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BUSINESS

Rivers merging with Beach funeral services

Rivers Community Funeral notes.jpg

Shown here is the former Rivers Community Funeral Home in the 500 block of South Road Street. Kirk Rivers, manager of the business, said he's joining forces with nearby Beach Funeral and Cremation Services and will be moving to Beach's location on Grice Street.

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By William F. West
Staff Writer

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Local funeral home operator Kirk Rivers says he has joined forces with another nearby funeral home and soon will be operating at a new location.

Kirk Rivers,manager of Rivers Community Funeral Home, said Wednesday he has reached a merger agreement with Beach Funeral and Cremation Services. Beach is located on East Grice Street, in what had once been First Citizens Bank’s downtown location.

The Rivers funeral staff had been operating from a building owned by his parents before a foreclosure on the structure last autumn.

Rivers said the name of the combined funeral business will be changed soon to reflect the Beach and Rivers partnership. A member of the Sanderlin family, which owns the Virginia-based Beach Funeral Service, on Friday confirmed the merger with Rivers at the Beach Elizabeth City location.

Rivers and his team left what had been Rivers Community Funeral Home's location in the 500 block of South Road Street, just across from the Elizabeth City CVS Pharmacy. Rivers said his parents, Raymond and Myrtle, were the landlords of the South Road location.

Although Rivers Community Funeral Home was paying rent on the building to his parents, Rivers said his parents were not involved in the operation of the funeral business.

Pasquotank County Superior Court records show Raymond and Myrtle Rivers defaulted on a $171,000 loan owed to Xenith Bank for the location. The South Road property was sold at a foreclosure auction this past October for $63,000 to XB Holdings, according to the records.

Kirk Rivers said the South Road location needed extensive repairs. He said he and his team had been looking to make improvements to the location, but due to the costs of renovations and additions, he and his team decided to search for a new location.

He said that, other than shifting from one location to the other and operating under a combined new name, nothing has changed, except to achieve a goal of better serving families in a first-class facility.

“Funeral homes need to come together and work together to be able to provide all of our citizens a quality funeral establishment and funeral service,” he said.

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