History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our Valued Staff

Our History

Established in 1918 in downtown Ayden as Ayden Funeral Service by Mr. Ed Britt and Mr. Taylor.  After several years Mr. Taylor retired and the funeral home became Britt Funeral Service.  In 1963 the funeral home changed its name once again to Britt and Farmer Funeral Service after Jimmy Farmer joined the firm.  Over the next few years they relocated from the original downtown location to a new building on Second Street in 1969 and the business was renamed, Farmer Funeral Service. Tragically In March of 1984, the funeral home building was totally destroyed by a tornado and the current building was constructed on the same sight where it stands today.  In 1989 Mr. Farmer sold his interest in the funeral home to Ken Poe, a friend that shared his passion for caring for the people of Pitt and surrounding counties.

The funeral home has been owned for the past 25 years by Ken and Joy Joyner Poe and remains a family owned business as it has for the past almost 100 years.


Kenneth W.  Poe

Kenneth W. Poe, President / Owner

A North Carolina native and a licensed funeral director for over 37 years, a 1975 graduate of Wofford College and graduate of East Carolina University. A past President of the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association, Ken is also a member of the Rotary Club and United Methodist Church. He is a board member of The Salvation Army and Hospice and enjoys golf and boating. The grandson of two Southern Baptist ministers and the son of a distinguished attorney, public servant, and Christian activist, Ken loves caring for people in their time of greatest need. He enjoys feeling that he can make a difference. He and his wife, Joy J. Poe, formerly of Farmville, have two children, K. Warren Poe, Jr. and Thomas M. Poe and two grandsons Kenneth Warren (Tripp) Poe III and Wynn Andrew Poe.


Stacey  Frable

Stacey Frable, Manager

Stacey is originally from Pennsylvania and relocated to eastern NC in 2003 from Tucson, AZ. She attended Keystone College in La Plume, PA where she majored in Biology. Stacey is a 1997 graduate of Northampton Community College, where she earned an Associates in Applied Science degree in Funeral Service Education. She is a licensed funeral director and embalmer with over 17 years experience. Before entering the funeral industry, Stacey enjoyed working in the medical field as an EMT and CPR Instructor. Stacey attends Faith Assembly of God Church in Winterville and resides in Grifton with her husband Ken, where they are raising their three children. When she is not serving the families of eastern North Carolina, she enjoys riding her motorcycle and relaxing by the pool with her kids.


Larry  Mann

Larry Mann, Funeral Assistant

Larry is a native of Carteret County and relocated to Ayden, NC in 1996. He began working at the funeral home at that time. He attended Mt. Olive College and East Carolina University. He is currently pursuing a Funeral Directors license from Fayetteville Technical Community College and serving his apprenticeship at the funeral home. Larry, his wife, Tina and their two children reside in Ayden and are members at Rose Hill FWB Church. Larry also maintains his own lawn care business and is an avid tennis player.


C. Ray  Rouse

C. Ray Rouse, Funeral Director Emeritus

Carlton Ray Rouse has been a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer since 1965. He is a graduate of Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, OH. Ray is a native of Pitt Co., NC and grew up in Greene Co. Ray began his funeral career in 1962 at Britt Funeral Service, under the direction of Mr. Jimmie Farmer. He went on to retired from Burroughs Wellcome Pharmaceuticals in 1995 and the US Army Reserves as a First Sergeant. He then returned full-time to Farmer Funeral Service to fulfill his dream of helping families in their time of need. Ray is a member of Ayden United Methodist Church and Ayden Masonic Lodge, where he served as past master. Ray and his wife, Carolyn reside in Ayden and enjoy spending time with their three children and eight grandchildren, as well as visiting the beach.


Bob  Hewlett

Bob Hewlett, Assistant

As a native of Fairfax, VA, Bob has worked in the printing industry for over 40 years in the Washington, DC area. As a child he rode his bike through Arlington Nat'l Cemetery on a regular basis, which sparked an interest in him that would come to fruition many years later in his life. After retiring and relocating to Greenville, NC with his wife, Christine, he began his own lawn care business. Recalling his earlier years in the cemetery, Bob thought the funeral industry would be fulfilling for him and joined the staff at Farmer's in 2005. He very much enjoys meeting and talking to people and hopes that in some way he is able to help a family in their time of sorrow. Bob and Christine have two children, two grandchildren and enjoy visiting family in Virginia and watching Washington Nationals baseball games.