Established in 1924, Roy Gilbert Obaugh opened Obaugh Funeral Home, recognizing the need for funeral services offering motorized
vehicles, embalming capabilities, manufactured caskets and vaults, as well as a location to conduct viewings, all of which had previously
been unavailable to the community. In conjunction with the funeral service, Roy provided an ambulance service which remained the
county’s sole means of emergency transportation until the establishment of the Highland County Rescue Squad in 1963. Initially, Roy,
with the help of his wife, Myrtle (Flesher) Obaugh, built and conducted business from a simple two room building next to their home on the
family farm north of McDowell. This building would serve as the funeral home to the community for the next 25 years until 1949, when Roy
purchased property in McDowell and moved the funeral home’s operations. Once in McDowell, Roy began to expand; building a four-bay
garage, purchasing additional equipment, vehicles, and began to operate under the name Obaugh & Son having incorporated his son,
William, into the business. Myrtle diligently conducted the bookkeeping and secretarial duties for the business until her passing in 1955.
Roy continued to provide funeral and ambulance services in Highland County and portions of Pendleton County, WV, until his death on
October 27, 1966 at the age of 77. He was survived by his second wife, Claudine (Knicely) Simmons Obaugh, who continued to assist at
the funeral home for years to come.
After Roy’s passing, William “Bill” Obaugh ensured the business’ continuance by suspending operations of his excavation business and
placing his focus on the funeral home and family farm. Bill conducted business in much the same manner as his parents by working
alongside his wife, Wilma (Hodge) Obaugh. Almost immediately, they undertook an extensive expansion of the business’ facilities. The
initial phase of the project began with the conversion of the business’ garage into the main building of operations, complete with viewing
rooms, restrooms, lobby area, and office. Adjacent properties from the Swadley and Rogers families were also acquired and soon
thereafter the second and final phase of construction began. With the help of his family, friends, and area contractors, Bill would see the
project come to a close in the fall of 1973, having added a chapel, expanded lobby, family room, embalming room, garage, and parking
area. In addition to the building, services were also heightened that year when his son, G.W. Obaugh, returned from school to work as a
licensed director and the first on-site embalmer, marking the first time complete services would occur at one location. Over the following
23 years, Bill continued to operate his family farm as well as manage the funeral home with Wilma until his passing January 1, 1996 at the
age of 68. Bill took great pride in his community and attributed his concern and adoration for the people of Highland County and
surrounding areas as motivation behind building Obaugh Funeral Home to what it is today. After his passing, Wilma continued to oversee
operations until her son, G.W., assumed the role of manager in the summer of 1998.
As manager, G.W. Obaugh set forth to maintain the long established principles of the funeral home while incorporating his own attention
to detail and knowledge of the trade into the services and day-to-day operations. Firstly, G.W. recognized the need to expand the
business’ selection room and oversaw renovation in 1999. Soon thereafter construction began of a new office suitable for a full-time staff
and modern office equipment. The construction was completed in 2001 and coincided with his son, Bryan S. Obaugh, joining him as a
licensed director. Together, they have worked to expand services into the new millennia through new technologies and practices,
ensuring that the needs, customs, and desires of all client families can be fulfilled.
The tradition of Obaugh Funeral Home’s service to Highland County and neighboring communities continues still today. Our family and
staff have been privileged with the opportunity to serve so many wonderful families throughout the years and we remain profoundly
grateful for your support. Additionally, no history would be complete without acknowledging the many staff members that have given of
themselves, for they have truly been our greatest asset. Today, Obaugh Funeral Home looks very different than when Roy opened his
doors. Though many of the faces have changed, we remain a family owned and operated business committed to serving the community
with dignity and compassionate care for years to come.