2010, Grissom moved his parents to Cleveland due to his mother’s declining health and when Mark’s mom passed away in December of 2010, his father Tom Grissom, came to work at Grissom fulltime, helping with visitations and funeral services as a non-licensed assistant.
His father, a retired Church of God minster, also serves as the chaplain and is available to officiate a funeral service for those families who do not have a minister.
Grissom-Serenity will serve all faiths, honors all burial policies if they wish to transfer their policies.
He said he has been honored to develop longstanding relationships with the families he has served, with local clergy, and area business leaders.
Grissom says he is proud to have been a past president of Cleveland Rotary club, served on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and is a member of First United Methodist Church where he serves as the head usher.
He described how the newly formed venture will benefit families.
“You can have a viewing, a visitation, and a complete service and still choose cremation in lieu of local burial at a cemetery. Grissom-Serenity will work with anyone’s budget,” Grissom said.
“It can be as expensive or inexpensive as a family desires. In the past, you met with the family, had the visitation, had the funeral and that was all the decisions that needed to be made. Now there are so many different offerings, families need more guidance.”
Grissom also announced the addition of Kristy Pope, a licensed funeral director, who will be working with the families.
Pope began her career locally in the funeral home business in 2005.
“Kristy first felt a calling to enter funeral service as a young child. It wasn’t until decades later that the doors were opened for her to actively pursue a career in the industry she is so passionate about,” Grissom said.
Pope grew up in the Sale Creek community and is a graduate of the John A. Gupton College in 2011.
Grissom also offered praise for Jim and Frances Swafford who have worked for him for 15 years.
“They are very well known in the community and do a tremendous job,” he said.
The Swaffords are members First Cumberland Presbyterian Church and work with visitations and funerals.
“With the acquisition of Serenity Funeral Home creating Grissom-Serenity Funeral Home and Cremation Services, we can now serve every need that a family has in saying farewell to their loved one,” Grissom said.