Event, reception center at Wells is a visionary move

Jun 14, 2013

Wells Funeral Homes and Cremation Services has been a part of Haywood County for 125 years and continues to reinvest in the community.

The latest expansion for the family business is to renovate the former Mountaineer pressroom on Wall Street in Waynesville into an events and reception center. The renovation will be a nice addition to Wall Street and the building that is adjacent to the funeral home.

The center, which will be completed in 2014, will be a much-needed improvement to downtown Waynesville and will also help the funeral home adapt to changes in the industry. We want to applaud owner J. Wells Greeley and his family for having a long-term vision for their profession and expanding their business to accommodate that vision.

As Greeley mentioned during the announcement on Wednesday, more and more families are seeking something unique for loved ones’ funerals. They want the funeral to reflect the individual — picture slide shows, favorite music and food. Some families are moving toward holding a celebration of life as opposed to a traditional funeral or memorial service. This addition will allow Greeley to continue to honor tradition while respecting change, he said.

The event center will also be available for birthday parties, anniversaries, retirement parties and even weddings. People may snicker at the idea of having a wedding and reception at a funeral home, but Greeley said it isn’t such a far-fetched idea. People are born into a church, get baptized in a church, marry in a church and die in the church. With a chapel on site, Greeley can accommodate all these milestones. And besides, the events center will look more like a hotel reception area than a funeral home.

We congratulate the Greeley family for having the foresight to see where the business is going well into the future and being ahead of the curve. The funeral home will be the first in Western North Carolina to offer this type of facility. Not only will Greeley’s clients use the center, it will be an asset for the entire community.