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 HistoryMemorial Park: The Glory of Nature and Art.
Memorial Park’s outstanding feature is its beauty and naturally rolling terrain. Constructed in the 1930s by E.C. Hinds, an entrepreneur, several features were added to the landscape to enhance its beauty. Just inside the entrance is a gracefully curved reflecting pool and a three-tiered fountain.
As you drive to the east of the fountain, you will cross the stone bridges and come across the first of several fascinating constructions by Mexican artist, Dionicio Rodriguez. These works include Annie Laurie’s Wishing Chair and Rose Garden, The Wishing Well and the Fountain of Youth. The high point of Rodriguez’s work is the Crystal Shrine Grotto, which Mr. Hinds described as the only man-made crystal cave in the world.
E. C. Hinds – A Man of Vision
E.Clovis Hinds was a smart entrepreneur who wanted Memphis to have a place of beauty and peace, where people could visit and feel inspired and uplifted. After a visit to Forest Lawn, the country’s first “memorial park”, a cemetery in which no upright markers or monuments would be allowed, Hinds was inspired to create his own no-sectarian cemetery, adorned with works of art representing legendary and Judeo-Christian themes. He was attracted to the idea of “democracy in death,” where there were no monuments to human wealth or pride, no ‘spooky tombstones’, but only the glory of nature and art.
After returning to Memphis, Hinds sold his Life Insurance business and bought the first 54 acres of land that would become Memphis Memorial Park. Right away Hinds began to advertise Memorial Park, ‘the cemetery beautiful’. It would be, he said, “a place of lakes and fountains, broad driveways, spacious lawns, beautiful shrubbery, trees and flowers”. It was 5 miles east of the city. The first ads offered a family group of six grave plots for $150.
An Enduring Legacy
A stunning landscape was taking shape at Memorial Park. No one who knew him could have been surprised at the magnitude of Hinds’ plan. He was a vibrant man, full of ideas and enthusiasm. He was already 56 years old when he established Memorial Park. He had a successful life insurance business, but at an age when other men might be considering retirement, Hinds was motivated to create a new business venture.
As Hinds worked to establish and nurture his new cemetery, legal battles erupted over its location. Nearby property owners filed lawsuits, charging that the cemetery would lower their property values and pollute their wells. But Hinds persevered and eventually those suits were won or dismissed.
By 1935 Memorial Park was well established and Hinds was building upon a tradition of making the cemetery more than just a burial place. In the 19th century, when there were few if any public parks, cemeteries were used as places for quiet family recreation. Owners encouraged families to take walks and have picnics in their cemeteries. In some, the trees and plants were labeled, as in education botanical gardens. The cemetery was a place to visit not only in the times of bereavement, but also to experience beauty and spiritual uplift. E.C. Hinds was also very fond of children and one of his purposes in enhancing Memorial Park with Dionicio Rodriguez’ sculptures were to make it a place of enjoyment where children could learn and be delighted, and not be afraid.
Our Professional Staff
Richard Williams, General Manager
Richard joined Memorial Park in 2014 as General Manager. He has been in the industry for over 15 years, having managed cemeteries and funeral homes throughout the Southeast. A former board member of the Georgia Cemetery Association, Richard’s diverse background and extensive knowledge have fully prepared him to lead Memorial Park's future growth. When we asked what attracted Richard to this field, he said: “I have always believed that a life spent in service to others is a life lived with honor. There is no more important way that I can serve others than by helping them to find peace and comfort in a time of their life when they need it most.” Richard has been married to his wife, Kay, for 22 years. They have been blessed with 3 children: Amber, Justin, and Ashli. He is an avid Tennessee Titans fan and national parks buff that also enjoys history and politics. A veteran of the world’s greatest Navy, Richard has a strong commitment to serving America’s fighting men and women.
Brad Pfau, Area Sales Director
Brad A. Pfau, Area Sales Director, joined North Star Memorial Group in January of 2008. Prior to his current position, he served as the Sales Manager of Palm Beach Memorial Park located in Lantana, Florida where he and his team focused on cultivating the client base with compassion and integrity. He transferred to Memorial Park in August 2014 and looks forward to serving the families in the surrounding communities with the same level of professionalism and core values that led to his success while in Florida. Originally from Mansfield, Ohio, Brad spent the last 30 years in Palm Beach County where he excelled in various positions in Sales and Marketing. Brad and his wife, Vivian, raised three children and now enjoy two young grandsons.
Terry Richards, Sales Manager
Terry Richards joined Memorial Park in 2011 and is a sales supervisor. Terry graduated from Mid-America College of Funeral Service in 1980. He was previously in the funeral business for 33 years as a licensed funeral director and embalmer and started in pre-need sales in 2004. Terry is married to Debbi, together they have three daughters and twin grandsons.
Butch Valentine, Sales Manager
Butch Valentine joined Memorial Park in 2005 and is a Family Service Supervisor. He is a member of First Baptist Church of Memphis. When we asked what attracted Butch to this field, he said, “When I came to Memorial Park I wasn’t searching for a "job", I wanted a career field that had meaning, and helping families during a difficult time or with advanced arrangements is the most meaningful. Not many career fields could satisfy this desire.” When asked to give his proudest moment in this profession Butch said, “I have had many proud moments since I began this journey at Memorial Park. However, it is the sense of pride and satisfaction I have every time I am able to give a family peace of mind.”
Aaron Reagan, Sales Manager
Aaron Reagan joined Memorial Park in 2013 and is a Family Service Advisor. He is a member of the Tennessee Dispensing Opticians Association and the Optometric Association of America. When we asked Aaron what attracted him to this field, he said, “The ability to provide families exceptional customer care at a critical moment in their lives.” Aaron has been married for over nine years to his wife Amber and they have one son, Rance.
Micheal Gramling, Chapel Location Manager
Micheal Gramling joined Memorial Park in 2005 and is a Funeral Director. He is a member of the First Baptist Church. Micheal graduated from the University of Mississippi and has been in the funeral business since 1996. When we asked what attracted Micheal to this field, he said, “I wanted to be able to provide quality service with the utmost respect and integrity.” When asked to give his proudest moment in this profession Micheal said, “My proudest moments happen when I am helping a family plan a service that truly honors their loved ones character and personality. On a regular basis, I am told that I have gone above and beyond their expectations.”
Janet Patrick, Director of First Impressions- Cemetery Office
Janet Patrick joined Memorial Park in 2007 and is the Director of First Impressions for our cemetery office. Janet was previously in sales and retail management. When we asked what attracted Janet to this field, she said, “It’s a type of ministry. If I comfort one person each day who has suffered a loss, then I feel I’ve done my job.” Janet has two daughters and one granddaughter. She is passionate about rescuing and caring for homeless animals. When asked to give her proudest moment in this profession Janet said, “Many proud moments come to mind with assisting families and making them feel as comfortable as possible here at Memorial Park.”
Elizabeth Haddock, Director of First Impressions- Arrangement Center
Elizabeth Haddock joined Memorial Park in 2009 as the Director of First Impressions. Elizabeth previously served on the Shelby County PTA Board of Directors for six years as head of Community Service Projects. She enjoys spending time with her three young daughters and is passionate about volunteering as much as possible in their schools and in the community. She attends Grace St. Lukes Episcopal Church. When asked to give her proudest moment in this profession Elizabeth said, “I take pride every day in the work I do here at Memorial Park with each and every family that I am able to assist.”
Tessa Armbrister, Office Manager
Tessa Armbrister joined Memorial Park in the administrative department in 2000 and is now the Office Manager. She is the Secretary of Memphis and Shelby County Police Foundation, a committee member of Tennessee Funeral Directors Association (TFDA), Public Relations and Social Media Committee. Tessa has an Associate’s Degree in Office Management and was previously a Medical Office Manager for 4 years. When asked to give her proudest moment in this profession Tessa said: “Being asked to be the Office Manager at Memorial Park.”
Latasha R Peeples, Assistant Office Manager
Latasha Peeples joined Memorial Park in 2015. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and has over twelve years’ experience in the administrative field. She enjoys helping and putting smiles on people’s faces each and every day. When we asked what attracted Latasha to Memorial Park, she said, “I want to make a difference through helping others, in their time of need and being able to be more involved in community service and Memorial Park sets the standard for both”, she believes that, “we are not only on the earth to take care of ourselves, but to help and inspire others”. In her spare time Latasha enjoys spending time with her grandmother, bowling three times a week and playing softball during the spring and fall.
Greg Griffin, Assistant Location Manager
Gregory Griffin joined Memorial Park in 2010 and is a Funeral Director. Gregory has a BA in History from Mississippi State University and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Memphis. When we asked what attracted Gregory to this field, he said, “I enjoy helping people.” Gregory is married and enjoys gardening and woodworking.
When asked to give his proudest moment in this profession Gregory said, “Every day, when the funeral services are complete and the families we serve thank us for taking such good care of them during their time of need.”
Jeremy Rochell, Superintendent
Jeremy Rochell joined Memorial Park in the maintenance department in 2015 and is the Superintendent. Jeremy has experience in Parks and Recreation Management and is Chairman of Millington’s City Beautiful Commission. When asked what his favorite aspect of his job is, he said, “Helping develop new projects and working to maintain this beautiful Memphis Landmark is an honor.” Jeremy and his wife enjoy spending their free time at the lake with friends.
George Roseberry, Funeral Director
George Roseberry joined the staff at Memorial Park in 1999 and is a funeral director. When we asked what attracted George to this field, he said, “Being able to provide service to the community.” George has been married for 21 years and has one son and one daughter; he enjoys riding motorcycles.
Phillip Hamilton, Funeral Director
Phillip Hamilton has been serving Memphis area families since 1982 and is a Funeral Service Director. His expertise lies in church funeral and memorial services. He is a member of National Funeral Directors Association, Grace St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in midtown Memphis, and is an avid reader and history buff. Phillip’s philosophy is “a family has only one chance to get ‘it’ right”. He asks his families “What is the most important to you?”
Brad Farmer, Funeral Director
Brad Farmer joined Memorial Park in 2013 and is a Funeral Director. Brad studied business at the University of Memphis and Graduated from Northwest Mississippi with an Associates degree in Funeral Science. He is a duly licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer and member of the Tennessee Board of Funeral Directors. Brad is married and has three beautiful children
Hannah Moore, Funeral Director
Hannah joined Memorial Park in 2011 and is a Funeral Director. Hannah has an Associate’s Degree in Mortuary Science and has been in the funeral business since 2003. She coordinates and leads the Mid- South Transplant Foundation’s “Ride 4 Life” and Camp Good Grief 5K, both of which are sponsored by and held on the grounds of Memorial Park. Hannah also works hand-in-hand with the local emergency agencies and media to coordinate Memorial Park’s annual Fallen Heroes Memorial Service. When we asked what attracted Hannah to this field, she said, “I have a compassionate heart and strong desire to help others, while handling the business aspect in a professional and compassionate manner.” When asked to give her proudest moment in this profession Hannah said, “When I was given the opportunity to be Memorial Park's liaison with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in getting their patients that didn’t survive cancer back home, whether home is inside or outside the United States. However, my absolute proudest moment is when a family expresses their sincere appreciation and satisfaction of the care and service they received by all staff of Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery.”
Chuck Vinson, Funeral Director
Charles Vinson joined Memorial Park in 1988 and is a Funeral Director. He is a former officer in the United States Army and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Mississippi. Charles has a BA from the University of Memphis and a Mortuary Degree from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service. When we asked what attracted Charles to this field, he said, “My father was a Funeral Director and I wanted to follow in his footsteps.” Charles and his wife Judy have been married for over 30 years and have three children, Matthew, Crystal and Kelly.
Sundye Williams, Funeral Director
Sundye Williams joined Memorial Park in 2013 and is a Funeral Director. Sundye has an Associates of Applied Science in Funeral Service Technology. She is also a Certified Crematory Operator. When we asked what attracted Sundye to this field, she said, “I want to help people in need and serve my community.” When asked to give her proudest moment in this profession Sundye said, “Every time I hear that a family is pleased with the appearance of their loved one and the care that they have received”.
Terry Richards, Funeral Director
Terry Richards joined Memorial Park in 2012 and works as a Funeral Associate. When asked what his favorite thing about his job at Memorial Park was, he said “The people! I love having the ability to help families during, probably, the worse time of their lives.” Terry is a member of Bellevue Arlington Baptist Church. He has four daughters and six grandchildren. His youngest daughter is a Funeral Director at Memorial Park.
Gina Gaffney, Funeral Director
Gina Gaffney joined Memorial Park in 2015 and is a Funeral Director. She has been in the funeral industry for over 20 years and serving families here in the Memphis area for over 10. She is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. When we asked her what her favorite aspect of the job is, she said, “being entrusted by families to personalize the service for their loved one in order to help them celebrate a life lived.” Gina and her husband have three children and three dogs; they enjoy spending time together at the lake.
Joy Holt, Family Service Counselor
Joy Holt joined Memorial Park in the sales department in 1975 and is a Senior Advisor. Joy was previously in the dental field for 20 years. When we asked what attracted Joy to this field, she said, “I wanted to be of service to people who are grieving.”
Larry Thompson, Family Service Counselor
Larry Thompson joined Memorial Park in the sales department in 2013 and is a Family Service Counselor. He is a member of Byhalia Area Chamber of Commerce, Marshall County Historical Society, Marshall County Geological Society and the Benton County Historical and Geological Society. Larry has a BA in History and Anthropology from the University of Mississippi. When we asked what attracted Larry to this field, he said, “I like being able to help people in their time of need and help them plan for the future.” Larry is married with three sons, Joseph, Garret and William. When asked to give his proudest moment in this profession Larry said, “I'm glad to be a part of such a great company dedicated to service. Memorial Park is beautiful and I'm glad to come to work every day at this wonderful park.”
Paul Shipman, Family Service Counselor
Paul Shipman joined Memorial Park in the sales department in 2007 and is a Family Service Counselor. Paul was previously a licensed optician for 25 years. When we asked what attracted Paul to this field, he said, “The opportunity to serve the good people of Memphis through rough times.” Paul has been married for over 37 years; has 5 children; 12 grandchildren; and 4 dogs. When asked to give his proudest moment in this profession Paul said, “When a family gives me a hug and thanks me for helping them.”
Kenneth Walker, Family Service Counselor
Kenneth Walker joined Memorial Park’s Sales Team in 2016 and is a Family Service Counselor. He graduated from the University of Memphis and has a background in Psychology. Kenneth and his wife live in Memphis and enjoy traveling.
Vickie Wine, Family Service Counselor
Vickie Wine joined Memorial Park in 2016 as a Sales Counselor. Vickie has worked in the funeral industry for over 8 years. When we asked what attracted her to Memorial Park, she said, “I love this industry and this is the most beautiful park in Memphis”. When asked what her favorite aspect of the job is, she said “I love helping families through such a difficult time in their lives. As a Family Service Counselor, I’m able to help educate people about the importance of planning ahead, as well as helping them to understand their loved ones last wishes.” When not working, Vickie enjoys spending time with her three grown children and five grandsons.
Kerri Brakefield, Family Service Counselor
Kerri Brakefield joined Memorial Park in 2015 and is a Family Service Advisor. Kerri previously worked in Education for 17 years. When we asked Kerri what attracted her to Memorial Park, she said, “I have a passion for helping others.” Her favorite thing to do is spending time with her husband, Roger; their two daughters, Lauren and Lindsay; and her sister, Dana.
Bradley K Littlejohn, Family Service Counselor
Brad joined Memorial Park in 2006 as a Sales Counselor. He has worked in the funeral industry for over ten years. When we asked what first attracted him to Memorial Park, he said, “My father passed away when I was 11 years old and was interred here at Memorial Park. I visited as often as possible, always admiring the beauty and uniqueness of this Cemetery”. When asked what his favorite aspect of the job is, he said “I love helping families through such a difficult time in their lives and I consider this career as a ministry.” Brad is blessed with three wonderful sons, Collin, Taylor and Christian.
Donna Kaplan, Family Service Counselor
Donna Kaplan joined Memorial Park’s Sales Team in 2016 and is a Family Service Counselor. Donna comes to us with several years of experience in funeral and cemetery service. When asked what her favorite aspect of the job was, she said “working with families for advance planning. I have met some amazing families that have become friends and continue to recommend their friends. Families that come to me for information on cemetery and funeral planning are sometimes surprised to find themselves actually enjoying the process of touring our beautiful park and I enjoy the laughter and gentle teasing from these couples. Pre-planning is the single most loving and financially responsible action one can do for their spouse and family. I love finding creative ways to help my families buy that special space near their parents or a mausoleum they have always wanted or discovering that we have affordable family estates.” Donna has actively served with several Chambers’ of Commerce as well as four wonderful years with Jr. Achievement, and a host of other organizations.
Kevin Gish, Family Service Counselor
Will Dorrough, Family Service Counselor
Will Dorrough joined Memorial Park’s Sales Team in 2016 and is a Family Service Counselor. Will is a member of the University of Mississippi M-Club where he graduated in 2009 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice. When asked what his favorite thing about working at Memorial Park was, he said, “I like Memorial Park for its beauty and comfort to people in Memphis and it gives me the opportunity to help people in their time of need. I love building relationships and serving families who are facing a very difficult time.” He is a member of Central Church, mentored inner city youth and has served at the juvenile court in Shelby County.
Allan Bowden, Family Service Counselor
Allan Bowden joined Memorial Park’s Sales Team in 2016 and is a Family Service Counselor. With a Master's Degree in Counseling and extensive background in education and business, Allan is dedicated to the families he serves. When asked about his role at Memorial Park, Allan said, “My commitment is based on my promise to make every effort to meet every need of every family visiting Memorial Park!” He is a native Memphian and graduate of Evangelical Christian School. Married to Lisa for 25 years, he and his wife have three beautiful children - Allan III, Bailey Sue and Lainey Lee.
Tamiko Swain, Community Service Counselor
Norris Gray, Community Service Counselor
Norris Gray joined Memorial Park in 2014 and is a Community Service Advisor. Previously, he worked in the hospitality industry and has over 25 years of management experience. Norris is also an ordained minister and attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. He is married and has one daughter.
Rochelle Landon, Community Service Counselor
Duane Jeffers, Community Service Counselor
Dianne Callahan, Certified Celebrant
Dianne Callahan joined Memorial Park in 2015 and works as a Certified Celebrant. She is a native Memphian and is retired from FedEx, where she was Manager of International Sales. When asked what her favorite thing about her job at Memorial Park is, she said “I enjoy helping people through such a difficult process.” Dianne is a member of Forest Hill Church of Christ and volunteers for many Community Outreach Programs. She enjoys spending time with her two grandchildren.
DiAnne Fortson, Sales Assistant
DiAnne Fortson joined Memorial Park in 2014 and is a Sales/ Graphic Arts Assistant. Previously, she worked in the Non-Profit Sector and has over 20 years of administrative support and management experience. A native Californian, she now calls Memphis home. DiAnne says she has always worked in organizations that provide assistance or services to the community at large, so joining the Memorial Park team was a “no-brainer”. In her spare time she enjoys writing, crafting, and learning about the latest in technology.
Kaylee Schrotberger, Staff Associate
Kaylee joined Memorial Park in 2016 and is a Funeral Staff Associate. When asked what attracted her to working at Memorial Park, she said “I have compassion and a love for helping others, I enjoy serving alongside others to make families feel as comfortable as possible at a very difficult time.” Kaylee is currently attending Norwest Mississippi to receive her degree in mortuary science.
Anthony Callahan, Staff Associate
Greg Jones, Staff Associate
Greg Jones joined Memorial Park in 2016 and works as a Funeral Staff Associate. When asked what attracted him to working at Memorial Park, he said “I enjoy working with people and helping them during a difficult time. It is great to be a part of the Memorial Park family and the excellent level of care and compassion offered here.” Greg is a retired school counselor and a part-time church musician, serving as an accompanist and choir director. He enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with his family.
Danielle Stagner, Staff Associate
Danielle Stagner joined Memorial Park in 2016 and is a funeral staff associate. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. When asked what her favorite thing about working at Memorial Park was, Danielle said, “I like the friendly staff, they are like family”. She is currently attending Northwest Mississippi Community College pursuing a degree in the Funeral Service Technology program to become a Funeral Director and Embalmer.
Justin Williams, Staff Associate
Justin Williams joined Memorial Park in 2015 and works as a Funeral Associate. When asked what his favorite thing about his job at Memorial Park was, he said “It means a lot to me when people smile and thank me for helping them.” Justin is very creative and loves interacting and doing things with other creative people. In his spare time, he enjoys hanging out with his friends and spending time outdoors.
Charles Griffin, Staff Associate
Charles Griffin joined Memorial Park in 2014 and works as a Funeral Associate. When asked what his favorite thing about his job at Memorial Park was, he said “I love working with such great company and great people.” Charles is a member of Mullins United Methodist Church and an alumna of Mississippi State University. He has been married to his wife, Carol, for almost 40 years, has one daughter, and one son. His son, Greg, is the assistant manager of Memorial Park Funeral Home. Charles loves spending time with his two wonderful granddaughters, Hadley and Eleana.
Marcus Allen, Staff Associate
Marcus Allen joined Memorial Park in 2014 and works as a Funeral Associate. When asked what his favorite thing about his job at Memorial Park was, he said “I love helping people.” Marcus is a lifelong Memphian and a member of Bellevue Baptist Church. When not at work, he loves spending time with his children.
Faye Bourland, Staff Associate
Faye Bourland joined the Memorial Park staff in 2006 as a Hostess/Greeter. She has been a member of Elliston Baptist Church, for 40 years and teaches first grade Sunday School. Faye was previously in the grocery business for 40 years. Faye is married with 3 children, 6 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. When asked to give her proudest moment in this profession Faye said, “Every time a family we have served tells me that we have done a great job.”
Tim Carroll, Staff Associate
Tim Carroll joined the Memorial Park staff in 2009 as a Funeral Associate. Tim was previously in the funeral business for 8 years. When we asked what attracted Tim to this field, he said: “I wanted to help families in their time of need! The way my family was taken care of when my mother passed away made me want to do that for others!” Tim enjoys working out, basketball, tennis, any kind of sporting or physical activity, and loves animals.
James Logan, Staff Associate
James Logan joined Memorial Park in 1993 and is a funeral assistant. When we asked what attracted James to this field, he said: “my desire to meet and serve others.” When asked to give his proudest moment in this profession James said, “Being able to serve others every day.”
Lucy West, Staff Associate
Lucy West joined the Memorial Park staff in 2002 as a Hostess/Greeter. She is a member of Elliston Baptist Church. When we asked what attracted Lucy to this field, she said, “I consider myself very caring and I love to comfort others in need.” When asked to give her proudest moment in this profession Lucy said, “I am always proud when I can show families love and compassion during their loss.”
Cody Schiele, Staff Associate
Cody Schiele joined Memorial Park in 2013 as a Funeral Associate. Cody has an Associates Degree in Mortuary Science from NWMCC. When we asked what attracted Cody to this field, he said "I have always been a caring person with a strong sense of empathy, and nothing fulfills me more than helping those who are at their most vulnerable and in need. When I work with a family, my first priority in mind is serving them with utter dedication and the utmost professionalism". Cody is currently engaged to be married and enjoys history, literature, and Civil War reenacting. When asked to give his proudest moment in this profession, Cody said, "Nothing fills me with a greater sense of pride than when I take part in folding the American flag for one of our Nation's heroes".
Mallory Bass, Staff Associate
Danita Allen, Administrative Associate
Danita Allen joined Memorial Park in 2012 and is an Administrative Assistant. Danita was previously a Health Insurance Consumer Advisor for 3 years. When we asked what attracted Danita to this field, she said, “I get a wonderful feeling helping families pay their last respects to their loved ones.”
Jacqueline Strickland, Receptionist
Carol Gonzalez, Administrative Associate
Carol Gonzales joined Memorial Park in 2009 and is an administrative associate in the accounts payable department. Carol has three years of college majoring in Biology and had previously done graphic layout, real estate, and was a fitness trainer. Carol has been married for over 13 years and enjoys gardening, art and painting.
LaTunya Guillén, Administrative Associate
LaTunya Guillen joined Memorial Park in 2008 and has made great contributions in the administrative department since such time. LaTunya has actively been employed in the administrative field for the past 16 years or so. She is known for her tender heart, and the pleasure she receives in seeing other’s “Happy”. LaTunya most recently accepted a new position with Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery as Lead Phone Receptionist. This role is critical to the overall customer experience, and her new position will benefit so many as a result of her personality, and caring and compassionate ways.
Varona Johnson, Administrative Associate
Varona Johnson joined Memorial Park in the administrative department in 1999 and is the head of Accounts Receivable. When we asked what attracted Varona to this field, she said, “The desire to help/serve the community, making a positive difference while doing so.” When asked to give her proudest moment in this profession Varona said, “Receiving my funeral director's license.”
Taylor Loeffel, Administrative Associate
Taylor Loeffel joined Memorial Park in the administrative department in 2012. Taylor was previously a cosmetic consultant and sales representative following graduation from Paul Mitchell Cosmetology School. When we asked what attracted Taylor to this field, she said, “Having the opportunity to help families through their most difficult times.” When asked to give her proudest moment in this profession Taylor said, “Being able to be a part of the Memorial Park team.”
Wayne Herron, Clerical & Administrative Specialist
Wayne Herron joined the Memorial Park staff in 2005 and is a staff associate in the interment office. Wayne was previously a retail manager for 38 years. Wayne has been married for 52 years.
When asked to give his proudest moment in this profession Wayne said, “Too many to mention, but the best is when you see families pleased with the appearance of their loved ones after a lengthy and difficult illness. When I worked as a funeral assistant, I saw this happen often.”
"Paddy" Priscilla Harris, Clerical & Administrative Specialist
Paddy Harris joined Memorial Park in the administrative department in 2016. When we asked what her favorite aspect of the job was, she said “I take pride in being able to expedite necessary paperwork to allow our families the time to spend together. I love driving through the Park each morning, it’s a perfect start to my day.” She is active in children’s ministry at Hope Church and serves on the Board of Directors for Germantown Kiwanis and West Tennessee Destination Imagination.
Margie G. Reyes, Clerical & Administrative Specialist
Margie Reyes joined Memorial Park in the administrative department in 2016. She has over 30 years of experience in Customer Service. When asked what her favorite thing about working at Memorial Park was, Margie said, “This is such a special place to work and it adds so much meaning to what I do.” Margie was born and raised in Memphis. When not working, Margie loves spending time with her family; she has two children and two grandchildren.
Carolyn Herron, Housekeeping
Carolyn Herron joined the staff of Memorial Park in 2005 and is a housekeeper. She is a member of Hill Chapel Baptist Church. When we asked what attracted Carolyn to this field, she said: “I like working with people and helping families.”
Carmella Thompson, Housekeeping
Carmella Thompson joined the Memorial Park staff in 1993 and is a housekeeper. She is a member of the Body of Christ Church and a Christian. When we asked what attracted Carmella to this field, she said, “You wouldn't believe it if I told you but I'll tell you just the same; when I was a little girl, me and my parents passed by here and I said I wanted to work there one day and here I am!” When asked to give her proudest moment in this profession Carmella said, “The proudest moment here at the park was to see all of my bosses come to my parent’s funerals.”
Sara Weidenmaier, Cemetery Communications
Sara Weidenmaier joined Memorial Park in 2008 and works in the sales department. She is a member of the Arts Counsel. Sara was previously a real estate broker, loan originator, processor and closer, and real estate appraiser. When we asked what attracted Sara to this field, she said, “I wanted to be able to help people during their worst time.” Sara has one daughter and two grandchildren. She enjoys interior decorating, painting, and gardening. When asked to give her proudest moment in this profession Sara said, “When my doctor’s office called and asked me to help a terminal cancer patient with their funeral arrangements.”
Wade Kelley, Fleet Supervisor
Wade Kelley joined Memorial Park in 1997 and is the Fleet Manager. He also assists with funerals. Wade was previously a pastor for 22 years. When we asked what attracted Wade to this field, he said, “The ministry of serving”. When asked to give his proudest moment in this profession Wade said, “Everyday it is a joy to come to work and serve people.”
Anne Russell, Music Coordinator
Anne Russell joined Memorial Park in 2009 as the Music Coordinator. She has been the organist at Kingsway Christian Church for 25 years, is the organist for the Memphis Red Birds baseball team, and the pianist for Theatre Memphis. Anne has been married for over 45 years, has four children, and nine grandchildren.
Dennis Neenan, Certified Celebrant
Dennis Neenan joined Memorial Park in 1976 and work in our Pastoral Care department. When we asked what attracted Dennis to this field, he said, “Caring for others who are in a fragile state and who need a special, thoughtful “helping” of God’s love. Dennis and his wife Marilyn have one daughter, Faith; and four dogs. When asked to give his proudest moment in this profession, Dennis said, “Serving alongside my friends at Memorial Park.”
Terry Ecrement, Cemetery Service Supervisor
Terry Ecrement joined Memorial Park in 1995 and is a Cemetery Service Supervisor. He is a member of East Memphis Optimist Club. Terry was previously a building material sales and job supervisor. When we asked what attracted Terry to this field, he said, “I had prior involvement in the cemetery business while living in Ohio and it became my passion.” Terry enjoys billiards and golf. When asked to give his proudest moment in this profession Terry said, “Helping families at different times. In a way, I can help give them peace of mind about their cemetery and funeral arrangements. I look forward to these proud moments on a daily basis.”
Ronald Sherrod, Cemetery Caretaker
Ronald Sherrod joined Memorial Park in 1974 and is a cemetery supervisor. He is a member of Mississippi Boulevard Church and occasionally sings in the male chorus when time allows. When we asked what attracted Ronald to this field, he said, “I wanted to support and care for families during bereavement.” Ronald has been married for 33 years with two children and three grandchildren; he enjoys spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren. When asked to give his proudest moment in this profession Ronald said, “I remember older employees who are deceased that trained and molded me. The legacy of helping, working with, and training new employees is very significant. Teamwork is very important to serving families during time of bereavement.”
Roosevelt Brown, Cemetery Caretaker
Roosevelt Brown joined Memorial Park in 1970 as a Backhoe Operator. When we asked what attracted Roosevelt to this field, He said: “My uncle got me started in this field.”
Jason Brewer, Cemetery Caretaker
Jason Brewer joined Memorial Park in 2015 and works as a Cemetery Caretaker. Jason’s professional background is in the Service Industry. When asked what his favorite thing about his job at Memorial Park was, he said “I lost a close family member that was such an important person in my life and I’m proud to help other families through such a painful time.” Jason is a native Memphian, enjoys fishing, and he has one son.
Patrick Jennings, Cemetery Caretaker
Patrick Jennings joined Memorial Park in 1994 and is a Cemetery Caretaker. When we asked what attracted Patrick to this field, he said, “I have a family background in this profession.” When asked to give his proudest moment in this profession Patrick said, “Completing a burial or marker installation and having the family pleased with our work.”
Paul Tidwell, Cemetery Caretaker
Paul Tidwell joined Memorial Park in 2009 and is a Backhoe Operator. He supports the VFW. When we asked what attracted Paul to this field, he said, “My mother worked for a cemetery in Austin, TX and I admired the work she did.” Paul enjoys golfing and fishing. When asked to give his proudest moment in this profession Paul said, “Being a part of all the beautiful new projects on the grounds here at Memorial Park!”
Guillermo Partida, Cemetery Caretaker
Guillermo Partida joined Memorial Park in 2014 and works as a Cemetery Caretaker. When asked what his favorite thing about his job at Memorial Park was, he said “I love working outside and helping people.” Guillermo enjoys landscaping and the outdoors. He has two children and two grandchildren.
Gerson Ramirez, Cemetery Caretaker
Gerson Ramirez joined Memorial Park in 2014 and works as a Cemetery Caretaker. When asked what his favorite thing about his job at Memorial Park was, he said “I love working with my manager, Jim Naville, and I love trying new things.” Gerson is married and has three children.