||James H. Cole Jr.
For more than 90 years, families in the Detroit community have turned to the James H. Cole Home for Funerals for the finest in funeral services. From the beginning this family-owned and family-operated business has been dedicated to serving the families in the Detroit community with the highest standards of professionalism, dedication, compassion and affordability.
In 1919, James H. Cole, Sr. launched an undertaking business on the lower east side of Detroit on St. Aubin, in an area commonly known as the “Black Bottom.”
Founded on the family’s successful investments in real estate and an extensive livery stable, the move into undertaking and funeral services proved to be a natural fit for James H. Cole Sr. and his future generations.
Building on the family’s strong foundation of compassion and service to the community, the business grew and moved several times over the next several decades – first to 446 East Warren in the early 1930s – before settling into its final location on West Grand Boulevard in 1962. In June of 1982, due to business growth, the West Grand office was moved next door to its current flagship site at 2624 West Grand Boulevard.
The company has addressed the need for funeral services in Detroit’s northwest neighborhoods with the addition of a second chapel at Puritan and Schaefer.
By the early 1950s, James H. Cole, was joined by his son – James H. Cole, Jr. – who became a licensed mortician and under the direction of James Jr., the business thrived and continued to set the standard for funeral service in the Detroit community. Karla M. Cole Green, the youngest daughter of James H. Cole, Jr., began working at the funeral home in 1975, graduated from Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science and became a licensed mortician in 1979.
Karla continued to steer the direction of the business and strengthen its place as a Detroit landmark in funeral service. Karla’s son, Antonio Green, received his undergraduate degree from Bowling Green State University and continued the family’s historic legacy earning his license of Mortuary Science from Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in 2007. He initiated the fourth generation to continue the Cole family’s history of service to the Detroit community. Joining him in his dedication to the family’s legacy, Karla’s youngest son, Brice Green, began working for the company in 2007 as the headstone counselor. By launching this venture it initiated a new service to the family’s business. After finishing his Pre-Mortuary Science studies at Eastern Michigan University, he followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, James H. Cole, Jr., by graduating from Wayne State University’s School of Mortuary Science in 2013.
Today, James H. Cole Home for Funerals is the oldest Black-owned funeral home in the city of Detroit.
James H. Cole Home for Funerals Inc. has been dedicated to building a legacy of professionalism, dedication, compassion and affordability in the Detroit community. Our family business is proud to serve the families of Detroit with the dignity and compassion that is our heritage, while constantly improving our services and products to the highest standards of the funeral service industry. Our reputation, our history and our legacy strengthens our commitment to the thousands of families we serve year after year.
- 1919 - James H. Cole, Sr. establishes James H. Cole Home for Funerals
- 1950 - James H. Cole, Jr. receives his license of Mortuary Science and joins his father in serving the greater Detroit community
- 1967 - The funeral home became incorporated as a business with the state of Michigan
- 1970 - James H. Cole, Sr. passes into death, and his son succeeds him as President of the company
- 1979 - Karla M. Cole receives her license of Mortuary Science, assuring a third generation of Coles at the family-owned funeral home
- 1991 - James H. Cole Jr. passes into death, and his daughter, Karla Cole, becomes President
- 2007 - Karla Cole Green’s eldest son, Antonio Green, receives his license of Mortuary Science, launching a fourth generation in the family business
- 2007 – Brice Green, Karla’s youngest son, enters the business under the role of headstone counselor
Our Awards, Accomplishments and Memberships
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People"Lifetime Member" Award
- 1980 - Golden Year Award presented by the Booker T. Washington Business Men's Association
- 1995 - “Business of the Year” Award 1995
- 1999 - "Keep the Dream Alive Award" to Karla Cole from St. Anthony’s Church
- 2001 - Business Recognition Heritage Award presented by the Detroit Tricentennial Committee
- 2008 - Spirit of Detroit Appreciation Award to James H. Cole Home for Funerals
- 2009 - "Outstanding Community Involvement" to Karla M. Cole from Sacred Heart Church
- Recipient of The 100 Black Women in Funeral Service Award 2009 Presidents Award to the James H. Cole Home for Funerals