Keeping It In The Family

By Susan Morse

Hampton Union, Tuesday, January 23, 2007

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Father and son Paul, right, and Jeffrey Remick stand inside Remick and Gendron Funeral Home in Hampton. [Photo by Don Clark]

HAMPTON -- Paul K. Remick and his son, Jeffrey, both of Hampton, have joined the family business started by Paul's brother 36 years ago.

Both have signed on with Remick & Gendron Funeral Home & Crematory in Hampton, founded by Ronald Remick in 1971. Ronald, Paul's brother, handed over general management to funeral director Jack Gendron about 16 years ago, said Paul, who is an apprentice funeral director.

Paul Remick, 50, graduated from Winnacunnet High School in 1974 and, at 20, joined the Navy for a 28-year career. He retired and moved home to Hampton from Virginia. He lives close enough to the business to walk to work, he said.

"I used to assist (in the business)," Remick said.

He is now there full time. The biggest part of the business, he said, is "to be able to serve families the way we want to. You have to be concerned with helping the family, be compassionate."

Paul Remick is a licensed apprentice who is expected to become fully licensed this spring after attending Fine Mortuary College in Norwood, Mass.

Jeffrey William Remick, 25, recently filled out an application for his apprenticeship, having graduated from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., with a degree in sports management.

They join Gendron and longtime employee John Stump, answering an estimated 300 calls a year for funeral service.

Cremations represent close to half, 47 percent, of the funeral business in New Hampshire, Remick said. This is higher than the national average. One reason, he said, is cost. Cremation is less expensive than the traditional burial service.

More than the expense, Remick said cremation is considered an acceptable alternative, especially since the Catholic Church relaxed its stance on cremation.

"It's the way society is doing the whole thing now," Remick said, "people are more accepting."

The growth in cremation services comes despite the negative publicity generated the past two years by the former Bayview Crematory in Seabrook, which was shut down by state authorities for being unlicensed and for the alleged mishandling of cremation services.

"Families are just trusting us to take care of their loved one," Paul Remick said. "That's the biggest factor."