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Standing tall: Rutledge and Bigham Mortuary celebrates 100 years of service

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Rutledge and Bigham Mortuary has served the city of Statesville for 100 years and this weekend it looks to thank the community with both a celebration as well as its annual memorial service to recognize those who have lost a loved one.

“We’ve been through so much in 100 years, it almost makes me cry when I think of the families we’ve served and the things they’ve had to go through, the way their loved one passed away, or not even knowing how they were going to make it without their love ones,” funeral director Bernardeane Moton said.

She said with their family and service to the community, they’ve been like palm trees in a storm.

“A palm tree can stand up real strong, and when a storm comes it might bend to the left, bend to the right, or bend to the back, but after a little bit, it stands back up. That’s how we’ve been,” Moton said. “We’ve bent to the right, bent to the left, bent backward, but we’ve come back up standing tall.

“That’s what we’re praying for, that even as our families have gone through so much and we ourselves have, that we will all consider ourselves palm trees. We’ve bent, felt like we almost were going to break, but God has allowed us to stand back up.”

The weekend will get started with a celebration of being a part of the community for 100 years now, one of the oldest businesses in Statesville.

Things get started Saturday at noon on Garfield Street with a lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs and fish, as well as other food, drinks and snacks. There will be bounce houses and slides, face painting, and other activities for children. The celebration will go on throughout the day until 7 p.m. with DJ Tenor Tunes, the N-Spire Band, and Joe Duncan from WCCB Charlotte providing entertainment.

The event is open to the public, regardless of whether they’ve ever done business with the mortuary, Moton said. Those attending are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs.

Sunday will be a day to memorialize those who have been funeralized by Rutledge and Bigham inside the mortuary. The candlelight service begins at 5:30 p.m. with refreshments and an open house to follow.

“It’s a moment to pause and remember anyone who has had a death in their family,” Moton said.

There will also be two $1,000 scholarships handed out, one from Rutledge and Brigham and the other being the Charles Brown Higher Learning Scholarship. Masks are required at the indoor event.

Sunday’s event is also open to the public as well because whether the funeral took place at Rutledge and Bigham or anywhere else, everyone knows the pain of the death of a friend or family member.

Along with the events, Moton had a simple message of thanks to the public.

“Thank you for allowing our family to serve your family since 1922,” Moton said.

Follow Ben Gibson on Facebook and Twitter at @BenGibsonSRL

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