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About Us


Patron Funeral Homes & Crematory Kelly Kemp Braido has two Belmont County locations.  Coincidentally, each location is located on Main Street in Bethesda and Barnesville, Ohio.

Thomas Elwood McKisson was a Justice of the Peace, carpenter by trade, and an undertaker of Belmont, Ohio for many years.  When he became ill, his son, L.D. McKisson, a blacksmith by trade, took on his father's undertaking duties. Not caring for the undertaking business, L.D. returned to his trade of blacksmithing and also decided to operate a wagon making business.  He decided that he would sell his father's undertaking business to the rival undertaker after his father's death in 1889.  Rumor had it, the rival undertaker boasted he had run L.D. out of business.  Hearing this, L.D. decided not to sell to the rival undertaker.  L.D.  bought a new horse, took a refresher course in embalming, and earned his license. 

In the early years of funeral service, funeral directors were also cabinet/furniture makers; the same was true for George Kelly, the owner of his own furniture store, located in the Belmont, Ohio. George went into the funeral business with L.D. operating as McKisson & Kelly.  After L.D.'s death in 1947, the funeral home became Kelly Funeral Home.  In the 1950's, Starling Kemp partnered with George Kelly and the funeral home became, Kelly-Kemp Funeral Home, relocating in Bethesda, Ohio.  After George's death, Starling became the single owner and operator of Kelly-Kemp Funeral Home.  In the late 1960's, Starling purchased the Barr-Milnar Funeral Home in Morristown, Ohio, becoming the second Kelly-Kemp area location.    

Starling's son, Gary, entered into the funeral service, working along side his father.  Upon Starling's death in 1987, Gary took over the family business.  Joel Braido, longtime family friend of the Kemps, who had been affiliated with the funeral home from the time he was a young boy at the age of 12, where he began working, doing maintenance  and odd jobs at the funeral Home, became the new owner in 1997, as Gary moved on to new endeavors.  In 1999, the newest location of Kelly-Kemp-Braido Funeral Homes was built in Barnesville, Ohio.

On January 17, 2011, my lifelong dream of owning my own funeral home became a reality when my wife and I purchased Kelly-Kemp-Braido Funeral Homes in Bethesda, Morristown, and Barnesville.  In the spring of 2010, I was made aware that Joel Braido was interested in selling the funeral homes.  He, too, was ready for new endeavors.  After contacting Joel, the courting process began.  After several meetings and conversations, we were happy to learn we were considered "the perfect fit" to being the new owners.  We are grateful and blessed to be given this opportunity.

We provide a complete range of services and a caring staff to assist families and friends through a difficult time.  We have incorporated many new and personalized services in helping to memorialize your loved one.  It is a privilege to serve you in celebrating the life of your loved one. Our focus is on providing information, resources, and service to each family.  

We encourage families to think about prearrangement options.  This will ensure your wishes are carried out and relieves stress and decision-making for your loved ones when this time arrives.  We are available to assist you with making these decisions anytime.

It was not long before the people in this tight-knit community won our hearts and it has been our honor to serve these families during the most difficult time of their lives.  We are sincerely grateful to you for welcoming us into your family.  We believe community support and loyalty is the very foundation on which Kelly-Kemp Funeral Home was built.  This tradition will continue to be carried on with us, as the proud new owners of Patron Funeral Homes & Crematory Kelly Kemp Braido.  Be assured that all your needs will be taken care of.  Our belief is that we are all one in the eyes of God and we are here to do His work.

We invite you to stop in and visit with us.  A warm welcome awaits all!

Jim and Sue Patron

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