Obaugh Funeral Home In Business For A Century

One Highland County business reaches a milestone this year that few other establishments anywhere can claim.

“So my name is Bryan Obaugh. I am with Obaugh Funeral Home, I am the fourth generation to operate, and I guess manage the business, and I wanted to talk a little bit about our 100th year event that we’ll be holding this coming Saturday, March 23rd.”

He talked about the history of the organization.

“Obaugh Funeral Home originally was started, I guess, by Roy Obaugh. He was not the first undertaker in Highland County, however, he was the first undertaker in Highland County to really transition to more of a modern approach. In 1924, that’s when he began. He would operate for many many years, bringing his son, William,’ Bill’, Obaugh into the business, who would ultimately operate the business until his passing in 1996. My father, GW, he really needs no introduction, then operated the funeral home for many years and then ultimately, there is me, and here I am today.”

I asked Bryan what moves a person to enter such a challenging profession.

“Unfortunately, it’s not an easy answer. I can say this – for the majority of funeral directors out there – those that just wake up one day and they’re drawn to that – their motivators are much different than probably ours. Many funeral directors fall into it, if you will, and they’re good at it, because that’s what they’ve grown up in, a certain comfort level. That’s what they excel at and why wouldn’t they – they were literally immersed in it their entire life.”

“So, for me, my motivator, and I believe that of my father, has never really been about the actual job itself, as much as the community, as the people. I don’t believe I could do this anywhere outside this region. But I do it because of the people, and I know that he has as well.”

A celebratory event is planned for this weekend.

“So we do have an event that will be held this Saturday, March 23rd, from 3:00 pm until 5:00. It’s going to be held at the Highland Center in Monterey. We’re inviting the community, and we’re really encouraging the community, to come out, join with us as we mark this 100th year. But we really want to make this in a community event, with refreshments, we have some tokens of our appreciation for those attendees. And we just want to join with those that we’ve served over the years and just have that opportunity to mark this day,  this event.”

“It’s also a bit of a motivator of mine, and maybe an ulterior motive, but my grandmother Wilma Hodge Obaugh, I would like very much for my grandmother to be able to visit with those families that meant so much for her in this capacity. She is 95, and that’s very important for us as well.”

“To my knowledge, Obaugh Funeral Home is the longest operating business in Highland County, under one singular family – four generations. Now, having said that, that’s outside of agriculture – many, many families. But it’s not easily achieved, I’m sure we’ve seen so so many changes, and we continue to see changes and we continue to adopt and pursue changes to stay relevant, and we’re just really fortunate to be here and just really look forward to those joining with us this coming weekend.”

Obaugh Funeral Home is a financial supporter of Allegheny Mountain Radio.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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