Beckley couple travels to New York to assist overwhelmed funeral homes

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – Chris Besoui and his wife Heather, boarded a plane in Charleston on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.

They couple is on their way to the nation’s ground zero of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We feel a need to go and help,” Heather stressed.

Chris is the manager of Blue Ridge Funeral Home in Beckley, while Heather is a Crematory Operator at their sister location in Charleston. Both locations are owned by Service Corporation International.

The company operates several funeral parlors around the nation, but their New York locations are particularly overwhelmed as COVID-19 death tolls hit record numbers this week alone.

“Last I’ve heard the funeral home locations are running out of areas to place the deceased,” Chris added.

The two are joining more than 20 other SCI associates who volunteered to assist their colleagues at the company’s locations across New York state.

“We’ll be assisting with removal, dressing, casketing, embalming…if they need help in their crematory,” Heather said.

Due to social distancing mandates, the couple said they may also be helping families say their final farewells virtually.

“Whether it’s by a web-x or Facetime or even a service via Facebook live, we’ll do it,” Chris said.

They are prepared to endure some of the most trying days of their careers, but they told 59News they are eager to aid their brothers and sisters in the business.

“It’s just a calling we feel to help those people because they’ve been working around the clock,” Heather said.

The two are scheduled to return to West Virginia on April 17, 2020. They will quarantine for two weeks at home.

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