“I understand people in the community are beginning to see what [Justin] is doing and that it’s become a talking point of the community,” Eason said.
That effort being put in by Smith, a relative newcomer to both Edwards Funeral Home and the town, is something that Eason sees as well-deserved. After spending three decades serving the community, he has developed a lot of love and respect for Kinston and the surrounding area.
“There are some fine people there. I’ve never dealt with any nicer people than there are in Kinston and Lenoir County,” he said.
Smith started in the funeral home business at the age of 16. At his grandmother’s funeral, his father noticed Smith had a knack for helping organize and work funerals and recommended he give the industry a try. He obtained his license to be a funeral director and embalmer at age 20 after graduating from the Funeral Service Education program at Fayetteville Technical Community College.
He viewed the industry as a “ministry opportunity,” and finds passion in helping families cope with some of the toughest and, often, most tragic times of their life. He hopes to continue to bring that energy to the Kinston community as he continues to operate Edwards Funeral Home.