Morgan's and Lakeland Funeral Homes
In 1906, Robert Morgan entered the furniture and undertaking business under the name of Princeton Furniture and Undertaking Company. The first location was at 219 West Main Street, at the corner of Main and South Seminary Streets.
The firm has since undergone two relocations. In 1937, Robert Morgan built the first funeral home in Caldwell County at 102 South Seminary Street. The funeral home was then moved in 1965 to its present location at 301 West Washington Street. In 1969, the Morgans sold the furniture business and have since devoted all efforts to serving Princeton through the funeral home.
Robert Morgan died in 1945, and the business continued operation under his wife, Evelyn Hewlett Morgan, and their five children: Hewlett, Virginia, John, Richard Sr, James, and William. Evelyn died in 1960, the oldest child, Hewlett, died in 1969, Miss Virginia died in 1998, James “Jim” died in 2000, John died in 2001, William “Bill” died in 2014, and Richard “Dick” in 2015. In 1990, Rick and Linda Morgan purchased the family business taking it into its third generation.
Beautiful Lakeland Funeral Home Opens
Rick expanded the business in 1991, opening Morgan’s Funeral Home of Eddyville. Located on US Highway 62 East in Eddyville, the Morgans’ wanted to expand their service to include the families of Lyon and surrounding counties. After a few years of serving families in the various communities in Lyon County and along Barkley and Kentucky Lakes area, the funeral home in Eddyville changed its name to Lakeland Funeral Home.
Wainer's Join Morgans and Lakeland
After 110 years in the Morgan family, Rick and Linda Morgan chose Brian and Jenna Orr Wainer to carry on the Morgans’ tradition as the new owners of Morgan’s and Lakeland Funeral Homes. Brian and Jenna take pride in serving the families of Caldwell, Lyon, and surrounding counties and keeping the funeral home businesses part of a family tradition. Jenna is the seventh generation in her family to own funeral homes, dating back over 150 years. Her parents, Randy and Andrea Orr, own and operate Milner and Orr Funeral Homes with locations in Paducah, Lone Oak, Bardwell, Wickliffe, and Arlington.
We are proud of our heritage and take pride in delivering complete and fulfilling service to our families of Western Kentucky. We thank you for your confidence and trust in us to honor your loved ones!
Tradition of Service
New owners settling in at local funeral home
by: Jared Nelson | The Times Leader
The past four months have brought some major changes into the lives of Brian and Jenna Wainer - from relocating across the country to welcoming the birth of their first child.
In addition, the Wainers have become the new owners of one of Princeton's most well-respected businesses. Morgan's Funeral Home.
The Wainers assumed ownership of the funeral home and its sister facility, Lakeland Funeral Home in Eddyville, in January.
The Morgan family had been involved in handling the funeral needs of local residents since 1906, when Robert Morgan established Princeton Furniture and Undertaking Company.
Morgan went on to build the first funeral home in the county in 1937, and the business has remained in family hands since then.
That legacy included the construction of the current funeral home on West Washington Street, which remained owned and operated by Morgan's grandson, Rick Morgan, and his wife, Linda.
In December, the Morgans announced the sale of the funeral operation, a move made after months of deliberation.
The business became a part of another well-established funeral service franchise, Milner & Orr Funeral Homes.
That family firm, headquartered in Paducah, operates facilities in Ballard, Carlisle and McCracken counties.
Brian and Jenna Orr Wainer, the son-in-law and daughter of Milner & Orr owners Randy and Andrea Orr, were chosen to oversee the Morgan's and Lakeland operations.
But even though the funeral business had been a part of her family's life for generations, moving into the field herself was not a given, Jenna Wainer said Monday.
In fact, she noted, her parents required job pursuits in other areas first.
"Their rule was go to college, get a degree in something you're interested in and work in it for five years," she recalled.
She attended the University of Kentucky, where she received a bachelor's degree in architecture.
She continued her education at the Herberger College of Design at Arizona State University, where she received her master's in architecture.
It was in Arizona, working as an architectural designer, that she met Wainer, also a fellow UK graduate.
Wainer received a bachelor’s in business administration from the university and moved to Arizona for a career in medical sales.
They met in the fall of 2008 and married in 2012.
Their union, in part, played a role in bringing the idea of the funeral field back into mind, Jenna recalled.
"When I met Brian, he took on, I felt a lot of the characteristics that my parents had," she said. "That’s when it became more of a real consideration."
After the Morgan’s sale to Milner & Orr was successfully negotiated, the Wainers said their goodbyes to Arizona and made their way back to western Kentucky.
They first settled in an apartment at the Lakeland facility in Eddyville before purchasing a home in Princeton, to ready for their next milestone - daughter Pepper Caroline, who was born April 10.
The Wainers are now busy training as they prepare for full-time careers in the local funeral industry.
Jenna is working toward a funeral director’s license, while Brian is pursuing licensure as both a funeral director and embalmer.
A year of coursework in Nashville will be required to complete that certification, he noted.
At the same time, they are both working with Rick Morgan and Morgan’s staff to gain full understanding of the operation.
“It’s gone well,” Morgan said of the transition Monday.
“They’re still meeting people, getting to know people and getting to know Princeton.”
Morgan said he planned to remain involved full-time until Wainer completes his appreticeship and obtains his licenses.
“And after that, I’d still like to work part-time, if they’ll keep me on,” he said.
That should not be a problem, the Wainers noted.
“Jenna and I both feel extremely fortunate and blessed to follow in Rick’s footsteps,” said Brian.
“It’s been really good, because the staff has been really patient and understanding, and really helpful in the transition,” Jenna added.
“I think his family took pride in serving the families of the country through tough times, and I think that’s our same goal,” Brian noted.
Apart from some minor back-office adjustments, families who turn to Morgan’s in their time of need should see little, if any change, in the operation.
Both Brian and Jenna, who recently returned from maternity leave, now plan to be regular presences at the funeral homes, both in Princeton and Eddyville, to work with families during their time of grief, and building relationships within community.
That spirit of service, witnessed throughout her life within the Milner & Orr family, is now being experienced personally, Jenna noted.
Having the opportunity to serve and visit with families making arrangements, being able to assist “was a lot more gratifying than what I anticipated,” she said.
“It went above my expectations of what I though you could get out of it.”
The couple also extended thanks to members of the Caldwell and Lyon County community for welcoming them to the area.
“We have both though time and time again how nice everyone has been in welcoming us to town, and for their support in following Rick’s footsteps,” Brian said.