Working in the funeral business requires a heart to serve others, and Trey Salmon truly believes his calling is to serve and minister to local families in their time of deepest despair.
Salmon, who grew up working in his family’s car business – Sherold Salmon AutoSuperstore and Automax Rent-A-Car in Rome, purchased Fred Talley’s Parkview Chapel Funeral Home and opened Salmon Funeral Home in December of 2016.
“People often ask me, ‘Why did you want to be a funeral director?’” Salmon said. “It’s not that I woke up one day and decided that’s what I wanted to do. You don’t choose funeral service, it chooses you. It’s a calling – a ministry – and it takes special people to be able to talk and counsel families at one of the hardest times in their lives.”
He started working for his family when he was in the ninth grade, but he felt like his duty was something entirely different. Salmon was offered an opportunity to work part time as a funeral service apprentice with the old Jennings Funeral Home when he was in college. He then went on to Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Decatur and got his funeral director’s license. Salmon joined Good Shepherd Funeral Home in West Rome and worked as an embalmer and ran the daily operations of the business.
Since he opened his own funeral home, Salmon has not looked back and has not regretted his decision in the least.
“Being locally owned allows us to deal with each family, one on one and on a more personal level,” he said. “The families we serve, we know. They become part of our family. We have grown up with them, lived all our lives in Rome, have gone to church with them and have made connections through various other civic groups and organizations.”
Salmon already had a unique connection to the building that houses his business. At one time when his church – Sherwood Forest Baptist – was being renovated, the congregation used the chapel at the funeral home when it was Fred Talley’s.
“When we were having Sunday night services, I would ask my parents if I could ‘go to the bathroom,’ which ended up as me taking an unsupervised tour of the funeral home. So I kind of have a special connection to the building. Also, while I was growing up, my childhood home was being built at the same time the funeral home was being built and by the same person. I think God had a plan for me way back then.”
While his funeral home is still very young, it has already seen a lot of success with the amount of business he and his staff has received.
“I am very proud of how well we have done, especially being a new funeral home in a town with lots of competition in this industry.” Salmon said. “We have been very blessed. … I was scared at first, but I know that the Lord is going to continue blessing us and we will continue to grow as the community begins to hear the awesome feedback and testimonies from the families we have served so far.”