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 jewelery.
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 OperatorRead Bio
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 DirectorRead Bio
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 have planted their roots in Indian Trail and are proud to call Union Co. home. His family includes his wife Mandi, kids Zach, Avery and Macy, and dogs Camden and Bucky. 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; kayaking, golfing, boating, fishing, camping, shooting, yard work, etc. He is also a “foodie”, so please pass on any suggestions for good restaurants.
Robert Murphy, CFSP
Funeral Director , Location Manager Weddington ChapelRead Bio
Robert was born and raised in Monroe and currently lives in Charlotte, NC. He joined Heritage Funeral and Cremation Service in 2001 following several years at Davis Funeral Home in Monroe. Robert graduated from Piedmont High School in Monroe and from Fayetteville Technical Community College with a diploma in Funeral Directing. Robert received his designation of CFSP (Certified Funeral Service Practitioner) in January of 2013. He is the manager of the Weddington Chapel of Heritage Funeral Home and is the current District 9 Director for the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association. He works alongside Karen Reardon in sales with Forest Lawn East Cemetery in Weddington. Robert is a parishioner of St. Matthew Catholic Church in Ballantyne. He enjoys spending time with his family, friends and his 4 loving puppies.
Karen Reardon, CFSP
Funeral Director, Cemetery SalesRead Bio
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 Practioner) 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 instrumental in working towards Heritage Funeral and Cremation Service 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 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.
Robin Barron, CFSP
Funeral Director/Embalmer, Certified Crematory Operator , Location Manager Ballantyne ChapelRead Bio
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.
Funeral Director/Embalmer - Location Manager Indian TrailRead Bio
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 for 22 years 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.
Funeral Director/EmbalmerRead Bio
Jeremy Ward comes to Heritage by way of Louisville, Mississippi. Following graduation from Holmes College of Mortuary Science in 2003, he has spent the last 17 years working in the funeral industry as a licensed funeral director and embalmer. Jeremy is an avid fan of the Mississippi State Bulldogs and enjoys playing music and spending time with his family. He is married to Hannah Dinkelacker Ward of Tupelo, Mississippi and they have three children; Cliff, Miller, and Pruitt.
Funeral Director/EmbalmerRead Bio
Ezra joined Heritage Funeral Home in September 2015. He graduated in 2007 from John A. Gupton College earning an Associate of Arts degree with a major in Funeral Service. He and his wife relocated to the Charlotte area from Madisonville, TN where he was a funeral director and embalmer for 8 years at Biereley-Hale Funeral Home. He now is a homeowner in Ft. Mill, SC.
Funeral DirectorRead Bio
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.
Peaceful PetsRead Bio
Terry is our crematory operator working out of our Simply Cremations of Charlotte crematory. He is also responsible for our pet cremation business, Peaceful Pets Funeral and Cremation Service. Terry's love for animals insures 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 AssistantRead Bio
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 Assistant - Weddington
Funeral Assistant - Indian Trail
Receptionist - Ballantyne ChapelRead Bio
Candace joined the administrative staff of Heritage Funeral & Cremation Service at the Ballantyne Chapel in July 2011. She has over 30 years experience in office procedures and spent the prior nine years as a manager in the HOA industry. Candace enjoys spending time with her two granddaughters and family and is honored to be a part of the Heritage family.
Apprentice Funeral DirectorRead Bio
Abi Kellum, has a twin brother Travis, and 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. She is currently serving her apprenticeship with us and looking forward to serving the community.
Funeral AssistantRead Bio
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 masonary 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.
Funeral Assistant/Community Outreach
Funeral AssistantRead Bio
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.
Funeral DirectorRead Bio
Jason Burgess, Funeral Director, joined Heritage Funeral Home in January of 2019, on a part-time basis, working primarily on weekends to assist with the weekend funeral schedule of meeting and directing funerals.
He has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer in North Carolina for many years and loves working with families. During the week, he works in his families business. He resides in Union County with his family.
Spanish Funeral AssistantRead Bio
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 AssistantRead Bio
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 and 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.
Funeral AssistantRead Bio
Frank joined Heritage Funeral Home in 2011, assisting with visitations, church, chapel and graveside services. He served in the United States Air Force from 1962 to 1966. Frank and his family moved here from New Jersey in 1986 with Royal Insurance. He is a parishioner of Saint John Neumann Catholic Church, and enjoys spending time with his family.
Funeral AssistantRead Bio
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.
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