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History of Austin & Barnes

     Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory is the former Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Directors. Opened in 1933, Reins-Sturdivant was the only funeral home in Watauga County.

     Richard Kelley was the first manager and later bought the business from Bill Sturdivant. Our original location was a two story white house on King Street where the First Baptist Church’s parking lot is currently located. The second location was on Blowing Rock Road; currently home to the Boone Police Department.


     In 1975 Johnnie Austin, Carolyn Austin & Bill Laughridge purchased Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Directors from Maude Kelley. In 1987 Johnnie and Carolyn Austin became the sole owners of the business. Longtime employee Bob Barnes purchased a portion of the business and it was also in this year that we moved to our current location on Queen Street in Downtown Boone.

     From 1933 to 1993, we operated as Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Directors. In 1993 we changed the name to Austin & Barnes Funeral Home to reflect our local ownership.


     In January 2002, our founder Johnnie Austin passed away. We continue to operate and strive to move forward in service to the public as Johnnie would have done. We remain thankful for his leadership and vision in operating Austin & Barnes Funeral Home & Crematory.

     Over the years we have kept up with the many changes in funeral service and still offer the highest quality services and affordable prices. In keeping with that tradition, in August 2005, we expanded our business to include the first and only on-site crematory in the High Country area.

Our Service Area:

North Carolina:
Boone, Blowing Rock, Foscoe, Todd, Deep Gap, Stony Fork, Meat Camp, Zionville, Vilas, Banner Elk, Crossnore, Elk Park, Fleetwood, Jefferson, West Jefferson,  Lenoir, Linville, Newland, North Wilkesboro, Wilkesboro, Valle Crucis, Sugar Grove, Pineola, Hickory

Mountain City, Johnson City




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