Mercedes proud of service and attention

Published 9:21 pm Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Personal service with a caring hand is what sets Mercedes’ Funeral Mansion & Cremation Services apart from others, according to its owner.

“I offer the highest level of personal attention. We take great pride in our service to the community. I offer a ministry of care … of being sensitive to the details,” said owner Mercedes Fornay.

Mercedes Fornay takes great pride in the level of personal attention offered at Mercedes’ Funeral Mansion & Cremation Services. (WDN Photo/Cecilia Prokos)

Guided by the motto “In His hands, in our care,” the goal of Mercedes’ Funeral Mansion is to make that final passage one that befits the individual and his or her family, one that is compassionate, creative, loving and beautiful, Fornay said.

An apprentice at a funeral home in Arlington, Va., for 10 years, Fornay moved back to her hometown in North Carolina when her father became ill. She took a position with Blair Funeral Home in Edenton, where she still assists when needed, but soon realized she was ready to start her own business.

“Knowing I had to return to North Carolina to help my father, I wondered what I should do. I can only say that I had a spiritual encounter. I asked the question: ‘Lord, what shall I do?’ And here I am,” Fornay recalled.

Fornay attended school on a scholarship and became a fully licensed funeral director.

She is an apprentice mortician and working toward her license in that area. Being an apprentice means that Fornay has the skills, knowledge and abilities to do that work, but is required to work under the part-time guidance of a fully licensed mortician, she said.

Fornay is a minister at the Philippi Church of Christ in Greenville.

Mercedes’ Funeral Mansion offers its clients a wide range of services to ease the pain and complexities of those final days, Fornay said.

These include restorative services that give the deceased a more healthful appearance.

“The grieving process is not so hard when they look like they are resting in peace,” Fornay explained.

Mercedes’ offers a complete line of shrouds for the deceased, which are garments a family may choose instead of buying a dress, she said.

A florist is on the premises so families may take care of that need at the same time they are making other final decisions. Fornay also takes pride in the fact that Mercedes’ Funeral Mansion is the only one in the area to serve light refreshments during visitations at no additional cost to the family.

One service that Fornay wishes more families would use is preplanning.

“When my father died, we had a plan. A plan makes it easier on the family. We prepare for everything else — weddings, anniversaries, buying a home. We need to see the importance of preparing for the finalities of life,” said Fornay.

“It’s a process. It’s going to happen. But if you preplan, the family knows what to do. It helps the family. It shows love for the family. It blesses me when people don’t grieve so hard,” because of their foresight and preplanning, she added.

Mercedes’ Funeral Mansion & Cremation Services is located at 310 Washington St. in Williamston and may be reached at 799-9997. Hours are 10 a.m until 6 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays.