Funeral and cremation

Gross Funeral Home

4.7
(102)

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For nearly 150 years, Gross Funeral Home has served Hot Springs families with the finest in funeral and cremation services. Although the names and faces have changed over the decades, 1 thing has not: We are people to depend on.

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About

Serving our evolving Hot Springs community

Entrance at Gross Funeral HomeSince James B. McCaffrey opened an undertakers' business in downtown Hot Springs in April 1874, the community has trusted Gross Funeral Home to provide their loved ones with compassionate care, dignity and respect. Of course, our business has grown, and though we uphold a legacy of excellence, we have evolved our funeral options to serve modern families.

Located in a large Colonial-style home on Wright Street, our facilities are among the finest in the area. With new furniture throughout the funeral home, a newly added coffee bar in the arrangement suite and more, we offer an abundance of comfortable, flexible spaces to best suit your needs and wishes. Our recently remodeled chapel is spacious, versatile and features the latest audio-visual technology. Equipped with chair seating for up to 300 guests, the chapel can be configured to your preference, including a reception-style arrangement with tables and chairs. We provide catering and beverage services, should you wish to host your friends and family for coffee and tea, wine and cheese, or even lunch or dinner. We will do our best to honor any request and are happy to arrange these details on your behalf.

Funerals that celebrate life

Reception room at Gross Funeral HomeOur mission at Gross Funeral Home is to celebrate life. We want your experience at our funeral home to be more than a time of quiet sadness. We want to help you paint a picture of your loved one and then share it with your family and friends through a perfect, personalized service. And because we know that a funeral is a time of healing and that all families heal differently, our funeral directors are trained to listen to you and come up with the right ideas for your loved one's exact story.

Whether your loved one deserves a parade instead of a traditional funeral procession, a concert rather than a memorial service, or we need to take this celebration of life outdoors to a favorite fishing spot, we can help you do it. We don’t all share the same passions and gifts, and that is what makes each of us unique and beautiful. Let our team create an event that truly reflects a life.

On-site crematory

As an enhanced convenience to the families we serve, an on-site crematory was added to our funeral home facility in June 2019. Now offering the newest and most modern crematory in Garland County, we are proud to provide full-service cremation options, ensuring your loved one never leaves our care. A new cremation suite is also available for those interested in a viewing in advance of cremation or a witness cremation.

We're here for you

As a member of the Dignity Memorial® network, Gross Funeral Home gives you not only the warm, familiar attention you expect from a locally operated business but also the value you deserve by way of the largest network of funeral, burial, cremation and cemetery service providers in North America.

Please contact us if you need help right away or want additional information about services. We're available day and night.

History

Signage at Gross Funeral HomeJames B. McCaffrey opened an undertakers' business in downtown Hot Springs on April 18, 1874. That business eventually became Gross Funeral Home and still serves the community today.

James originally located his firm on the ground floor of the Dodge and Osborne Building on Fourth Street in Little Rock, but there were already several other undertaking companies in that city, so James moved his to Hot Springs, where there were no others. In 1882, James took on A.S. "Gus" Buchanan as a partner and changed the name of firm to McCaffrey and Buchanan, Undertakers. Buchanan left James to open his own funeral home, and James hired Bernard "Billy" Gross, forming McCaffrey and Gross, Undertakers.

Billy Gross takes over

James died at age 55. Billy took over, renaming the firm B. Gross, Embalmer & Undertaker. Billy became a well-respected business and civic leader: He was elected second president of the Arkansas Funeral Directors Association, which was founded in 1900. Billy represented Arkansas at many National Funeral Directors Association meetings, and he always returned home with new ideas.

One of those new ideas was ambulance service. Many undertakers in the United States started ambulance services as sideline businesses around the turn of the century. Billy changed the name of his firm to B. Gross, Undertaker, Embalmer and Prompt Ambulance Service. His first ambulance was drawn by a white horse.

The Brenners join up

Front exterior building at Gross Funeral HomeBilly hired 30-year-old George H. Brenner Sr. as a part-time embalmer. A man who never met a stranger, George soon became a full-time employee and in 1910 purchased one-third interest in the firm. When Billy developed health problems, George and his wife, Kathleen, took on management responsibilities.

Billy died in 1919 at the age of 64. The newspaper reported that his funeral was one of the largest in the history of Hot Springs. The Brenners purchased full ownership of the firm and changed name to Gross Undertaking Company and then Gross Mortuary. In 1921, Kathleen became the first woman to become a licensed embalmer in Arkansas. Gross Mortuary was incorporated in 1959. By then George and Kathleen's sons were running the funeral home; George H. Brenner Jr. was president.

The Leggett family acquires the funeral home

In 1971, the Brenners sold their business to the Leggett family of Little Rock, and that's when the name became Gross Funeral Home. Notably, Gross Funeral Home handled the 1994 funeral of Virginia Clinton Kelly, mother of President Bill Clinton. In 2013, Gross Funeral Home became a member of the Dignity Memorial® network of funeral, burial, cremation and cemetery service providers.

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