The Team: Keryn Galway, Judy Laverty, Michelle George, James Kennedy, Hayley Snape, Shany Newman. Absent Karen GeorgeCrookwellis grievingthe lossof the town’sonly funeral home.

With death being a 24/7business, funeral director James Kennedy has declared he needs a life and has closed his doors.

Mr Kennedy, who has lived in the town all his life, said nearly all thefunerals he hadconducted wereof people he knew.On average, that’s about50 funerals ayear.

“This is the hardest thing Ihave had to do,’’ he said.

“I would often take leave to have a holiday and find myself coming back to Crookwell to officiate at a funeral part way through that holiday.

“Younger kids who haven’t had a life, these funerals are the hardestto getthrough.

“On the other end of the spectrum, the more commonfunerals are the ones of the older generation that weseem to be seeing moreof.

“People areliving longer, well into the late 80s and early 90s.”

Mr Kennedy said he was worried for the florist in town about the implication of him closing his business.

His staff were all employed ascasuals and will all now go theirseparate ways.A plan is inplace to honour all his funeral plan customers.

Mr Kennedy will remain in the area, spending valuabletime with family. His immediate job will be focused on thecare of his aging parents.

Kennedy and Co Funeral Directors hasbeen in Crookwell since 1908.

The founder of the businesswas TE Kennedy. The businesswas later taken over by James’ father’s cousin Bernie.

James Kennedy then took on the business in partnership with his wife and hisparents, Thelma and Richard in 1987.

From the early days, funerals have changed considerablyfrom the horse and cartto now-a-days as a custom made funeral hearses.

“Funerals have changed also in the way that we used to mourn a person’s death as to now we celebrate their death,” Mr Kennedy said.

The order of a funeral also included happier music and fewerhymns.

“The styles of funerals have also changed with the options of cremations instead of burials becoming more popular and more affordable.”

Funerals can range from $7,000 to upwards of $50,000.

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