Local funeral homes to be used under Heritage Family | Local News


Three of Bristol’s best-known funeral homes have joined forces.

Oakley-Cook Funeral and Crematorium, Akard Funeral Home and Blevins Funeral and Cremation Services are now united under the umbrella of Heritage Family Services.

David W. Akard III will be the group’s manager while Melinda Akard, Bambi Akard, Rae Akard and Sid Oakley will continue to serve with the Heritage Family, Oakley said.

“When you join another funeral home, you need fewer vehicles,” said Oakley, 74, funeral director and co-founder of Oakley-Cook Funeral Home.

“There are synergies involved when associates can have their days off,” Oakley said. “And I think David Akard III has more motivation than just one funeral home. He is a very capable leader for our group.

Oakley said the company would be based in Elizabethton, Tennessee, despite being a merger of Bristol-based funeral homes.

Funeral homes should also retain their original names.

“These are names that the Bristol community trusts,” Oakley said. “I don’t think anyone involved in this merger wouldn’t want to take on someone whose name was not revered in this community. They earned their trust by treating people well.

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