Heritage Memorial Funeral Home was founded in 1994 by Rabun O. Smith who previously had 47 years experience in the funeral industry, 41 of those being a fully licensed funeral director and embalmer. Rabun Smith moved to Warner Robins in 1969 and went into partnership with Mr. Lamar Christopher to form Christopher –Smith Funeral Home. After Mr. Christopher’s retirement in 1979, Smith bought out his share of the funeral home. During this time Smith also served as president of the Georgia Funeral Directors Association in 1987.
In 1988 Smith sold Christopher-Smith Funeral Home to the Service Corp. International and remained on for six more years until retiring. After having worked for a corporate business, Smith decided that he wanted to go back into the funeral business because the corporate ownership of the business was not personal enough to satisfy him. He felt a dedication to the families he served and felt that they deserved more by offering “personal service.” In November 1994 Smith and Clinton W. Tanner became co-owners of the new Heritage Memorial Funeral Home.
Today, Heritage Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory still remains a family business, owned and managed by Rabun's daughter Kimberly S. Harris.
Heritage Memorial provides a range of highly personalized, one-on-one funeral and cremation service options that honor with reverence and dignity those who have passed while prioritizing the important healing and closure professional funeral services provide to those who are grieving.
Kim just recently graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta and received her degree in Mortuary Science. Kim is married to David Harris, also from Warner Robins. They have twin daughters, Charly and Lauren, who are currently attending College. Kim loves the outdoors, working with her five horses, waterskiing, and spending time with her family. Having grown up with her father in the funeral business, it is Kim's desire to continue the "family owned" business and serve the members of the surrounding community with the same respect and dignity that her father shared with so many.
Jason is the newest member of the Heritage team. However, he is not new to the business. He did his apprenticeship at Christopher-Smith Funeral Home from 1999-2001 and in 2001; he traveled to Statesboro, Georgia to pursue his degree. He graduated with honors from Ogeechee Technical College in July 2003 with a degree in Funeral Service Management.
Jason was born in Savannah, Georgia and grew up in Perry where his parents moved after he was born. He attended The Westfield Schools until his sophomore year in high school and graduated from Perry High School in 1991. He graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with an Associate’s degree in Ag Marketing. After college, he worked for Tolleson Lumber Company. He really enjoyed his job and what he was doing, until his grandmother passed away in 1998. Jason had always had an itch to be a part of the funeral business, his brother is also a funeral director, and had debated on going to school several times. However, it wasn’t until his grandmother’s passing that he realized what his true calling was.He is married to the former Katherine Blount of Perry. She is a 5th grade teacher at Kings Chapel Elementary. They have two sons Blake (11) and Ben (8). He and his family live in Perry, and are members of Cross Point Baptist Church. In Jason’s free time he loves to deer hunt, salt-water fish, and play golf.
Kelly was born the youngest of five siblings, too Lloyd and Martha Foust. He is a lifelong resident of Warner Robins, Georgia and a 1992 graduate of Northside High School. He has two daughters, Brittany and Brianna. Kelly and his daughters are members of the First Baptist Church of Centerville. Kelly is an avid hunter and fisherman and loves playing softball. He started his funeral service career while in high school, working part-time with McCullough Funeral Home under the late Jimmy McCullough. However, he went on to pursue other career opportunities before finally working part-time for Heritage Memorial in 2002 under the late Rabun O. Smith. Kelly became a fulltime member on staff at Heritage in November 2008. He is currently working on his apprenticeship and attending Mortuary school to obtain his Funeral Director and Embalming Degree.
Andy Pickens was born and raised in Centerville, Georgia. He graduated from Northside High School class of ’93. Andy married his high school sweet heart, Melissa, and they have four children Drew, Ashley, Emily, and Abby. He later graduated with a B.A. from Trevecca Nazarene University and is an Ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene where Andy serves as a Chaplain. He served as a pastor in a few churches in Georgia including the First Church of the Nazarene in Warner Robins. Andy entered the funeral industry in 2004 and worked at a couple of Funeral Homes in Macon as a Funeral Service Apprentice and Chaplain.
“I saw the funeral industry as an opportunity to help hurting families through a difficult time. I thought as a Funeral Chaplain I could do a lot of good, and I did. Then, as the funeral home I was working at exposed me to more of the science and business side of the industry, I learned I could do as much good from the other side of the pulpit at a funeral service.”
Andy came to Heritage Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory in April, 2016 as a Funeral Service Apprentice/Chaplain and is a currently pursuing an Associate’s degree in Funeral Service Education at Ogeechee Technical College. He enjoys spending time with his family, canoeing, a good story, an engaging conversation, and lots of laughs!
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs are people who are truly alive!” G.K. Chesterton
Leigh is the daughter of Keith and Ann Watson. She is a lifelong resident of Warner Robins, Georgia and a 2011 graduate of Warner Robins High School. Leigh and her family are members of Southside Baptist Church. After high school, she attended Georgia Military College where in 2013, she earned an Associate’s Degree in Pre-Nursing. Shortly after, Leigh realized nursing wasn’t for her and decided to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She graduated from Ogeechee Technical College in 2015 with her degree in funeral services. After two years working in the funeral industry, Leigh joined the Heritage Memorial Funeral Home team in February 2016 as a full time Funeral Directors Apprentice. In her free time, Leigh enjoys trips to the beach, shopping, and spending time with friends and family. Leigh truly feels that the funeral industry is a ministry. She is passionate about her work and feels blessed to be able to serve the families of our community in their time of need.
Lauren is the daughter of David and owner Kimberly Harris and the granddaughter of the late Rabun Smith who founded Heritage Memorial Funeral Home in 1994. Growing up in the Warner Robins and Perry area, she graduated from Perry High School in 2010 and attended Georgia College and State University to obtain her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. In her free time she enjoys trips to the lake and the beach, playing soccer, hiking, and spending time with family as well as her two pets, Tucker and Oliver. Lauren has always had a strong passion to help others, and she has joined the Heritage Memorial Staff to do just that. Lauren is running our new Aftercare program to help the families we serve after the loss of a loved one. Along with this program, Lauren is working to become a Certified Grief Counselor so that she can continue to aid people who are grieving by offering individual and family grief counseling here at the funeral home. She is honored to work alongside her mother and be a part of the Heritage staff.
Sheila was born in Starke, FL to the late Cecil and Velma Hammond of Centerville, GA. She graduated from Northside High School and attended Lee University in Cleveland, TN. Sheila is married to Tommy DuPriest, from Macon, GA. Tommy has been employed at Robins Air Force Base for 28 years. They have two children, Stephanie (Chad) Campbell and Michael (Mika) DuPriest, and four wonderful grandchildren, Cali, Sloan, Marlee, and Judah. In her spare time, Sheila enjoys spending quality time with family and anything involving her grandchildren. She enjoys her friends, shopping, and exercising. Sheila is an active member of River of Light Church of God. Sheila considers it a ministry and receives personal satisfaction to be able to help families in their time of sorrow. She is honored to be a part of the Heritage Memorial Funeral Home Staff.
We are very grateful to have such a wonderful Part-time staff with us. Their dedication and compassion is priceless to us and to the families that we serve.
Our Part-time staff includes: Janice Varnadoe, Larry Varnadoe, Pam Morgan, Linda Carnes, Jeff White, Joe Musselwhite, David Davidson, David Gabbard, Byron Golden, Steve Alligood, Charly Harris, Lola Frost, John Pope, and Josh Stricklen.
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