Rivers Community Funeral Home: Success through empathy

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ELIZABETH CITY — Beginning in 2006, the Rivers Family started their funeral home in Elizabeth City with five employees and 40 burials their first year. Today, they have grown to 40 employees and 150 burials per year. This year to date, they have broken 100 burials and are projected to go much higher before year’s end.

How did they accomplish this growth? They worked diligently and offered the highest, most professional level of customer service that they could. Of course, the family involvement in the Black Community certainly did not hurt.

Raymond Rivers, the family head, has served as President of the Elizabeth City Chapter of the NAACP for several years and his son Keith serves in that capacity now. Kirk Rivers is a former member of the Elizabeth City Council. These activities have provided the family with a platform, which has served them well.

The beginning of the business was not without controversy as their present business location was formerly the Stallings Funeral Home.

But the greatest element of growth comes from the compassionate service to families in their time of grief, combined with a high level of personal service.

The general manager of the business is Darius Horton, currently serving as Elizabeth City Councilman. The Licensed Funeral Directors are Raymond and Kirk Rivers, and Aubrey Mitchell — who also serves as a Licensed Embalmer. In addition, they have an apprentice named Beth Summers who is studying to take her test to receive her license.

While customers understand that the funeral business is like any other in terms of profitability, the family strives to not over emphasize this choosing instead to focus on the care of the deceased family throughout the process.

In summary: Community involvement, excellent customer service and compassionate care equals ‘success’ in the funeral home business!!!