July 5, 2023

STEPPING UP TO SERVE: Community Funeral Services makes a beautiful funeral possible for a murder victim’s family

Therese Apel

A wreath at Will Polk’s funeral.

When Jerry Brown heard how Will Polk died, and that his family didn’t have the money to pay for a suitable funeral, he felt moved to do something about it.

Polk disappeared from Crowder in October 2019, and his remains were found two years later. His distraught family, along with that of April Jones who went missing along with Will, went through a long search for him, fighting for justice in a case that fed them heartbreak after heartbreak.

When Polk’s aunt Scarlett Campbell called Brown, the Chief of Operations at Community Funeral Home in Charleston, she said she had heard his prices were reasonable and asked if he could help. After some thought, Brown told her the expenses were handled.

“My heart was heavy after learning what happened to Will Polk and all that the family was going through, so I made sure that they didn’t have to worry or stress about how they would lay will to rest,” Brown said.

A service performed by Community Funeral Services in Charleston.

Brown knows a little about loss himself, having been in the funeral home business for almost 30 years, but he has also lost six brothers, his mother, and his father.

“I know the pain that many of my customers have felt and this is one of the reasons I can relate to my customers and help give them the closure they need and deserve,” he said. “I’m often asked what’s the difference between my funeral services and others, and the answer is that I put love in what I do, and praying before each service is a must.”

Brown says his business is much less about making money than it is bringing dignity, care and respect to people in their darkest hours.

“Under my direction, no family will ever be deprived of beautiful services at affordable rates,” he said. “To some people the funeral business is about making money, but to me it’s about helping grieving families have closure and not having to stress over how they will lay their loved one to rest.”

Jerry Brown, Chief of Operations at Community Funeral Services in Charleston.

After three and a half years, Will’s remains were taken home, and it was the kindness of a funeral home director who knew pain and loss himself that made it possible.

“I was honored to serve them and surrender to them the closure they deserved,” Brown said. “I pray that God will continue to strengthen them.”

Thank you, Jerry Brown, for Stepping Up to Serve.

Call Jerry Brown at 901-653-7714.

Editor’s note: When I heard of Jerry Brown’s generous gift to Will Polk’s family, I asked for his number and called him to do a story and to offer him free advertising for a year. Mr. Brown didn’t ask for any of this, but I felt someone should bless him for his kindness as well. In this life, we’re all just walking each other home, and any chance we have to help each other along the way is a gift from God. Jerry Brown blessed my life too. – Therese Apel

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