Tyra Baker-Thompson, Manager, Chinn Funeral Service
2605 South Shirlington Road, Arlington, VA
Interview conducted by Charles Egli on March 27, 2017
Chinn Funeral Service has served the community since 1946, when it was established by James Chinn. It was purchased in 1969 by Robert Baker, whose twin, Rupert, joined him soon after as a business partner. Many Baker family members have worked at Chinn Funeral Service, including Tyra Baker‐Thompson, Robert’s daughter and the business’ current manager. Tyra hopes the business will be around for at least 50 more years, if not 100, and that it will soon move to a new building. If you go by the business, check out the distinctive “dove‐grey” color of the hearses, a signature of Chinn Funeral Service.
Tyra Baker is the daughter of Robert Baker, the owner of Chinn Funeral Service. Robert bought Chinn Funeral Service from James Chinn in 1969 and was joined shortly thereafter by his brother, Rupert, as a business partner. Many Baker family members have worked and continue to work at Chinn Funeral Service, including Tyra and Robert’s and Rupert’s sons. Tyra has worked at the business in some capacity for most of her life and currently serves as its manager. She is proud of the service her family has provided Nauck/Green Valley residents, noting her father’s and uncle’s abilities to console the bereaved and to find payment solutions for financially disadvantaged customers. Tyra also reflected on her family members’ involvement in the community in various associations and the awards that have been bestowed on them for their contributions and achievements. Chinn Funeral Service is approaching its 50th anniversary as a Baker family‐run business. Tyra hopes Chinn Funeral Service will be around for at least 50 more years, if not 100, and that it will soon move to a new building in the community.
Tyra says of her father and her uncle, “They would just always, both of them, give somebody the shirt on their back.”Tyra Baker, owner
“I’m very proud of my dad and my uncle. I think they both did, and my dad is still doing, a fantastic job giving of themselves completely to the neighborhood and to anybody in a mourning situation or in need of funeral services. I think they’ve instilled tradition and helping people in all of their kids.”Tyra Baker, owner
“I’m just really proud that we’ve almost been here for 50 years, we’ll be here for 50 years, hope to be here for 100 more years in a newer building…I’m glad to be a part of Chinn Funeral Service.”Tyra Baker, owner
Full Interview on Arlington’s WERA 96.7 (minute 10:41)