How Michael Soper found his calling and launched Legacy Funeral Group

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Michael L. Soper, president and CEO, Legacy Funeral Group
Michael L. Soper, president and CEO, Legacy Funeral Group

Michael L. Soper
President and CEO
Legacy Funeral Group

While many entrepreneurs recall that they started their business careers at an early age, not too many have started at the ripe old age of 7. That’s when Michael Soper began his lawn sprinkling service.
It was during a drought in 1973 that he got the idea that since a daytime sprinkling ban was in effect. Young Soper would charge $5 per house to during sprinklers on and off during the permitted hours of midnight to 4 a.m.
Many ventures later, Soper had graduated from college and had a short stint at Kanaly Trust Co. as a financial planner. He had an opportunity to attend the Texas Funeral Directors Association conference in Fort Worth at the last minute. At that convention he found his calling in the funeral service industry, with an interest that much of the money held in trusts was being invested in CDs — and it was a huge opportunity to help these small business owners.
He soon ran the Southwest Guaranty Trust’s funeral and cemetery division, bringing impressive growth. In 1998, he left to start Legacy Funeral Group, taking out a second mortgage against his house and with a motivation to help small town funeral home owners that needed somewhere to go.
Soper developed a vision to create a regional holding company that would acquire rural family funeral homes. He realized that in small towns it was important to retain local people for continued success after an acquisition and encouraged many former owners to stay engaged in the business.
While Legacy has grown to become one of the largest private companies in the death care provided industry, Soper strives to maintain the small company feel, believing and implementing a strong people culture in his firm.
The company is projected to grow by 20 percent this year. Soper’s goal is grow the business to 100 funeral homes by 2017.
How to reach: Legacy Funeral Group LLC,