Thacker Caskets announces the retirement of the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Audrey Thacker. Audrey’s career with Thacker Caskets has truly been remarkable, as she began her involvement with the company in 1959 when she and Carl C. Thacker, founder of Old Dominion Casket Company (later renamed Thacker Caskets), got married.
Audrey was no stranger to the industry though, as she met Carl through her work at Casket Shells, Inc. Audrey immediately began working with Carl following their marriage and became an integral part of Thacker Caskets. In 1981, Carl C. Thacker passed away and Audrey suddenly found herself at the helm of Thacker Caskets with her son, Carl “CJ” Thacker, who just graduated high school. There was no doubt that Audrey would want to continue building Thacker Caskets, she said, “It was the only thing I had ever done, and it never really crossed my mind to pursue anything different. We both wanted to carry on Carl’s legacy.” At the time, Audrey was the only female owner of a casket company.
Being the only female in an industry dominated by men was not an easy feat. However, Audrey did not let that deter her and she was able to prosper with her son by her side. Once called the Matriarch of the Industry by American Funeral Director Magazine, Audrey’s impact has been astronomical, and she truly has epitomized the definition of leadership over the years. Today, Thacker Caskets is the third-largest funeral supply company in the country and the largest family-owned funeral supply company.
CJ Thacker, Audrey’s son and CEO of Thacker Caskets, is thankful for the opportunity to build a business with his mother, “Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a part of the family business and we went through some very difficult times together with the loss of my father. To be able to persevere and expand and grow Thacker Caskets with my mother, and then with my children is something I will be forever grateful for. I am very fortunate to have all three of my children working within the business and I know my mom had a big influence on their decision to be a part of the company through watching her hard work, dedication, and love for the business throughout their childhood and into adulthood.”
Danielle Thacker, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Audrey’s granddaughter said, “My grandmother showed an incredible amount of fortitude in taking the helm in the late ’70s and early ’80s as the only female owner of a casket company. Having three girls myself, I can only hope my girls grow up to be as strong, bold, and courageous as their great-grandmother. Her commitment to the industry has been longstanding, but her bittersweet retirement is well deserved!”
Justin Thacker, Director of Operations and Audrey’s grandson fondly recalls the lessons he has learned working with his grandmother, “Audrey, my grandmother, has always been an inspiration to me in both my personal and business life. Throughout her career, she has dedicated herself to the success of the business and more importantly to the customers that we serve. As I have grown in the business, she afforded me the opportunity to make my own decisions, which has helped me immensely. No other woman in the industry has accomplished what Audrey has, and she made it happen with hard work and dedication to every facet of the business.”
Reflecting on her grandmother’s perseverance and impact on the industry, Sara Thacker, Director of Operations and IT, said, “My grandmother is a businessperson through and through and that was clear from my first summer working. Anyone that has worked with her would agree that her persistence and grit to get the job done, and done correctly, is paramount. Although I do not think she realized it, those qualities were essential when looking back at all the challenges and hurdles she had to overcome over the years.”
Thacker Caskets owes its very existence to Audrey and her strong determination in the face of extremely difficult conditions. Audrey’s retirement is bittersweet for Thacker, as they are delighted for her to enjoy her retirement, yet saddened to lose the expertise, knowledge, and wisdom that she brought to the office every day. Audrey still plans on visiting Thacker’s headquarters in Monrovia, MD, and will stay up to date on internal current happenings. Thacker Caskets would like to sincerely thank Audrey for her loyalty throughout the years, to both Thacker and the entire industry.
Thacker Caskets is the funeral industry’s leading family-owned funeral supply company. To learn more about Thacker, please call 800.637.8891 or visit www.thackercaskets.com.