SWARTZ CREEK (WJRT) (09/08/19) - It was a place many mid-Michigan families turned to to provide final care for their loved ones for nearly five decades.
That was until a devastating fire destroyed much of Sharp Funeral Home in Swartz Creek more than a year ago. The damage was so extensive, the Sharp family was forced to rebuild from the ground up.
480 days later, the long wait is over, and the community is getting a fresh look at the state-of-the-art facility.
"It's so fantastically gorgeous," organist Patricia Cornelia Milan said.
Roger Sharp II, the President of Business Operations added, "People are excited. They're shocked by how nice it looks and how it doesn't look like a funeral home. It's got a feel of a hotel, not a funeral home, and I think that really attracts people, and I think that's probably what we're most proud of."
The new building is not only modern in style, but in practice too. They now have video cameras in every chapel to live-stream services. They also have TV monitors to play tribute videos.
With all of the changes, they still managed to keep that same comforting feeling that comes with a reputable funeral home.
"I love the feeling of it because I feel at home. I haven't had a strange feeling at all about it. A cold feeling? No. I haven't. It makes me feel warm," Milan said.
"It feels comfortable, which I think is very important. I'm sure families will enjoy it," Swartz Creek resident, Bill Franklin said.
Sharp says it's a closure to the old building and a fresh start for the new facility, and he feels touched by the community's support.
"People started coming even earlier than 1 o'clock. I think there's probably been close to 2,000 people through the building today. It's a huge testimony to the community and the support and love that we get from them. That really touched my heart and my family's heart," Sharp said.
Even though the grand reopening was today, the new facility has actually been back in business since August 13.