Family First Funeral Homes & Cremation Care is a privately-held firm with core competencies in the acquisition, development, management, and long-term ownership of Funeral Homes and Cremation Care locations throughout Maine and is looking to grow throughout the Northeast. We are honored to get to help families by honoring their loved ones and understanding the importance of providing people with genuine support.
Jeffrey A. Forsythe
Jeff Forsythe often has to help his clients through some of the worst days of their lives. To be able to help families through their hardest times is one of the most rewarding jobs you can do is Jeff’s belief.
Jeff grew up in Fairfield, he left home at age 15 after his parents divorced and moved to Portland, where he supported himself working on the Portland fish docks and renting a room at the YMCA for $7 per week.
In Portland, Jeff met his future wife, Rhonda, and they eventually moved back to central Maine in 1987. He worked at Zimba Corp. and PepsiCo. while attending Thomas College and the University of Maine at Augusta.
Around that time Jeff also met his mentors Ed and Marilyn Gaunce, who at the time were co-owners of Lawry Brothers Funeral Home in Fairfield. He started working for them part time, and the Gaunces helped Jeff with his writing and communication skills.
In 1990 Jeff decided to go to mortuary school and enrolled in the New England Institute of Mortuary Science at Mount Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts, where he graduated in 1992.
Jeff wanted to do something where he could help the community, it didn’t seem like a job to him. He just enjoyed helping people, and it was something that was not only a career for himself, but it was returning a favor to people who helped him through his childhood.
Jeff became manager of Lawry Brothers in 1995 and took over ownership in 1999.
Since then, he has acquired Wheeler Funeral Home, in Oakland; Knowlton & Hewins Funeral Home, in Augusta; Roberts Funeral Home, in Winthrop; Staples Funeral Home, in Gardiner; and Stetson’s Funeral Home, in Brunswick.
Together they’re known as Family First Funeral Homes & Cremation Care.
Jeff was named the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce 2018 Business Person of the Year for his continued dedication and service to the Central Maine Community.
Chief Operating OfficerRead More
Justin K. Richardson
Chief Operating Officer
Justin Richardson is the Chief Operating Officer at Family First Funeral Homes & Cremation Care. He has been involved in every aspect of the funeral business firsthand from A to Z. Justin’s responsibilities entail the operations within the business as well as future acquisitions. Along with his daily responsibilities he is also in charge of finding new and innovative ways to streamline the firms’ operations.
Before Jeff approached Justin in 2014 to come work for him in the funeral industry, Justin was a personal trainer, part owner and operator of two premier fitness facilities in central Maine. These premier fitness facilities were some of the first 24-hour fitness facilities in central Maine. These facilities offered state of the art equipment as well as one on one and group training. Through training Justin was able to put his Bachelor in Exercise Science Degree and knowledge with injury prevention, rehab, and sports performance to use.
Justin has always had an entrepreneur mind set. His never give up attitude and his standard of excellence, is what sets him apart. He has an amazing ability to look at all situations from different angles and truly understands that every decision and action will have a different reaction and outcome. It is these abilities that have helped Justin have tremendous growth in the businesses he's been involved in. Justin wants and enjoys being part of the solution, the process, the beginning, the middle, and the end. Having the ability to help build two completely different businesses from the ground up and at a young age truly shows Justin's versatility in business and his ability to work as a team with others. Doing something half -way is just not going to work for Justin. He has an “all-in” mentality and is willing to blaze the trail and not feel the pressure to do it "the way it has always been done.”
When not at work, Justin resides in Sidney with his wife Hannah, daughter Kayda, son Bentley, and their dog Apollo. He enjoys spending time with his family, exercising, sports, and many outdoor activities. He is also heavily involved with his local church where he and his wife are involved in the children's programs and Justin speaks on occasion when the Pastor is away.
Chief Financial OfficerRead More
Chief Financial Officer
Wayne Durrett is the Chief Financial Officer at Family First Funeral Homes & Cremation Care.
He has been involved in the financial management actions, and his primary responsibilities include financial reporting, forecasting, managing cash flows, and capital structuring for acquisitions.
Before joining Family First, Wayne worked as a Manager at a regional public accounting firm performing financial statement audits and helping clients implement and maintain efficient and accurate accounting practices. Wayne graduated Florida State University with a (BS) in Accounting and also Finance. Wayne is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Florida.
When not at work, Wayne enjoys spending time with his wife Jill, daughter Parker, and son Andrew. His hobbies include exercising, soccer, and fishing.