Kilpatrick Funeral Homes tradition of funeral service began in Farmerville, Louisiana in 1927 in the modest home of Edgar Noel, E.N., Kilpatrick and his wife, Effie Hicks Kilpatrick. As to make ends meet, “Mr. Kil” as, E.N. was lovingly called, taught school and carried mail during the day. Effie, “Mama Kil”, did not like grieving families to wait for her husband to get home and, already a licensed florist, decided to expand her knowledge. After three years of school and the state board exam, Effie Hicks Kilpatrick received her funeral director and embalmer’s license. She has the distinct honor of being one of the first female embalmers in the state of Louisiana.
They would also become the parents of three children, Kenneth Dale “K.D.”, Johnnie Rae “Sis”, and Tex Kilpatrick. The year 1944, brought tragedy too many American families, as the lives of thousands of young men became entangled in World War II. Tragedy did not spare the Kilpatrick family, for on Thanksgiving Day, E.N. suffered a stroke, and his two young sons, K.D. and Tex, were forced to grow up quickly. Shortly afterward, Tex and K.D. purchased the funeral homes from their father. E.N. continued to help direct the operations of the funeral homes, though he was partially paralyzed, until his death in 1954.
Effie passed away in 1993, but during her lifetime, she would not only see her sons flourish in the funeral service industry with funeral home locations in Farmerville (1927), Bernice (1935), Ruston (1938), West Monroe (1952) and Monroe (1977) but also in the life insurance business. The brothers would own and operate Central American Life Insurance Company (CALICO) in West Monroe. The charter for CALICO was purchased with a mere $10,000 in the 1950’s and at the time of it merger with National Guardian Life (NGL) in 2008, it was the largest privately owned life insurance company in Northeast Louisiana and Southern Arkansas. K.D. retired from the businesses in 2001 and passed away in March of 2010. In 2008, Kilpatrick Funeral Homes purchased Twin Cities Memorial Gardens and transformed the 27.0 acre perpetual care cemetery into Kilpatrick’s Serenity Gardens.
Kilpatrick Funeral Homes is a third generation family owned and operated company with Laura Kilpatrick Marchelos, serving as President. Laura and her husband, Zak, are both licensed funeral directors. Tex Kilpatrick continues to serve as Chief Financial Officer.
In an interview in 1984, Effie stated, “If “Kil” could see our business now, he’d be so proud. It exceeds anything that he and I ever imagined in 1928.”