Kent Zechar honored for 50 years of funeral directing

GREENVILLE – Kent Zechar, of Zechar Bailey Funeral Home, was recently recognized by the Ohio Funeral Directors Association (OFDA) for 50 years of funeral director services. He received the award while attending the annual OFDA convention in Columbus.

Zechar received his Embalmer and Funeral Director license in 1974 and served his apprenticeship at the former Hoyne Funeral Homes in Dayton.

He moved back to Greenville in 1977 when he joined his father Byron, uncle Myron and brother Gary until Kent and Gary took over in 1979.

The Zechar’s merged with Joe Bailey in 1984 and formed Zechar Bailey Funeral Home in Greenville and Bailey Zechar Funeral Home in Versailles.

“We wanted to reverse the names at both locations to keep them identified from one other,” Kent said.

They moved the Greenville location in 1986 to their new facility at 1999 North Broadway, where it remains today.

Gary Zechar and Joe Bailey both retired in 1999. Kent then continued the operation of the funeral home with his son Phillip Pierri and nephew Greg Zechar. In 2010 Phillip transitioned into the managing role at both locations until 2018, at which time Greg took over as manager and remains in that position today.

“I missed Phillip when he left, but he made the best career move decision so he could focus more time on his family,” Kent stated.

Kent just turned 73 recently and when asked about thoughts of retirement, he said “I’m just not ready to retire.”

“I enjoy working with families and want to continue until I feel I’m ready to give that up,” Kent added.

“Over the last 50 years there have been some really tough funerals…especially young kids and personal family members,” he noted.

Kent has been a board member of several organizations, including the Darke Foundation, Darke County Center for the Arts (DCCA), DCCA Foundation and a former Board of Education for Saint Mary’s School in Greenville.

Kent and Nancy Zechar (Courtesy photo)

When he does decide to retire, Kent and his wife Nancy thought about spending more time out of the area, but with their family here in Darke County they want to be around to watch their grandkids grow up.

“Getting to see our grandkids grow up, playing sports and other activities is something I just don’t want to miss out on,” Kent said.

Congratulations to you Kent Zechar!