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.

Our History

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

    Mr. John E. Rudder, President - Funeral Director/Embalmer

  • Mr. John Cook  Rudder

    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.

  • Mr. Lucas Craig Rudder

    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.

  • Mr. Joey Lee Guess

    Mr. Joey Lee Guess, Funeral Director/Embalmer

  • Mrs. Terry Stagman Ragan

    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.

  • Selena M. Newton

    Selena M. Newton, Aftercare Advisor / Secretary

    Selena has been working at the Scottsboro location of Rudder Funeral
    for three years. And she is now serving her apprenticeship as a Funeral Director as well she is also a preneed Councilor and will be glad to
    help you with your funeral planning.

  • Amanda Wooden Gionti

    Amanda Wooden Gionti, Apprentice Funeral Director and Embalmer

    Amanda joined Rudder Funeral home in January of 2018
    At the Stevenson location. But just as the rest of the staff
    we go between all three locations. So you may see her in Scottsboro,Bridgeport, or in Stevenson.