Kenneth DuPree grew up in the family business. In 1955, his father Tony, a World War II veteran, and mother Margaret opened a funeral home in their neighborhood of Strawberry Mansion. The couple raised their family in the top floor of the building, while hosting funerals in the modest chapel below. For nearly 60 years, the Dupree family served their community with sympathetic, dignified and affordable services despite the constraints of their building.
Dupree Funeral Home
Though the next generation eventually took over operations of the funeral home, their family’s commitment to the neighborhood and community lived on. Kenneth was ready to lead the family business through an expansion, with an eye on acquiring the abandoned building next door. The hurdles to do so seemed never-ending: securing financing, navigating red tape associated with property acquisition, and managing construction challenges. The project took fourteen years to complete, but patience and perseverance eventually paid off. With financing from NPF, the Dupree family was able to expand their facilities, increase business volume and hire more employees. “Businesses stabilize communities by creating jobs, providing services, and maintaining properties,” says Kenneth.
“Businesses stabilize communities by creating jobs, providing services, and maintaining properties.”
The funeral home’s impact on the neighborhood is most important to Kenneth. “People can walk to the funeral home and receive services. They don’t have to worry about their friends and family paying for transportation. The expansion allows us to have everyone together in a comfortable environment at a difficult time.”
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