Kennedale Chamber: Meet Your Neighbor: Zach Carnley

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The following is part of an article written by the Kennedale Chamber of Commerce 2/24/16 see full article at


The Kennedale Area

Chamber of Commerce would like to introduce you to Zach Carnley, General Manager at Emerald Hills Funeral Home and current Chamber member. {{more:[read more]}}

Tell us about yourself …
I grew up in small town in Central Texas called Lampassas. I majored in Criminal Justice at Stephen F Austin University, where I started working part time at a funeral home simply because I needed a job, but quickly discovered I really had a passion for the industry. After graduation, I went to Mortuary school in Dallas where I was Valedictorian of my class. I?ve been married to my wife Courtney, who teaches Kindergarten, for 6 years, and we live in the Mansfield area with our two sons; four year old Myles and nine month old Owen. What free time I have is pretty much spent with the family; coaching my son?s t-ball team or just hanging out together.

I am and always have been a die-hard Texas Rangers fan.. already counting down the days until opening day!


What do you like about the Kennedale area?

Kennedale just reminds me of my home town, it?s a tight knit community where you see same friendly faces around town and really get to know people. I like being somewhere that the people enjoy spending time together, like supporting the school sports team and city events. We?ve been encouraged by turnout at some of our recent events, like a Fall Festival and Christmas candlelight ceremony, where the large crowds are making us feel like we?re not just members of, but a part of the community. We understand that honoring your loved one?s life doesn?t end after the service, so we?re happy to bring ways for families to come together in their honor year round, and we want everyone in the area to know we?re here to help make that happen.
Tell us about your business …


Hills is a full service funeral home offering cremation and all above and below ground internment options, as well as memorial service programs. Right now we have 7 full time employees and 3 part time assistants. The cemetery itself has been here in Kennedale since 1907, and the funeral home opened in 1987.

The biggest change is that we just recently went from being part of a large corporate commodity to a small, independently owned facility. That?s really huge, especially in this industry, because it means we can make more decisions on our own, do what?s best for the community and especially a more personalized meaningful service for each family.

Why did you choose this industry?
Honestly, I just needed a job. A friend of mine in college got me hooked up at a funeral home in Nacogdoches, which was only supposed to be a part time thing to pay the bills. But the more I worked there, and got involved with services and meeting the families, I just got really passionate about it.
Everyone loves to joke, but it?s really not anything dark or twisty. I look at it as the ultimate service; we get to be there for people in some of their darkest times, help them recognize and celebrate their cherished loved ones, and make what could be the worst few days of their life a little better, maybe even great. I?ve always considered myself a people person, and what greater honor could there be than to help others in the ultimate time of need?
I know it sounds totally clich?, but we are 100% committee to helping each family get to a better place than they were when they walked through our doors. To help start the healing process, and be there for them both before and after the service. Death is, quite frankly, a big part of life. My job is to make it less scary and less overwhelming. I?m on call seven days a week, and have heard every request you could ever imagine (and more!) but I love being able to help the families navigate this process.
What are your goals for your business in the next year?
Our ultimate goal is to be recognized as the top choice for funeral and burial services in area. I know it?s a strange thing to talk about, and it makes people uncomfortable at times, but this service is a necessity for people of all backgrounds and walks of life; even if you don?t want to think about it, you?ll have to eventually. We want to be the ones you think of first, not just because we?re down the street but because we?re a part of the community and are truly working around the clock to take care of each and every family as if it were our own.
Zach Carnley, General Manager Emerald Hills Funeral Home, 500 Kennedale Sublett Road, Kennedale, TX 76060

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