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Funeral home opens location in former bank building

Horton Sanderlin

Darius Horton (left) and Kevin Sanderlin stand inside the chapel of their new funeral home at 310 E. Grice St., in downtown Elizabeth City. The two men have converted a former bank building into a large funeral home.

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By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Sunday, June 18, 2017

When a family loses a loved one, they should be proud of how they say goodbye.

Making sure that happens is why Horton and Sanderlin Funeral and Cremation Services is now open, Darius Horton and Kevin Sanderlin said Friday.

Horton and Sanderlin co-own the new funeral home at 310 E. Grice St., in downtown Elizabeth City. It quietly opened about two months ago, they explained in an interview Friday, and they're planning a grand opening on July 9.

The new funeral home forms a network of funeral homes, as Horton continues to operate Horton Funeral Home and Cremations in the Town of Hertford and Sanderlin continues operating Beach Funeral and Cremation Services in Virginia Beach. In partnering, the men hope to better serve families in and around Pasquotank County.

The new funeral home boasts roughly 7,000 square feet and a chapel that can seat 200. In opening a large facility with comprehensive services, they said they want people to be proud to come to Horton and Sanderlin.

“We wanted to have a quality funeral home establishment” for the area, Horton said.

Sanderlin recounted he's known Horton for over a decade, and Horton approached him in the spring of 2016 about partnering in Elizabeth City. Sanderlin said he'd agree if they could find a place allowing quality services, and that led them to the 1st Citizens Bank building. The building is spacious, in good shape, located on a heavily trafficked road – at least, when road work on Road Street is done – and has a large parking lot, they noted.

That said, it still took major renovations to become a funeral home; they noted they removed offices and a teller area to create the chapel.

Though declining to say how much they've spent on the building, Horton said they've made a “major investment” in the community. That investment is also more than financial, he explained, as they intend to allow their space to be used for community events. They also said they'll continue to allow their next-door neighbors, Girls Inc., to use part of their parking lot for drop-offs and pick-ups, he noted.

Sanderlin similarly said he looks forward to serving the Elizabeth City area, and said he's enjoying its friendly, small-town feeling.

Horton also serves on the Elizabeth City City Council and is a licensed and ordained minister. According to a company bio, he's also a member of the Pasquotank County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a member of Oak Leaf Elk Lodge in Edenton, and a member of the Young Elected Officials of America.

According to his bio, Sanderlin has 26 years' experience in funeral industry and is affiliated with the Virginia Funeral Directors Association, National Funeral Directors Association, and the Board of Tidewater Funeral Directors. He's also licensed in both Virginia and North Carolina, the bio notes.

For more information on Horton and Sanderlin Funeral and Cremation Services, call 252-338-7378, email hortonsanderlin@gmail.com, or visit www.hortonsanderlin.com.

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