Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.
Ever since we opened our doors we have approached life (and death) differently, with honesty,compassion and integrity. While some just see the end of a loved one’s life as a time for grief and mourning, we prefer to think of it as a time for reflection, appreciation and even celebration. This is evident in everything we do, from the way we conduct our services to the amenities we choose to offer. We are a close knit community dedicated to honoring, sharing and preserving the amazing and inspirational stories that are life.
In a nutshell? Experience, professionalism, compassion, and empathy.
We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without intimidation or creating over spending. And how to meet the needs of many caring families. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond with kindness, calmness and expertise. Our goal is to create a memorable service and make you feel welcome, always. We spend our days planning with families. We stay up to date with industry developments. And we make hard times a little easier.
Learn the legacy.
Heritage Funeral and Cremation Service was founded in 1998 by Harris High and Carolyn Williams with a vision to provide our local communities with an independently owned and managed funeral and cremation service with dignity, respect, compassion and personal care, all at a sensible price.
In 2002, the Weddington Chapel became the second chapel for Heritage Funeral and Cremation Service. This chapel is conveniently located directly across the street from Forest Lawn East Cemetery. From a vision of peace and serenity, combined with the knowledge that cemeteries are for the living, Forest Lawn East was designed and developed in 1971 by the late Jack W. Williams. His vision for a one-of-a-kind place of beauty continues.
In 2007 Peaceful Pets, a full service pet cremation company was added. Because we own our own pet crematory, we are able to get pets ashes back to their owners within as little as 24 hours. Peaceful Pets is just a reflection of our desire to serve your entire family, even our furry, feathered friends.
Our third location opened in early 2008 and is located in the Ballantyne/Sun City area of Charlotte at Hunter's Crossing. This location, while a full service funeral home, is a non-intimidating alternative funeral arrangement center that's perfect for arranging your loved one's services at your place of worship or using our intimate chapel.
In early 2015, realizing our need to offer expanded cremation options, we moved our crematory into a much larger facility in the Matthews area and Simply Cremations of Charlotte became a reality. Simply Cremations of Charlotte is a state-of-the-art cremation facility with a private family viewing room. At Simply Cremations our goal is to provide the highest quality of service to families desiring direct cremation. Our staff will meet families, process necessary paperwork, and offer options such as urns, stationery and jewelry.
Who We Are
Meet our staff. Members of the local community make everything that happens possible.
Together, we make this place amazing.
Harris High, CFSP
Owner/Founder - Funeral Director - Certified Crematory Operator
Harris is co-owner and co-founder of Heritage Funeral and Cremation Service, which was started in 1998 with the first of the three locations opening in Indian Trail. Harris has been in funeral service since 1987, and is a native of Union County and a life long resident of Union and Mecklenburg Counties. He is a 1985 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is active in Union West Rotary where he serves as Treasurer, is a member of the Board of Directors of the Union County Council on Aging, is active in supporting his profession by his prior service on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association as well as the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service, and proudly supports local Hospice organizations in bringing end of life care to families in the area. He and his family reside in Charlotte and he serves his church faithfully.
Carolyn is co-owner and co-founder of Heritage Funeral Home, starting the first of the three locations in Indian Trail in 1998. Carolyn has been in the death care industry her entire life first by following her father's footsteps in the Cemetery business where she played an active role in assisting him in the day to day operations of Forest Lawn East Cemetery and later as a Funeral Director and co-owner of Heritage. Carolyn is a member of Carmel Country Club, Carmel Presbyterian Church and enjoys spending her time traveling and playing golf. She and her family reside in Charlotte.
Operations Manager/Funeral Director
Matthew has been with the Heritage Family since 2014. As with all employees at Heritage, his primary roles consist of serving those who call upon us in their time of need. Matthew does that through serving as a Funeral Director as well as serving as our Operations Manager; where coordinating all of our efforts into a single focus is paramount.
Matthew is also a proud veteran of the U.S. Army. He served for 7 years on active duty, was a Non-Commissioned Officer and received numerous awards and decorations for his service. After his service to our country, he spent years trying to find a career that gave him a sense of purpose. He worked in sales, construction, retail and restaurant management, and banking before finding his calling at Heritage Funeral Home. He takes great pride in helping family’s through some of their most difficult times.
Originally from Southwest Florida, Matthew has lived all over the country. He and his wife moved to the Charlotte area in 2007 and have called it home ever since. Matthew and his family live in Lancaster, SC. His family includes his wife Mandi, and adult children Zach, Avery and Macy, along with their black lab Harley. Matthew is actively involved in the community and is a member of the Rotary Club of Matthew’s and the Indian Trail VFW. Away from work and volunteering, he loves anything outdoors; golfing, kayaking, boating, fishing, camping, shooting, yard work, etc.
Robert Murphy, CFSP
Funeral Director , Location Manager Weddington Chapel
Robert Murphy joined Heritage Funeral & Cremation Service in 2001 as a Funeral Apprentice, and today serves as the General Manager of the Weddington Chapel of Heritage Funeral Home.
As a Licensed Funeral Director, Robert works alongside Karen Reardon at Forest Lawn East Cemetery. “It’s an honor to guide and accompany families through their loss,” Robert says, “for each has a unique and remarkable way of commemorating their lasting memory.”
A graduate of Fayetteville Technical Community College, Robert received a Funeral Service Education Diploma in 2004, and the designation of CFSP: Certified Funeral Service Practitioner. He was appointed District Director with the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association in 2013.
Born and raised in Monroe, North Carolina, Robert attended Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, and is currently a parishioner at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Ballantyne. “There are many different types of families and faiths,” Robert says, “but each is a masterpiece.”
Karen Reardon, CFSP
Funeral Director, Crematory Operator, Cemetery Sales
Karen has been in the funeral industry for over 27 years and joined Heritage Funeral and Cremation Service in 2006. She became a Certified Crematory Operator in 2003. In 2010 she received the designation of CFSP (Certified Funeral Service Practitioner) becoming one of only about 25 in the state of North Carolina. She graduated from Fayetteville Technical Community College with a diploma in Funeral Directing. Prior to entering the Death Care industry Karen was in sports marketing for 7 years where she travelled as marketing rep on the PGA circuit handling player relations. Her background is sales and marketing and she is responsible for community outreach, advertising and cemetery sales at Forest Lawn East Cemetery. She is a past President of the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association, and sat on the board of Hospice of Union County for 12 years where she served in many capacities including Vice Chairman where she was instrumental in working with the Capital Campaign to build a 3rd house at Hospice of Union County. She was aggressive in working towards Heritage Funeral and Cremation Service - Weddington Chapel winning the award of Pursuit of Excellence presented by the National Funeral Directors Association two years running. Karen is a member of the Order of the Eastern Stars. She lives in Matthews and is the proud mother of two grown children, Kevin and his daughters Natalie, Olivia and Bradleigh and Kimberly and her son Tyler and daughter Avery. In her spare time, Karen is a Fairy Godmother with Make A Wish for her philanthropy work in raising funds to grant wishes, for which she finds great satisfaction in making dreams come true. In early 2018 she was nominated to the Charlotte W.I.S.H. Society - Women Inspiring Strength and Hope, a select group of Women who raise money for Make A Wish to help fund the wishes. She is also an avid quilter and loves the game of golf. Her passion is giving to others and as a funeral director she takes great pride in ensuring every family puts together just the right memorial/funeral to honor their loved one.
Funeral Director/Embalmer - Location Manager Indian Trail
Joe has been with the Heritage Family since 2019. As with all employees at Heritage, his primary roles consist of serving those who call upon us in their time of need. Joe does that through serving as a Funeral Director and Embalmer in North Carolina and South Carolina.
Joe is also a proud veteran of the U.S. Army. He served for 7 years on active duty, was a Non-Commissioned Officer and received numerous awards and decorations for his service after being injured in Iraq. Joe has worked in the Funeral Industry since 1997 working for different Funeral Homes in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and now North Carolina. Joe now serves as the location Manager of the Indian Trail location
Originally from Alabama, Joe has lived all over the country and abroad. He and his wife moved to the Charlotte area in 2016 and have called it home ever since. Joe and his family have planted their roots in Unionville and are proud to call Union Co. home. His family includes his wife Lilianny, kids Ariana, Heaven and Harper. Joe is actively involved in the motorcycle community. Away from work and volunteering, he loves anything outdoors; kayaking, boating, fishing, camping, shooting, and spending time with family.
Robin Barron, CFSP
Funeral Director/Embalmer, Certified Crematory Operator , Location Manager Ballantyne Chapel
Robin Barron has been in the funeral industry since 2002. She graduated from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science with an Associates Science and Technology Degree in Funeral Service, Embalming, and Restoration Art. Robin is also a certified crematory operator. She enjoys hosting educational events such as “Cremation, Removing the Mystery” which explains the process of cremation and “Have the talk of a lifetime” which encourages one to preplan their funeral. Robin can prearrange funded and unfunded funerals. She is licensed to practice funeral service in North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina. For those who wish to have their loved ones buried outside of the United States, Robin can facilitate International burials or transferring of cremated remains.
In 2013, she received the designation of CFSP (Certified Funeral Service Practitioner) which shows that she is committed to exceptional service and life-long learning. Robin is an active member with Indian Trail United Methodist Church, (Past President) Indian Trail Lions Club, Union West Rotary Community Service Chair, Auxiliary VFW Post 2423, and APFSP (Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice). She believes that being involved in the community is the best way for new friends to get to know their future funeral service provider.
Robin, originally from Pittsburgh, PA, moved to Falls Church, VA to obtain her training in Funeral Service, and as of 2005, an Indian Trail resident along with her four-legged child, Mickey.
Greg received his Funeral Directors license in August 1998 after completing his studies at Fayetteville Technical Community College and began training in his hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina. In 2001, Greg moved to Winston Salem to begin working in the field of cremation and in July of 2010 made the move to Charlotte, NC to assist in opening and operating a cremation only facility. In July 2018 Greg started with Heritage Funeral Home as staff Funeral Director and cremationist. Through experiencing death and loss in his own family Greg strives to ease the burden and stress of funeral and cremation arrangements for the families he serves. In his free time he enjoys the camping life and spending time with his two smallest family members, grandchildren; Lincoln and Remi.
Abi Ayres was born and raised in Wilmington, NC. She graduated from Ashley High School in 2011. Shortly after, she moved to the Charlotte area in 2016 after graduating from Fayetteville Tech with a degree in Funeral Service. She enjoys painting using acrylic paints, playing basketball and volleyball. Abi is a huge Duke fan. Abi gained her license in 2020 and is excited to serve the community.
Crematory Operator and Peaceful Pets Manager
Terry is our crematory operator working out of our Simply Cremations of Charlotte location. He is also responsible for our pet cremation business, Peaceful Pets Funeral and Cremation Service. Terry's love for animals ensures that everyone who has the need for this loving and compassionate service knows their pet has been well cared for. Terry is a resident of Matthews.
Funeral Assistant/ Death Certificate Specialist
Jake Forwerck, was born and raised in Charlotte, NC and has worked for Heritage Funeral Home since 2013. He is an active local musician with a variety of performance experience including funeral services. Jake is a long time member and worship leader at Stallings United Methodist Church and is passionate about religious philosophy and spreading the word of God through music.
Funeral Director Apprentice
Forest Lawn East Cemetery - Administrator
Administrative Assistant - Weddington
Administrative Assistant - Ballantyne Chapel
Candace joined the administrative staff of Heritage Funeral &
Cremation Service at the Ballantyne Chapel in July 2011 after
many years experience in office procedures and as a manager in
the HOA industry. She enjoys reading, crafting, and spending time
with her two granddaughters and family and was excited to
welcome their first grandson during the pandemic of 2020.
Candace is honored to be a part of the Heritage family.
Tommy Stilwell a native of Matthews, NC has been married for 53 years and has two daughters and 5 grandchildren. He served 2 years in the Army as a Military Policeman, 14 months in Bangkok, Thailand. Tommy owned a masonry business for 38 years, has been a member of Stallings United Methodist Church for 46 years, is a certified Lay Speaker, past district Lay Leader of the Albemarle District of the United Methodist Church. He enjoys speaking at churches in the area, and is available to speak at funerals and graveside services. Tommy has been employed at Heritage since 2010, and enjoys assisting families in their time of need.
Gordon grew up in southwest Virginia, north of Mt. Airy, NC. He moved to Charlotte in 2010 and assisted at a crematory and local funeral home. He retired in 2012 but felt he still needed to help families so he worked part time for a transport. Gordon started at Heritage Funeral and Cremations in 2020 assisting on funerals. He gets comfort knowing he is helping families at their time of loss.
Gordon has 8 grandchildren. He enjoys yard work, the beach, mountains and spending time with his family and friends.
Frank joined Heritage Funeral Home in 2011 assisting on services. He served in the United States Air Force from 1962 to 1966 and is a member of American Legion Post 235. Frank moved here from New Jersey in 1986 with Royal Insurance where he worked for 36 years. He loves spending time with his family and wife of 50 years. He also enjoys gardening, and is a parishioner of Saint John Neumann Catholic Church.
I was born and raised right here in Indian Trail. Before retiring, worked in Indian Trail as a Banker for 39 years. I continue to be active in Union West Rotary, member on ATRIM Healthcare Advisory Council in Monroe, NC, and an active member of Shiloh Baptist Church. In the past three years, I have learned my work serving others at Heritage Funeral during this most difficult time in their life is a blessing in my life. Thanks to Heritage for their love, integrity and compassion serving others. John 15:12
Spanish Funeral Assistant
Fernando Baquero, a native of Colombia, S.A. and became a United States citizen upon moving here in 1979. He is on the staff at Heritage Funeral Home, assisting with initial arrangements, visitations, church or chapel services and graveside services. From the time a death occurs, Fernando is available to coordinate the initial pick up of the deceased, to meeting with the family and interpreting all details to ensure that every Spanish speaking family’s wishes are carried out.
Funeral Assistant/Community Outreach
Bill has lived in the Charlotte area for 35 years. He served as senior pastor of Trinity Fellowship Church in Matthews, NC for 33 years. After retiring from the pastoral ministry in 2015 he became a part of the Heritage Family. He has been married for 49 years to his wife Tanna and they have one son, Jonathan and his wife Michelle. He considers it a privilege to assist families in difficult moments in their lives.
Charles L. Turner is a native of Union County. He is the longest standing employee having started in 1999. He is a proud and active member of Benton's Crossroads Baptist Church in Monroe, and CrimeStoppers of Union County.
Apprentice Funeral Director
Kyle Whiting was born and raised in Charlotte NC. He graduated from UNC Charlotte in 2020 with a Bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a minor in sociology. He plans on getting his funeral director license as he wants to help serve his community. In his free time, he likes to travel and coach wrestling. He enjoys anything to do with sports and outdoor activities such as shooting, fishing, and riding dirt bikes. He is excited to start his career as a funeral director with Heritage.
Funeral Director Apprentice
John McGuinness was born and raised on Long Island, New York. After working in funeral service since 2007, John came to the Charlotte North Carolina area to continue his pursuit of service to others. Currently a student at Fayetteville Technical Community College with a major in funeral service, John is proud to serve the families locally in our area. He is a resident of Pineville NC and a local parishioner at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Ballantyne.
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