By David Lazenby

Moss Service Funeral Home will lay to rest one of its own Saturday with the service for long-time director Harry E. Hackworth who died Thursday at 93.

Moss Service funeral director Gary Murphree said he was trained by Hackworth when he began with the funeral home and his passing marks “the closing of an era.”

“It’s a milestone,” said Murphree, who will conduct the funeral at 3:30 p.m. Burial will follow in Cullman City Cemetery.

“People right now who are in their 80s — when they think about funeral directors, they think of Harry Hackworth.”

Murphree said Hackworth always stressed the importance of being attentive to details.

“Small details can grow into a big problem,” said Murphree.

In addition to teaching Murphree, Hackworth trained two other directors at the funeral home, Darrell Mosteller and Keith Pattillo, who are still there today.

“Harry helped train us when we started in the ‘60s and ‘70s,” Murphree said.

He was not certain exactly when Hackworth started working at the funeral home, but Murphree said said it was before World War II. A date he does remember is Aug. 11, 2006; the day Hackworth retired.

Murphree said Hackworth served in the US. Navy as a medic during the war, returning to the funeral home afterward to complete a 70-year career.

“He was a loyal patriot and he was loyal to this funeral home for many years,” Murphree said.

During a visitation held Thursday at the funeral home, Murphree said he met many who were served by Hackworth at the beginning of life instead of the end of it.

“Back in those days Moss Service not only was the funeral home but also the ambulance service,” Murphree said. “When babies were born and time for them to go home, he would get the mother and new baby a ride home.”

Hackworth, who died at his Cullman home, was survived by his daughter Louise Hackworth of Cullman and a sister, Esther Hackworth of Locust Grove, Ga.

He also leaves behind his beloved pet, Muffin.

For additional funeral information, please see Hackworth’s obituary on page 4-A.

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