Clark & Norris Funeral Home celebrates fifth year anniversary
By Byler Henry
With the support of the community a business can flourish and thrive. When a Black owned business sets up in a Black community and strives to provide the community with the best service, we should continue to give them our ultimate support. Clark & Norris Funeral Home is one such business and they are celebrating their fifth-year anniversary this month. Nicholas B. Norris, Gabriel I. Clark, and Dawn D. Mallard are three individuals who have experience in the funeral home business. Although Nicholas and Gabriel grew up in Fort Lauderdale, they set up their business in Dania Beach because they did not want to directly compete with the funeral home they were previously employed by; however, they still wanted to be apart of the Black community. Under their previous employer, they have also gained much experience. “I think here within our area of south Florida in the African American community, we have some good mentors, people we can look up to as far as funeral service professionals. I attribute my love for the business growing up watching them do what they do.” Clark says recalling growing up attending lots of funerals in the Fort Lauderdale area.
What sets this funeral home apart is their passion for what they do and their belief that everyone deserves the best service no matter what kind. “I knew I wanted to work the funeral home business when I realized my purpose in life was to be a servant of the people and to help and assist people. I found myself assisting people in a lot of different areas in life, and this was the one that captured me.” Norris says, “This is a time when peoples’ lives have changed for the rest of their life when they lose a loved one, especially a close immediate loved one.” “To be able to be an aid to somebody in that time is unexplainable and is definitely a privilege for me to be able to help people in that way.” When you can care and have a passion for what you do, you will always put your best foot forward.
It’s always good to have a helping hand and a support system. “We are 100% independently owned and operated. What little we had we channeled to put together with the support of some family members. We’ve taken out no third-party loans of any kind to finance our business we are 100% self-financed.” Gabriel Clarke says about how they started. They thank God primarily because without him none of this would be possible, and also Mrs. Norris who had a hand in helping them secure donations in the beginning stages from her different doctors’ offices. “We owe a lot to her, because she stood in the gap for us a lot of times in the business.” Nicholas said about his mom. She was not only his mom, but a mom to those at Clark & Norris. She has believed in the vision and also has been a part of it.
When a community gets a business that clearly cares about the community the way Clark & Norris does, it is great for both sides. Five years and they are still going strong. As the Black community we should continue to help them flourish. How often do we get a business displaying this much passion and continuing to strive hard to give us the best service? How often does a business go the extra mile and give 110% every time? When a business which sets up in the community that it wants to be a part of, we must keep it there. A building can stand for years with the help of a solid foundation, and we as a community should act as the solid foundation. If the foundation is weak or there is no solid base to build upon, the building will fall. Sometimes during the fall Clark & Norris will be offering an event to celebrate their five years in business exclusively for the families that they have provided service for as a way to say thank you for choosing them. They have come far, but there still is room to grow. Congratulations to Clark & Norris and thank you for offering not only funeral services but also being a comfort to the families who have come to you, and deciding to offer your support to the families in their time of need.