April 2021

Page A14 APRIL 2021 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on A CLEVELAND, OH - Keisha Bennett (L) of Livery Plus is shown taking delivery of their new Dodge Caravan. Purchased from Muster Coaches and delivered by John Muster (R). Livery Plus Muster Coaches 1-800-274-3619 Calhoun, KY F U N E R A L P R O F E S S I O N A L S ESSENTIAL NOT ONLY BUT ALSO Thank You EXCEPTIONAL 1-800-868-9950 myASD.com Patrick Munnerlyn retires after 53 Years in Funeral Service By Laurie Esposito Harley Patrick Munnerlyn was honored in 2019 as the Colorado Gospel Music Academy & Hall of Fame Funeral Director of the Year DENVER,CO— Mr. Patrick Munnerlyn has helped with several ma- jor funerals through the years, including Rosa Parks, Aretha Franklin, and James Brown. He’s worked across the coun- try, in Los Angeles, De- troit, Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Atlan- ta, Pensacola, and Birmingham. Mr. Munnerlyn has represented the funeral industry with pride and with an awe- filled respect. “At two years old, my dad put me in a suit and tie when his grandma died, and I sat beside him as he drove the hearse. And then I put my son in a suit and put him in the hearse as a baby when his grandfather died.” His father, Robert Harris Coats, passed away when Patrick was a teenager. A month before his passing, Coats tried to talk his son out of the funeral indus- try. Knowing this would not be so, his father’s message was, “If you’re going to be successful in this business, you must strive to have your own home. Other than that, you will never be happy.” Munnerlyn’s father worked for a time as an embalmer at the Smith and Gas- ton Funeral Home in Mobile. Even- tually that firm came to be known as the Hodges Funeral Chapel where Mr. Hodges would pay ten year old Patrick $5.00 per funeral to carry flowers from the hearse to the grave. While in high school Munnerlyn worked at Johnson and Allen as his first real funeral job. He followed in his dad’s footsteps and worked for a few years with the Taylor Funeral Home in Chicago. “I worked at every funeral home that my dad worked at in his lifetime. I have strived to be great like him,” Munnerlyn says. “I was blessed to walk a little in my dad’s path, but even more blessed to make my own path,” he adds. “I was also blessed with the friendship of the late Dr. O’Neil D. Swan- son, Sr. and proud to be recognized by ROAD, a group of distinguished funeral service leaders which he founded,” add- ed Munnerlyn. At the 2007 Acade- my Awards of Funeral Service, the 100 Black Women of Funeral Ser- vice named him a Funer- al Service Business Entre- preneur of the Year. While he has some re- gret that he never owned his own funeral home, he has been able to see the industry from all sides, while traveling to so many different areas of the country and learn- ing new things from dif- ferent funeral homes. “There are no wrongs or rights. It’s what works in that state, in that city, and in that community.” Munnerlyn has plans after retirement to be a consultant and advi- sor for people going into the funeral business to help them get started in the industry. He also will continue to sell limos and hearses out of Dal- las, TX. Munnerlyn says of his life’s work, “I did my best but my best wasn’t good enough… but God. Thank you, God, for choosing me in this min- istry in my life.” Your Real Source. Anywhere. Anytime. Like Us On Facebook! Scan QR for our website 1-888-792-9315 • mymortuarycooler.com Mortuary Coolers starting at $4,299 Beat the price increase increase coming March 2021 Beat the price increase coming June 2021