Many years ago, Dale Wassermann, an inspired author, wrote, “He who attempts the absurd may achieve the impossible.” In retrospect, these words seem totally appropriate when reflecting on the beginning history of Metropolitan Funeral Service.
In the early 1950’s, a gifted young man, carrying a box filled with the tools of his trade, could be seen repairing televisions throughout the Tidewater area. However, there was a void in his life because of an overwhelming desire to open a funeral home.
His dream seemed almost impossible because he lacked the necessary funds and expertise for such a venture. One day, he approached his mother Ethel Alexander, his aunt, Belver Veale for financial assistance for his endeavor. He shared his business vision with William T. Haskins, who was gainfully employed by the Government and working as a funeral director with a local funeral home. After three visits, he convinced Mr. Haskins to form the partnership. Even though his idea was not readily accepted, the young man was diligent in the pursuit of his dream. Thus, on June 26, 1966, David “Dave” Alexander and Mr. William Thomas Haskins started Metropolitan Funeral Home at 927 E. Liberty Street, in the Berkley Section of Norfolk, Virginia.
Three years later, on March 7, 1969, the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority acquired the property and Metropolitan Funeral Home relocated to 122 E. Berkley Avenue, where it still operates.
Dave Alexander passed away in 1992 and Kenneth C. Alexander assumed responsibilities for the business. Kenny Alexander later purchased the First Church of Christ property on Granby Street for a second location and restoration began August 1998 and was completed with a Grand Opening in August 1999. The renovated property includes a Chapel with seating capacity of over 450; a 2800 square foot Great Room, Family Rooms, a Rotunda, Courtyard and Conference Rooms.
In December 2006, final plans were in place for the new Berkley Avenue location, which will be known as 120 W. Berkley Avenue. With this location will Kenny Alexander also include a Chapel, a Great Room, Family Rooms, an Atrium, Conference Rooms and state of the art computerized DVD family presentations. A projected grand opening will be October 2007.
Dave Alexander, the visionary, was willing to “climb every mountain” until he realized his dream. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us his successors, to carry on the legacy by providing that there is no such thing as an “impossible dream."