Our Story

Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.

Ever since we opened our doors we have approached life (and death) differently. While some just see the end of a loved one’s life as a time for grief and mourning, we prefer to think of it as a time for reflection, appreciation and even celebration. This is evident in everything we do, from the way we conduct our services to the amenities we choose to offer. We are not a burial ground. We are a close knit community dedicated to honoring, sharing and preserving the amazing and inspirational stories that are life.

1957

One hopeful day on January 2, 1957, William Carrington March and his wife, Julia Roberta March, embarked upon a new business venture that would profoundly change their lives. Motivated by faith, determination, and the desire to provide financial security and educational opportunities for their young family, William and Roberta opened a small funeral parlor on the main floor of their three-story row home. Thus began the family and business odyssey of March Funeral Homes.

1964

Julia Roberta March shares in the dream by becoming a licensed Funeral Director in support of her husband’s vision and love for the community.

1965

The funeral home marks a milestone by conducting 200 funerals in a single year

1967

On faith, the Marches take a $15,000 loan from the Small Business Administration to acquire the adjoining row house. They then began construction, breaking down walls on the first level, to build a chapel.

1972

After a total of 30 years of working for the Federal Government, William retires from the U.S. Postal Service.

1976

Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. dedicates the memorial to his son, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at King Memorial Park.

1976

After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, Erich is the first child to go to mortuary school and become a licensed mortician.

1977

Cynthia, a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park and a registered nurse, is the second child to attend mortuary school and become licensed.

1977

A loan is obtained from the Small Business Administration, Advance Federal Savings & Loan and Ideal Savings and Loan, to build the new East Funeral Home.

1978

The new Wm. C. March Funeral Home opens at 1101 East North Avenue with the largest staff and fleet of funeral service cars in Maryland. The row house that once served as the original funeral home becomes the administrative offices.

1979

Victor, a graduate of Loyola University and a Certified Public Accountant, resigns his position with top ranked Coopers and Lybrand, to join the family business as Controller when the growth of the business requires full time financial oversight.

1980

Before computers became mainstream, Victor and Erich design Business Office Service Systems (B.O.S.S.), the first software program for the funeral industry. The system was used by over 1,200 funeral homes to computerize their reporting and management.

1981

The Thelma March Scholarship Foundation is established.

1982

William and Erich are among the founders of The Harbor Bank of Maryland; the state’s first minority owned commercial bank. William is elected the bank’s first Chairman of the Board and Erich continues to serve as a Board Director.

1982

Two students from Paul L. Dunbar High School are each awarded $6000 in Thelma March Scholarships.

1984

Annette, a graduate of The University of Delaware, resigns her position as a registered nurse with Johns Hopkins Hospital and joins the family business full-time. After completing mortuary school, and obtaining her mortician’s license, she becomes Director of Public Relations and Marketing.

1985

Lola, Victor’s wife, embraces her husband’s vision and joins the family business, attends mortuary school, and obtains her mortician’s license in 1988.

1985

Arthur “Dino” Grier, Annette’s husband, is hired to manage and operate March’s newly established, Paramount Limousines, a commercial transport service that served weddings, entertainers, etc.

1985

March Funeral Homes-West opens. The new location increases the March's capacity to serve and was welcomed by residents of West Baltimore that were previously choosing to cross the invisible boundaries between the two sides of town. Together East and West served 2,400 families in their first year.

1988

William and Roberta retire, turning over full operation and ownership of the businesses to their four children, naming Victor, Sr. Senior Executive Vice President and CEO, Erich Vice President, COO and President of King Memorial Park Cemetery, Annette Vice President and Corporate Secretary and Cynthia Vice President.

1988

King Memorial Park begins its annual Memorial Day Gospel Concert, and quickly becomes a well‑established tradition in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area.

1989

A choir called The March Singers is formed and releases an album “Needlessly”, as part of the Stop the Killing campaign.

1990

The Marcorp, Ltd. administrative office moves from 928 North Avenue to York Road.

1990

Victor serves on the Board of Directors for the Associated Black Charities and becomes Chairman from 1990-2004. He remains the longest serving Chairman to have served the organization.

1991

The March Funeral Homes’ vehicles are changed from black to its signature champagne and burgundy color.

1993

William plays a vital role in the restoration of Orchard Street Church. Now a historic landmark, the church was originally built by torchlight at night by slaves and Black freedmen. Tunnels under the church were long associated with the Underground Railroad, and the Orchard Street Church was reportedly a stop on Harriet Tubman’s passage to freedom.

1993

Walter Nathan Malloy, Jr., son of Cynthia, and graduate of Williams College, joins the family business. He goes on to attend Georgetown Law School, and graduates in 2000.

1993

30 acres are cleared and excavated to develop new burial gardens and roads in King Memorial Park.

1998

King Park constructs the first mausoleum built by an African-American owned cemetery.

2000

Victor C. March, Jr., graduate of James Madison University and son of Victor, Sr. and Lola, resigns his position as a Software Engineer with Sprint and joins the family
business as the Director of Information Technology.

2000

Rudolph Williams, the first employee of the March Funeral Homes, passes away after 33 years of loyal service.

2001

Carmalita, graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park and daughter of Victor, Sr. and Lola, joins the family business as the Director of Creative Services. From 2004-2007 she takes a brief sabbatical to serve in State Government as the Chief of Communications for the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA).

2001

King Memorial Park constructs a new administrative building with family conference rooms.

2002

The release of doves becomes part of King Memorial Park’s burial ceremony.

2002

August 2, William C. March passes away and is entombed at King Memorial Park. Upon his death, William endows $200,000 to benefit the Thelma March Scholarship Foundation.

2003

King Memorial Park purchases an additional 105 acres making it the largest African-American owned and operated cemetery in the nation.

2004

March Funeral Homes of Virginia is established. This is the family’s first venture outside of Baltimore. A new name in a new city, business grew based on a reputation of excellence and a commitment to serve. Cynthia, who served as a public health nurse until 2003, rejoins the family business as the Managing Director and Vice President.

2006

April 18, Julia Roberta March passes away and is entombed with her late husband, William, at King Memorial Park.

2007

A true homage to his push for education, the former Harford Heights Middle School is renamed the William C. March Middle School.

2007

Together, three members of the 3rd generation; Nathan, Vic Jr. and Carmalita, attend mortuary school while continuing to work for the family business. They go on to graduate at the top of their class and subsequently serve apprenticeships, pass the national board exam, and in 2009 each become licensed morticians.

2007

Roberta’s House, a Family Grief Support Center, is developed in memory of the family’s matriarch Julia Roberta March, opens to serve grieving children and families. This unique Baltimore based program offers free programs committed to restoring families and strengthening communities that have been devastated by traumatic losses and death. Annette is the visionary and serves as the President.

2010

After 43 years of building her business with her late husband, Harold Marshall, Dr. Julia Marshall sells Marshall’s Funeral Homes in Suitland, MD and Washington, DC to the March Family. The acquisition becomes Marshall-March Funeral Homes. With a motto of “One High Standard of Service”, the pairing of the two companies was a natural fit.

2010

A Grand Chapel Mausoleum is constructed on the grounds of King Memorial Park enabling services to be held on the premises.

2011

A Complete remodeling of the Marshall-March Funeral Homes location in Suitland, MD is completed.

2012

The first March Life Tribute Center opens in Laurel, MD. The new facility is the first in the brand to house a fellowship hall for repasts following services or various community events. More than a funeral home, the concept of a tribute center is established to celebrate all of life’s occasions. Carmalita is named the Managing Director. The location also has an onsite crematory. This addition means families whom choose cremation can be comforted in knowing their loved ones remain in the
March’s care. The March Life Tribute Center in Laurel also serves as a welcomed space for a mix of religions from Christian to Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu and others, and is as an ideal venue for cultures where witnessed cremations are vital to fulfilling rituals and traditions.

2013

First Annual Sunrise Service held at King Memorial Park reenacting the resurrection of Jesus from His tomb.

2013

Justin P. Grier, graduate of Morehouse College and son of Annette and Dino, works for the family business before joining the staff at The Woodbourne Center as the Mid-Atlantic Information Technology Coordinator.

2014

The March family purchases the former building of New Antioch Baptist Church and construction to completely renovate the facility into the March Life Tribute Center-Randallstown, P.A. begins.

2014

Annette wins the prestigious international award, one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes of the Year, for her work through Roberta’s House.

2015

The Marshall-March Funeral Home in Washington, DC is completely renovated.

2016

The family begins to convert the fleet of limousines and hearses from Lincoln to Cadillac and purchase a Mercedes Bus as a premier family coach option.

2016

March Funeral Homes East is newly renovated.

2016

A second March Life Tribute Center opens in Randallstown. This Baltimore County location immediately conveys the true concept of a Life Tribute Center. The multi-use venue has proven to be sought after as more than just a funeral home, hosting several weddings, parties, community events and more. Lola serves as the Managing Director.

2016

Roberta’s House officially launches its capital campaign to build the first dedicated
bereavement center in an urban community. Focused on serving minority communities who experience a disproportionate numbers of homicide, prenatal/infant mortality, morbidity, and premature deaths, the new center will be located in the 900 blk of East North Avenue where the original March funeral parlor once served thousands of families. Ventured for 2019, the new center will contribute to the East Baltimore revitalization plan and provide needed space for comprehensive grief support services currently being provided to more than 1000 individuals with 13 programs, 20 staff and over 400 volunteers.

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