(Town Crier photo/Nan Snider)
Gregg Funeral Home started out with a horse drawn hearse when it was established in Jonesboro in 1877. It has since grown and expanded, with the addition of the Monette facility in 1934.
During their 130 year span, three generations of the Gregg family and the Hebert family have served more than 30,000 families.
"Gregg's has grown and changed with the community, and has maintained a commitment to progress, a respect for tradition, and a goal of community satisfaction," said Lovelis "Buddy" Hebert, owner. "We are more than just a funeral service, as the Gregg family is made up of professionals to care for every need of families who have lost loved ones, and want to pay them tribute in a respectful way."
The Jonesboro headquarters is located at 300 W. Matthews, and the Monette branch is at 18878 Highway 18, west of town. There have been many changes throughout the years, from the time the original owner Jesse B. Gregg opened the funeral home in Monette in 1934. It was originally in a store front business downtown. Later he moved the business into a nice rock building, southward down Drew Avenue. That home is still in use today, as a residence. The Monette Gregg Funeral Home was built on Highway 18 in 1963 and remains there today.
"Jesse B. died in 1911 and his son James A. Gregg became the owner," Hebert said. "James A. died in 1934 and his two sons, Jesse B and James T., took charge of the business. In 1937 the second Jesse B. Gregg and his wife Maxine Stallcup Gregg managed the business. Jesse B. died in 1974 and Maxine ran the business by herself after that, until her death in 2004."
"Maxine though so much of her eight faithful employees, that she left the bulk of her 11 million dollar estate to them," Hebert said. "They included Jerry Lewis, Lee Mayhan, Grace Jones, Rilla Cope, Roger Rose, Bill Walker, Jackie Hancock and Johnny Parrish."
When Gregg sold in September 2005 it was purchased by Royal David, who became the second owner of the firm. Buddy Hebert and his wife Angela bought the funeral home in May of last year and are the current owners.
Parrish, Lewis, and Walker still work full time for Gregg and Cope and Mayhan work part time. Former Monette funeral home employees include Bill Lybarger, Fred Chrisman, Tommy Couch, Al Alberta, Eldon Jenkins, and Randy Phillips. Jerry Lewis manages the Jonesboro office, and Johnny Parrish manages Monette. Parrish began at the Monette branch in 1969, and has remained there ever since.
Buddy Hebert has 37 years in the funeral home business. He was born and raised in Abbeville, La, and went to mortuary school at Commonwealth College of Mortuary Science in Houston, Texas. He managed several funeral homes before taking the helm at Gregg's. He and his wife Angela work as a team, with her working as comptroller. They make their home in Jonesboro, and have three children, Emilee, Jacob and Allie.
"We are thankful the people in this area have allowed the Gregg Funeral Home family of professionals to care for their every need," Hebert said. "We pride ourselves in being a full service facility from A to Z. We have recently renovated and refurbished our Monette facility, west of Monette. We are inviting our friends to come and visit us during our open house scheduled for May 20, from 2-4 p.m."