State funeral board awaiting Anderson response to license suspension process

by Kate Shunney

West Virginia’s Board of Funeral Service Examiners are awaiting a response from a Berkeley Springs funeral home operator about a suspension of his license to run the business, two months after the board pulled his license to operate.

John Anderson, owner of Hunter Anderson Funeral Home, has had a complaint filed against him by the state Board of Funeral Service Examiners. Officials with the board would not share the complaint with The Morgan Messenger, but said they sent Anderson a letter in late October outlining the complaint and steps to address the suspension of his license as a funeral director.

Grady Bowyer, office manager for the Board, said the letter to Anderson lays out a timeframe for him to respond to the complaint and set a hearing in the matter.

Bowyer said so far, the state board hasn’t gotten a response from Anderson.

In August, the Board of Funeral Service Examiners held an emergency meeting at which they voted to summarily suspend Anderson’s license. In the order which suspended his license, Anderson was given 14 days to respond to the complaints against him, and was notified he had the right to set up an administrative hearing in the case.

The board’s action came after Anderson was charged in Berkeley County for a number of misdemeanors, including driving on a suspended license and trespassing. Their suspension also cited allegations that Anderson had failed to care for a corpse in the proper manner, and that he had allowed homeless individuals to live in his funeral home on Green Street in Berkeley Springs.

Last week, Bowyer said the Board of Funeral Service Examiners are prepared to set and hold an administrative hearing in the case if Anderson responds to their letters. The outcome of a hearing could include a Consent Agreement under which Anderson follows certain guidelines to restore his license to operate. The board could also permanently revoke the funeral establishment license of Hunter Anderson Funeral Home.

A West Virginia State Police investigation into Anderson’s handling of the corpse in question hasn’t resulted in any criminal charges to date.