Very few people work 50 years for the same company. On Monday, Gene Pike celebrated his 63rd anniversary at the Chattanooga Funeral Home.
Mr. Pike’s father was also a funeral director, so he said he began helping with funeral arrangements before he was 13 years old.
His son, Stephen, also followed him into the business. Gene is president and Stephen vice president of Chattanooga Funeral Home.
Pike has been married to Patricia Gail Pike for almost as long as he has been at the funeral home - 62 years.
His daughter-in-law, Lea Pike, is Librarian at Silverdale Baptist Academy.
His granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth Pike, is on staff at Ronald McDonald House Chattanooga.
I work with my father as well at Chattanooga Funeral Home. I am Vice President and he is President of Chattanooga Funeral Home.
My mom, his wife, Patricia Gail Pike has been married to Mr. Pike for 62 years as well.
Back when he reached his 50th milestone, Mr. Pike said he does not plan to retire. “I enjoy what I do. I like helping families get through the worst day of their life.”
He recalled at the time that he has encountered a variety of both funny and sad stories from his experiences.
He always urges people to think about pre-planning. “The greatest gift a parent can give to their children is to get all of the funeral details worked out. Don’t leave that up to them. Make this a celebration of a life.”
Mr. Pike attended the University of Chattanooga, obtained an associate's degree in education at a junior college in Nashville, and is a graduate of John A. Gupton Mortuary College. A licensed funeral director and embalmer since 1959 in the states of Tennessee and Georgia, he oversees four funeral homes, two cemeteries, a florist and the Chattanooga Care Center.
Mr. Pike is a member of the Chairman's Council since 1985 and has served as a longtime chairman of the board for John A. Gupton Mortuary College. Serving in various organizations in Chattanooga through the years, he is the past president and board member of the Walter B. Boehm Birth Defect Center, Big Brothers/Bis Sisters of Chattanooga, Contact of Chattanooga Telephone Ministry and the Half Century Club of Chattanooga. He currently serves as the vice-president of Awards for the Freedom Foundation of Valley Forge-Chattanooga Chapter, a half-century member and past president of the Civitan Club and a lifetime honorary member of Vietnam Veterans of America, Chattanooga Chapter. In 2002, Mr. Pike received the East Brainerd Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award. He serves as a deacon and past finance chairman and president of the Friendship Sunday School Class at Ridgedale Baptist Church, where he and his wife attend church.