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.
- Catered Receptions
- Event Space
- Funeral Celebrants
Serving our evolving Hot Springs community
Since 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. The chapel is spacious and equipped with the latest audio-visual technology. We provide catering and beverage services, should you want 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.
Funerals that celebrate life
Our 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.
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.
James 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
Billy 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.