The importance of family permeates both the personal and professional life of Randy Matthews, owner of Edmond’s only locally, family-owned funeral home. Matthews Funeral Home and Cremation Service has served Edmond since June 2000, and Randy has been serving Edmond families since the ‘80s.
How it all started
Prior to opening Matthews Funeral Home, Randy was working at another funeral home in Edmond and saw first-hand a need that he thought he could fill.
“I worked in Edmond for 12 years when the funeral home I was working at was sold to a larger international company,” shared Randy. Things changed when the funeral home sold, and not for the better.
Randy believed it was time for a change. He said, “Edmond, Oklahoma needed a family-owned funeral home again, a funeral home that puts the families first.” Not one to shy away from a challenge, Randy decided to start a funeral home that prioritized the families.
“We opened June of 2000,” he said, “and are celebrating 21 years in business this June. We have grown to serve more families than any funeral home in the area.”
Changes in the funeral home business
Like any industry, things have changed over the years. For Randy, it was important to stay focused on the families and their needs and have that focus drive any changes.
“We knew it was necessary to take care of our families personally, either through burial or cremation,” Randy said. One of the things that changed over the years is the general feeling of Edmond families on cremation.
Randy shared, “When we opened, the cremation rate in Edmond was about 5-10 percent. It is now about 60 percent. We adapted, and we have Edmond’s only crematory.”
Of course, technology has changed a lot over the years. “We now do videos, elaborate memorial folders, webcasting, video recording, Zoom meetings, websites, and more.”
Ever accommodating, Randy and his team seek to make the celebration of someone’s life truly special. He said, “We have had tailgate parties, a themed funeral, a motorcycle in our lobby, outdoor services, as well as other ideas.”
Supporting families and community
Randy gets the most satisfaction from the feeling he gets when he and his team help a family through a difficult time.
“We can’t take someone’s grief away from them,” he said, “nor should we because they need that to heal. But, we can help them get a healthy start to the healing process through a meaningful service.”
In most cases, the families Randy and his team help don’t have a lot of experience dealing with a funeral home. “I think they are surprised that we take care of as much as we do.” Not only does their team take care of every aspect you might think of, but they also do things like offer grief counseling at no cost to the families, and handle all aspects of the veteran honors and services for veterans.
“We want to lift a burden,” Randy said, “not add to it, so we try to handle as much of the details of the service as possible.”
It’s also been important to Randy that he and his team are active in the community. They are active in the Edmond Area Chamber of Commerce, The Edmond Chapter of the National Exchange Club, the Lions Club, and the local chapters of the VFW. They also support the Edmond Historical Society, Peppers Ranch, The HOPE Center, Coffee Creek, Lilyfield Adoption, The Care Center, and Edmond Public Schools, just to name a few.
Professional and personal motivation
Not surprisingly, his own family is a big motivator for Randy, especially his grandsons. They seem to be a big reason for his focus on families in his professional life.
In his professional life, Randy defines success as developing a good reputation. He shared, “Do what you say you will do, or more, exceed their expectations, be fair and equitable, and everything else will take care of itself and you will be successful.”
“Just treat people the way you want to be treated.”