In the fall of 2001, after meeting and visiting with Alvia and Helen Vankirk, Eric and Dawn Grisell and their three children, Erika, Evan, and Kara, moved to Corbin and purchased the Vankirk Funeral Home. Their purchase has allowed the Vankirk-Grisell Funeral Home to remain locally owned and operated. The Grisells are originally from West Virginia where Eric's family has a long tradition in the funeral business. In fact, Eric is the sixth generation of his family to be in the funeral business.
Eric began his career in the funeral business when he was in high school, often working night visitations and funerals on weekends and summers. In 1993, he received his Bachelors of Science in business administration from West Virginia University. He then graduated from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 1994. Followed by his passing the National Board Exam, he was licensed by the State of West Virginia as an Embalmer and Funeral Director.
After moving to Corbin, Eric sat for and passed the Commonwealth of Kentucky's exams for both Funeral Director and Embalmer. Eric is also a licensed life insurance agent with the Commonwealth of Kentucky which allows him to sell life insurance for those wishing to prepay their funeral expenses.
Eric and his family are active members of Grace on the Hill Church in Corbin. Eric is also a member of the Corbin Kiwanis Club, and the Kentucky Funeral Directors Association.