How We Got Here
THE HISTORY of Wright’s is not a traditional story that most hear when it comes to funeral homes. Most funeral homes are handed down in the family or people go to work for other established funeral homes and never dream of owning their own. Cynthia (my mom) went a different route to her dream. She went to mortuary school as a second career in life. She was a veteran in the US Navy on disability and the VA wanted her to take the rehabilitation option to further her education and not pay her as much in disability checks. When she was given the option on what to do… being a funeral director/embalmer was at the top of the list. She graduated San Antonio College in 1996 and went out looking for a funeral establishment to complete her one-year apprenticeship. Having a four-year-old (Robert) and 16-year-old (ME!) at home made it difficult to commute to the nearest large city and she wanted to work locally. With resume in hand, she visited local establishments (one was corporate owned at the time and not hiring and the other one was not interested in hiring women). Being turned away, Cynthia felt defeated. A week went by, and she had an appointment at the local VA and one of the nurses told her about a newer funeral home to town and she should go talk to “Good Ole Charlie” ie Charles Sizemore. And everyone around this area, knows him as Charlie. Cynthia went to visit Sizemore Funeral Home the next day and Charles hired her on the spot. He was a veteran, and she was too so they hit it off.
Charles taught Cynthia a very practical approach to the funeral service industry. After a few years of working together, Charles walked in one morning and told her, “You are always here, and I am never here… buy me out”. They finalized everything in July 2000, changing ownership to Wright’s Funeral Parlor.
During 2000, Cynthia alongside my grandpa, Bobby Jack worked to build a reputation of a family owned and operated business in the Hill Country with lowest cost services. Mom was the funeral director/embalmer, and my papa was the muscle/ handyman for the business. As time went on, my mom tricked me into helping her with a few services here and there (that’s another story) and I started mortuary school in August 2001. Mom and I worked together every day since then. The funeral home has seen a lot of cosmetic changes over the years but the service we provide has never changed. “Our family serving your family”.
On my 40th birthday (2018), my mom and grandpa called me to his house because they had a gift for me. And to my surprise it was giving me part ownership in the family business. My brain works different than most… I told them we had to make it effective Jan. 01, 2019, for tax purposes. When Jan. 01 came, we started making plans on what 2019 would hold for the funeral home and family. Little did we know, later that month, our family was faced with the death of my grandpa. This left a huge hole not only in our hearts but in our business too. He was the fixer, we called him every time something broke or we needed something built. He remodeled every square inch of this building. To add to our grief, Cynthia was diagnosed with a rare breast cancer May 2019 and had to step away later that year. Mom helped when she could or was feeling up to it. So, the conversation about the future of the funeral home between her and I was simple, I will carry on with the values of what has been created here. BIG SHOES to fill!
My husband Victor and my kids helped when they could after she stepped away, but they all had full time jobs to maintain. So, I guess we have a trend in this family… let’s trick the women into helping. One day, I needed help and called my son’s girlfriend Trista to help me on a call. I promised her it was easy and nothing hard. With that being said, she started to work for the funeral home October 2019, and she is a natural.
The funeral home survived 2020 with all the new things that came with it (COVID). And worked to incorporate new things to help the families be more engaged and the inside of the funeral home underwent a remodel and the logo changed to focus on the name not the horse and carriage.
As we sit here today, I must tell you that the cancer and COVID won and my mom died on June 27, 2022, and it rocked my world. The reason, we have this wonderful business helping others is solely because she had a dream. The dream to serve others in their darkest days and help guide them through to understand funeral directors are here to not only help but to care. She always told Trista and me to make sure we understood that the families we serve are part of our family and care for them the same as we do for each other.
So our little family owned and operated, women lead business is thriving in the Texas Hill Country for over 22 years. And we hope you enjoy our blog and insight into our family business and allowing us to give you tips into helping at your time of need.