Memphis funeral home closes following assault on elderly owner - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Memphis funeral home closes following assault on elderly owner

One of the Mid-South's oldest funeral homes has closed following the brutal beating of its owner, 87-year-old Ceneta Qualls.

Qualls operated the S.W. Qualls Funeral Home on Vance for 40 years following the death of her husband, who founded the family business in 1916.

Qualls was alone in the funeral home last April when a robbery suspect kicked in the door and attacked the elderly woman.

Mrs. Qualls current condition is best described as recovering. Qualls now resides in a nursing home.

"Due to her injuries, she may not be able to continue to be daily active in keeping the business going, so it was a given that she was going to be in a nursing facility," said friend Adriana Harrison, who operates Harrison Funeral Home.

Harrison said she and her husband have been friends with Qualls for decades and Qualls has already started sending her clients over to the Harrison funeral Home.

"Mrs. Qualls is a lady of grace, very soft spoken, yet had the grace of giving funeral services that elegant touch," said Harrison.

Harrison said Qualls served as a role model for a number of African American women who have gone into the funeral business, and even in retirement Qualls will continue to inspire people in her profession to do their best.

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