Mitchell family approach brings peace to local families

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Funeral director Larry Mitchell, his wife Colleen and son Bill, of Mitchell Funeral Home, have established a reputation for providing service that reflects the best of what a family business has to offer—in particular consistency, respect and quality care, which are all the more crucial for families coping with loss.

“When you call our funeral home –it doesn’t matter whether it’s two o’clock in the afternoon, or two o’clock in the morning– you’re going to get one of us in person,” says Colleen. Some funeral homes are moving away from the family-run model and that initial phone call might connect you with a representative from a subsidiary location and the people you’re working with can come from a large pool of staff, which can feel impersonal.

“Other approaches might make great sense from a business perspective,” says Larry. “But we don’t see our profession as a typical business. We’re there with you from the beginning to the end.”

Over a five-year span, local resident Honor Fiorini arranged funerals for four very close family members, including two of her own children. She chose the Mitchells each time.

The hardest thing to do is to plan a funeral for your child. But Larry and Bill made it more manageable with their calm and comforting demeanor. Larry always provides sound advice you can trust and he’s there, thinking clearly on your behalf, which is hard to do that when you are grieving. They support you and think of the little things that will help you cope.
Honor Fiorini

This empathy and compassion come from ample personal and professional experience. “We’re just an average family who wants to help,” says Bill. “As soon as a family comes through the doors of our facility, we treat them like members of our family.”

Huntsville resident Nancy Alcock has also called on Larry to lead funeral arrangements for members of her family, including her husband. She can attest to the difference their approach makes. “When you lose somebody who you love dearly, it’s a very intimate experience. When a person is coming to pick up the one who you have lost, it’s more than having them come into your home, it’s having them come into your life.”

When her husband passed away, Larry was there at Nancy’s home at 3:30 in the morning, dressed in a suit, as is typical for him, which to Nancy conveyed a deep feeling of respect. “And it was seamless,” she recalls. “It was as if he wasn’t here and yet when you think about what he did— he took my husband away—what could have been an incredibly traumatizing event wasn’t.” The next day, Nancy had to go to the funeral home. “I was a basket case, unable to really think and Larry had all of the paperwork there, ready for me. I never had to ask questions, he just knew the right thing to say, the right thing to do and how to help me through the process.”

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7 Comments

  1. Wonderful article. I too have had experience with Mitchell Funeral Home in the past, and they are a very professional, kind, and patient group.
    They make one of the most difficult moments in life, just a little bit easier.

  2. So much for the Doppler being a primary news source. This article was nothing but a paid advertisement for a business, thinly veiled as a touching story about families suffering the unimaginable. I am extraordinary offend by this . My deepest condolences and sympathy to the families mention in this article for their loss.It is the purpose of funeral homes to provide care and concerned service and l would expect nothing short of what Mitchell Funeral Homes did.What is disturbing is this seemingly blatant solicitation for business. Shame on Mitchell Funeral Homes and the Doppler for posting this.

    • Dawn Huddlestone on

      Hi Gord,
      In addition to the wide range of local news and community coverage we provide, Doppler occasionally publishes sponsored content that we hope will bring value to our readers. It is always clearly labelled as sponsored content, and is one means that helps us to continue to publish free content for our readers. We appreciate both our loyal readers and our advertisers and aim to strike a balance between the two.

  3. Coming from one of the families who was mentioned in this article, I was privileged to have a chance to help promote this wonderful family who cares for anyone who walks through their doors. They ARE a business but they do not treat you like one. Not one part of it felt like a “transaction” or “service”. It felt as if I was being supported from a friend.

    As for the article- it’s their business to not only report on the news around Muskoka and areas, but to also create some revenue themselves. If you read a newspaper is it all “breaking news”… no it’s full of many different articles.

    Shame on you for your not needed comment. If it isn’t a helpful comment, do we need to post hurtful ones???

  4. Thank you for your response to my comment and pointing out my misspelling of the word lose. I think you could maintain more credibility as a news source by offering paid advertising space in your postings instead of trying to work paid business advertisement into a news worthy article especially a business that deals in such a profoundly traumatic and personnel human event.I realize that nothing is free and l do appreciate and enjoy what the Doppler does in our community.

    Thank You,

  5. As an integral part of a recent funeral held at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Huntsville, I became re-acquainted with Larry Mitchell, a former grade seven student of mine at Huntsville Public School. Larry’s quiet and pleasantly efficient manner during a last minute faux pas in technological equipment assured the family that all would be well…and it was. It was evident that the Mitchell family is compassionate, caring and deeply connected to a grieving family and their guests. As one who conducts many funerals, this kind of personal interest and thoughtfulness is much appreciated. Rev. Gary Denniss, Bracebridge, ON

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