History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

Today's Summersett Funeral Home, Inc. began in 1904 as a furniture company; however, like many furniture companies during that period, they also sold caskets, embalmed and conducted funerals.

Mr. William Benjamin Summersett started the business which was originally located at 110 W. Innes Street. In 1907 the funeral business was separated from the furniture business by William's son, Thomas Walter Summersett, Sr. and moved to 128 N. Main Street. The funeral business operated under the name T.W. Summersett Undertaking Company.

In 1922 the business moved to 125 W. Council Street and in 1930 the business incorporated and became Summersett Funeral Home, Inc. In addition to operating as a funeral home, Summersett's also served Rowan County as an ambulance service.

In 1955 the funeral home moved to its current location at 1315 W. Innes Street complete with a new building and chapel. Enhancements were made to these facilities in 1965, 1976 and 1978. In 1990 the Summersett Memorial Chapel was built. 1998 ushered in another upgrade of the garage which also serves as a warehouse. The crematory as it stands today - was installed in 1999.
The business has remained in operation by the Summersett family since its beginning. In 1926 Thomas Walter Summersett, Jr. returned to his father's business as a licensed funeral director and embalmer as did his brother-in-law John Rusher. In 1941, son-in-law Donald Carter joined the staff. Later in 1982 Donald and Margaret Summersett Carter's youngest son, William Summersett (Summie) Carter joined the staff as a licensed funeral director.
The most recent family members to join the staff are Summie's daughter, Kristen Carter Barber who became a licensed funeral director in January of 2000 and his son, Staton Summersett Carter, who joined the staff in October 2005 and became a licensed funeral director in June of 2008. They are both the fifth generation of the Summersett family to participate in the business.


Our Valued Staff

William Summersett  Carter

William Summersett Carter, President / Funeral Director

William Summersett Carter, Summie is the fourth generation of family to work in the funeral business as a licensed funeral director, and a certified crematory operator. He is President of the Board of Directors. He has been with the funeral home since 1982. Summie is a graduate of Appalachian State University. He is an active member and past president of the Salisbury Civitan Club, president in 2001 and 2002 of the Salisbury-Rowan Merchants Association, a member of the Salisbury Sales & Marketing Executive Association, a 2001 board member of the Salisbury-Rowan Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Catawba Chiefs Board and President in 2004, and a member of the Rowan Regional Medical Center Foundation Board of Trustees. He and his wife Debbie, who also works at the funeral home, are members of First United Methodist Church of Salisbury. Summie is the youngest son of Margaret and Donald Carter.


Staton Summersett Carter

Staton Summersett Carter, Sec. Treasurer / Funeral Director

Staton Summersett Carter is the son of William Summersett and Debbie Carter. He is also a fifth generation family member in the funeral business, serving as a Funeral Director, certified crematory operator, and Secretary Treasurer on the Board of Directors. Staton is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a BA Degree in Communications, Public Relations and of Fayetteville Technical Community College. He began working at Summersett Funeral Home in the fall of 2005 and became a licensed funeral director in 2008. He has served as Vice President of the Cremation Association of North Carolina (CANC) and served on the Rowan County Parks and Recreation Foundation Board. Staton is a member of First United Methodist Church where he serves as Chairman of Church Trustees. Staton is married to Carrie Spencer Carter of Salisbury, who is a kindergarten teacher at Morgan Elementary School.


Kristen C.  Barber

Kristen C. Barber, Vice President / Funeral Director / Office Manager

Kristen Carter Barber is the fifth generation of family to work in the funeral business and is a licensed funeral director. She has been with the funeral home since 1997 part-time and became full-time in 1999 after graduating from Catawba College and Fayetteville Technical Community College. She is a member of First United Methodist Church of Salisbury, the Catawba Chiefs club, and is active with the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce as a member of the Leadership Rowan program. Kristen is also the Vice President of the Board of Director's of the funeral home. She is married to Dennis Barber and they have a daughter, Corbin, and a son Evan.


Paul E.  Hess

Paul E. Hess, Funeral Director / Embalmer

Paul Hess has been with Summersetts from 1977-1986 and from 1992 until the present. He became a licensed funeral director, a certified crematory operator and embalmer in 1976. He is a graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science. Paul is a member of the Salisbury Lions Club, the Samuel Spencer Chapter of National Railway Historic Society, and is a volunteer at the NC Transportation Museum. He has one son, Jonathan.


Frank W.  Kissell

Frank W. Kissell, Funeral Director / Embalmer

Frank Kissell joined the staff of Summersett Funeral Home in January 2001 as a part time funeral director and embalmer, and joined the staff full-time in 2004. He is a native of Michigan, and earned his Associate of Applied Science degree in Funeral Service Education from Fayetteville Technical Community College in 1993. Frank enjoys many hobbies. As a member of the NC State Beekeepers Association, honey production provides many hours of enjoyment. Custom rifle building is an art that Frank learned as a 1981 graduate of Montgomery Community College Gunsmithing Department. In 1986 Frank married the former, Renee Greene of Troy. Together they have one son, David, and a granddaughter.


Max Hayes

Max Hayes, Funeral Director / Embalmer

Rev. Max E. Hayes is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He began with Summersett in February 2007 and has a true passion in assisting the families we serve daily, not just in directing services, but also serving as a soloist, pianist and minister. Max graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Decatur, GA and also serves as Co-Pastor of The WAVE in Statesville, NC, with his sister.


Tim T.  McCowan

Tim T. McCowan, Funeral Assistant

Tim McCowan is a funeral director's assistant. He began working with Summersett Funeral Home, Inc. in 2002. In his spare time he enjoys playing guitar with his band, watching old movies, drawing, and painting.


Glenn C.  Taylor

Glenn C. Taylor, Funeral Assistant

Glenn Taylor is a native of Rowan County. Previously he owned and operated Taylor Tire and Automotive Inc. for 12 years. He has been past president of Rowan Business Alliance and is Past President of Salisbury Kiwanis Club. Glenn is a mason and a member of Fulton Lodge #99, the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, the Oasis Temple and Rowan Shrine Club. He is very active at First Baptist Church of Salisbury where he is currently serving as a deacon, chairman of the ushers, and chairman of Human Resource Committee.
Glenn is married to the former Kimberly Spohn of Columbus, Ohio. Together they have three children, Adam, Ben, and Brittany.


William Kiser

William Kiser, Funeral Assistant


David A.  Overcash

David A. Overcash, Maintenance