It’s hard to ruffle Larry Click, but Covid did.
“It impacted us a lot, besides actually having Covid,” Click said. “When this all started last March, we didn’t know what was going to happen, and so we all worked from home, and I had a skeleton crew at the funeral homes.” He and wife Jan had Covid at the same time.
For the past 21 years, Click has been a member of the Rotary Club of Farragut. We’ve not seen him at a meeting in a long long time. This man who wears self-tied bowties (he has about 300 of them) has for years worked in excess of 100 hours a week. His life is the funeral business and the families he serves – 24/7/365. Literally. Calls come at all times of the day and night.
“I like to say that we may doze, but we never close,” he said. “I’m getting older, and I’m now wearing tennis shoes all the time for comfort. And it seems to be in style now.”
Covid has shaken up the business. A nationwide shortage of caskets is beginning to correct itself as Covid deaths drop. In normal years Click averages approximately 100 funerals in December. Two months ago they had more than 200. Just more than 60% of families are opting for cremations, and he thinks not too long from now all or most funeral homes will have their own crematories.
Click said from March to May they did not have any funeral services at their chapel. Families preferred private outdoor services, fearing Covid.
“Every day is an adventure around here,” Click said.
The Click funeral home business began in Lenoir City in 1965, founded by his late parents, Polly and Glenn. Three weeks ago Click conducted services for Polly, who died on Jan. 21. She was 92.
Larry manages and operates the three Click funeral homes in Knox County, and his younger brother Tim oversees the two homes in Loudon County.
Click goes to private homes and to hospital morgues to bring the bodies back to the funeral home. He travels in and out of state to transport bodies for funerals. “Many times we’re the first people the family sees after their loved one died at home,” he says. “We get to know them, comfort them and let them know the process.”
Any thoughts of retirement? “Nope. Too busy,” he said.
To explore membership in the Rotary Club of Farragut, email Tom King here or call 865-659-3562. Tom King has served at newspapers in Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and California and has been the editor of two newspapers.