Loyal clients call funeral director back to work Retirement plans have to be set aside

May 06, 1992|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff writer

WINFIELD -- Charles W. Burrier Jr. has been retired less than two weeks, but already he has been called back to work.

The funeral business is a "demanding" one, he said, in which people are loyal to directors.

He and his wife, Jeanne, who worked with him as a hairdresser, returned to the Burrier-Queen Funeral Directors on Old Liberty Road last week at the request of clients, he said.

Burrier sold the business in late April to Arthur T. Queen, who owns a Randallstown funeral home, but said he can return to oversee a funeral on request.

Queen said he gave Burrier one share of stock in the business to retain the Burrier name.

The funeral home is near South Carroll High School and the Winfield Volunteer Fire Department.

Neither Burrier nor Queen would disclose the sale price for the business, building and almost 2 acres of land.

Queen said he is spending $80,000 to $100,000 to renovate the two-story brick building.

Queen, 51, has been the sole owner of Loring Byers Funeral Directors Inc. for 11 years, he said. He has been in the funeral home business for 34 years.

The Randallstown business conducts about 460 funerals a year, he said. When it opened in 1950, it performed 50 funerals, he said.

Last year, the Burrier Funeral Home conducted 70 funerals, Queen said.

"Our plans are to expand," he said, adding that funeral directors from the Randallstown business will be working here. The business has 20 employees, including nine funeral directors, he said.

Burrier, who will be 65 next month, said Queen inquired anonymously through his accountant a year ago about buying the business.

Burrier and his wife had talked about retiring, and when they learned in January that Queen was the interested buyer, they decided to sell.

Burrier and Queen had known each other professionally for years.

"I couldn't have sold to anyone any better. He's a nice person," Burrier said.

Burrier bought the business in 1973 from Miller Waltz after working for Waltz for seven years. He and his wife ran the business with help from one full-time and several part-time employees.

Jeanne Burrier was important to the funeral home's success, her husband said. "I couldn't have done it without her."

After running the funeral home, which he said was a seven-day-a-week job, Burrier plans to relax by taking short trips, going fishing and playing golf.

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