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.
In 1922, the Williams Furniture Company in the
600 block of East Elk Avenue in downtown Elizabethton started selling “coffins
to and providing undertaking services to the public.” The name of the business
was changed to Williams Furniture and Undertaking Company. One of the employees of the William Furniture
and Undertaking Company was B. P. Curtis.
Mr. Curtis left his employment at Williams in May of 1925 and started
the Curtis Funeral Home with Frank Bailey serving as his funeral director. The funeral home was located at the northwest
corner of Main Street and East Elk Avenue where the “Monument” is located. Mr. Curtis owned and operated the funeral
home until 1932 when the business was sold to H. S North who moved to
Elizabethton from Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, where other members of his family
operated an “undertaking establishment”. Mr. North owned and operated the
funeral home until September 1st of 1943 when he sold the funeral
home to Don Tetrick who had moved to Elizabethton from Joplin, Missouri, where
he had worked at the Thornhill-Dillon Mortuary.
A few months after Don Tetrick moved to
Elizabethton his father, Glen W. “Pappy” Tetrick, moved to Elizabethton from
Kansas City, Missouri, to join his son in the operation of the funeral home.
After selling the funeral home to Don Tetrick,
Mr. North moved to Franklin, Tennessee, where he passed away in November of
1943. After Mr. North’s passing the name
of the funeral home was changed to Tetrick Funeral Home.
During 1944, the first full year Tetrick Funeral
Home operated, the Tetrick family served 38 families. The funeral home operated
at the corner of North Main Street and East Elk Avenue until the summer of 1951
when the Tetrick family purchased the stately Grindstaff Victorian home located
at 211 North Riverside Drive. The funeral home was serving more families each
year and additional space was needed.
Families were not having their loved one’s body returned to the home as
often and families were receiving friends at the funeral home. So, the larger building was needed.
In 1952, a new addition was added on the back
of the funeral home; the 6400 square feet, two story structure had space on the
second floor to display caskets. A
sleeping area for the staff was constructed on the first floor, as well as four
garages for ambulances and hearses and a storage area for supplies.
In 1955, Don Tetrick purchased Happy Valley
Memorial Park seeing a need for funeral homes to be associated with a perpetual
care cemetery. For 22 years, Tetrick
Funeral Home was the only funeral home in Tennessee east of Nashville to be
associated with a cemetery. Since that time, numerous funeral homes have seen
the value of providing a perpetual care cemetery for the families they serve.
Glen W. “Pappy” Tetrick retired from funeral
service in 1961 and passed away on December 7, 1965.
In 1963, the Riverside Funeral Chapel, formal
visitation room, modern rest rooms and offices were added to the former house
from which Tetrick Funeral Home operated. This structure was the first formal
church-type chapel to be added by any funeral home in northeast Tennessee. More
and more families wanted to have services at the funeral home as well as
receiving friends where the funeral would be.
The funeral home was serving more and more families each year, so the
new facilities were definitely needed.
In 1968, Richard Tetrick graduated from the
Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science and joined his father, Don, in the
operation of Tetrick Funeral Home. In 1974, Don and Richard built and opened the
Tetrick Rhododendron Chapel in Roan Mountain, Tennessee.
As the business continue to grow, more space
was needed for the Elizabethton location, so the Garden Room, a new and larger
visitation room as well as a new entrance were constructed in 1979. Additional parking for over 80 additional
cars was added to the existing parking lot.
On January 1, 1980, the Hathaway Percy Funeral
Home was purchased by the Tetrick family.
The Tetrick and the Hathaway and Percy families had been friends for
many years. Roy Hathaway had passed away in 1976, and his partner Bob Percy had
no heir apparent to succeed him. So an agreement was reached between the Percy
family and the Tetrick family to succeed Bob Percy as the owner and operator of
the Hathaway Percy Funeral Home.
Don Tetrick retired on January 1,1981, and
sold his interest in the business to his son Richard.
Don enjoyed an active retirement and played a
part in Tetrick Funeral Home up until his passing on August 26th, 2012.
Don was referred to as "Daddy Don" by family, and by those
employees whose lives he touched in meaningful ways. He was active in the
First United Methodist Church, where he taught Sunday school for many years.
Also, Don was very active in the local community by participating in
Jaycees at an earlier age, Kiwanis, and many community civic boards in his
later years. He is still greatly missed by his immediate family and by the
Tetrick Funeral Home family and the entire Elizabethton and Johnson City
In 1984, Tetrick Funeral Home was extensively
renovated and expanded with the removal of the original structure that had
housed the operation for many years. In 1985 the Castle Funeral Home in Bluff
City, Tennessee was purchased by the Tetrick family, and the building was
completely remodeled in 1986.
In 2000, the Chapel of Peace was added to the
Elizabethton location, and the entire building was completely remodeled. In
addition to the original Riverside Chapel and the Chapel of Peace, the building
now featured two informal visitation room chapels. With the increase in the
number of night time funerals, four services could be conducted in the building
at the same time.
In November of 2001, the Tetrick family opened
a new location at 3001 Peoples Street in Johnson City. The new and modern 12,000 square foot
structure featured state of the art facilities which are still considered to be
the best and most modern in east Tennessee.
Families can have formal and informal funeral and memorial services in
this building. Many families choose to
have receptions for their family and friends in the building. The building can
accommodate five families receiving friends at the same time. The Johnson City chapel has won several
awards and been featured in national funeral service magazines for its’
In 2011, the lobby of the Elizabethton
location was renovated and enlarged. A portico
was added to the front of the building to help families load and unload from
their cars in the event of inclement weather.
Over the years, Tetrick Funeral Homes have
been honored by being invited into membership in Selected Independent Funeral
Homes, the International Order of the Golden Rule, winning the National Funeral
Director Association prestigious Pursuit of Excellence Award 14 times, and have
been honored as the Best of the Best of National Funeral Director Association
members. In addition, the Tetrick family members have been invited to and led
numerous funeral service study groups designed to raise the level of service to
families. The local communities of Carter and Washington Counties have
repeatedly chosen Tetrick Funeral Homes as the Best of the Best of all funeral
homes in their counties.
Tetrick Funeral Home has always taken pride in
providing the best possible service and the most comfortable atmosphere for grieving
families. Through the years from its humble beginnings in 1922 in a
hardware store selling coffins and undertaking services, the funeral home has
progressively grown to be the most often called funeral home between Knoxville,
Tennessee, Greensboro, North Carolina and Roanoke, Virginia.
In 2022, we are proud to celebrate our 100th
anniversary of service to the families of northeast Tennessee.
Our Licensed Staff
Richard TetrickLicensed Funeral Director and Licensed Embalmer
Charlie BowmanLicensed Funeral Director and Licensed Embalmer
Derek CornettLicensed Funeral Director and Licensed Embalmer
Jason M. BrunerLicensed Funeral Director and Licensed Embalmer
Greg HarrisLicensed Funeral Director
Shane YounceLicensed Funeral Director and Licensed Embalmer
David BlackburnLicensed Funeral Director and Licensed Embalmer
Heath B. LawhonLicensed Funeral Director and Licensed Embalmer
Calissta BishopLicensed Funeral Director and Apprentice Embalmer