Our History

Our Heritage

From a downtown store building in 1916, to our new family-friendly home completed in 1998, Lemley Funeral Service has always put service first and foremost.

In 1903, W.M .Lemley and Sons partnered in a General Mercantile business that branched out in several directions. One son, O.R. Lemley, my grandfather, developed the funeral and furniture businesses with his father who died in 1929.
Over a century ago families would come to town and buy a locally crafted wooden coffin from W.M. Lemley and Sons. Families soon wanted full service, and Lemley Funeral Service began. 

In 1920 Lemley Funeral purchased a new Ford Hearse that was the first motor driven Coach in Pope County. Records show that we rented this to other nearby firms for several years as they had no such conveyance. The 1927 car was a combination Hearse and Ambulance, providing the first ambulance service in this area. Old pen and ink death records dating from December, 1915 are still kept and are very useful in historical requests. 

We are very blessed to have a caring and capable staff: 30 year veteran director and embalmer, Riley Christian; newly welcomed 5th generation director, Chris Lemley; and director Carl Rackley. Carl began in 1962 and still is a vital part of the Lemley Funeral family. He learned the business from O.R and my father, Jack R, and with my older brother, Randy. Carl said when I took over for my father who died unexpectedly in 1982 "Anyone can sell a casket, we are here to provide service first and foremost." That tradition is and will be at the heart of all that we do.

- Jim Lemley, owner, funeral director 
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