Our History

At George Funeral Home & Cremation Center, we have provided customizable memorial services for over 100 years. Personalized service options allow you to honor your loved ones in a way that is both meaningful and healing. We hope to provide support and caring while delivering memorial services that celebrate life and help families find the peace they deserve.
If you’re seeking an honorable celebration of life in Aiken and the surrounding areas, we invite you to learn more about where we came from and the dedicated people behind our work.

Mr. D.M. George

Our Founder

aLBERT gEORGE 

Son of D.M. George

Original Location On Richland Avenue

George Funeral Home & Cremation Center in 1946


A HISTORY OF CARING


George Funeral Home was founded in 1920 by Mr. D.M. George. Mr. George worked for Powell Hardware, which was located on Laurens St. in downtown Aiken. In addition to hardware items, Powell's sold coffins and tombstones. Jason V. and Isaiah George, younger brothers of Colonel Hagood George and uncles, invented a process called artificial stone, a process of making gravestones out of cement. D.M. wanted to start a business dedicated to handling funeral services. Sometime around 1913-1914, he left his family to attend the Cincinnati School of Embalming. They purchased a house on Richland Ave. between Newberry and Laurens Streets. George Funeral Home was one of the first funeral homes in South Carolina (License #4).

D.M. had three sons; Albert, Edward and Otto. All three sons were involved in the business, but it was Albert, a decorated WW II veteran, who was the most active in the funeral home.

The Georges ran the only funeral home in Aiken and in 1948, they outgrew the Richland Ave. location and purchased the current building at 211 Park Ave.

The home was owned by the Stevenson family prior to the war and was named Deodora. The house burned and was sold to Capt. and Mrs. Bell. The Bells rebuilt and operated a boarding house called The Bell House. The house was later sold to the Snow family and was part of the famous "Winter Colony" of Aiken. The Snow family was from the north, and they came to Aiken to escape the harsh, northern winters. The house is over 8,500 square feet and has three floors and a full basement. It contained two kitchens for servants to prepare meals for family and guests.

At the start of WW II, the Snow family allowed the house to be used by the Army as a lodge for traveling soldiers and government workers. Entertainers would visit to put on performances for the soldiers, and Jimmy Stewart did a watercolor drawing of one of the many beautiful sitting rooms, complete with fireplace and bookshelves. That picture still hangs in the funeral home today.

The funeral home is known for its many antiques. Back during the 1940s, many people traded furniture and valuables, instead of paying for a funeral. One of the lovely antiques acquired this way is an old grandfather clock, built in England sometime between 1750 and 1780. It still keeps perfect time today. Other noteworthy pieces are a large cabinet made in France during the 1850s and a beautiful European chandelier from the early 1900s.

The George family began a tradition of distributing calendars each year. The subject of their calendars was a family of five girls by the last name of Dionne. Each year the entire community could see how the girls had grown since the last year.

D.M. George died in 1949, and his son Albert ran the business until his death in 1976. The business was then entrusted to Joseph McClellan, a longtime employee of the George family. McClellan operated the funeral home as the sole shareholder. Upon McClellan's retirement, the business was sold to Ray and Alicia Visotski. In the summer of 2000, George Funeral Home became the first funeral home in Aiken to operate its own crematory.

In 2018, the funeral home was purchased by Cody L. Anderson, a life-long Aiken County resident and Funeral Director, who is only the fourth individual owner of this historic business. Cody’s commitment to the Aiken community is evidenced by his involvement in the community and dedication to the unparalleled service which is synonymous with the George name.

Notwithstanding the tangible expansions and changes of time, the commitment established by the George family in 1920 remains the same. Over 100 years after it was founded, George Funeral Home is still caring for families and celebrating lives.


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Our Staff's Dedication to Respectful Care



CODY ANDERSON

Owner/Director

Cody Anderson is a life-long resident of Aiken County and attended both the University of South Carolina Aiken and Piedmont Technical College.  He serves as president of the company and as a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer at the historic George Funeral Home. He purchased the funeral home in 2018 and returned it to local ownership. 

Cody is highly engaged in the community and has served on various boards and committees to include: The Green Boundary Club, Joye in Aiken, Aiken Center for the Arts, The Midland Valley Veterans’ Park, and The South Carolina Funeral Directors Association. 

Cody’s true passion is assisting those in their time of funerary need. He believes the keys to providing exceptional funeral service include offering a broad range of services and products, a highly personalized experience for families and loved ones, a robust aftercare and outreach program, and the high level of experience and compassion provided by our excellent George team. 

These principles constitute the bedrock philosophy of George Funeral Home. By adhering to these tenets, we solidify our reputation for service excellence and lay the foundation that will allow George Funeral Home to continue to care for families in Aiken well into its second century of service. 

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Erin Willis Franklin

Funeral Director

Erin Willis Franklin is a native of Mt. Pleasant, SC.  She is a graduate of of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta, GA.  

As a 5th generation funeral director, she began her career at an early age working for her father at their family funeral home in Charleston, SC, McAlister-Smith Funeral Home.  Erin is the former managing director of a funeral provider in Graniteville, SC.  

Erin is a resident of Aiken and lives with her son, Henry and daughter, Audrey.  

She started her career with the Historic George Funeral Home in 2018.

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Lauren Housman

Office Manager
Apprentice Director

Lauren has lived in Aiken for over 25 years. She enjoys distance running, reading, writing, and researching.  

She graduated from Aiken High School in 2004 and began her collegiate career at sixteen years of age. She completed her Associate in Arts degree at Aiken Technical College (2007), her Bachelor of Arts with a major in English, a concentration in writing, and a minor in sociology at the University of South Carolina Aiken (2010), and her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in creative nonfiction at Converse College (2014).  

She is a 2020 graduate of Piedmont Technical College's Associate of Applied Science program in funeral service education. Lauren proudly joined the George team in the summer of 2019 and truly enjoys every facet of helping the families George serves.  

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K. SCOTT AYERS

Apprentice Director & Embalmer

Rev. K. Scott Ayers is a native of the upstate area of South Carolina. Scott began his funeral service career at the age of 15 helping with funeral services at the local funeral home in his home town. He later would serve families for many years as a full time funeral director in the Upstate and Pee Dee region of South Carolina.  After his children were born, he left the funeral business full-time to accept a call to the ministry where he has served churches throughout the state as Associate Pastor of Worship as well as obtaining his South Carolina Educator’s Certificate to teach middle level social studies while still continuing to work closely with funeral homes in the areas he was ministering in.  

Scott joined the staff of George Funeral Home in 2015 after the passing of his mother and serves the official Celebrant as well as assisting in other areas of funeral service. In addition, he is the Associate Pastor of Worship Ministries at Shiloh Baptist Church in Aiken. Scott is also a Lead Teacher in the Aiken County School District at working with the newly created Aiken Innovate Virtual Learning school where he teachers 8th grade History. Although Scott stays busy working in these three capacities, he feels strongly called to each one and enjoys staying active in the community.  

Scott is married to the former Teri Ergle Burke who is a native of Aiken County. They have three daughters and a son-in-law, Marlie & Coty Courtney of Aiken, Brittany Ayers who lives in New York City and Rebecca Ayers who lives in Florence. In 2019 Scott’s greatest joy became reality when he became the granddaddy of his Little Miss, Kori Lee Courtney. 

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Kenna Conner

Funeral Attendant

Kenna Conner is a life-long resident of Aiken County, where she graduated from South Aiken High School in 2013. She now resides in Aiken with her husband Cameron Conner and their three pets. 

Kenna is a 2019 graduate of Piedmont Technical College with a degree in Mortuary Science, and plans to become a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer. She began her career with George Funeral Home in 2020. 

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ROSE DAUGHERTY 

Funeral Attendant

Rose Daugherty was born and raised in Aiken. Rose attended Aiken County Public Schools and she is married to Greg Daugherty. Together they have four children and eight grandchildren. 

Rose worked at Leverett Shoes for forty-two years. She is a member of Hillview Baptist Church. Rose loves serving others and truly enjoys assisting at George Funeral Home. 

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Mary Ann Dyches

Beautician

Mary Ann Dyches is a native of Bath, SC and a graduate of Langley-Bath-Clearwater High School. She is a licensed cosmetologist and has been employed with the Historic George Funeral Home since 1973. 

Additionally, she is a cosmetologist at Trinity on Laurens in Aiken and has been married to William Dyches since 1952. They have two children, six granddaughters, and one grandson. 

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Cameron Gray

Funeral Attendant
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Jim Hall

Funeral Attendant
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William Luarca

Funeral Attendant
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Brandon Smith

Funeral Attendant
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JULIAN L. THIGPEN

Funeral Attendant

Julian Thigpen was born in Manning, SC and raised in Sumter. He graduated from Edmonds High School. After high school, he joined the US Army and was Honorably Discharged from the US Army Reservist in 1966. In 1963, he was appointed as a SC State Trooper and retired as a First Sergeant after 29 years of service. In 1993, he was employed as a Special Deputy United States Marshal and retired from them after 15 years of service. Julian has been in the funeral profession since 2008. He has been married to Eunice Widener of New Ellenton since 1964 and they have two children; a son, Rodney and his wife Melanie May Thigpen and daughter, Julie White and her husband Steve. He has four grandchildren, Brandon, Coley, Cory and Kellie. Julian and his wife are members of Town Creek Baptist Church. 


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