365 Days of Grief & Healing

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History

Waybright Funeral Home represents a rich heritage in quality funeral service for the Mill Creek Valley dating back to 1844.

Records indicate that Isiah Vail, a carpenter and furniture maker, crafted his first casket in Ripley for a Mrs. Standish. Little else is known about that first funeral, but that first casket was the humble beginnings of Vail Funeral Home, a firm that continuously operated under the direction of five generations of the Vail family.

Fast forward to 1946. Edison J. Parsons, a Jackson County native who had recently built and operated a successful funeral home in the Charleston area, decided to return home and open for business against the by now long standing and firmly entrenched Vail firm.

While many thought Mr. Parsons efforts were futile at the time, through innovations like the first full time emergency ambulance service for the area, he was able to establish a loyal and growing clientele.

By 1996 the Parsons family decided to retire from funeral service.(It was now being run by Edison H. "Eddy" Parsons, son of the founder.) The logical choice for the new owners were Ron and Connie Waybright. Connie is the granddaughter of Edison J. Parsons and her husband Ron was a high school classmate who developed an interest in funeral service after being employed to wash cars and cut grass at the funeral home while in high school. Ron completed mortuary school and worked at the family firm for a short time before he and Connie, now married, decided to accept an offer in Ohio.

Ron and Connie completed the purchase and returned to Ripley in 1996 where they launched into a modern continuation of the quality service established by her grandfather under the banner of Parsons-Waybright Funeral Home.

In 2001 an astonishing event took place. Bert Goodwin, last of the Vail line and owner of Vail Funeral Home, contacted the Waybrights about purchasing Vails. Details were worked out and six decades of tense and sometimes acrimonious competition ceased.

It was just a matter of time before the benefits of consolidating both firms were realized. In 2008 a large commercial parcel that was formerly the site of a grocery store became available and was purchased. In April of 2009, the Parsons-Waybright and Vail Funeral Homes became Waybright Funeral Home in a brand new ultra-modern 25,000 square foot facility.