The staff of Trinity Memorial Centers, led by Jantry Shupe and Weston Leonard, gather in front of the new facility at 1221 Stewball Circle. Contributed photo.
KINGSPORT — Funeral director Jantry Shupe and local entrepreneur Weston Leonard are opening a new funeral service company — called Trinity Memorial Centers (TMC) — at 1221 Stewball Circle.
A ribbon-cutting for the new business will be held Friday at 2 p.m.
TMC is billed as the first new funeral facility in Kingsport in more than 40 years. Shupe and Leonard envision the new facility as a “innovative and convenient” option for families in the region.
U.S. Rep. Phil Roe and Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey were scheduled to be part of the welcoming activities. A reception and fellowship will follow.
“The funeral industry is underrepresented in the Kingsport area,” Shupe said in a prepared release. “There are times when families need to schedule funeral services, and all the existing facilities are already booked. There is definitely a need for additional service providers to meet the needs in this area. ... The majority of funeral homes in Kingsport have sold to publicly traded conglomerates which have a strong focus on Wall Street quarters causing much higher prices. The need for a locally owned funeral service provider is key to keeping reasonable cost, quality service, and 100 percent focus on the customer and community.”
TMC’s location is near the intersection of John B. Dennis Highway and Interstate 26. Taking an existing building that was previously purposed for a different use, the owners of Trinity Memorial Centers have conducted an extensive renovation to prepare the facility for new use.
In addition to Friday’s events, TMC will host an open house on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 2-3, from 1 to 4 p.m. The community is invited to tour the new facility and learn about the services offered.
The business hopes to be an inclusive provider where customers can handle all of their end-of-life needs. The facility includes multiple visitation rooms as well as options for purchasing caskets, vaults, urns and other items. Floral services are provided on-site as well, and a gift shop with sympathy cards, memorial gifts and other items is available.
To learn more about TMC, call (423) 723-8177.