Scot Ward Founder and President
Scot Ward is the founder and president of Scot Ward Funeral Services. Scot lives in Buckhead on Lake Oconee where he enjoys relaxing on the lake. He has two daughters Megan and her husband Jordan and Lauren and her husband Adam. 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 became a board member in 2007 and has remained on the board since. He has served as Chairman of the Board for 2020 and 2021. Scot previously served as a board member for Phoenix Pass, A. R. Gus Barksdale Boys and Girls Club in Conyers, Rockdale Hospital Foundation, Rockdale County Special Olympics, and the Conyers Jaycees. The Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce awarded Scot the 2007 Community Spirit Award and the 2008 Jerry Barboe Small Businessperson of the Year Award. Scot is a graduate of Leadership Rockdale 2007 and has served as a facilitator of Leadership Rockdale since 2014. 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.
Tammy Thompson Financial Administrator
Tammy is a married mom with 2 sons and has over 25 years of experience in the accounting, tax, and bookkeeping fields. Her career path became clear in 1991 when she accepted an intern position at a CPA firm to assist in their upcoming tax season. Realizing she enjoyed working with numbers, Tammy immediately enrolled in accounting courses at Clayton State University’s continuing education program and from there became certified in Accounting I, II, and QuickBooks Software. She’s an active member of the (AIPB) American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers and was awarded the 2009 Professional Woman of the year award by (NAPW) The National Association of Professional Women. Tammy's vision of a perfect day is any day spent making memories with loved ones.
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”.
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.
Jackie M. Williams Administrator
Jackie M. Williams grew up in Madison, Georgia. She attended Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville and then went on to work for the United States Postal Service. After almost a decade at the Post Office, Jackie decided to further her education and attended Huntington Junior College and obtained her Court Reporter’s Certification. She spent 8 years as a Court Reporter for the State of Georgia working on the Northern Judicial Circuit.
She lives on a farm in Buckhead, Georgia where she spends much of her time outdoors. Jackie enjoys the serenity that country life provides. Her favorite hobbies include cooking, sports, and DIY projects. Jackie has a servant’s heart and loves people. Raising awareness and funding to support service members and veterans through Stop Soldier Suicide is one of her many passions. Jackie has two daughters: Grace Williams (age 21) and Reign Williams (age 18).
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.
Bethany Jones Apprentice Funeral Director/Embalmer
Bethany is a graduate of Eastside High School class of 2019 and a native of Covington, Ga. Starting her freshman year of college at Georgia Southern University she was majoring in Psychology. After a year at GSU she realized her true aspiration was to become a licensed funeral professional, caring for families in a great time of need. She is currently attending Ogeechee Technical College and earning her Associates degree in Funeral Service Education. Bethany has always admired Funeral Service and sees it as a ministry. She is very thankful and excited to begin her career in the profession. Bethany is a member of Higher Praise Tabernacle in Covington, Ga and enjoys fellowship with her church family and friends. In her spare time, Bethany loves hunting, fishing, and playing indoor soccer. She also enjoys traveling to Milledgeville to visit with her family and their three dogs Bennie the Australian Shephard mix, Evie the German Shephard, and Dottie the French Bulldog.
Rachel Leigh Dunn
Rachel Dunn is native to Monroe County Ga. She graduated from Mary Persons High School in 2013 and from Wesleyan College in 2017 with a BFA in Theatre. She currently attends Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in hopes to obtain a Funeral Director and Embalmer's License. Rachel's hobbies are reading, creating art, and spending time with her family.
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.
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, 7 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.’
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.
Isabelle kardoes Apprentice Funeral Directory/Embalmer
Isabelle grew up in LaGrange, GA. She obtained her mortuary degree in November 2021 from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service. Outside of work, she enjoys knitting and spending time with her cats Indy 500 and Simon.
Kathy Tomlin Administrative Assistant
Hannah Brown Funeral Director/ Embalmer
Hannah Brown grew up in Twin City, GA and graduated from David Emanuel Academy in 2014. She then attended Ogeechee Technical College in Statesboro, GA, where she earned her A.A.S. in Funeral Service in December 2019. When she is not at work, Hannah enjoys reading, watching her favorite TV shows and movies, attending concerts, and spending time with her family and friends. She also spends her free time taking her dog, Jax, to the park.