Staff Directory

Once you request the services of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service & Crematory, we will immediately put our experienced professionals to work for you. A single, dedicated individual will stay in contact with you every step of the way. He or she will carefully explain your options, make recommendations, take care of all the small details, and ensure that you and your family’s personal touch is always present.

 Our Care Team


 Mark T. Higgins
President

Mark Higgins happened upon funeral service as a college freshman when hired by a local funeral home to work with their ambulance service. Following graduation from Hope College in Holland, Michigan, he completed his internship in Greensboro and formal training at Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. After returning to Greensboro for a year, Mark joined the staff of National Selected Morticians, the premier Int'l funeral trade association based in Evanston, Illinois. He spent 10 years as a consultant and marketing director. In 1992, Mark purchased the majority interest in Hall-Wynne. 

A frequent presenter on End of Life issues, Mark regularly conducts programs in the community, including Duke Divinity School, area churches, Hospice groups and Duke Hospital’s CPE program. He is a parishioner of Immaculate Conception Church, where he is a cantor and lector, and is a member of Durham Rotary Club. Mark is fluent in Spanish and has a heart for the Latino community. He is a devotee of art history, enjoys exercise, travel, learning to play the hammer dulcimer and zipping about town on “Zorro”, his motor scooter. 

“I am awe-struck by the profound occasions my co-workers and I are given to enter people’s lives in the midst of crisis – to help them search for meaning around the mystery of death and to offer vital support. Funeral Service is a sublime and sacred vocation, deeply satisfying as we help others come to terms with loss and impart some sense of hope.”


Michael J. O'Connor
Vice President - Operations

Michael O’Connor joined Hall-Wynne in 1999 soon after graduating from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. Funeral service is not only a second career for Mike, but a vocation as well. A 1977 graduate of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, where Mike was born and raised, he spent 16 years with Rockwell International Corp. working in the aerospace industry in Los Angeles. He was introduced to funeral service in high school while working for his uncle, who operated two locations in Pittsburgh. Mike then discovered a deep passion to help others during difficult times. When the routine of corporate life became mundane, it was an easy decision for him to enter funeral service. Mike became a stockholder of Hall-Wynne in 2005.

Mike enjoys aerobic training and spinning classes. An avid reader who enjoys travel when schedule permits, Mike is a devoted Pittsburgh Steelers and Duke Basketball fan. He and his wife, Wendy, have two children, Brian and Katie. Mike is a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and the Durham Kiwanis Club. 

"Establishing trust, connecting with people and exceeding expectations are key ingredients in making a family feel “well-cared for” throughout the entire experience. Funeral service is unique in the sense that every Hall-Wynne staff member has the ability to form a long-lasting relationship friendship with a family who just a few days earlier might have been a complete stranger.”


Nancy Buttry Sparrow
Office Manager

Nancy Buttry Sparrow is a Durham native. She graduated from Southern High School and completed her funeral directing education at Fayetteville Tech. She has been with Hall-Wynne since 1995, receiving her funeral directing license in 2002. Nancy is married to Lee Sparrow and lives in Chapel Hill with their two children. She is a member of Orange United Methodist Church. 

“I consider myself lucky because I’ve discovered not only who I am but where I’m supposed to be. My life’s been led by the overwhelming desire to help others, something I did not fully understand until I began working at Hall-Wynne. That satisfaction continues to reinforce I’m in the right place.”

 
Justin R. Boone
Funeral Director

Justin Boone joined the staff of Hall-Wynne in Durham in August of 2009. A native of Rutherford County he is a graduate of Fayetteville Technical Community College’s funeral service program. Justin is a member of Grey Stone Baptist Church, through which he has generously voluntered his time on several mission trips to Haiti.  He is a member of the Exchange Club of Greater Durham. Justin values time spent with his wife, Dr. Allison Boone, a large-animal veterinarian, enjoys the outdoors and playing piano.

“I’ve always wanted to work with people, and can’t imagine doing anything I’d love more than exactly what I do now”


Robert A. Prindiville
Funeral Director

Bob Prindiville joined the Hall-Wynne staff in 2013. A native of New York, his extensive funeral experience dates to 1988 with other privately-owned firms in New York State. A North Carolina resident since 2011, Bob and his wife, Beth Anne, also a funeral service practitioner, are communicants of St. Catherine Siena Catholic Church. Bob is an avid golfer, enjoys hockey, football and college basketball.

"To ease and help a client family through a difficult time has been not only a career but my calling."


C. Michael Poole
Funeral Director

Mike Poole is a Durham native who was raised in East Durham. A graduate of Southern High School, Mike took a job out of school with Hall-Wynne, being groomed under the legendary Jesse Barnes. He returned to Hall-Wynne after training at Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He served on Durham’s city council, is a member of Durham Lions Club, Masonic Lodge #352 A.F. & A.M., Southgate Chapter 177, O.E.S., the American Society of Embalmers, and is a member of Durham Memorial Baptist Church. He is married to Marilyn Poole, and is the proud father of two daughters and two grandsons. Mike is an accomplished vocalist of Southern Gospel music and appears frequently in performances throughout the community. 

“I’ve always thought of my career in funeral service as a ministry. I have been honored to have served thousands of family in my years of service at Hall-Wynne.”


Shelton Ennis
Funeral Director

Louis Shelton Ennis was born and raised on a farm outside Coats, NC in Harnett Co., and one of eight siblings. After graduation from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Nashville, he started with Mitchell Funeral Home in Raleigh prior to joining Hall-Wynne in 1957. Shelton was a long-time stockholder of Hall-Wynne, and has remained active to this day, caring for countless families he knows in the community and providing valuable guidance to the company's leadership as sage and "father confessor." A devoted member of the Durham Exchange Club, Shelton has worked tirelessly in support of Exchange Club Industries and Durham's Child Abuse Prevention Center. He is a member of First Baptist Church and is married to Winnie Ennis, retired loan officer of Central Carolina Bank.

"I am devoted to my chosen profession and have always strived to care for people with dignity, respect and compassion."

 
Gene Bobbitt
Accountant
& Service Associate

Eugene S. Bobbitt is a well-known Durham native who spent 33 years as Director of Advertising for the Herald-Sun newspaper. He served as President of Friendly North State Sertoma Club, Chairman of the Durham Amateur Golf Tournament, the Board of Directors for Durham Sales & Marketing, President of the Herald-Sun Credit Union, and President/Board of Directors of the Mid-Atlantic Newspaper Advertising & Marketing Executives Association, a six state newspaper management organization, and received an Honorary Life Membership for his long term service and accomplishments to the organization.

He joined the Hall-Wynne staff in 2003 as the company’s in-house accountant and funeral service associate. Gene became operating manager of the crematory upon its construction in 2009. He also serves on the company’s board of directors. 

Gene also owns and operates a Tax and Accounting business, holds a private pilot’s license but mostly enjoys time with his four children and six grand-children. He is also a car and motorcycle enthusiast and can often be found in his Corvette convertible or on his Harley-Davidson cycle. 

“Funeral service has allowed me to help so many friends and acquaintances through a difficult time. I especially enjoy helping people I have never even met deal with the loss of a loved one. The gratification and appreciation I receive from families exceeds anything I’ve ever experienced.”

 
Mitch Jenkins
Funeral Director

Mitch Jenkins joined the staff of Hall-Wynne in Pittsboro, in February, 2012. A native of Guilford County, he is a 2007 graduate of Fayetteville Technical Community College’s funeral service program. A veteran of the United States Coast Guard, Mitch loves caring for people in their time of greatest need. His easy going personality quickly puts people at ease. Mitch is the father of a son and daughter.

“My goal is to guide people through one of the most emotional times in their lives. By listening and tailoring each service to their circumstances and needs, I believe I can serve them in a way that makes a difference. That is a most satisfying experience for me."


H. Rives Hicks
Oxford Manager

Rives Hicks, a native of Granville Co., joined Gentry-Newell & Vaughan Funeral Home in July of 2006 as manager. He has been in funeral service since a junior in high school. Rives is a graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta, receiving the President’s Award. He is married to the former Ruth Powell, and has two grown children. Rives is a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, where he has served on the Vestry, and also a member of the Oxford Masonic Lodge. He loves to play golf, go camping and work with local youth in sports. 

“I’ve had the privilege of working with several funeral directors in the past, who taught me the value of serving families by showing them respect, care and love they deserve. I look after each family as if they were my own.”


John Newell
Funeral Director

John E. Newell is a native of Warren County and a former owner of Gentry-Newell & Vaughan, where he remains active today. An affiliate with the company his entire career, John graduated from San Francisco College of Mortuary Science. He is married to Faye, and is the father of 4 children and 13 grandchildren and a great grandchild. When not working, John raises cattle on his farm, and collects antique cars and model trains. 

“My greatest satisfaction has been assisting countless people in the 50 years of my career, earning their trust and knowing I can continue to be here when they come to us for help. The families of Granville County have been loyal to us and I cannot imagine a better place to practice my vocation and do all I can to guide and care for such wonderful people.”

Sandra Medlin
Funeral Service Coordinator

Sandra Medlin joined the Hall-Wynne staff in 2006 as the funeral service cordinator for the Franklinton Chapel. A Franklin County resident since 1978, Sandra enjoyed a long and successful career as a clothing buyer, during which time she traveled far and wide. She is a consummate "people person" and has enjoyed being in a position to provide her warm and caring touch to the families of Franklin County. Sandra is married to Darrell Medlin, and has two children and two grandchildren. She is a member of Franklinton United Methodist Church. 

"To serve so many families I know personally means the world to me. I feel truly lucky to be involved in such meaningful work where I can make a difference."

 

 

Hall-Wynne Funeral Service & Crematory
1113 W. Main St.
Durham, NC 27701-2028
919-688-6387
Fax: 919-683-9539
Hall-Wynne - Griffin Chapel
396 West Street
Pittsboro, NC 27312
919-542-3057
Fax: 919-542-1468
Hall-Wynne - Franklinton Chapel
504 East Mason St.
Franklinton, NC 27525
919-494-2313
Fax: 919-494-1115
Gentry-Newell & Vaughan Funeral Home
503 College St. •  P.O. Box 57
Oxford, NC 27565
919-693-5191
Fax: 919-693-8999

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