C unningham and Nelson Funeral Home has been a funeral service provider for Person County and the surrounding area for eighty-three years. The funeral home, The Country Funeral Home, was originally founded in 1922 by Ossie Cunningham, Sr. and Luther Burton in what was then called Raker City. The original funeral home was located in the Buchanan Masonic Lodge #344 building which is located on the Blue Wing Road in northern Granville County.
Shortly afterwards, the business was relocated to Virgilina, Virginia where the partners were Cunningham, Hampton Smith and J. C. Woody. Subsequently, around 1939, the business moved to Roxboro, North Carolina to Depot Street with partner William Albright, Sr. It was at this time that it became Albright and Cunningham Funeral Home.
Albright’s son, William Jr., joined the business as the business manager after serving his tour of duty with the United States Army. Cunningham’s sons, Ossie Jr. and Shelred also joined the business. Ossie Jr. remembers that he became active “with body pick ups while the funeral home was still The Country Funeral Home” Shelred joined the business after his tour of duty with the United States Army as a licensed embalmer. Both Cunningham sons became part owners. Cunningham, Sr., remained active in the business until his death in 1983.
John Nelson became part owner in 1974. It was at this time that the funeral home became Albright, Cunningham and Nelson Funeral Home. Albright, Jr., retired in 1978 and the funeral home became Cunningham and Nelson Funeral Home. Nelson remained an active part owner until his death in 1997.
John Nelson’s son, James Roger Nelson, Sr. became a partner in 1993. He currently serves as the business manager and licensed mortician. Cunningham’s youngest daughter, Ossie Prattsie, is a licensed funeral director and his brother Shelred is still a licensed mortician.