Best of the Best: Tetrick Funeral Home in running for worldwide honor

Published 11:32 am Saturday, September 3, 2016

Photo Contributed           The Tetrick Family has a long history of supporting the community and providing a successful service. Pictured, left to right, is Terina, Tyler, Richard and Norma Tetrick.

Photo Contributed
The Tetrick Family has a long history of supporting the community and providing a successful service. Pictured, left to right, is Terina, Tyler, Richard and Norma Tetrick.

Tetrick Funeral Home is no stranger to providing excellence to its customers.
Following up an eighth consecutive National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) Pursuit of Excellence award, the Elizabethton office recently learned they qualified with eight other firms out of over 160 worldwide for the NFDA “Best of the Best.” Each of the nine candidates for the Best of the Best were selected by a strict level of work by a “commitment to providing exceptional service to grieving families and the community, while adhering to the highest ethical and professional standards …” … according to information from the NFDA website.
“It is an honor,” Richard Tetrick, owner and Chief Executive Officer (COO) of Tetrick Funeral Home said. “If we’re able to win, that would be great, but if we don’t, we’re just honored to be in consideration.”
Providing a high standand of service comes natural for the facility, according to the NFDA. The Pursuit of Excellence is bestowed to a participating funeral home within the NFDA that meets or exceeds standards in a variety of areas for funeral service, including regulations compliance, program and resource offerings, professional development and community involvement.
“It is such an honor,” Richard continued. “We, as a family, want to continue providing a good service to the community. My father, Donald, started this company back in 1943 and was big into wanting to help the community. I hope he would be proud to see the company still going strong to this day.”
The Tetrick family continues to play an integral part since creation in the 1940s. Still family owned and operated, Richard and son Tyler, looked back at the company’s history with fondness.
“There aren’t many companies that make it to a fourth generation of the family,” Richard said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the work our staff and family members put into our office. Our Johnson City office provides the same amount of work as our Elizabethton office does and we could just as easier entered it into the contest.”
Tyler, President of Family Heritage Cemetery, seconded his father’s sentiments about the importance of growing up in a community like Elizabethton.
“My family started in Elizabethton and for several years, we only had a presence in Elizabethton,” Tyler said. “We go to ballgames, church and the grocery stores with the residents in town. It is our home and we love it. We want this to be something Elizabethton and Carter County can take pride in knowing our community is being recognized on a worldwide scale.”
Just like the father-and-son tandem now, Donald acquired the facility after a loan was provided by Citizens Bank, Richard said. Since that time, Richard said his father and grandfather had pride within the community and wanted to give back, and played a key role in the creation of the Carter County Rescue Squad, providing the facility its first ambulance.
The quality of giving back to the community is something the current staff of Tetrick does in abundance, Richard said, working with hospice workers and expressing a vast amount of respect for the workers.
Since January of this year, the officer created the “Hospice Caregiver of the Month” award, which allows either family members or coworkers to select a hospice caregiver to be honored.
“We appreciate our hospice workers,” Richard said. “They’re just like funeral directors in a way … they are with these families at a rough time in their lives and provide such a great service.”
The addition of supporting hospice workers was actually one of the key components for the funeral home to be qualified in the “Best of the Best” nominations by the NFDA.
Tetrick also provides a bevy of amenities to the community, including the distribution of goods and honors to different location agencies, holding a candlelight vigil for families, hosting various guest speakers, various events for the community and recently helped with the Kiwanis Club.
“We have such a big platform,” Richard said. “We take pride in our community and we want to give back anyway that we can recognize those that help our community go each day.”
Morris-Baker Funeral and Cremation Services of Johnson City is also in the running for the “Best of the Best.” Richard added that Northeast Tennessee takes pride in wanting to make sure the families with lost loved ones provide a service to pay respect and honor to the individual.
Richard and Tyler both added that while the honor is well-received, it’s a team effort by the entire staff, and the accomplishments help spotlight the city of Elizabethton.
“Elizabethton is such a hidden gem,” Tyler said. “We love this community. It is such a special place.”

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