The tri-county area is rich with men who are wonderful fathers and grandfathers, those who are outstanding examples of how to live life to the fullest with respect and compassion for others, and show their own children
how to do the same.
Roger Sharp Sr., 75 is such a man and the patriarch of one of the most well-known and respected families in the tri-county area. He is the owner of Sharp Funeral Homes, with chapels in Fenton, Linden and Grand Blanc Township and Swartz Creek. It is a family business.
His son, Roger (RJ) Sharp II, 44, has been married to Jennifer Sharp for 13 years. They have three daughters — Remy, 12, Mason, 10 and Parker, who is 6 years old.
“My father has been a great influence in my life, both professionally and personally,” RJ said. “We have always worked very closely together being in a family business. He has taught me the importance of community, client service, giving back, and always caring for the less fortunate.
“Always putting family first is something I learned from my dad,” RJ said. “We are always so busy and things that are urgent but less important can take precedence over things that are less urgent but much more important — like attending your children’s sporting events or school events, taking family vacations or just spending quality time with your children.”
RJ said that being a protector of your children, always looking out for their best interest, letting them fail if necessary but being present and helpful to assist them in recovering from a failed situation, are all lessons he’s learned from his dad. Also, family comes first. “No matter what happens, we are family and we always protect and care for one another. If we disagree we solve it immediately and continue loving one another.
“And to always give back,” RJ said. “Everyone, no matter what, has blessings in their lives to be grateful for and the best way to show that gratitude to others is giving back. Paying it forward applies to family relationships, community relationships, and business and client relationships.
“One funny story that comes to mind about the type of father he is happened when I was little kid,” RJ said. “He had just purchased a new hearse or ambulance and he told me that when he kicked the bumper the car would start. He kicked the bumper and it started. I was amazed. He did it one or two more times. Later, I found out that he had an employee in the car who was turning on the ignition when he kicked the bumper.
“My father has always been a selfless and giving businessman. He has sacrificed so much of his life for family, friends and community,” RJ said. “I want my children to learn that from him and from me.
“Being in business with your father is very rewarding, but I won’t lie, it can also be very challenging, One lesson he has always taught me is we ‘never go home angry.’ If we disagree on a situation, we always solve our disagreement before the end of that business day. This has been invaluable to our business and family relationship.”
RJ said Roger Sr., is a wonderful grandpa. “It has been so wonderful to see my children embrace him as their grandfather. It has also been great to see how he embraces them as grandchildren.”
Sharp Sr.’s son-in-law, Mike Scully, 55, has been married to Jennifer Sharp Scully for 19 years. Jennifer is Sharp Sr.’s daughter. The Scullys are parents to twins, Paige and Sam. They are 11 years old and sixth-graders this fall.
“I have been blessed to have more than one father figure in my life,” Scully said. “Roger, my dad, Terry, and my step-dad, Ron, have shown me how to be respectful, caring and interested in others and their lives.
“Life is precious and as we all know not to be taken for granted,” he said. “Roger loves life and lives each day to its fullest. I try to do the same. Giving back to the community has always been one of Roger’s greatest attributes. I respect him for that and try to emulate him.
“Working for Roger has not always been easy but I have learned so much about business, people and life,” Scully said. “Family is very important to Roger and to me.”
Both RJ and Scully say they enjoy family time, especially at the lake, cookouts and family gatherings.