The Henson & Kitchen Story
Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.
Ever since we opened our doors in 1972 we have approached life (and death) differently. 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, a family dedicated to honoring, sharing and preserving the amazing and inspirational stories that are life.
Why Henson & Kitchen Mortuary?
In a nutshell? Experience, professionalism, compassion, empathy and exceptional experiences.
We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without overwhelming. And how to meet the needs of many caring families. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond kindness, calmness and expertise. Our goal is to create a beautiful occasion 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 About Our Legacy.
In April of 1972, the late, Mr. Charles D. Henson purchased property on East Pea Ridge Road, Huntington, W.Va. located just outside the city limits of Barboursville, W.Va. With a piece of vacant land and clear vision, Mr. Henson, envisioned a funeral home occupying that property. That property would become the new home of Henson Mortuary. Mr. Henson contracted with a builder and together they designed the funeral home and started building. Henson Mortuary began serving families in October of 1972 and has become a staple in the community serving families in the Cabell County, West Virginia.
Henson & Kitchen Mortuary was established in 1972, serving families has always been our focus. We take pride in being able to guide people through some of their most difficult days. We take pride in maintaining a setting that allows people to find solace. Celebrating life is our mission. That’s never changed. And with pride, it never will. In 2010, Fred and Amber Kitchen, as successors to the Henson family, purchased the business and continued the vision and legacy to insure that our community would be served for many more years to come.
Who We Are
Meet our team. Members of the local community make everything that happens possible.
Together, we help create healing experiences.
Fred H. Kitchen
President, Funeral Director, Embalmer and Cremation ArrangerRead Bio
Frederick H. (Fred) Kitchen, is a licensed funeral director and embalmer and an independent funeral and cremation business consultant and public speaker. He was formerly employed 6.5 yrs. for North America's largest casket, urn and memorial provider, Batesville Casket Company, Batesville, IN.
While he enjoyed a successful career, with Batesville Casket Company, receiving many awards and accolades he also served as a professional sales and business consultant, where he provided cutting edge education and training to funeral homes, funeral directors owners and employees throughout, WV, OH, KY, VA.
He dedicated a great deal of his training efforts to presenting cutting edge personalization options, funeral and cremation options, event planning options and training on how to better serve and meet the needs of today’s funeral and cremation consumer. His tenure with Batesville, makes Fred better prepared to care for families, their changing needs, desires and unique planning requests than most funeral service professionals in the area.
That combined with nearly 20 years experience in funeral service, he has served in various roles from funeral director-embalmer, pre-need councilor, local funeral home management and operations to providing funeral director training and B2B professional sales as well as serving on various boards and committees.
He began his funeral service career with East Huntington funeral home, Beard Mortuary and was also employed at a well established funeral home in Wayne, WV, Morris Funeral Home. He is a West Virginia licensed Insurance Representative, member and Ambassador of the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice representing the state of West Virginia.
He is a 1986 graduate of Huntington East High School, attended Marshall University and is a graduate of Mid-America College of Funeral Service where he later was appointed and served on the college advisory board.
He is an internationally recognized author offering professional business insight and personal contributions to death care, grief, and funeral service related professional journals published in the U.S., U.K., Russia, and The Netherlands.
Service is innate for Fred being a pastor’s son and being involved in ministry and service related work in the Huntington-Barboursville and surrounding area. He is a charter member of the Barboursville Apostolic Church and member of Christ Temple Church in Huntington, WV.
He and his wife Amber began the Huntington, WV “Hugs of Hope” chapter of Hugs Across America http://www.hugsacrossamerica.net collecting (teddy bears) “teddies”, 12” to 14” soft cuddly and huggable bears and supplying them to emergency workers on the front lines where hurt, grief, trauma and disasters are experienced and is affecting children such as local police, fire departments, hospitals and medical centers, child protective services, judges, hospices, funeral homes and families of child abuse, etc.
He enjoys spending time with his wife, Amber and two wonderful little girls Annalise and Arabella.
Fred is dedicated to serving area families in their most sensitive times, during the loss of a loved one providing the most dignified and professional care available. He is proud to be a locally owned and family operated funeral home.
Amber D. Kitchen
Vice-President, Family Services & AdministrativeRead Bio
Amber is a West Virginia certified teacher, employed with Cabell County Schools. She is a graduate of Marshall University and possesses BA degree from Marshall University in Elementary Education. She also holds a specialization in special education.
She is Vice-President of Kitchen Family Funeral Services, Inc. and Henson Mortuary, Inc.
She is a 1987 graduate of Christian Heritage Academy.
Service is innate for Amber being a pastor’s daughter and being involved in ministry and service related work in the Mingo County and Cabell County WV and surrounding areas.
She is a Charter member of Barboursville Apostolic Church and member of Christ Temple Church in Huntington, WV.
She and her husband Fred began the Huntington, WV “Hugs of Hope” chapter of Hugs Across America http://www.hugsacrossamerica.net/ collecting (teddy bears) “teddies”, 12” to 14” soft cuddly and huggable bears and supplying them to emergency workers on the front lines where hurt, grief, trauma and disasters are experienced and is affecting children such as local police, fire departments, hospitals and medical centers, child protective services, judges, hospices, funeral homes and families of child abuse, etc.
She enjoys spending time with her husband, Fred and devotes a great deal of time to her two wonderful little girls Annalise and Arabella.
Amber is dedicated to serving area families in their most sensitive times, during the loss of a loved one providing the most dignified and professional care available.
Dakota J. Parsons
Funeral Director, Embalmer and Cremation ArrangerRead Bio
Dakota James Parsons was born and raised in Huntington, W.Va. He is a 2013 of Huntington High School. Dakota attended Marshall University and is a proud graduate of Mid-America College of Funeral Service in Jeffersonville, IN. During his time at Mid-America College, Dakota served as an elected officer on student council as well as a member of Pi Sigma Eta Academic Fraternity. He was also employed at Scott Funeral Home during school, which is the premier funeral home in Southern Indiana and Louisville, KY area.
Dakota joined our family and team in March of 2011 and now serves as a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in the state of West Virginia. He also holds certification as a Crematory Operator and Cremation Arranger. Dakota continues to demonstrate day in and day out that he is equipped and aligned with our vision to serve our client families and their guests at a high level and in a capacity that exceeds family expectations all while tending to their sensitive needs.
Dakota passionately cares for families while investing his life, heart, time and talents in our community and into the families in which we are honored to serve.
He is involved in many aspects of the funeral home caring for families. He is a musician, loves music, loves people.
We are honored to have him as part of our family and team.
Funeral Service Assistant - Multi-Media ProfessionalRead Bio
Wetzel “Butch” Peyton is a resident of the Village of Barboursville, WV. A former Barboursville Police Officer and worked for the Huntington Police Department as their Radio Dispatcher and Training Officer.
He is a member of Lewis Memorial Baptist Church where he was their Media Director and was instrumental in working with Dr. David Lemming in creating the Daily Walk Television Ministry.
Butch is involved in many aspects of the funeral home caring for families and coordinates and acts as our liaison with local first responders when required.
Butch is a licensed Amateur Radio Operator (KB8CWE).
He is active in taking care of our Information Technology, Audio and Video as well as other technology based areas of our funeral home.
We are honored to have Butch as a part of our family and team.
Funeral Service AssistantRead Bio
Ted Poe has been a team member at Henson & Kitchen Mortuary for over thirteen years now. He is resides in East Huntington, W.Va. He is a member of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Ona, W.Va. We are honored to have Ted as part of our family and team.
William "Bill" Knight
Funeral Service AssistantRead Bio
Bill Knight has been a team member at Henson & Kitchen Mortuary for several years now. He is married to wife, Betty and together they live in Barboursville, W.Va. He enjoys ministering to families and is a member of Olive Baptist Church. We are honored to have Bill as part of our family and team.
Funeral Service AssistantRead Bio
Dustin is our newest team member at Henson & Kitchen Mortuary. He is married to wife, Larisa and together they have two boys and two girls. He loves being a family man, and ministering to other families. He is interim pastor at Open Door Baptist Church on Madison Ave. in the West End of Huntington, W.Va. He enjoys studying theology and can often be found reading a new book. We are honored to have Dustin as part of our family and team.
Funeral Service AssistantRead Bio
Mr. Paul L. Jordan, Jr., better known as “P.J.” is a native of Barboursville, West Virginia and is a 1960 graduate of Barboursville High School.
He attended Marshall University and is an avid sports enthusiast and supporter of the Marshall University Thundering Herd football program.
Paul was employed 29 years with the Huntington Fire Department and retired at the rank of Lieutenant and was their Fire Marshal in charge of the Arson Investigation Unit.
He married his high school sweet heart Joyce (Martin) Jordan on August 28, 1965. Joyce is semi-retired from Cabell-Huntington Hospital. They have three wonderful children, Paul Jordan III., Elizabeth Nicely, and Tracy Jordan. They also have five grandchildren which are also their pride and joy.
“P.J.” has been employed with Henson Mortuary for several years and started working for the funeral home when it opened in 1972. Helping families during their time of loss is part of his ministry.
He is a licensed Amateur Radio Operator (KD8CRW) and an ordained Baptist minister where he has served as pastor in several West Virginia churches. He is presently serving on the Executive Board of the West Virginia Baptist Convention and is also a member of the Board of Trustees. “P.J.” presently attends Pea Ridge Baptist church in Huntington.
IN MEMORY OF Charles D. Henson
Founding Funeral Director, Embalmer and President - 1937-2016Read Bio
Mr. Henson was the founder and owner of Henson Mortuary. The funeral home was established in October of 1972 by Charles D. Henson and wife, the late Loretta Henson. Founder and owners - (1972-2010)
Charles and Loretta both attended Alderson-Broaddus College and Charles finished at Marshall University. Both were avid sports enthusiast and supporter of the Marshall University Thundering Herd Football and the Marshall University Basketball programs.
He was also a Marshall University Big Green Scholarship Foundation Member and supporter.
He graduated from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science cum laude and upon graduation was employed with two local funeral homes in Huntington for several years prior to establishing this family funeral home.
He was also a member of Lewis Memorial Baptist Church in Huntington; the American Legion; and the Masonic Order- Minerva Lodge #13 Barboursville, West Virginia.
Mr. Henson was proud that Henson Mortuary is one of the few continuously owned and operated family owned and operated funeral homes in the area.
He was privileged to assist many Huntington, Barboursville and Milton area families during their time of need.
IN MEMORY OF Stephen L. Cremeans
Funeral Director, Embalmer and Vice-PresidentRead Bio
Stephen L. "Steve" Cremeans joined Henson Mortuary in 1990 and served as Vice-President, Funeral Director and Embalmer until his untimely passing in 2001. (1990-2001) Steve was also the 1995 President of the West Virginia Funeral Directors Association and was loved and respected by the many families he served and by his funeral service colleagues. We honor Steve for his commitment to providing excellent care to families in their time of need. His contributions played a vital role in the history and in the success of Henson Mortuary. He will be forever honored and remembered.