Jerry Groome started the St. Francis Pet Funeral Service and Cemetery in 1999, he was uncertain as to whether he’d made the right business decision.
In the 1990s Jerry, who began working in the funeral business in 1965, first started to notice a shift in the industry. Then he was a funeral director at Hanes Lineberry Funeral Home; he started to field requests from pet owners. Pets can’t be embalmed at funeral homes that serve humans because of health-code regulations BUT they can at St Francis; the only business in NC that provides full-service funerals for pets. Because of that, he draws customers from throughout NC as well as Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia.
There is a 15-foot flagpole that towers above the Honors Garden, which is identified by a granite marker that says: For Those Who Have Served.
It is not just for dogs and cats. Horses, bulls, bunnies, ferrets, exotic cats, wildlife (my groundhog for one), wolves (mine again), pigs, ... all have been through the doors of St Francis. Some, over 300, are still there in the beautiful cemetery, others went back home with their owners.
There is even a Sunshine Section, which covers a small hill and is near the road, allows mourners to sit in a circular gazebo with rockers.
Jerry Groome is a tall, stocky man with a military-style hair cut that served seven years with the Air Force, including 18 months in Vietnam as a fighter pilot that has a real soft spot for animals and shows the same compassion for anyone who grieves the loss of a pet, be it a fish or a 1000+ pound bull. They have two white hearses and will pick up your deceased pet within range any day of the year. I have seen him out on Christmas and during a winter storm picking up someone's pet. Jerry takes his job seriously, and that is to provide deliverance of the animal to its final resting place. Some owners have the animal's toys, blankets, ... cremated with the pet.
I HIGHLY recommend St Francis in Greensboro, NC to everyone that needs it.