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Fred is the creator and host of the Planning for Tomorrow Radio Show. His introduction to radio dates back to the late 80’s where he began at WMUL Radio on the campus of Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va. He then later worked at WAEZ Radio in Milton, West Virginia and then at WEMM Christian Radio in Huntington, W.Va. In the 90's Fred recorded and produced a weekly radio broadcast for his father's ministry called "Heartbeat Radio Broadcast" which aired on local christian radio as well as producing and recording another five minute radio show called "Inside The Studio" in which he debuted a new local gospel group's recording release that was recoreded at his recording studio, Chariot Gospel Studio's in Huntington, W.Va.
He has been guest on numerous radio shows and voiced his own commercials for his businesses. “My grandfather worked in radio and television and I suppose his influences somehow also introduced and guided me for the love of radio.”
The Planning For Tomorrow Radio Show was launched in 2011 with the PFT Studios based in Huntington, W.Va. The radio show was launched with the intent to be a form of audio based education-helping people make better decisions when it comes to end of life and general life-decisions and planning solutions. Simply put the more we know, the better decisions we make for our family and ourselves.
“My father was a pastor, so I come from a service-oriented family. When I was rather young, I lost my aunt and grandmother and I think those events influenced me later in life to pursue a career in funeral service.”
“I believe the way I was raised really set me up to have a desire to help others. When I was a child, I saw my father and my mother visit people in hospitals and nursing homes and I saw their passion for loving and helping people – it is just something that was in my blood I suppose. Watching what my parents did in their life really guided me in in the direction to want to help others myself. “
Fred and wife, Amber are also the owners of Henson & Kitchen Mortuary located at 6357 East Pea Ridge Road, Huntington, West Virginia 25705 which is just minutes from Barboursville, W.Va. Henson & Kitchen Mortuary has become one of the fastest growing funeral and cremation providers in the Huntington, W.Va. area. Visit with us online at www.hensonandkitchen.com. Fred is also president of Kitchen Family Funeral Services, Inc.
Prior to becoming actively involved with Henson & Kitchen Mortuary as President and Funeral Director, Fred was a sales and business consultant for North Americas largest casket, urn and memorial supplier, Batesville Casket Company, Inc.
Prior to working for Batesville Casket Company, Fred was location manager, funeral director and worked many years with a Huntington area funeral home, Beard Mortuary. This is also where he began his funeral service career right out of high school in 1986. East Huntington was also the same neighborhood and local geography where Fred grew up and attended Guyandotte Elementary, Enslow Junior High, Huntington East High School and also Marshall University.
He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer and has served on various boards and committees. He is currently serving on a national funeral service magazine advisory board as well as serving on local community and civic related boards and committees.
Fred has authored well over 100 published articles for grief and funeral related professional journals in the U.S., U.K, Russia and The Netherlands.
In 2006 Fred shared his funeral service experience with Warner Brothers and Sweet Tea Pictures Film “We Are Marshall.” He consulted on funeral and memorial scenes and provided caskets as movie props for some of the most emotionally charges scenes in the film.
In 2010 he was featured in a BBC documentary with Irelands TV personality, Stephen Nolan entitled "Dead Fat." The film focused on obesity and its ultimate connection to many untimely deaths of many in America and around the globe. Fred has also been a featured guest on the Daystar Television Network talking speaking about grief and the stages of grief as well as numerous other radio, television and print media.
He continues to be an active educator speaking at national, regional, state conventions and community and public events helping the advance funeral planning and at-need funeral consumer to have the right information and to make the best decisions when faced with end of life challenges for oneself, a friend or a family member.
In 2010, the Kitchen family knew they wanted to touch more lives so Fred and wife, Amber and their two daughters, Annalise and Arabella and their staff wanted to touch lives. They began a non-profit charity chapter called Hugs of Hope, which is a division of Hugs Across America.
Hugs of Hope accept donations and use those donations to purchase teddy bears in bulk. Then they provide teddy bears to schools, police departments, fire departments, hospices and hospitals. These places and individuals can then give teddy bears to children who are for example visiting grandpa in the hospital. It gives the kids something to hold to and provides a little bit of comfort.
“With Hugs of Hope we wanted to influence the lives of children and do something that had a direct impact on our community. We wanted to do something where we could really make a big impact. Plus, I wanted to show my daughters that it’s about giving and doing things for others.”
Fred is very active in the daily operations of both at-need and pre-need funeral planning and leading the business operations and his team at Henson & Kitchen Mortuary. Being a family owned and operated business means a great deal us, to families and to our community.
Their goal is to serve our community and families with excellence and remain focused on educating and empowering the funeral and cremation consumer. We truly believe in providing an environment where family and friends can honor life.