A MOTHER and daughter are applying the lessons of yesteryear to their modern funeral business.
Michele Rutherford and her daughter Michelle Rice are carving out a distinctive niche with their recently launched company, Last Respects.
Comparing themselves to the women in local communities who used to care for and lay out the dead for their final journeys, the Jarrow-based firm offers a highly-personal funeral service, at a reasonable cost.
The mum and daughter business partnership is also thought to be unique in the North East.
Ms Rutherford, who has 18 years’ experience in the funeral trade, said: “We do not live in the Dark Ages and we have our own minds about what we want, how we live and how we die.
“We are more educated about what happens when we die and where we are taken, and we don’t all have the same funeral.”
Last Respects aims to offer a one-to-one and yet no-frills funeral service to families from all backgrounds and cultures – and varied incomes.
Ms Rutherford was one of the first female funeral directors in the region, and conducted the funeral of her late mother, Lilian O’Donnell, 69, who died of leukaemia in 2008.
She called being a funeral director her “true vocation in life,” adding: “I have come across many people who do not wish to be taken from home – my friends and family included – so I decided to set up on my own, establishing the first mother and daughter funeral service in the North East.
“It’s all in the name – Last Respects Funeral Service.
“It is the last thing we do for our loved ones, saying our last farewell, having a service to suit the deceased personality and the life they lived by celebrating their life.”
Business is starting to pick up for the unique mother and daughter business team.
Contact Last Respects on 597 1872 or visit the company website at www.lastrespects.co.uk.