Scot Ward Founder and President
Scot Ward is the founder and president of Scot Ward Funeral Services. Scot has two daughters Megan, born in 1994 and Lauren, born in 1997. He lives in McDonough, GA and attends Buckhead Church in Atlanta. His daughter Megan attends North Georgia University and Lauren attends Union Grove High School. Scot was born in Waco, TX while his parents were in school at Baylor University. After his father graduated, they moved back to his father’s home of Atlanta, GA. Scot grew up in Dekalb County, going to school at Mt. Carmel Christian Church elementary school and graduating from Lithonia High school in 1987. Scot went on to attend GA Southern College and later transferred to Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science where he graduated in 1991. Scot began working in his family’s funeral business, Horis A. Ward, Inc., while in school at Gupton-Jones. He helped his family open the new Horis A. Ward funeral homes in Conyers and Stockbridge in 1992 and 1994. His family sold the Horis A. Ward Funeral Homes to a corporate entity in 1993 where Scot later became a general manager over six funeral homes and two cemeteries. In this role, Scot managed over 1,000 funeral services per year and had over 50 employees. In February 2005, Scot and his father, Richard, left the corporate entity and purchased Harry L. White Funeral Home and Green Meadow Memorial Gardens to form Scot Ward Funeral Services. Scot has been a member of the Rotary Club of Rockdale County since 1997 and served as president from 2008-2009. He has held several other directors positions in Rotary as well. He has also been a member of the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce since 1992 and served as a board member in 2007-2008 and is currently serving on the board for 2012-2014. He has recently served as a board member for the A. R. Gus Barksdale Boys and Girls Club in Conyers. The Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce awarded Scot the 2007 Community Spirit Award and the 2008 Jerry Barboe Small Business Person of the Year Award. Scot is a graduate of Leadership Rockdale 2007 and continues to host the Leadership Rockdale Retreats and Community Wellness Day. He has been a past board member of the Rockdale Special Olympics, Rockdale Medical Center Foundation and the Rockdale Jaycees. Scot often states that he has had some of the best role models a boy could have ever had, referring to his father and grandfather. They taught him a love for the Lord, a love for others and a desire to give back to the Lord and to the community that gives to you.
Richard Ward Founder and Vice President
He was born and raised in East Atlanta as the youngest child of Horis A. and Sara Debardlaben Ward. He grew up as a boy in the Candler-Glenwood neighborhood attending East Lake Elementary School and Murphy High School. He and his family later moved and he graduated from Southwest Dekalb High School in 1966. Richard then went to Waco, TX to Baylor University where he graduated in 1970. While in Waco, Richard met Daphene Whitaker and married her in 1968. They came home to Atlanta where Richard began working in his father’s funeral business, Horis A. Ward, Inc. He and Daphene had three sons, Scot, Jeremy and Kurt that were all raised in Dekalb County and graduated from Lithonia High School. Richard was a member and past president of the South Dekalb Rotary club for many years. He and his family were also active members of Mt. Carmel Christian Church where he taught the10th Grade Sunday School Class for over 20 years and later active members, teachers and past elder at Northview Christian Church in Dacula. He served as a deacon, elder and on many committees while attending Mt. Carmel and Northview. Richard and his brother sold the Horis Ward Funeral Homes and Fairview Memorial Gardens in 1993 to a corporate entity and worked for them until 2005. In February 2005 he and his oldest son Scot purchased Harry L. White Funeral Home and Green Meadow Memorial Gardens to begin Scot Ward Funeral Services. Today Richard and his wife Daphene reside in Braselton, GA and attend Gwinnett Church in Lawrenceville. He enjoys working around his home with his wife, playing golf with his sons and friends, playing with his dog Hogan, working as a funeral director but most of all being Pops to his 3 granddaughters and 4 grandsons. He is blessed to have his three sons living nearby. Kurt is an Attorney in Atlanta, Jeremy is a Dentist in Dacula and Scot is co-owners with Richard in Scot Ward Funeral Services.
Debbie Bays Comptroller
Debbie was first introduced to the funeral industry in the mid 70s while working with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. During her 24 years there, she worked in Classified Advertising handling funeral notices and Religious Advertising, Human Resources involved with employee benefits and employee relations, and finished her career with them in Circulation Management. In 1996, she embraced the opportunity to work 4 miles from home by joining the staff at the Horis A. Ward Funeral Home in Stockbridge where she was reintroduced to the world of bookkeeping and numbers. She felt privileged to be a part of Scot & Richard’s dream of returning to family ownership and considers her work in the financial aspect of the business to be a true ministry.
Debbie and her husband Ed live in Stockbridge and attend North Henry Baptist Church where Debbie is involved with the Praise Team and Childrens Ministries. They enjoy spending time with their blended family of 3 children and 7 grandchildren.
Terry A. Kelly Funeral Director and Embalmer
A native of Columbus Georgia, he graduated in 1984 from Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service with an Associates of Science Degree. He holds a Funeral Director and Embalmer’s License in the state of Georgia. The son of a Career Army Veteran who instilled a love of family, country and community he has been involved in his community as President of the Newnan Lions Club, President of The South Fulton Rotary Club, South Fulton Shrine Club, and Served on the Georgia Lion Eye Bank Advisory Board. Terry and his wife Pam recently celebrated their 34 wedding anniversary, they have three daughters, and 3 grandchildren. His funeral career began at the age of 14 working at a vault company in Columbus, GA. After completing Mortuary College he joined the staff of a large funeral corporation; in 2004 he became affiliated with The Horis Ward family at their Tara Garden Chapel. While working with Scot he became aware of Scot’s dedication to the community and staff, but having worked for a large corporation Terry realized the limitations that are placed on the staff in a corporate funeral home, hindering their ability to serve families and the community as most decisions/policies are made in a office somewhere else out of state and their motivation is the bottom line not what’s best for the families served or the community. In 2005 Terry joined the staff of Scot Ward Funeral Service. “I look forward to working with Scot and Richard, where family service comes first and we have an opportunity to serve our community”.
Michelle Terrell Funeral Director and Embalmer
Michelle Terrell, a resident of Henry County, has lived in Stockbridge for several years. She attended Jonesboro High School, graduating from North Shore High School in Houston, Texas. She entered the Funeral Service industry in 2004, and graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in 2006. Her family includes her daughter, Caitlin. Michelle enjoys reading, puzzles, and watching her daughter’s soccer games. Michelle has continually worked in service industry because she has always enjoyed meeting and interacting with individuals and families. As a result, she decided to enter the Funeral Service industry, where she knows she can continue to serve others.
Paige Fowler Ogle Family Services Director/ Licensed FD & Embalmer
Paige joined the staff of Scot Ward Funeral Services February 2017. She was born and raised in Canton, GA, and moved to Covington in 2011. Paige attended North Georgia College & State University where she graduated with honors and received a Bachelor of Science degree. At NGCSU, she was an active sister of Sigma Kappa Sorority. After college, Paige lost one of the most influential people in her life, her grandfather. This was the first time she had ever experienced a close death, and she then realized that her calling was to provide the comfort and support to families in the same situation that she was in when her grandfather passed. She graduated from Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service in 2012 to fulfill this meaningful career that she had always hoped to find. Paige enjoys gardening, singing, and taking care of all of her animals. She and her husband Nathan, who is the Football Defensive Coordinator at Eastside High School, live right off of the square in downtown Covington. They have two daughters, Audrey and Liv. Paige is excited to be a part of Scot Ward Funeral Services and looks forward to working with all of the families who have chosen us to provide these important services.
Jill Ivey Administrator
Jill has been associated with the Ward family for many years. Her mother, Joyce Matthews, began working for Scot’s granddad, Horis Ward, in 1982. Jill worked part-time for Horis A. Ward, Inc. at the Fairview location in the early 1990’s. Since that time she has worked as an administrative assistant in other fields of business but returned to work with Scot and Richard at Scot Ward Funeral Services in 2009. Jill enjoys helping families during their time of need.Jill and her husband, Kenneth, reside in Loganville and attend Corinth Baptist Church. They have two children – Jessie and Kyle.
Kathy Hart Adminstrator
Kathy Hart joined the staff of Scot Ward Funeral Services in January of 2016. Kathy was raised in Social Circle and has lived in Newton County since the 80’s. She is married to Ron Hart and they have a daughter, Paige. She has been an active member of The Baptist Tabernacle Church for 19 yrs. She has been in the banking business most of her working career and also worked in retail for a short time. Kathy has a love for The Lord and people and feels working here at Scot Ward Funeral Services is a blessing.
Betty Ochilltree Receptionist
Betty started working at Scot Ward Funeral Services in March, 2014. She and her husband, Marvin live in Oxford, GA. They have 2 children, Brian and Alicia and three granddaughters, Olivia, Sara, and Addison. Betty is a member of First Baptist Church, Conyers. She sings in the choir and is out reach leader for her Sunday School Class.
Greg Fuller Funeral Director and Embalmer
Greg Fuller, native of Conyers, GA. Graduate of Rockdale County High School, U.S. Navy Veteran, 1991 Graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service, Member of Academy of Graduate Embalmers. Married to Amy, they enjoy bike riding and camping.
Howard A. Greer Greif Share Facilitator and Funeral Attendant
Howard grew up in Louisiana, with his parents, 2 sisters and 1 brother. He met and married Betty Stoker on July 20, 1964. Howard and Betty have one daughter, Tiffany Ann, who married David Austin and have one daughter, Ali.
Howard spent ten years in the finance and banking business. His last position was Branch Manager with Shreveport Bank and Trust in Shreveport, Louisiana. Surrendering to full-time Christian service in January 1973, Howard attended East Texas Baptist College (now University) in Marshall, Texas and studied through Luther Rice Theological Seminary of Jacksonville, FL/Atlanta, GA. He has served as Senior Pastor and Associate Pastors of churches in Louisiana, Texas, Wyoming, and Georgia.
On July 1, 2013, Howard accepted a call from Eagles Landing First Baptist Church to serve as Teacher Pastor of a new Traditional Worship Service. Shortly after coming on staff, Howard was assigned an additional role of Financial Coach. Having spent years in the banking business before being called to preach, Howard excitedly accepted this additional role. Along with this new assignment, Howard also became Director of the Senior Adult Ministry.
While serving in local churches through the years, Howard was privileged to help in other areas within the communities. He began a volunteer chaplaincy program at Athens-Clarke County Police Department in Athens, where he served as Chaplain. Howard led the implementation of the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Department Chaplaincy Program, where he served for eight years as Senior Chaplain to the officers and staff. He led the creation of the only free medical clinic in Rockdale County and then helped to form and build Phoenix Pass, a transitional housing program for women and children.
In March 2010, Howard joined the staff at Scot Wards Funeral Service, working part time helping families with grief from losing their loved one. Shortly after joining the team, Howard implemented Grief Share helping others through their journey of grief. Howard has found Grief Share to be a ministry that is helping families survive the loss of a mate, a child, a parent, and other relationships, by leaning into their grief. It was the late Zig Zigglar that said after the death of his daughter, “We grieve because we love; if there was no love, there would be no grief.”
Howard and Betty celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 20, 2014 in Hawaii through the generosity of a friend. Howard is forever grateful to God and His generous mercies.
Ron Walker Funeral Attendant and Grounds Director
Ron Walker has lived in Conyers 25 years and has been an active member of the Rockdale County community. He is involved and serves at his church, Crosspoint Christian Church, where he has been a member for 24 years. Ron has been married to his wife, Malinda, for 40 years and they have two children. Ron worked for Delta Air Lines for 35 years before retiring in 2004. He came to work for Scot Ward as the grounds maintenance supervisor at Green Meadow Memorial Gardens in 2005 and also assists with funerals. Ron has enjoyed helping people through his work at the cemetery as well as through the funeral home.
Stan Bowers Funeral Attendant
Stan spent his business career in operating convenience stores from which he retired in 2001 selling his last two stores at that time.
Stan is married to his wife of 24 years, Susan. They have resided in the Kelleytown area of Henry County for the past fourteen years. Each has a son and grandchildren. They are active members of McDonough Christian Church and it is there that Stan first met Scot Ward and his family. The families subsequently became good friends. In 2005, when Scot and his dad, Richard, bought Harry White Funeral Home and Green Meadow Memorial Gardens, Scot asked Stan if he would be interested in working in the business on a part time "as need" basis and Stan agreed to give it a try. It turned into a great match. Stan considers Scot and Richard to be very professional in the operation of their business. They are caring and compassionate and genuinely care about the families they serve and meeting their needs. They have assembled a staff that likewise cares and makes every effort to handle the details of their jobs as though it was their own business. For these reasons, Stan considers Scot Ward Funeral Services a great environment in which to work and do business.
Clark Dowdy Funeral Attendant
Clark was born in Savannah, GA and he and his wife, Joyce, currently live in Stockbridge. They have two children, Tony married to Donna and Teresita married to Ted, 9 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. Clark has been with Scot Ward Funeral Services for 5 years and is starting his 25th year in the Real Estate business. He has an associate degree in mid-management and served in the United States Navy as a Hospital Corpsman. He is past president of the Rockdale Rotary Club and has been the Assistant Governor for District 6910 for 3 years. Clark enjoys Florida Gator football, golf and crossword puzzles.
Neal Hester Funeral Attendant
Neal Hester is a life-long resident of the Milstead area. He is the son of the late John L. Hester and Beatrice “Bea” Adcock Hester of Conyers. He still resides in the house where he was born. Neal's sister, Laura Jean Christian, and aunt, Edna Miller, also reside in the Conyers area.
Neal is an accomplished pianist and organist. He was the organist at Milstead Methodist Church for over 40 years, and also played for funerals at the former Mann and Walden Funeral Home in Conyers. He presently plays as needed for services at Scot Ward Funeral Services. Neal attends Crossroads United Methodist Church. Neal is a member of the Crossroads choir and participates in the annual camp meeting at Salem Campground. He is also an assistant Sunday School teacher, member of the Church council, and secretary of Charge Conference for Crossroads.
During his career Neal has worked for Callaway Mills and Atlanta Music Co. He retired from GA Duck and Cordage in Avondale Estates as a lab technician in quality control.
Having worked for a large funeral corporation for several years he is happy to be associated with Scot Ward Funeral Services, a family-owned and operated business, offering personal caring and service.
Jane Harbin Funeral Attendant
Jane started working with Scot Ward Funeral Services in January 2010. She had known the Ward family for many years prior to coming to work with them.
She was born and raised in Lithonia, GA and attended Lithonia High School. She still lives in Lithonia and has lived at her current residence since May 1973. She is a member of Macedonia Baptist Church. Jane was married to the love of her life, Jackie Harbin for 41 years until his passing on December 31, 2009. She has 5 children, 13 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren (and more to come). She enjoys spending time with her family and attending activities with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loves to read and work in her flower gardens in her spare time.
Jane loves working at Scot Ward Funeral Services. She is one of the front desk greeters/receptionists and also helps in other areas of the office as needed.
‘It makes me happy to be able to help others in their time of need and sorrow.’
Sandy Sandidge Funeral Attendant
Mr. Mike Sellers Funeral Attendant
Mike joined Scot Ward Funeral Services in January 2013, after retiring from The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office with over 30 years of service.
Mike is a lifelong resident of Rockdale County and has been married to Deborah Dawkins Sellers since 1975 and is active members of Crosspoint Christian Church for over 25 years and has served as an Elder in the past.
Mike and Deborah have two children and two grandchildren.
Mike is a graduate of Rockdale County High School and Columbus State University Law Enforcement Command College Professional Management Program.
Mike’s hobbies include motorcycles and golf. He is a member of Georgia Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club Ga XIX where they raise money for different charities and a past board member of Rockdale Emergency Relief and Project RENEWAL Battered Women’s Shelter.
Mike considers it an honor and privilege to serve the community thru Scot Ward Funeral Services
Pat Cavanaugh Funeral Attendant
T.Pat Cavanaugh joined the staff of Scot Ward Funeral Services in August of 2015, after retiring as publisher of the Covington News and Rockdale News for the past 8 years.
During his 50 year newspaper career which he began at age 14, he published award winning newspapers across the country and owned a community newspaper with his wife Molly in Southern California.
In an editorial in Editor and Publisher, the industries trade magazine, he was named a "Publisher of Distinction" for his coverage of the O. J. Simpson trial.
During his career he served and chaired many non-profit boards including the Salvation Army, Red Cross, United Way, YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club, Rotary, Jaycees, Main Street program, Chamber of Commerce and Special Olympics.
In addition he was named "Distinguished Man of the Year" in Orange, Va. and Elizabeth City, N.C.
Cavanaugh also served on the Planning Commission in Casa Grande, Az.
In addition to his newspaper career Cavanaugh served as Volunteer Coordinator for Hospice in Casa Grande, Az. and was the Community Relations Manager of a Ford dealership in Phoenix, Az.
Locally he has served as the 2013-14 chairman of the Conyers Chamber of Commerce. Was a 2012 graduate of the Rockdale Leadership program, is a member of the Conyers Rotary and serves on the board of Education Foundation of Rockdale. He also served on the Barksdale Boys and Girls Club board of Directors in Rockdale County.
In Covington he served on the Main Street board of directors, and also the Covington "Y"
He is married and the couple have 5 children and 11 grandchildren. They reside in Horseshoe Springs and are members of St.Pius X Catholic Church.
Sherry Barfield Administrator
Sherry joined the Scot Ward Funeral team in January 2018. She recently moved to Rockdale County from Tampa FL to be closer to family. After working with an insurance company as a fatality injury adjuster for the past 9 years, she wanted a change of pace and to help support families. She graduated with Honors from USF in 2008 with a B.S. degree. Sherry enjoys reading, adventure sports like skydiving and hanging out with friends and family.
Diana Shaw Apprentice Funeral /Embalmer
Diana Shaw is from Orange Park, Florida but now lives in Buford. An Air Force Law Enforcement Veteran, she has a special place in her heart for both the Armed Forces of the U.S. and our local first responders. Diana began her career in the Funeral Service Industry in 1993, working as an administrative assistant to a funeral home in Jacksonville, Florida. She returned to the industry after raising her son & daughter in 2016 by working for a large funeral corporation, also in Jacksonville. A graduate from Gupton-Jones College, Atlanta; Diana feels called to this is as ministry rather than a job. In her down time; she enjoys reading, cross stitching, and cooking. Diana attends Hamilton Mill Christian Church and joined Scot Ward Funeral Services in October of 2018.
Jason Austin Apprentice Funeral Director / Embalmer
Jason Austin lives in Atlanta GA. He graduated from Gupton Jones in February of 2013. He was raised in Marietta GA, where he attended Marietta high school. Jason loves reading, video games and playing guitar. Jason and his wife Shannon have two dogs, Earl and Lola.
Cindy G. Banks was born in Norfolk, Virginia and moved to Rockdale County in 1969 with her parents Jim and Jan Grover and her younger siblings. Cindy was educated in the local school system and graduated from Rockdale County Comprehensive High School in 1974.
Cindy currently serves on the Recruitment Committee and the Uniform Committee for Boy Scouts of America Troop 410 home-based in Rockdale County and she serves on the Leadership Team for Fun, Fellowship and Firearms, LLC which is an all-female firearms training group that originated from a Life Group at Central Church in Covington. Cindy previously served on the Board of Directors for The Scarborough &
Friends Foundation, which is a non-profit organization that provides assistance and financial support to terminally ill and chronically ill patients and their families. Cindy also proudly serves as a Rockdale County Community Ambassador promoting the enhanced quality of life enjoyed by county residents. In her spare time, Cindy enjoys spending time with her friends and family which includes her children as well as her grandchildren. Cindy also enjoys going on cruises and cheering on all our hometown sports teams.Cindy has joined Scot Ward Funeral Services at Green Meadow Memorial Gardens as Family Service Director and is excited about being able to provide families with support during their time of need.