New funeral home owner wants to be a Good Samaritan
by Staff Writer
DENVER – Michael Costigan thinks back to when families received friends and guests in their own homes after a loved one died.
The Huntersville resident has been working since November to open Good Samaritan Funeral Home in Denver with that concept in mind.
“Our emphasis is home,” he said. “This is a funeral home. We want it to feel like home.”
Costigan, who lives in Huntersville with his wife, Margaret, and 16-year-old daughter, Catherine, decided to start his own funeral home after learning Denver didn’t have one.
“A funeral home is supposed to be a neighborhood business,” and the people of Denver had to drive to Lincolnton, Huntersville or Mooresville to find one, he said. Sitting right on main drag, at 3362 N.C. 16 N., Good Samaritan gives people the opportunity to stop by.
He has worked most of his life in funeral homes, first in New York and then at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home in Mooresville. And while he’s run other homes for years, this is his first opportunity to own one. He doesn’t consider his business one of organizing funerals, although that’s part of it. It’s really about helping families.
“Funeral directors have to be educated,” he explained. “For example: Who’s entitled to be buried in the national cemeteries?”
Costigan turns to his faith to help people through what is inevitably a hard time in life. “In the Catholic faith, we say, ‘Lord, for your faithful people life is changed, not ended.’ I emphasize that life continues for those who are deceased – but also for their loved ones.”
Costigan moved to the Lake Norman area in 2005 from New York.
When Costigan’s brother, William, first bought the property in Denver, they expected to raze the house. But when he found out it was built in the late 1700s, Costigan wanted to save it.
“We want to build good relationships, with families and with local businesses,” he said. Later, he found a painting with a white plantation-style home that looked remarkably like the Good Samaritan building. He knew he’d made the right decision.
He encourages people to try to keep things to a minimum, and he provides burial options for a wide range of budgets.
“Make decisions with your head and not with your heart,” he tells families.
He wants people to remember that life continues, and they should make financially responsible decisions.
“Everyone is important, and every family is different,” Costigan said. “Not one is the same.”
In the end, he said, he tries to do what’s right for each family.
“I look at this as a type of ministry, to get you into the sense of living again,” he said.