Coffey Funeral Home

150 Beech St, Harrogate, TN 37752 | 423-869-4274 | MAP


History of Coffey Funeral Home

Coffey Funeral Home’s history began in 1938 when Paris Coffey graduated from John A. Gupton School of Embalming in Nashville, Tenn.

1938 was a different era in the funeral business. When death occurred in a Nashville community, the local church rang its bell continuously to let the community know that death had taken one of its members. The men of the community gathered together at the church and proceeded to the cemetery to dig the grave for the family. The women of the community began cooking so there would be plenty of food for the workers and the family. The deceased was prepared in the family’s home.

Visitation also took place in the family home, with the body most often presented in the living room. The funeral itself would either take place at the family home or local church. Often the women sat on one side of the church and the men on the other. After the service, the deceased was taken to the cemetery for burial. Throughout the process, funeral director Paris Coffey was there to offer his services.

Coffey Funeral Home built its first facility in Tazewell in the 1940s. Paris Coffey and Fred Stubblefield partnered and built what was considered a "newfangled" funeral home. The facility provided embalming services on-site, as well as a showroom and visitation facilities. The church was still used for the funeral service, the graves were mostly dug by the men of the community, and food still was provided by the women of the community.

In 1966, Paris’s son Wayne graduated from the University of Tennessee and John A. Gupton School, joining his father in the business.

In the 1980s, Coffey Funeral Home added a second facility in the Harrogate area.

Early Ambulance Service.
Funeral Caisson.

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