Supreme Court backs local funeral director

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

The state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that Suffolk funeral director Charles D. Parr Sr. didn’t violate business agreements by opening Parr Funeral Home in 2002.

In 1995, Parr sold his family-owned businesses, the Hill Funeral Home, to Alderwoods Group Inc., a corporate funeral chain that also owns Harrell and Hill Funeral Home in Suffolk. Initially, Parr went to work for the new owners as a funeral director.

Email newsletter signup

At the time of sale, Parr’s original four agreements with Alderwoods included a non-compete agreement that restricted the use of the former Hill Funeral Home property – located at 447 W. Washington St., where Parr now operates his funeral home – for such a facility.

Alderwoods defaulted on purchase payments included in two of its four agreements when the company filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Parr said.

That action eventually prompted him to resign from the company and reopen an independent funeral home on Washington Street.

The Supreme Court’s decision showed that &uot;Alderwoods’ breach of one agreement precluded (the company) from enforcing the terms of any of the contracts.&uot;

Meanwhile, Parr is about to begin construction on a new funeral home on Pruden Boulevard.

&uot;We decided to accommodate Suffolk and its growth, we need to have a centrally located facility,&uot; he said. &uot;We are relocating to better serve families and to update our building.

&uot;We are ready to begin immediately, as soon as our permits are issued.&uot;

The funeral home’s new chapel will be able to seat about 450 people and be more accessible for the handicapped, he said.