Anderson new owner of Aiken’s George Funeral Home
At an age when many of his peers are still trying to work their way to the top in their careers, Cody Anderson already owns his own business.
On Aug. 24, he purchased George Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Aiken from the Foundation Partners Group LLC of Orlando, Florida.
“This a dream come true,” said the 31-year-old Anderson, who was a member of the Aiken Standard’s 2017 class of Young Professionals 2 Follow.
Anderson began working at George Funeral Home in 2014, and he became its managing partner several months ago.
“When that change happened, we began having discussions about me buying the funeral home, and they were very receptive,” Anderson said. “They’ve had people approach them in the past about acquiring it, but they weren’t willing to sell it because they wanted to make sure it was the right fit for them and the right fit for George. Fortunately, we all agreed that I was the right person and that it was the right time to bring George back to local ownership.”
D.M George founded George Funeral Home in 1920. It remained in the George family until the early 1980s when a former employee, Joseph McClellan, began operating the business. He later sold it to Ray and Alicia Visotski.
Foundation Partners acquired George Funeral Home in 2011.
“People have asked me if I am going to change the name, but the answer is no,” Anderson said. “I believe this isn’t about me. It’s more about carrying on the George tradition. We are approaching our 100th anniversary, so my goal is to help bring George into its next century of service and to make sure it is in the right hands to continue on from there.”
A native of Aiken County, Anderson graduated from Midland Valley High School and attended USC Aiken.
“I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do,” Anderson said. “I was working in the food and beverage industry, and I changed my major multiple times.”
The death of his great-grandmother, Ruby Lee Beck, in 2008 helped Anderson finalize his choice of a profession.
“I was so inspired by the kind and compassionate care that I received from the funeral home staff,” Anderson said. “I thought to myself, ‘If I can do this for others, it will make it all worthwhile.’ I realized it was a way I could give back by helping people through the most difficult time in their lives and, hopefully, getting them back on a normal track.”
Anderson left USC Aiken and went to Piedmont Technical College, where he enrolled in the Funeral Service Education program and earned an associate degree.
Before joining George Funeral home’s staff, Anderson was an apprentice at Graniteville-based Hatcher Funeral Home and Cremation Service, which had handled the funeral arrangements for his great-grandmother.
He also worked at Shellhouse and Shellhouse-Rivers funeral homes in Aiken as a funeral director.
Early on, Anderson decided he would like to eventually own a funeral home.
“It was something that I was really working toward from the beginning,” Anderson said. “I had a strong background in management. When I was in the food and beverage industry, I was a captain, and through my charitable works, I have been on various boards and committees.”
Anderson is a member of the Executive Committee of the South Carolina Funeral Directors Association and serves as the chairman of the Central-Coastal Group.
Locally, he also has been involved in nonprofits and other organizations such as Joye in Aiken, the Aiken Center for the Arts and the Green Boundary Club.
“What is most important to us now at George Funeral Home is ensuring the legacy that the George family started in 1920,” Anderson said. “We want to do many of the things that they did in the same manner. I also think that we should evolve with the times. There is more emphasis on cremation and different service options now, and we want to be able accommodate the wishes of all the families who call on us.”
George Funeral Home is at 211 Park Ave. S.W.
For more information, call 803-649-6234, visit georgefuneralhomes.com or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.