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Howard K. McComas IV, left, welcomes a host of local dignitaries and others gathered for the official opening of the new Celebration of Life Center, formerly the Kurtz Funeral Home at 1114 Baldwin Mill Road.
Howard K. McComas IV, left, welcomes a host of local dignitaries and others gathered for the official opening of the new Celebration of Life Center, formerly the Kurtz Funeral Home at 1114 Baldwin Mill Road. (Matt Button / The Aegis/Baltimore Sun Media)

More than 100 people gathered in Jarrettsville earlier this month for the official ribbon cutting of the McComas Celebration of Life Center at the former location of the Kurtz Funeral Home.

The McComas family, which has funeral homes in Abingdon and Bel Air, purchased the funeral home at 1114 Baldwin Mill Road in November 2018, after the Kurtz family decided to retire following 174 years in business.

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The Jarrettsville location is unique from McComas’ other funeral homes. While it offers traditional viewing and funeral services, the location also has the ability to offer catered receptions and other gatherings.

"This new, modern, spacious facility was designed to be a place for people to not only pay tribute to their loved one, but to gather onsite with family, friends and the community to share a meal or host a reception,” according to a news release.

The McComas Celebration of Life Center includes two large spaces, the chapel and the event area. The chapel can support up to 300 guests and the event area up to 150 guests. The Center is equipped with complete audio/visual capabilities, tables, chairs, catering preparation area, refreshment station and outdoor patio with seating.

In addition, McComas Commons, located adjacent to the Celebration of Life Center at 1118 Baldwin Mill Road, is home to the Family Arrangement Center where families can intimately meet with a licensed funeral director and staff to discuss services and offerings. This space also includes several office spaces available for lease to other local businesses interested in the area.

“In a world where businesses compete and fight for domination, it is very unusual for two businesses in the same industry to support and help one another. That has always been our relationship with the Kurtz family," owner Howard K. McComas IV said during the Nov. 6 ribbon cutting, where community members, business owners and elected officials toured the new location.

"We have shared resources, staff, hearses and facilities in an effort to achieve our most important goal; to provide the best care and support to the families we serve. It was only fitting that when Gladden and Ben Kurtz decided to retire from this profession, they looked to our family to purchase the location in order to continue the longstanding service to the community.”

Harford County Councilman Chad Shrodes said he expected the McComas’s new venture to be “an overwhelming success.”

County Executive Barry Glassman called the Celebration of Life Center a “one-of-a-kind facility that will offer so much to the citizens of our county.”

“We are excited to have a beautiful, new facility that celebrates all facets of life, not just the sad, but the happy, joyous occasions as well,” Glassman said. "The McComas family has served us for over two centuries and we could not be happier for them and their newest venture.”

McComas Funeral Home began in 1808 by Aaron McComas and has passed through six generations, now run by Howard IV and Holly McComas.

“At the core of what we do is to guide families through a very difficult time in their lives. We are here to comfort families during a loss as well as assist them to celebrate a life lived," Howard McComas IV said. "We believe each celebration should be as unique as the life lived. Our staff is here to guide and assist with all aspects of your celebration; from the first hello to the last goodbye. Thank you to everyone for coming out and celebrating with our staff and family and continuing to allow us to serve your families in their time of need.”

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