Today, February 15, marks the 52nd anniversary of Brewer and Sons Funeral Homes. 52 years of serving families locally and internationally; 52 years of making a difference. Founded on February 15,1965; Brewer and Sons has grown from a small, family-owned company to one of the largest family-owned funeral homes in the state of Florida. The company’s strong reputation and high standards for excellence and service have clearly led the way for the future. At Brewer and Sons we are committed to grow our business and welcome the opportunity to find new ways to support our customers and grow together in the years ahead. We also wanted to take this moment and congratulate our amazing staff. Your dedication, discipline and determination to provide the best services possible for our families, is the only reason why we have been able to do this for so long. Thank You for your continuous motivation in making Brewer and Sons the best for our families.
In honor of our anniversary, I wanted to sit down, take a stroll down memory lane and chat with the man who started it all, our very own founding father, Mr. Charles Brewer. Affectionately known as “Pat” Brewer to many, has slowly changed the funeral industry in a very remarkable way and has been assisting families for over fifty years! I can honestly that he is one of the most down to earth and noblest human beings that you will ever meet. His compassion and passion for others radiate on a daily basis. Not only does he work at the funeral home, meeting with families and working services, but he volunteers his time for disaster relief campaigns and ongoing church rallies all over the USA. Yes, pretty remarkable guy, right?
Below are some of the highlights from our interview:
How did you first get involved in the Funeral Industry? “I started working at a funeral home in St. Pete, FL back in 1962. During the next of of months, I started to put together a 24 Ambulance/Removal Service; First Responder to any scene. Those were some busy and crazy years. For the longest of time, we were the only Ambulance service and the only ones with the correct and proper equipment for accidents and removals.”
How did Brewer and Sons end up in Brooksville? The gift of opportunity! The right place and the right time, were the main driver for this ambitious Funeral Director. “Everything worked itself out and I just simply went with the current. An opportunity to run a funeral home in Brooksville was offered and I took it! I interviewed for the position back in 1964 and the rest is history! At the time, the Funeral home name was Garnet Funeral Home, but later became Brewer-Garnet Funeral Home after I acquired the location. Very Simple, Right!?”
Any Memorable Anecdotes? Any particular memory that till this day still gets you? “Seriously?! You do not have enough pen and paper for all my stories!” Catching his breath from all the laughter, he did recall a very vivid memory of his. “Picture this: No technology, no gps, no cell phones…If you were out on a removal on the other side of the county or responded to an emergency call and you needed to contact somebody, you needed to stop at your nearest bar or pay phone! It was truly unbelievable, but we got it done.” “There would be days when I was assisting families in the morning, running the ambulance service all day, managing a funeral service in the late afternoon and digging graves all through the night. It was truly nonstop. I remember those days fondly, but I do not miss them at all!”
Did you ever imagine Brewer and Sons expanding and growing in such a way? “I knew that we needed to create the market, but never did I imagine that we would grow so exponentially. When we came into the scene, it was extremely difficult due to the very limited population. Brooksville was not the developed commercial housing area that you see today. It took time and many referrals, but slowly and surely we were able to expand.”
Did you ever imagined working with your son? How does it feel to see your grandson take part of the funeral home? “To be quite honest, no. I never imagined in a million years that I would be working with my son. It caught me by surprise when Barry wanted to join in the family business, but I was extremely proud of him and all of his future plans with the business. It is still very surreal to see my grandson and son all together at the chapel. I still remember little Ryan running around the chapel and now to see him, all grown up and evolving with the company is truly moving. I am truly honored to see Ryan carry out the Brewer tradition with our families. I could not be prouder of him and his achievements.”
And of course, for my final question, I had to ask: “After 52 years, thousands of satisfied families, 7 funeral homes, 2 cemeteries, 1 crematorium; would you do anything differently? Any regrets?” After maybe a few chuckles and a couple of seconds, he eagerly responded: “Absolutely NOT! I am grateful to have had the opportunity; without all the good and bad we would not be where we are today. I was very blessed to have an amazing wife and family that have stood by me from the get go and supported what I did.”
Looking ahead, with a staff of over 45 employees, there is really no stopping Brewer and Sons. We are continually expanding our resources, refining our services, and evolving to meet the needs of our customers. We look forward in continuing to provide the best services possible for all of our families.