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.
The Barnett-Strother Funeral Home was founded in 1922 as the Barnett Funeral Home by Mr.
Tom Barnett and Mr. Delmont Utley. This was the first funeral business in Hopkins Co. run
strictly as a funeral home. The original building was at 109 S. Main St. where the Masonic Building is now. In 1924 Mr. Utley sold his interest to Ben Slaton and the business was
moved across the street to what was then the W. A. Morton House at 108 S. Main St.
This site is now the present location of York Neel & Co and was previously Madisonville First
Federal Savings & Loan. Mr. Slaton then sold his part of the business to Mr. Barnett. Mr.
Barnett died in 1931 and his widow Mrs. Mourning Hall Barnett continued to run the business.
Over the next few years she, her stepson, William L. Barnett and her daughters, Mrs.
Elizabeth "Betty" Barnett Schmetzer and Mrs. Mary Jo Barnett Crumbaker, all helped in
the running of the funeral home.
Mr. W. Fred Strother started the W. Fred Strother Funeral Home in July of 1938 at 406 S.
Main St. which was on the south corner of Hall St. and South Main St.. Mr. and Mrs.
Strother closed the funeral home and sold off the equipment and the building in 1941
preparing to go into the military service. Mr. Strother was turned down for the service
because of physical problems so they moved to Henderson, KY where he worked for the Rudy
Rowland Funeral Home until returning to Madisonville in 1943. They then bought the Barnett
Funeral Home on May 11, 1949 from Mrs. Barnett. The name was changed to the Barnett-Strother
Funeral Home so as to distinguish it from the William L. Barnett Funeral Services run by
Mrs. Barnett's stepson. The funeral home was then completely renovated and redecorated.
It was equipped with all the very latest equipment and offered a 24 hour
ambulance service to the entire county.
In 1955 the Strother's bought 406 S. Main St. from Mrs. Amelia Ruby and moved back into their original funeral home. The address had been changed to 304 S. Main St. The funeral home stayed there until June 15, 1969.
The business was then moved to 2285 N. Main St. where a new funeral home had been built. The Strothers were told at that time that it would never be a success because it was just too far out of town; about five minutes from the center of town.
Mr. W. Fred Strother died May 15, 1975 and Mrs. Artie Mae Strother died December 28, 1991.
Steve and Charlene Clark Carson retired from the funeral home in July of 2008 after many years of owning and operating the funeral home. Steve started to work for the funeral home full time, July 15, 1969 and is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. Charlene started June 1, 1983 and is a licensed funeral director.
Today the funeral home is owned and operated by Tom and Natalie Clark Hemmerle. Tom started to work for the funeral home on November 22, 1992 and is a licensed funeral director and embalmer.
They are joined by a staff of dedicated individuals. Richard Clark who is a licensed Funeral Director, Joey Hemmerle, Elisha Bivins who are apprentices and Jason Lewis a licensed funeral director and embalmer.
Our Valued Staff
Tom Hemmerle, Owner
Joey Hemmerle is the son of Tom and Natalie and has worked full time at the funeral home since 2011. He is a 2009 graduate of Madisonville North Hopkins and currently working towards a degree in Mortuary Science. He is also a member of Lakeshore CountryClub.
Jason Lewis is a Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer and worked at the funeral home from 1996-2001 and returned in May 2012, Jason is a 1995 spring class graduate of the Mid-America College of Funeral Service, member of Grapevine Baptist Church, married to Jessie Lynette Bourland Lewis and they have three children Abigail, Sydney, and Dreaw. A United States Navy veteran and served in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
Richard Clark is a Licensed Funeral Director and has been with the funeral home since June of 2008. He also holds a licenseto sale Life/Burial Insurance for the funeral home. He is married to Jennifer Davis Clark and they have one son, Caleb WestinClark. He is a 1998 graduate of Madisonville North Hopkins High School. He is a member of the First Christian Church in Madisonville.
Elisha Bivins is a 2002 graduate of Hopkins County Central High School. She has a nine year old son Eli. She is serving her apprenticeship and will be working towards a degree in Mortuary Science.