Preparing for difficult times is Ed Selby’s specialty. As director of advance planning for Stuhr Funeral Home and Crematory, Selby helps ease the burden on families who have lost a loved one.
“People are planning their funerals ahead of time more and more because it makes sense to prepare for the inevitable,” said Selby. “It’s so much easier for the families when they don’t have to make tough decisions when they just lost someone.”
Selby and his wife Ginger have been in the funeral business all their lives. His great-grandfather was a mausoleum builder and his grandfather was a lawyer who bought a farm in Ohio to convert into a cemetery in 1928. Selby’s father then started a monument company at the same location and Ed and his brother founded a funeral home there in the 1980s.
“We’ve both been in the business forever,” said Selby about himself and his wife. Ginger Selby’s grandfather founded Dillard funeral home in Pickens, South Carolina, which she managed for many years.
The Selbys now work for Stuhr, the oldest and largest family-owned and operated funeral service provider in South Carolina. Stuhr began during the Civil War in 1865 and now has four funeral chapels, a crematory and cemetery in Mount Pleasant and Charleston.
“We create a comforting environment and treat people with kindness and courtesy and empathy,” said Selby. “There’s a good feeling that comes when you know you helped someone make a difficult time perhaps just a little bit easier.”
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the business because they can’t have visitations and funerals that are open to the public, according to Selby.
“We’ve had to limit the number of people who can attend services and that’s tough on the family members,” he said, “but it’s also tough on the funeral director who has to deliver that message.”
When the pandemic first hit, there were only 10 family members allowed at a service, and now 30 people can attend. Stuhr offers Zoom and other streaming services if desired by the family. “People have been inquiring more frequently about pre-planning because they are realizing their own mortality due to COVID,” said Selby.
The Selbys have lived on Daniel Island since 2006 and currently reside in the Pierce Park neighborhood. Ginger Selby and both of their children graduated from the College of Charleston. Selby says when their kids went away to college, they followed them.
“We came to Charleston on a whim one weekend to see where we might want to wind up,” said Selby. “That Saturday we visited Daniel Island for the first time and fell in love with it to the extent that we bought a townhouse that same day.”
Selby enjoys many Daniel Island activities from sailing and fishing on the waterways and exercising on the walking trails to playing tennis at LTP.
“I love the island’s beauty and its people; the friendliness,” said Selby. “I love to get out and jog and walk and there’s a lot of camaraderie out there with others doing the same thing.”
• Favorite Halloween candy: Snickers
• One thing you will never do: Skydive
• Dream car: Lexus LX 570
• Favorite local restaurant: Vespa
• Best water activity: Sailing
• Biggest pet peeve: Slow drivers in the passing lane
• If you could live anywhere in the world: Daniel Island