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About Us


Our History

We stand behind our reputation and will continue to serve our community with the values instilled by our funeral directors. Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is the former Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Directors. Opened in 1933, Reins-Sturdivant was the only funeral home in Watauga County. Richard Kelley was the first manager and later bought the business from Bill Sturdivant. Our original location was a two story white house on King Street where the First Baptist Church’s parking lot is currently located. The second location was on Blowing Rock Road; currently home to the Boone Police Department.

In 1975 Johnnie Austin, Carolyn Austin & Bill Laughridge purchased Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Directors from Maude Kelley. In 1987 Johnnie and Carolyn Austin became the sole owners of the business. Longtime employee Bob Barnes purchased a portion of the business and it was also in this year that we moved to our current location on Queen Street in Downtown Boone.

From 1933 to 1993, we operated as Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Directors. In 1993 we changed the name to Austin & Barnes Funeral Home to reflect our local ownership.

In January 2002, our founder Johnnie Austin passed away. We continue to operate and strive to move forward in service to the public as Johnnie would have done. We remain thankful for his leadership and vision in operating Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory.

In 2005, in order to better serve the needs of our community, we installed our own crematory. We are the only full-service funeral home and crematory in the High Country area. This allows us to assist families without having your loved ones’ remains transported out of town or out of state for cremation.

Our Service Area:

North Carolina: 

Boone, Blowing Rock, Foscoe, Todd, Deep Gap, Stony Fork, Meat Camp, Zionville, Vilas, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Elk Park, Fleetwood, Jefferson, West Jefferson, Lenoir, Linville, Newland, North Wilkesboro, Wilkesboro, Valle Crucis, Sugar Grove, Pineola, Hickory

Tennessee:

Mountain City, Johnson City

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