Stricklin-King Funeral Home still going strong after decades of service

By CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,

There are few businesses still standing today that have lasted the test of time, enduring a rapidly changing economy.  One business in Yazoo City has been going strong for decades, thanks to four generations of men who have been committed to helping people put their loved ones to rest in the best way possible.

The history of Stricklin-King Funeral Home begins 1921, when John Owen Stricklin Sr. owned a livery stable and an undertaking business in the downtown area of Yazoo City.  It was during that time that a young, 13-year old A.S. King Sr., went to work for the Stricklin family, washing the horses that pulled the funeral carriage. 

In 1927, John Owen Stricklin Jr., relocated the business to the corner of Main and Commercial Street, and then again in 1932, to North Main Street near the Episcopal Church, where the business soon expanded and became more successful.

After being in the business for many years, A.S. King Sr. became a partner in the business in 1947, officially changing the name to Stricklin-King Funeral Home.

Seeing potential in the funeral home business, A.S. King Jr. left his dental practice to join his father and helped to expand the business even further.

David King, the current owner of Stricklin-King Funeral Home, started working for his father A.S. Jr., right out of high school and said the business seemed like a natural fit for him right away.

These days, David now spends his time teaching his son Matt King about the business, and the two make a great team.

Stricklin-King funeral home is operated by a team of men with decades of experience who are dedicated to helping families find peace during a difficult time.

Along with Matt and David King, Wayne Allen, Bill Gilmer, Ricky Shivers, and Cecil Saxton are all available at Stricklin-King Funeral Home to help clients plan funerals, complete paperwork and will also take care of your loved one as they are prepared for burial.

"We offer everything that it takes to do a funeral," David said. "We offer caskets, and we handle all the paperwork for families."

The funeral home also consists of visitation rooms and a large chapel where services may be held in reverence to the lost loved one.

"We just try to make a difficult time in people's lives a little bit easier for them," David said.

David said that they have a large amount of funerals that have already been pre-planned, and that most funerals today are completely funded through insurance policies.

"You would be surprised at the number of people who come in here and do not know that their loved one did a pre-arranged funeral," David said. "We have everything, and all you have to do is tell us what time and where you want to do it. Everything else is tended to."

Over the last 40 years, David King has seen a great deal of change in the funeral industry.  While the embalming practices have not changed much, the materials have improved, which makes it easier to preserve loved ones for their final resting places.  King said that the biggest change he has encountered is the monopolization of the supply chain that most funeral homes operate on.

"There used to be independent suppliers and other companies that would work with us if a family was having a hard time putting a funeral together," David said. "When corporate America started buying up all of the funeral homes and their suppliers, they changed the whole way this works."

Despite these challenges in the industry, Stricklin-King funeral home remains dedicated to the people of Yazoo City.

David said that the benefit in running a business in Yazoo City is that almost everyone who comes in for service is a friend of someone who works at the funeral home.

"Somebody down here has a personal relationship with everybody who comes through here," he said. "They know that they have somebody here who cares and is going to take care of their loved one, and that makes it different."

Stricklin-King Funeral Home actively supports a variety of community programs and organizations around Yazoo all year long. David said that they often support little league baseball or softball, church programs and even local festivals.

"Yazoo is just a unique place compared to other places," David said. "It’s all home.  Everybody just knows everybody, and it’s totally different than big cities where you are just a number running through."

David said that the future he sees for Yazoo City involves positive changes in the city's leadership.

As far as the future of Stricklin-King Funeral Home, David says that his son Matt King is off to a great start, learning from his father and grandfathers before him.

"I would like to thank the people of Yazoo City for trusting us to be the ones to take care of their loved ones when the time comes." David said. "I believe God wants me to stay here for a reason to help take care of His children who can't stay here."

When difficult times arise and you need help making decisions about laying your loved ones to rest, Stricklin-King Funeral Home will be there to make your transition as easy as possible.