Bro Edward Dermitt with his two sons, Jerry and Roger, purchased the Dermitt Funeral Home in Leitchfield in 1969. In the fall of 1971 they purchased the home of Albert and Lettie Romans in Caneyville. From there Jerry and Judy Dermitt moved their family to the funeral home to manage the business. Starting out, the funeral home’s first chapel was where the current office and lounge are. The first funeral service at the Caneyville chapel was for Orville Duncan on May 6th, 1972. Roger Dermitt and Randy Joyce purchased both funeral homes in May of 2001.
Jerry and Judy Dermitt decided to retire after more than 40 years in the business. Bro Edward Dermitt passed away in December of 2011. Shortly after, Randy and Kate Joyce moved to the Caneyville Funeral Home. It just went from there. To incorporate the business in the Joyce’s name, they had to change the name a little, adding Joyce after Dermitt. With the paperwork complete, Randy and Kate began to carry on Dermitt-Joyce Funeral Home with dignity, respect, atmosphere and the same principles Jerry & Judy had always provided. Jerry and Judy still come in to visit and offer advice from time to time.
But things don’t stay the same in this economic time. The Joyces are seeing lots of changes in the funeral business as a result of this. Instead of two day visitation and service, many funerals are becoming one day visitation and service. Cremations are also on the rise.
More people are pre-planning than before as well. If we could give one piece of advice to anyone it is to pre-plan and pre-fund their own funeral. It helps the families so much to know what their loved ones wanted. It also removes the financial burden from the families. Pre-planning can be funded or unfunded. A funded pre-planned funeral is guaranteed to afford the expenses of the service including rising costs. An unfunded pre-planned funeral doesn’t come with a guarantee but with both, families will know the final wishes of their loved ones.
The financial side of the business has changed a lot as well. Contracts must be signed, forms and waivers are all part of the business now. Where as in the past, a handshake would suffice. Being open to the public, we have to be more and more cautious of possible liabilities. Now we are regulated by the FTC, OSHA, the ADA, KY Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, etc. Prices increase over time and new regulations create new costs for our business. However, as a locally owned family business, we work hard to re-budget our expenses instead of immediately passing the cost on to the families.
After 25 years in the business, we still don’t always know what to say to a grieving family. We strive to provide a warm, caring atmosphere for the families and friends during the time of their loss.
Clayton Evans, Helen Wilson and Leslie Payton help assist families during visitations. We feel so proud and blessed to have such a great support system in Clayton, Helen and Leslie. Together, we all strive to help the families during their loss of a loved one in any way possible.