They've served thousands of Battle Creek families for more than a century, but the Shaw Family has decided it's time to sell the business.   T.R. Shaw posted the news on social media:

"After much family discussion, prayer and deliberation, our 106 year old family funeral business, the Shaw Funeral Homes, of Battle Creek and Bellevue has been sold to the Craig Kempf family of Marshall, effective September 1, 2015.

This is not a decision we've made lightly. We've been working on a succession plan for a long time and are thrilled it’s staying local. Our overriding concern in all of this has been who can best serve our families and community well into the future with no Shaw family members to carry on. We are confident our family business will remain strong and dynamic and will maintain the high level of service our community has come to expect. 

Kempf has a staff of young, energetic professionals who will take funeral service to new levels in our community. They are excited for a professional career opportunity that doesn't come along often. I've learned over the years, in both business and the military, that part of leadership is knowing when to let go and let the next generation spread their wings.

I don’t like the word “retirement,” I’m presently exploring new career options in the communications, writing and public affairs field and establishing Shaw Communication with my wife Kathy. I have an opportunity to pursue something I've been passionate about since discovering journalism in junior high school.

Life is about seizing opportunities and taking risks. It’s hard to believe, I've been a licensed funeral director for nearly 30 years. Actually, I grew up in the business, I've been around it all my life. It hasn't always been easy, but it has been rewarding.

The funeral business has made me recognize the brevity of life and obligation to live up to your true potential. I’m grateful for the opportunities to serve so many exceptional families in our community through the years. I will take that service ethic with me in to whatever the next chapter of life brings. It’s an exciting time.