Family Owned vs. Corporate

8 Facts We Think You Should Know

Reputation matters! The death of a loved one is a difficult time in your life and it is wise to make choices based on the quality of care you will receive.

  1. We are family owned, whereas many other local providers are part of a large clustered corporate entity and report to stockholders. We are mindful that our most valuable asset is our reputation. Our success is best measured by the families we have served for generations. Please allow us to earn your trust and confidence.
  2. We offer some of the finest and most comfortable facilities in the metro area. You are welcome to visit either of our locations at any time to see for yourself.
  3. Consistently every year, we have received state and national recognition for overall satisfaction and value received on after-service surveys from the families we have served.
  4. Our team works diligently to obtain death certificates quickly, as soon as we receive the completed certificate from your loved one’s physician, we will take it to the Oklahoma State Department of Health and have the death certificates officially certified. We do this because we know how important it is to get them quickly.
  5. Our staff is the very best. We require all of our directors to be licensed by the Oklahoma State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers and all staff provide unsurpassed levels of compassion and professionalism.
  6. We are rapid and responsive 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. When calling, you will personally speak with one of our funeral directors anytime day or night. We own and operate our own facilities and our professionals are involved in every aspect, from bringing your loved one into our care, the professional work of embalming and completion of the cremation process.
  7. Our fair and reasonable prices are clearly disclosed in our General Price List.
  8. Cremation? Frequently asked questions:
    • Who owns the crematory? [We do!]
    • Where is it located? [At our N. May location, 14624 N. May Avenue, OKC, OK 73134]
    • What if we want to be serviced out of the 23rd Street location? Can we still have our loved one cremated? [Absolutely. Upon death, your loved one will be taken into our care and transported to our N. May location and respectfully placed in our morgue refrigeration until the cremation permit is issued by the Oklahoma Medical Examiner.]
    • When can I visit the crematory? [Anytime. Please call, and we would be honored to set an appointment for a tour]
    • How can you assure me that you cremate responsibly? [We cremate one person at a time in our own crematory, staffed by dedicated licensed personnel committed to both personal and professional high standards]
    • How much time does it take to complete the cremation process? [Because we operate our own crematory, we serve you more quickly usually within 3 business days of your authorization and the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s issuance of the cremation permit.]


Smith & Kernke is Oklahoma City's oldest family operated funeral home, and that record of successful service says a great deal about the philosophy and character of an organization. This is a business where "family owned" has special significance.

Many are not aware that in recent years large corporations acquired countless funeral homes in almost every community. This has occurred in other industries as well, including banks, hospitals, car dealers, grocery stores, and insurance companies to name a few. But in other industries, the new owners are quick to publicize the purchase to inform their customers of the additional benefits derived from the transaction.

This is not so with funeral homes. When a large company buys a funeral home, employees may change, prices often escalate, and the entire nature of the operation may be transformed overnight including their procedures and outsourcing of services. But because it appears the same, sometimes keeping the name and even employing the former owner, you'd never know about the change in ownership – and policies.

When you support a local business, you support the local economic growth, charitable institutions, and overall welfare of your community.

At Smith & Kernke the ethics, values, and standards that have built the company's reputation for over 75 years are still in place and controlled by the Kernke family.