Funeral home that prepared Dr. King for burial celebrates 100 ye - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Funeral home that prepared Dr. King for burial celebrates 100 years

Lewis felt incredibly honored to be entrusted with Dr. King's body. When word spread, hundreds of people showed up at Lewis Funeral home for what became the first viewing and memorial service for the civil rights legend. (Source: WMC Action News 5) Lewis felt incredibly honored to be entrusted with Dr. King's body. When word spread, hundreds of people showed up at Lewis Funeral home for what became the first viewing and memorial service for the civil rights legend. (Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) – The funeral home where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s body was prepared after his assassination is celebrating 100 years.

R.S. Lewis and Sons Funeral Home, located on Vance Avenue, does much more than just help families during their time of grief.

Looking back over 100 years of service in Memphis, what sticks out in the mind of Andre Jones, director of operations, is the day Dr. King was assassinated on the balcony of Lorraine Motel.

"The first call came to Robert Lewis Jr.," Jones said. "When he was assassinated, and they asked him to prepare him to go back to Atlanta so that the family could properly have a home going service for Dr. King."

Jones says the founder of the funeral home, Lewis, Jr. worked about 13 hours to get Dr. King's body properly prepared.

"They actually had about 4,000 people plus to come through here to visit to pay their respects to Dr. King," Jones said.

Lewis then traveled along with the body to Atlanta and didn't charge the family a dime.

"Did everything for free," he added. "No charge at all."

Jones says that's the kind of man Lewis Jr. was.

Forty-six years later, R.S. Lewis and Sons Funeral Home is celebrating their legacy as the oldest operating funeral home in Memphis.

"Our service speaks for itself," Jones said. "You don't stay in business 100 years when you give poor service."

In addition to the services it provides, the funeral home gives out yearly scholarships.

"Mr. Lewis used to do this when the kids would get their report card. They would come here, he would give them $5 or $10 to help encourage them to keep going to school," explained Jones.

The funeral home started the three day-celebration by giving out backpacks filled with school supplies.

But before the weekend is over, a historical monument will be unveiled and a street will be named in honor of the founder, R.S. Lewis Jr.

Copyright 2014 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.

  • News on WMCTV.comNewsMore>>

  • Haslam to allow sanctuary cities bill to become law

    Haslam to allow sanctuary cities bill to become law

    Monday, May 21 2018 11:39 AM EDT2018-05-21 15:39:51 GMT
    Gov. Bill Haslam (Source: WMC Action News 5)Gov. Bill Haslam (Source: WMC Action News 5)
    Gov. Bill Haslam (Source: WMC Action News 5)Gov. Bill Haslam (Source: WMC Action News 5)

    Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday that he will not be signing the sanctuary cities bill passed by the Tennessee General Assembly last month, according to WSMV.

    More >>

    Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday that he will not be signing the sanctuary cities bill passed by the Tennessee General Assembly last month, according to WSMV.

    More >>
  • Best U.S. summer travel destinations

    Best U.S. summer travel destinations

    Monday, May 21 2018 10:05 AM EDT2018-05-21 14:05:08 GMT
    (Source: WalletHub)(Source: WalletHub)

    With summer approaching, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2018's Best Summer Travel Destinations. To help travelers plan the perfect summer getaway, WalletHub compared 100 metro areas in 40 different areas which are key indicators of budget- and fun-friendliness. The data set ranges from cost of the cheapest flight to number of attractions to average price of a two-person meal.   Top 10 Summer Travel Destinations Washington, DC Orlando, FL ...

    More >>

    With summer approaching, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2018's Best Summer Travel Destinations. To help travelers plan the perfect summer getaway, WalletHub compared 100 metro areas in 40 different areas which are key indicators of budget- and fun-friendliness. The data set ranges from cost of the cheapest flight to number of attractions to average price of a two-person meal.   Top 10 Summer Travel Destinations Washington, DC Orlando, FL ...

    More >>
  • VIDEO: Salon owner clings to car as customer leaves without paying

    VIDEO: Salon owner clings to car as customer leaves without paying

    Monday, May 21 2018 8:38 AM EDT2018-05-21 12:38:42 GMT
    (Source: Facebook)(Source: Facebook)

    A nail salon owner clung to the back of a car driven by an employee she said did not pay for her services.

    More >>

    A nail salon owner clung to the back of a car driven by an employee she said did not pay for her services.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
<div id="CDEV-footer"> <div class="top"> <div class="search-box"> <div class="wnSearchBox" id="WNSearchBox-bottom"><form method="get" onsubmit="return wnValidateSearchTerm(this,0)" action="/Global/searchresults.asp"><span>Can't Find Something? </span><input type="text" class="wnQueryText" name="qu" size="20" value="" placeholder="Search For It Here"><input type="submit" class="wnSubmit" value="Search"></form></div> </div> <div class="station-info"> <div class="logo"><img src="http://wmctv.images.worldnow.com/images/8801779_G.png" width="156" height="166" border="0" /></div> <div class="contact"> <div>1960 Union Avenue<br>Memphis, TN 38104</div> <div>(901) 726-0555</div> </div> <div class="fcc"> <div><a href="https://publicfiles.fcc.gov/tv-profile/wmc-tv">FCC Public File</a></div> <a href="mailto:publicfile@wmctv.com">publicfile@wmctv.com</a> <div>(901) 726-0501</div> <a href="http://ftpcontent4.worldnow.com/wmctv/2018_EEO_PUBLIC_FILE_REPORT_WMC.pdf">EEO Report</a> <a href="/story/14517371/closed-captioning-information">Closed Captioning</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="footer-main-nav"> <ul class="link-group"> <!--<li><a href="#">News Now Link</a></li> <li><a href="#">News Now Link</a></li> <li><a href="#">News Now Link</a></li> <li><a href="#">News Now Link</a></li>--> </ul> </div> <div class="news-link"> <ul class="link-group"> <li><a href="http://www.ktre.com/category/241993/texas-news-now">Texas News Now</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="bottom"> <div class="copyrightText"> <a id="wnLogo" href="http://www.worldnow.com"><img src="http://ftpcontent.worldnow.com/wncorp/logos/worldnow_white.png" id="wn"></a> <div class="text"> All content &copy; Copyright 2000 - 2018 Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our <a href="/story/8774923/privacy-policy">Privacy Policy</a>, and <a href="/story/8775106/terms-of-service">Terms of Service</a>, and <a class="adchoice" href="//www.aboutads.info/choices" target="policy">Ad Choices</a>. </div> <div class="clear"></div> </div> </div> </div>