History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

In 1904 Clyde E. Smith bought Haffnieistirs Apothecary and changed the name to Smith Drug Store. It was in a two story framed building, and above the pharmacy was a man (name unknown) who bought casket shells and upholstered the interior of them to sell to persons who had a death in the family.

Sometime shortly after 1904 Mr. Smith bought all the man's stock. He and his son, Lawrence Smith, would go upstairs after closing the pharmacy for the night, do the upholstering and then sell the caskets to the bereaved families. There was apparentely very little “funeral directing” at that time.
They eventually bought a very tall and ornate studebaker hearse and became more involved in helping the families of the deceased. Then, when the “Peavine Railroad” closed, the Smiths bought the old depot building and converted it into a true “funeral home” where they could better display the caskets and care for the families.

Clyde Smith died in 1948 or 1949 and Lawrence began operating both businesses. In the 195O's he bought the Roy Godwin house and property where the funeral home now stands. In the mid 60's, a remodeling and expansion of the building was done but, on March 21, 1972, the original building was burned, and everything was lost except one ambulance.
Lawrence quickly set up temporary quarters in the Grainger County News building half a block away and began construction on new larger and better building.
After many years of hard work and dedication to the people of Grainger county, Lawrence decided it was time to lesson some of his responsibilities and sold the business.

 


Our Valued Staff

Buddy  Mayes

Buddy Mayes, Funeral Director/Embalmer/Owner

Buddy graduated from Kentucky School of Mortuary Science in 1970. He has been in funeral service for 40 years as a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He purchased Brooks Mortuary along with his father, Herbert W. Mayes in 1972. He served as past president of Tennessee State Board of Funeral Dlirectors and Embalmers, a member of First Baptist Church of Morristown and past president of Boy's Club and is the current president of the Youth Emergency Shelter in Morristown. In 2005, he was the coordinator for the the Disater Relief for the victims of Katrina. In 2007, he had the the opportunity to purchase several funeral homes in the East Tennessee arera, allowing these funeral homes to become independlty owned and employee operated.


James  Gerth

James Gerth, Funeral Director/Embalmer/Manager

Mitch has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer for over 35 years. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, and Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He ans his wife, Diane, have three daughters and four grandchildren.


Floyd  Reagan

Floyd Reagan, Funeral Assistant


Michael  Collins

Michael Collins, Funeral Director


Margo  Lamb

Margo Lamb, Funeral Director/Embalmer