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Two funeral homes weld operations; Hook closes
By WILMA NORTON
© St. Petersburg Times, published July 22, 2000
SEMINOLE -- Hook Funeral Home, a Seminole institution since 1966, has been purchased by E. James Reese Funeral Home and Crematory, the city's second-oldest funeral business.
The Hook Funeral Home at 11110 70th Ave. N closed Thursday night and turned all its business assets over to Reese, which is a few blocks away at 6767 Seminole Blvd.
Michael Hook, a former mayoral candidate who had been operating the funeral home with his mother since his father, Raymond Hook, died in 1994, now will work for Reese.
E. James Reese III said the two businesses had been talking about a merger for a long time.
Hook "had gotten to the point where he wanted more free time," Reese said. The Reese funeral home has a larger staff who rotate being on call. Hook had been the sole mortician at his funeral home.
"He won't have as structured of a schedule here," Reese said. "It was the right time in his life and our life."
Hook's children are aspiring actors and often travel for work. Hook also was a candidate for mayor two years ago, narrowly losing to Mayor Dottie Reeder.
Reese Funeral Home, which opened in 1970 and added a crematory in 1986, will honor all prepaid funeral contracts held by Hook, Reese said.
"They used the same trust fund we use, and we get our merchandise from the same suppliers," Reese said. "The only difference will be that families will have their services at a different location."
The former Hook Funeral Home property will be sold, Reese said.
© St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.