History & Staff
We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.
The Rudder family has been involved in funeral service since 1914. J.F. ''Mr. Jack'' Rudder and Col. Ben Ellis established the funeral home in Stevenson, Alabama by offering caskets and a horse-drawn hearse service.Upon the death of Col. Ellis, ''Jack'' became sole owner of the funeral home. He began expansion and modernization of his business in 1927 when he purchased his first motorized hearse, (although he never learned to drive it.)
The second generation A.G. ''Dinky'' Rudder started working at the funeral home shortly after that, and in 1932, he completed mortuary school at Gupton-Jones in Nashville, Tenn.
In the early 1950s, the third generation, John E. Rudder, started working at the funeral home. In 1957, he also completed his education at Gupton-Jones in Nashville. John E. continued to work alongside his father, A.G. ''Dinky'' until his father's death in August 1967.
In 1977, the fourth generation started to work in the family business. John Cook Rudder graduated Mortuary School in Birmingham at Jefferson State Community College in 1982. In April of 1983, the Rudders bought the old Word Funeral Home in Scottsboro, Alabama, and renovations began. Open house was held on Sunday, June 1, 1984, and the new facility began its operation.
In 2002, the fifth generation, Lucas Rudder, started working at the funeral home in Scottsboro and graduated from Jefferson State Community College in 2008.
Not only have the men of the Rudder family been involved in funeral service, but the women have made considerable contributions to our growth, as well. Mary Anna Rudder, wife of A.G. ''Dinky'' Rudder, started a flower shop near the funeral home when it was located near the old Simpson home. When the funeral home moved to the new building in 1975, a new flower shop was built behind it.
Our Valued Staff
Mr. John E. Rudder, President - Funeral Director/Embalmer
Mr. John Cook Rudder, Vice-President - Funeral Director/Embalmer
He is a 1982 graduate of Jefferson State Community College. Mr. Rudder is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in Alabama and Tennessee. He is currently the manager of Rudder Funeral Home of Scottsboro and past president of the Alabama Funeral Directors Association. He is currently a member of Alabama Funeral Directors Association, National Funeral Directors Association, Stevenson Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Scottsboro Rotary Club. Mr. Rudder has two sons, with his youngest son, Lucas, serving next to him in the family business.
Email me at: Jcook@rudderfuneralhomes.com
Mr. Lucas Craig Rudder, Funeral Director/Embalmer
A 2000 graduate of Scottsboro High School, Lucas started in 2002 working for Rudder Funeral Home. In May of 2008, he graduated The Funeral Service Education Program from Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, AL. Upon graduation, Lucas became a licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer issued by The Alabama Board of Funeral Service. He is now the Fifth generation of the Rudder Family to serve the people of Jackson County.
Since September 2008 he has been married to Cinthya Pereira Rudder and together they have three children.
Email Lucas at: Lucas@rudderfuneralhomes.com
Mr. Joey Lee Guess, Funeral Director/Embalmer
Joey Guess was born in Septmember of 1976 in Bridgeport, AL. Growing up in the Cedar Grove community, Joey spent the majority of his time hunting and fishing. Joey graduated from North Jackson High School where he excelled on the football field, helping the 1993 North Jackson Chiefs to the Alabama 4A State Championship. After graduation in the spring of 1994, he attended Cumberland University in Lebanon, TN on a football scholarship, but his intrest in the funeral industry and helping families in their time of need eventually won out over the sport he loves. Joey then enrolled in Northeast Alabama Community College in Rainsville, AL and started his journey toward his dream of becoming a funeral director/embalmer, working full time and taking classes at night and in his spare time.
Joey graduated from Jefferson State Community College in the summer of 2002 with a degree in Funeral Service Education and passed the National Board Exam in December of 2002. The following January Joey passed the Alabama State Law Exam becoming a dual licensed funeral director/embalmer.
Joey is married to the former Stacy L. Potts of Stevenson, AL and together they have two children.
Email me at: Joey@rudderfuneralhomes.com
Mr. Wayne Jones, Funeral Director & Embalmer
Wayne is a graduate of John A. Gupton College in Nashville, TN. He is a licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer in Alabama and Tennessee. He feels the funeral business is the most rewarding occupation a person could hold. A funeral director has the opportunity to aid in the comfort of families during the most difficult times in their lives. Wayne is married to Dana Sampley Jones and together they have five children and twelve grandchildren. Spending time with his family is his greatest passion. He attends services at Sweedens Cove Church of Christ in South Pittsburg, TN.
Mrs. Terry Stagman Ragan, Administrative Assistant / Receptionist
Terry was born in Flint, Michigan where she graduated from Kearsley High School, Baker Business University, and married her high school sweetheart Michael Ragan. They have three children and six grandchildren. Terry and Michael owned Michael's Portrait Place in Stevenson, AL for 15 years where they have had the pleasure of meeting many fine, wonderful people in Stevenson and the surrounding areas. She is experienced in working with people through the studio, as receptionist at Dr. J. E. Hall's office for several years and a total of 15 years as church secretary at Stevenson Cumberland Presbyterian Church where she is presently a Sunday School teacher and choir member. After the death of Michael, Terry began working with Rudder Funeral Home in Stevenson and Bridgeport in June of 2002. She feels it is her mission to help grieving families during their time of sorrow, and to assist Rudder Funeral Home in the administration of business procedures to the best of her ability.