Wed | Sep 20, 2017

Calvin Lyn:Better to wear out than rust away

Published:Thursday | October 22, 2015 | 10:00 AMKeisha Hill
Calvin and Sylvia Lyn

What has evolved into a family business was started in 1974 by Calvin and Sylvia Lyn in Coleyville, Manchester. With more than four decades of service to its credit, Lyn's Funeral Home was born out of Sylvia's love of horror movies and has grown into an established third-generation operation.

Prior to the funeral home, Lyn and his wife were in sales and the bar and grocery business. However, after seeing the need and conducting a feasibility study, their dream was realised.

"Most funeral homes back then, and even now, refrigerated bodies. We introduced embalming, which made our presentation much different from refrigeration; our clients were and are still satisfied with the results," Lyn said.

Their methods have led them to receive permission in the past to ship bodies to the United States, England, Barbados and, in one instance, to India.

Lyn, who is three years shy of his 80th birthday, said the business is a passion for him. "We like the business and we are still energetic. We enjoy good health and with three generations now in the family business, it is still very much a part of what we do," he said.

Their only child, Juliet Lyn-Chuck and her son, Dayne, are integrally involved in the business. With a background in nursing, Sylvia Lyn studied mortuary science and their daughter and grandson have followed in her footsteps and are now trained morticians.

"Juliet joined us from 1987 and studied in Florida. She is immersed in the daily operations and has been an integral part of the business," Lyn said.

With the acquisition of the Oaklawn Memorial Gardens cemetery 25 years ago, Lyn's became a "one stop shop" which customers appreciate.

From a state-of-the-art two-storey headquarters located along Ridgemount Crescent in Mandeville, clients benefit from knowledge-based service which the Lyns believe gives them credibility and has ensured longevity.

Satisfying customers

"We hardly need to advertise. Based on our satisfactory presentations and recommendations over the years, the quality of our service has been established. We have exceeded our customers' expectations and will continue to do so," Lyn said.

Lyn says he plans to go into full retirement in another three years. "It is better to wear out than to rust away," he quipped.

A justice of the peace for Manchester, Lyn is also chairman of the Community Counselling and Restorative Justice Centre; he has acted as custos of Manchester and was the first rural national president of the Lay Magistrates Association of Jamaica.

He has also been awarded the Order of Distinction, Commander Class for nation building through community service.