John Joseph “J. J.” Twiford, a native of Elizabeth City, NC, is a partner of Twiford Funeral Homes, LLC and a funeral service licensee for the states of North Carolina and Virginia and has been full-time with the firm since 1998. He has a daughter, Callie Elizabeth Twiford and a son, John Wells Twiford. He is a 1994 graduate of Northeastern High School and has an Associate of Arts in Mortuary Science from John Tyler Community College in Chester, VA. He is a member of the North Carolina Funeral Director’s Association, National Funeral Directors Association, First United Methodist Church and the Improved Order of Red Men. His interests include golf, traveling, and family.
Twiford Funeral Homes - Elizabeth City Staff
The heart of any organization is it's staff. We feel that we have the very best staff available serving the Elizabeth City area. Twiford Funeral Homes prides itself on the length of employment that our friends continue to work with us. As you browse through the photos and bios below, take notice of the number of years many of our staff has continued to work with us.
Colter “Colt” Blackford, a native of Bucyrus, Ohio, joined the firm in 2015 as Director of Finance and Operations. He is a graduate of Colonel Crawford High School and the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Academy. He retired as a Chief Petty Officer with twenty-two years in the US Coast Guard. He is a member of Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church in Suffolk, VA, has two children and enjoys cooking, fishing and traveling.
Joe Griffith, a native of Seth, WV and licensed funeral director since 1984, has been with the firm since 1988. Joe earned an A.S. and B.S. in Education from West Virginia State College and a Pastoral Certificate from Pine Level Bible Institute. He served four years in the US Air Force and two years in the WV Air National Guard. An ordained minister, Joe is pastor of Rehoboth Baptist Church in Maple, NC. Former president of the WV Student Education Association, he is currently a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, the NC Funeral Directors Association and the Improved Order of Red Men. He is married, has one daughter and enjoys travel, gardening and piano.
Jerome Rust, a native of Currituck, NC, has been with the firm as a funeral director, embalmer and crematory manager since 1989. Jerome is a graduate of Currituck County High School and has a diploma from John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science in Nashville, TN. He is a member of Rehoboth Baptist Church, serves on the board of the Cremation Association of North Carolina, and is a member of the American Society of Embalmers and the Improved Order of Red Men. He is married, has a son, and enjoys hunting, gardening, woodworking and reading.
Ottilie “Beth” Elizabeth Sommars, was born in Rhode Island and as a military ‘brat’ lived all over the East coast. Beth is a funeral service licensee having joined the firm in 2015. She holds an A.A.S in Funeral Service from Piedmont Technical College and is Nationally Board Certified in Arts and Sciences. Beth attends Holy Family Catholic Church and is a volunteer Den Leader with the Boy Scouts of America. She is married, has three children and enjoys reading, movies, music and good food.
Richard Frederick Ratzlaff has been a licensed funeral director for fourteen years and in the funeral service industry for twenty-two years. He joined the firm in 2016. Richard is a 1979 graduate of Andress High School in El Paso, TX and received his certification as a funeral director from Fayetteville Technical College in 2002. He served thirteen and a half years in the US Air Force from 1979 to 1992 and is a Gulf War Veteran. He is a member of Open Door Church in Bertie County, NC and served as a deacon. He is married with four children, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Todd M. Smith, a native of Whiteville, NC, has been with the firm since 2010. Todd graduated from Whiteville High School and is a veteran of Iraqi Freedom during which he served aboard the USS Tarawa. Todd is currently serving his apprenticeship while attending Fayetteville Technical Community College for his funeral service license. Todd enjoys the outdoors, camping and fishing.
Robert “Bobby” Winslow, Jr., a native of Elizabeth City, NC, has been with the firm since 1996. Bobby is a 1976 graduate of Northeastern High School. He then joined the US Army as a drummer and trombone player with the Army band. He is married and has two children and a granddaughter. He enjoys bowling, bass fishing, music and collecting toy trains.
Kevin T. Reiver, a native of Norfolk, VA has been with the firm since 2015. Kevin graduated from Granby High School in 1997. He has a B.S. in Youth Ministry and Preaching from Roanoke Bible College. He is an ordained minister. He three children and enjoys the outdoors, especially the beach, and tennis.
Laurie Sawyer, a native of Miami, FL, has been a secretary and insurance clerk with the firm since 1992. She is a 1978 graduate of Northeastern High School and attended the College of the Albemarle. She is a member of New Community Church. Laurie is married, has two children, seven grandchildren and enjoys gardening and cooking.