The Hunnaball Family Funeral Group is a family-owned business with 10 outlets in Essex and Suffolk.
Established in 1983 by Trevor and Melanie Hunnaball, the company is now the largest independent funeral company in East Anglia, and the other directors are their children Saul, Chris and Polly.
Innovative yet traditional, their professionalism and style are unique to the profession. Their ‘Ladies in Hats’, distinctive silver fleet and modern funeral homes enhance their reputation as the region’s premier funeral service.
As a family business they are dedicated to providing the very best of care for bereaved families, and to serving their local communities.
Trevor and Melanie Hunnaball have been made Freemen of the City of London at a ceremony in the Guildhall. The honour was bestowed on them by Murray Craig, Clerk of the Chamberlain's Court, assisted by the Beadle. They were supported by Saul, Chris and Polly, and some of their close friends.
Trevor Hunnaball - Chairman
DipFD MBIE MBIFD
Trevor has over 55 years experience in the funeral industry, and was elected President of the National Association of Funeral Directors in 1994, and he represents the profession on the Churches’ Funerals Group. He has dedicated his working life to upholding the highest standards of professionalism in funeral service. He conducts funerals, and continues to oversee all aspects of the family business.
Melanie Hunnaball – PR and Marketing Director
Melanie was the first lady funeral director in the area, and she now leads a team of eight ‘Ladies in Hats’. They are renowned for their elegance and expertise, bringing a gentle touch to funerals. Melanie has been actively involved in training and education in the profession, and has been promoting awareness through educational seminars and talks to various groups and allied care professionals over many years. She is also PRO for the Essex and Suffolk Association of Funeral Directors.
Saul Hunnaball – Operations and Memorials
Saul has been in the family business since leaving school in 1986. He is responsible for operations and heads up the stonemasonry department with his wife Jennie. He arranges and conducts funerals, and is the director responsible for Paskell’s of Manningtree. He also manages the company’s columbarium, Lexden Garden of Rest.
Chris Partner – Financial Director
Chris is Melanie’s son and he joined the company in 1991. In addition to being financial director, he is involved with the general management of the company. He arranges and conducts funerals, and his wife Zena is one of the ‘Ladies in Hats’ team of funeral directors.
Polly Hunnaball – HR Director
Polly joined the family business in 1993 and is the HR director. She also manages the Group’s head office at York House in Colchester. She arranges and conducts funerals, and her husband Joe Garwood is Manager of J K May Funeral Service in West Mersea.
With changing times and attitudes, the company maintains the high standards and principles established by Trevor and Melanie. The family’s continued day-to-day involvement with all aspects of the business is every client’s assurance of a gentle, caring and professional service at a time of great personal distress.
The Hunnaball Family Funeral Group is a medium-size family operated business operating out of 10 outlets in north Essex and south Suffolk carrying out approximately 1000 funerals per year.
The company was founded in 1983 by Trevor and Melanie Hunnaball with the purchase of Geo Paskell Funeral Services of Wix. Trevor was previously Managing Director of W H Shephard Funeral Service in High Street, Colchester. Melanie was Practice Receptionist at a local surgery, and they were running a successful limousine and wedding car hire business, Hunnaball Car Hire, which has supplied the Mayoral limousine for the Borough of Colchester since 1979.
In 1985 the first Colchester office was opened at 63 Hythe Hill, relocating to York House in Mersea Road in 1987. A branch in Crouch Street, with Melanie’s Floristry alongside, was also opened in 1987, and operated as head office for several years. Colchester Funeral Service opened in Stanwell Street, and was run by Melanie as a town centre office.
At the same time, two floristry shops were also trading – Melanie’s in Stanwell Street, Colchester and Paskell’s Floristry in Manningtree. This side of the business was discontinued as the group’s core business of providing funeral services expanded.
The J K May Funeral Service at West Mersea was acquired in 1988, and Hunnaball of Ipswich opened in 1996.
In recent years, York House has been established as the group’s Head Office and Colchester branch. The acquisition of additional premises in Old Coach Road – The Gate House – provides the support centre for the group, comprising the largest private mortuary facility in Essex and Suffolk; the coffin workshop; garage; memorial department; training centre and Chapel of Rest.
Hunnaball Memorials is an established sector of the business, supplying and fitting headstones and undertaking specialist renovation projects.
Hunnaball of Sudbury and Janet C Davies of Braintree opened in 2004, followed by Janet C Davies of Kelvedon and Hunnaball of Witham in 2006. Hunnaball of Chelmsford opened in July 2012.
In addition, the company owns and operates Lexden Garden of Rest, a private columbarium situated adjacent to St Leonard’s Church, Lexden, Colchester.