Could you share the origin and history of Snowden Funeral Home?
Snowden Funeral Home was established over one hundred years ago and has been operated by the Snowden family through four generations. The founder of the firm, George Russell Snowden, handled his first funeral service in 1909 in Howard County, Maryland. After graduating from the Hennard School of Embalming in New York City, he advertised that he was open for business. His hearse was a spectacle to see riding through the county, being drawn by four beautiful white horses. In 1926, Snowden Funeral Home established its Rockville location at North Washington Street.
Because of ill health, Mr. Snowden turned the business over to his son, Robert L. Snowden, in 1936. Having worked with his father, from meager beginnings, Robert L. had to borrow money and equipment to maintain a properly equipped funeral home. In 1947, Robert L.’s wife, Alma P. Snowden, became a licensed Maryland funeral director and worked side by side with her husband Robert. Her active participation in funeral service ended when she retired in 1971.
The funeral home on North Washington Street has since undergone changes to its original structure. In 1947, the original wood structure was moved from its foundation, so that business was not interrupted, while a new structure was built. In 1947 a new brick building for the funeral home was built and an adjoining property was added to expand the business.
In 1974, Robert L. Snowden retired and turned the funeral business over to his son, George R. Snowden, Sr., and daughter, Irene Snowden Curry. After the passing of their father in 1979, George and Irene made it their mission to exemplify the same passion and concern for bereaved families which they learned from their parents. Today the Snowden family’s legacy of celebrating life is managed and operated by the leadership of George R. Snowden, Jr.
How has your business adapted its services and practices over time while maintaining a connection to historical roots?
Although a lot of things have changed since the establishment of Snowden Funeral Home, such as using horse drawn hearse, having wakes at the residence of decease, and meticulously hand carving outer burial containers. What has not changed is our resolve to serve every family that God entrusts us to care for at life’s only inevitable stage.
Today the Snowden family’s legacy of celebrating life is managed and operated by the leadership of George R. Snowden, Jr. In 2009 George R. Jr. along with his wife Dia H. Snowden took over the helm as the fourth generation, overseeing and managing the day-to-day operations of the funeral home.
What makes Snowden Funeral Home unique?
Aside from being the only African American funeral home in Montgomery County, Snowden Funeral Home embodies its motto ‘Personal caring service.’
It is the hope of the Snowden Family that the Funeral Home continues to operate as a family business in the generations to come, and to serve the people of the area with dignity and pride. The Snowden family exemplifies a family with deep roots of strength and unity.
Are there any community events or initiatives that Snowden Funeral Home has been/will be involved in?
Through the years, the Snowden Family has been generous in their participation and collaboration with churches, community events as well as many charitable organizations. Snowden Funeral Home supports sports teams in the City of Rockville, donates to scholarship funds of many organizations in the County, contributes to many community promoted events and sponsors a back-to-school, Believe to Succeed, backpack campaign to help our youth start the school year off needed school supplies.
What advice would give to new businesses aiming to become long-standing within the community?
First and foremost, having a heart of service is paramount to maintaining good relationships with others. Caring about their needs and making an effort to ensure that you leave an impression of making someone feel important and cared for.
About Snowden Funneral Home
Founded by George Russell Snowden, Snowden Funeral Home P.A. has been family-owned and operated since the early 1900’s. Throughout four generations, Snowden Funeral Home continues to provide premier professional services to families at its Rockville location since 1926. Learn more at https://www.snowdencares.com/