The Henson & Kitchen Story
Learn about us from the very 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, Family, 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.
The year was 1972 and the month was April and the landscape of East Pea Ridge Road in East Huntington, West Virginia near Barboursville was about to change. The vegetation that once occupied a certain tract of land would be commissioned to become the area’s premier funeral and cremation provider raising the bar for funeral and cremation care by offering exceptional care to many Cabell County, West Virginia and Tri-state area families. A group of friends came together with a single purpose led by Mr. Charles David and Loretta Henson and a plan was set in motion. With clear vision, the Henson family envisioned a new state of the art funeral home occupying that particular tract of land. The property located at 6357 East Pea Ridge Road would become the new home of Henson Mortuary which today is known as Henson and Kitchen Mortuary. The facility was designed as a one level, state-of-the-art funeral home. The funeral home began serving area families in October of 1972 and has become a staple in the community and is recognized as offering premier funeral and cremation services at an affordable price.
Henson & Kitchen Mortuary & Cremation Services 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.
Meet Our Team
Our team are all members of our community, attend local churches and support local causes.
Together, we help create exceptional healing experiences.
Fred H. Kitchen
President, Funeral Director, Embalmer and Cremation Arranger
Frederick H. (Fred) Kitchen is the owner of Henson and Kitchen Mortuary. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer, an independent funeral and cremation business consultant and public speaker. He was formerly employed nearly seven years for North America's largest casket, urn and memorial provider, Batesville Casket Company, Batesville, IN.
In 2018, Fred was appointed by West Virginia Governor Jim Justice to serve on the West Virginia Board of Funeral Services Examiners state licensing board. He is a member at Christ Temple Church, Huntington, WV where he also serves on the board of directors. Fred is also a member and past president of the West Virginia Funeral Directors Association and is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association.
On January 10, 2019, Fred was appointed by the Cabell County Commission to serve on the Cabell Huntington Health Department Board.
He has over 20 years’ experience as a funeral service licensee. He has served in various roles from funeral director-embalmer, pre-need councilor, local funeral home management and Licensee-in-charge and operations to providing funeral director training.
He began his funeral service career with East Huntington funeral home, Beard Mortuary in the late 80’s and was also employed at a funeral home in Wayne, WV, Morris Funeral Home. He is a West Virginia licensed Insurance Agent, 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, Jeffersonville, IN.
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 areas. He is a charter member of the Barboursville Apostolic Church founded by his parents.
Fred and his wife Amber began the Huntington, WV “Hugs of Hope” chapter of Hugs Across America http://www.hugsacrossamerica.net collecting teddy bears, 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 traveling and spending time with his wife, Amber and two wonderful daughters, 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 that Henson and Kitchen Mortuary is a locally owned and family operated funeral home.
Amber D. Kitchen
Vice-President, Family Services & Administrative
Amber is Vice-President of Kitchen Family Funeral Services, Inc. and Henson and Kitchen Mortuary, Inc. She is responsible for a great deal of the business operations and accounting of the funeral home.
Amber is also a West Virginia certified teacher, being formerly 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. In addition, 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 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 daughters, 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 Arranger
Dakota J. Parsons was born and raised in Huntington, W.Va. He is a 2013 graduate of Huntington High School and attended Marshall University. He is a proud graduate of Mid-America College of Funeral Service in Jeffersonville, IN.
During his time at Mid-America College of Funeral Service, 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 while attending school, which is recognized as a premier funeral home serving Southern Indiana and Louisville, KY area families.
Dakota joined the Henson and Kitchen family and team in March of 2011 and now serves as a Licensed and practicing Funeral Director and Embalmer in the state of West Virginia. He also holds certification as a Crematory Operator and Cremation Arranger.
In May of 2019, Dakota married Alyssa Ray of Lavalette, WV and currently resides in Huntington, WV. Together, they share a daughter, Eloise "Ellie" Parsons.
Dakota is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, West Virginia Funeral Directors & Crematory Operators Association and the Barboursville Rotary Club.
Dakota continues to demonstrate day in and day out that he is well 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.
We are honored to have him as part of our family and team.
Funeral Service Assistant - Multi-Media Professional - Logistics
Wetzel “Butch” Peyton is a resident of the Village of Barboursville, WV. He is 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 and law enforcement agencies. He is responsible for many logistical aspects of navigating traffic while in funeral precessions.
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 Assistant - Clergy - Graphic Design - Pet Cremation Services
Dustin is married to wife, Larisa and together they have two sons and two daughters. He loves being a family man, and ministering to other families.
Dustin is Senior Pastor at Open Door Baptist Church on Madison Ave. in Huntington, West Virginia.
He enjoys studying theology and can often be found reading a new book. Dustin plays a vital role in the care families receive at Henson and Kitchen Mortuary. He is oftentimes the first person a family comes in contact with, when a death occurs.
He excels in Graphic Art and Design for our custom printed stationary and other design and print related items. Dustin will also oftentimes be found presiding over funeral and memorial services for families.
We are honored to have Dustin as part of our family and team.
Funeral Services Assistant
David Jones was born and raised in the east end of Huntington, WV, the son of the late, Ernest H. and Dolores Beever Jones. Along with his entire family he was an active member of the former Otterbein United Methodist Church. He and his wife now attend Christ Temple Church in Huntington, WV. David was a graduate Huntington East High School, where he met the love of his life, his wife of 51 years, Karen Pack Jones. David and Karen are the parents of three children. Karissa Brooke Horowicz, David Matthew Jones and Eric Ryan Jones. They currently have 5 grandchildren. After attending Marshall University and Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, David became licensed in the State of WV as a Funeral Director and Embalmer working at the former Kincaid-Mann Mortuary in Huntington, WV. In 1978, a new funeral home was being planned in Martinsburg, WV. David was hired to consult in the design, construction and opening of the Rosedale Funeral Chapel and Crematory. At that time He and his family moved
to Shepherdstown, WV where David became the Managing-Director of that funeral home. Later, after retiring as a Licensed Senior Living Administrator, David and Karen returned to Huntington where David joined the Henson and Kitchen Mortuary where he will use his vast knowledge and continue to care and serve families well.
Louise has been taking care of personal grooming and hair styling as our resident beautician caring for the families served at Henson and Kitchen Mortuary for well over 30 years. She is a vital part of the Henson and Kitchen family. She owned her own salon for many years and is now Salon Manager and Stylist at Barboursville's premeir salon, Barbie's Family Salon, 3544 Rt. 60 Barboursville, WV.
IN MEMORY OF Stephen L. Cremeans
Funeral Director, Embalmer and Vice-President. 1952 - 2001
We Honor Stephen L. "Steve" Cremeans.
Steve served as a Deacon at Westmoreland Baptist Church, was a valuable member of West Huntington Kiwanis Club, where he served as Distinguished President and District Governor of Division 7.
He was a member of the West Huntington Kiwanis Club and a driving force in the establishment of the West Huntington Kiwanis Little League team. He was instrumental in creating one of the club’s biggest community fund raising projects, the Kiwanis-Kroger Fruit Cake Sale where thousands of dollars are raised annually to support youth programs throughout the community. He also worked hard for the establishment of K-Family clubs at Buffalo Middle School, C.K. and Vinson High Schools, now Spring Valley High School.
He was a Funeral Director, Vice President and Partner in Henson Mortuary, Inc. until his untimely passing in 2001. (1990-2001)
He was a 1970 graduate of Barboursville High School, Marshall University and the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science (1974).
He was a member of the University of Kentucky Lions Eye Bank, being certified in Cornea removal and ear drum removal for transplantation.
Steve’s professional accomplishments included being a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, where he served on the Operations, Communications, and Member Services Committees along with the governance subcommittee.
Steve was a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner and served on the N.F.D.A., policy board 1998-2000 and Co-Chaired the National WWII Memorial fund-raising committee for N.F.D.A. for W.Va. He was also a member of the Professional Funeral Services Practices and a member of the W.Va. Funeral Directors Association, having served as President (1995-1996) and all other elective offices and various committees for the state association as well as the local District 7.
We honor Steve for his commitment to providing excellent care to families in their time of need.
His personal investment and contributions played a vital role in the history and in the future success of Henson and Kitchen Mortuary. He will be forever honored and remembered.
IN MEMORY OF Charles D. Henson
Founding Funeral Director, Embalmer and President - 1937-2016
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.
Mr. Henson was a strong financial supporter of Hospice of Huntington, primarily the Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House where in 2006, he donated to purchase a room In Memory of his late wife, Loretta S. Henson. Room A4 at the Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House can be found bearing the inscription "In Memory of Charles D. and Loretta S. Henson". His commitment to helping others will live on for many years to come.
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 and Cabell County area families during their time of need.
IN MEMORY OF Paul L. Jordan, Jr.
Funeral Service Assistant - 1942 - 2019
Mr. Paul L. Jordan, Jr., better known as “PJ” 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 retired from Cabell-Huntington Hospital. They have three wonderful children, Paul Jordan III., Elizabeth Nicely, and Tracy Jordan. Their grandchildren are their pride and joy.
“P.J.” has been employed with Henson and Kitchen Mortuary since it opened in October of 1972. Helping families during their time of loss was part of his ministry.
He was a licensed Amateur Radio Operator (KD8CRW) and an ordained Baptist minister where he has served as pastor in several West Virginia churches. He previously served on the Executive Board of the West Virginia Baptist Convention and was also a member of the Board of Trustees. “P.J.” was a member of Pea Ridge Baptist church in Huntington.
PJ passed away May 20, 2019.
IN MEMORY OF Ted Poe
Funeral Service Assistant 1934 - 2020
Teddy G. "Ted" Poe, 86 of Huntington, WV, was a loyal and dedicated funeral attendant with Henson and Kitchen Mortuary for over fifteen years. He was born April 17, 1934. He was the widower of Patricia Diane Nutt Poe. He was Baptist by faith, a U.S. Army Veteran, a retired employee of Turman Construction Company and worked as a funeral attendant for Henson and Kitchen Mortuary. Ted passed away, Sunday, October 18, 2020 at the Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House, Huntington, WV.
IN MEMORY OF Richard "Doc" Hale
Richard "Doc" Greenwood Hale, husband of Mary Ann Hale, passed away June 28, 2012 in Knoxville, TN. "Doc was a funeral attendant with Henson Mortuary for many years and was a vital part of the care that many area families have received. We honor our friend and colleague.
Awards & Associations
Member Since 2010
West Virginia Funeral Directors and Crematory Operators Association
Member Since 2010