A family funeral directors say the chance to keep their own DNA was a major factor in agreeing to join the Funeral Partners network.
Eaves Funeral Service was formed by William Eaves – better known as Billy – and his business partner Derek Crosby in November 1961 and have been serving the community in Whitehaven, Cumbria, ever since.
The firm has always been a family affair with the team now including Billy’s son Philip Eaves and son-in-law Michael Jolly who are staying on as Business Principals. Billy himself is now taking a well-deserved retirement at the age of 81.
Michael said: “The name Eaves has become synonymous in the area with funerals.
“When, sadly, there is a death in the family, people will call for Billy Eaves, even though he hasn’t conducted a funeral since 2015.”
The family connections run even deeper at Eaves Funeral Service with Billy’s father, Billy Snr, helping out in the early years, his brother Richard working for 20 years as a Funeral Director and his wife Margaret running the administration for a long time. His daughter Julia – Michael’s wife – then took over from her mother as Office Manager.
Eaves Funeral Service also have a track record of charity and community work, previously raising more than £12,000 for Hospice at Home West Cumbria and sponsoring local sports teams.
Michael said they were hoping their new agreement with Funeral Partners would allow them to do more similar work.
“For us, working with Funeral Partners will help safeguard the future of the business,” he said.
“It would be a terrible shame if we just disappeared one day, and, although we hope to be around for a good few years yet, there is no natural successor in the next generation of the family.
“When discussions with their representatives got serious, it just felt like the right move.
“They have a genuine respect for our business and recognised how important it was to retain our own DNA.
“We can learn a lot from them, and they can also learn a lot from the good things we do.”
Sam Kershaw, Funeral Partners CEO, said he was delighted to welcome Eaves to their network.
He said: “It has been a true family affair at Eaves with two generations working in the business over the years establishing its impeccable reputation for value and high standards, deep rooted at the heart of the Whitehaven community.
“We welcome the team to our family of funeral homes and will work together to respect their good name and grow the business to ensure their family legacy lives on.”