The story of Bixby Funeral Service – Bixby, Oklahoma
Just like people and families have a story of how they came to be who they are, a business has a story too. A story that tells who we are, how we got to be where we are today, what we do and why we do it. Stories are important for it is by knowing our past that we come to understand our present world. More than anything, stories tell how we are connected as friends, family, and community.
Our story begins when Jack Selby was a junior in high school and began working at the only funeral home in Bixby, Oklahoma. The population of this then charming, little town was nearing 2,000 residents and it was while serving his community in this capacity that Jack found his calling as a funeral director. Once he completed high school, Jack would enroll in funeral school. He attended both Central State in Edmond and later received his diploma from the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science, Dallas, Texas. Having served his apprenticeship and after becoming a licensed funeral director, Jack was welcomed back to his community where begin helping families through some of their most difficult days.
With the population of Bixby having more than doubled in the early eighties, Jack and Carol, along with the support and encouragement of many community members and friends, decided to go north and build Bixby Funeral Service on Memorial Drive. This endeavor began in 1982 and on August 1, 1983, the establishment known as Bixby Funeral Service opened its doors to begin helping families and friends navigate through loss and to offer continued support throughout the grief journey. Over the past 35 years, the Selby family has continued to provide compassionate care and quality service to the Bixby and surrounding communities as they have seen both the communities of Bixby and south Tulsa continue to grow and to somewhat merge.
Having devoted more than 50 years of his life to the funeral service profession, Jack began thinking and praying about the future of Bixby Funeral Service. He began looking forward to a time where he could still be involved, but not quite with the same responsibilities that he has shouldered since the beginning of this endeavor in 1983. Having encouragement and support from his wife, Carol, it appears that the timing was right, and that prayers were being answered.
In nearby Claremore, creating a legacy of service to others themselves, Jody and Kara Greene, both Oklahoma natives and licensed funeral directors received a call from Jack Selby. Needing no introduction at all, Mr. Selby introduced himself as a small business owner in Bixby, Oklahoma, owning and operating Bixby Funeral Service – a highly respected funeral service establishment in our great State. He inquired about the possibility of meeting together as he was “looking to the future of both Bixby Funeral Service and how we might fit into that equation”, said Jody. Both humbled and elated to have received the call from Mr. Selby, the Greene’s and Selby’s soon met and began to realize similarities in family, in faith, and in the importance and dedication necessary to care for others in this calling.
In January of 2017, Jody and Kara joined the Selby’s in their family business. The Greene’s quickly began a small remodel of the upstairs living quarters to accommodate their growing family and shortly thereafter made Bixby their home along with their four-year-old son, Rylen and their new baby girl, Joelle.
Having worked in this profession for a combined total of more than 20 years, and having received additional trainings to add value to families served, Jody and Kara have been able to take over much of the responsibility since moving upstairs. Jody and Kara both work full-time while still receiving support, encouragement and help from Jack and Carol as needed.
In the meantime, Jack and Carol have been realizing part of their retirement dreams enjoying some much-deserved time away from the office. In fact, Jack doesn’t always answer his phone on the first ring anymore and he only wears a suit on service days!
Just as the Selby’s are realizing their dreams, so are Jody and Kara through a transition of ownership. Jody and Kara’s dream of owning a funeral home would not be possible without Jack and Carol and their generosity and participation. And it is because of the heart of Jack and Carol that the Greene’s were hand-picked to continue the legacy that their family built.
“I think part of it was because Jack saw a bit of himself in us, said Jody. Jack was 36 when he began the funeral home – the same age I am today. Also, my family, just as the Selby’s did, live above the funeral home. We are pretty much always here and we are always available to be of service to the Bixby and surrounding communities in their times of need.”
As time moves forward Bixby Funeral Home will incorporate new programs and technologies to help families honor their loved ones and keep their memories alive. The desire to be remembered lives within all of us. We arecommitted to remembering those you have loved and lost . . . to help you mend, heal and live. Both the Selby’s and the Greene’s believe that this opportunity was orchestrated by someone bigger and greater than themselves. They want you to know that they are all committed to Bixby Funeral Service and that Bixby Funeral Service will continue to give the best possible care to our communities during difficult days. They also pledge to be available before needs arise to help with pre-planning and to offer continued support and care after the funeral.