February 26, 2014 - A longtime business in downtown Oxford is up for sale.
Huntoon Funeral Home (47 N. Washington St.) in downtown Oxford is for sale. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
Huntoon Funeral Home, located at 47 N. Washington St., is looking for a buyer.
"We're just testing the water – seeing if anybody out there is interested," said owner Bill Huntoon, who lives in Waterford.
A variety of factors influenced Huntoon's decision to put the property up for sale including the August 2012 death of his brother and business partner Robert Huntoon, the fact he owns another funeral home in Pontiac and his age.
"I'm 68 – I'm still going to have to get rid of it when I'm 78," he said.
Huntoon has owned the Oxford funeral since 1978.
He bought it from John Flumerfelt, who had been operating a funeral home there since 1956. Before going into business for himself, Flumerfelt had apprenticed in Pontiac with Huntoon's grandfather.
"It's only been up for sale for a week-and-a-half and I've got somebody coming (by) the first of the week to look at it," said Huntoon in a Feb. 20 interview.
The 4,500-square-foot, three-story, Victorian-style funeral home sits on a lot in the village's Central Business District.
It's zoned as C-1 Transition.
Some of the principal permitted uses for that zoning district include educational facilities, retail establishments, restaurants, bars and lounges, hotels, professional and medical offices, banks and credit unions without drive-through facilities, personal service establishments and residential dwellings.
Some of the uses allowed with special approval include bed-and-breakfast establishments, publicly-owned buildings, essential services, private indoor recreation facilities, theaters, arcades, outdoor cafes and seating, funeral homes, and banks and credit unions with drive-through facilities.
Looking back over his time in Oxford, Huntoon has nothing but fond memories of the town and its people.
"I love it," he said. "It's a great community. I've got lots of friends here. I've been an Oxford Rotarian for 31 years."
It was the late Bill Patterson, longtime pharmacist and Oakland County commissioner, who recruited Huntoon for the Rotary Club.
Huntoon can't believe how much the town's changed and expanded over the last 36 years.
"Everything up and down the M-24 corridor has grown," Huntoon said. "I wish I would have put land options on everything between here and Pontiac."
Back in the early 2000s, Huntoon was planning to do an expansion of his own by adding 10,000 square feet to the funeral home, plus an additional 60 parking spaces, but the project never came to fruition.
"It didn't go through because of the number of parking spaces," explained Kevin Stephison, business manager at the Huntoon Funeral Home. "It was going to cost more to put a parking lot in than put the addition on by the time we bought the (adjacent) houses, tore them down and did all the work."
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.