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Jay’s Message PDF Print E-mail

Hello, my name is Jay Carlisle and I am the proud owner of Hockaday Funeral and Cremation Service.   I have a wonderful and beautiful wife, Lora, two great kids, Lexa and Jac, several dogs and cats and as well other stray animals that happen our way.  Welcome to this website and thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell you a little about myself, my family and Hockaday, and what it means to be a vital member of the Roanoke Valley.

I grew up in Roanoke Rapids as the son of James and Beth Carlisle, the grandson of the late Acey and Mary Carlisle and Katie King Browning, and the brother, brother-in-law and uncle to Kim Carlisle, his wife Cheryl, and their sons, Matthew, Phillip and Brandon.  As a senior in high school, I became interested in funeral service during Health Occupations II class where I worked as an intern in the local business, Branch Funeral Home.  I selected it because I thought it would be a way for me to overcome my long standing fear of death.  While working there, I realized there was nothing to be afraid of, and decided to make the business my life’s vocation.

I am now entering my 26th year and during those years I have personally dealt with every possible scenario that arises in this field.  I have worked in various states, including Mississippi, Georgia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey and Maryland and the Canadian Province of Ontario.  I have been involved in the services of most cultures, nationalities and religions and been responsible for all aspects of managing and overseeing cemeteries and funeral homes.

Several years ago, the opportunity presented itself for me and my family to return to the Roanoke Valley.  I made the decision to come home for several reasons:  to fulfill my dream of owning a funeral home, to be closer to friends and family, and most importantly, to raise my own children in the same hometown environment that I enjoyed.

In August, 2008, I became the legal owner of Hockaday and I have enjoyed the process of updating and refurbishing the facility, not making drastic changes but bringing it into the 21st century.  I made the decision to maintain the Hockaday name because it is familiar to the citizens of the Roanoke Valley and creates a sense of stability and steadfastness.  I have redecorated the interior, landscaped the exterior and created this website which is part of the plan to make available to the people, all there is to know about the business and the processes involved with losing a loved one.

I consider every human-interaction important because although most funeral homes operate in the same manner, word-of-mouth advertising is critical to our success.  I participate in all of the local advertising mediums available but when satisfied families tell other families about us, we receive the best possible form of advertising:  a personal recommendation and endorsement of what we offer.

As difficult as it is to encounter the hardships of others, I believe this is what I was created to do.  I consider every human-interaction important and I take great pride in helping folks make educated decisions while putting them at ease during one of the most difficult times of their lives.  I pray no one suffers a loss but if they do, I hope they will give Hockaday Funeral and Cremation Service an opportunity to be of service.  I will fulfill their every request as long as it is legal and ethical.  I will serve the Roanoke Valley through the various community projects we offer and I will serve each and every family that walks through our doors to the best of my ability.