President / Funeral Director Licensee / Licensed Crematory Operator
My name is Jim Gibson, and I am the president and owner of Westmoreland Funeral Home. As a young child, I would come from Atlanta with my family to visit both my Gibson and Westmoreland grandparents. I said many times that I wanted to grow up to be a funeral director like my granddaddy, Sig Westmoreland. Although adulthood brought about a different career path for some years, I was led here in 1991 after my grandfather had passed away and my mother, Margaret Westmoreland Gibson, had worked at the funeral home for several years. It did not take long for me to realize that I had found my true purpose, and I can say it has been a real honor to serve the people of McDowell County for the past 25 years. My wife and I have raised three beautiful daughters, and upon their marriages, gained three wonderful sons-in-law. We have the tremendous blessing of four grandchildren and one soon to come. I look forward to the coming years of continuing our business with my family by my side, striving to provide the best service possible to the families of our community.
Tyler M. Mace
Funeral Home Manager / Funeral Service Licensee / Licensed Crematory Operator
Tyler is a native of McDowell County and is the son of Lynn Mace and Dawn Jackson. He is married to Rebekah Gibson Mace, the great-granddaughter of Sig Westmoreland. Tyler and Rebekah are new parents to their son, Griffin, and are long-time members of Christian & Missionary Alliance Church, where Tyler serves as a Deacon. He enjoys spending time with his family and being outside, whether it be hiking, camping, fishing, or hunting. Tyler is a licensed funeral director, embalmer, and crematory operator. He graduated from McDowell High School and Fayetteville Technical Community College of Funeral Service.
"I look forward to continuing to serve my community and the families of McDowell County with the highest level of service and sensitivity to the needs of the families we serve."
Tamra has lived in Marion for twenty-five years. Originally
from Hudson, NC, she spent many of her summers at Lake James with family. Tamra
has three wonderful sons; all of whom live in McDowell Co.; and six wonderfully
energetic grandchildren. Tamra worked as a veterinary technician for thirteen
years and also in the medical field in various positions. During these years
she developed a compassion to help people cope with difficult times in their
life. “I prayed for God to help me find a job where I could help others. We all
need to know that someone cares. Westmoreland Funeral Home appeared out of the
blue and has been a blessing for me. I now have an extended family and with God’s
direction I’m able to help others. Thank you for accepting me into such a
caring family.” Before coming to work at Westmoreland Funeral Home, Tamra
worked for eight years at Bantam Chef restaurant in Marion. She attends
Redeemed Independent Baptist Church in Glen Alpine. Tamra loves her family and
friends, reading books and animals, especially horses.
Betty Ward, a native of McDowell County - married to Howard "Jimmy" Ward, also a native of McDowell County. They have three children, eight grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren. Betty and Jimmy are members of New Horizon Baptist Church. They enjoy traveling and spending time with their family, especially their great-grandchildren. Betty has been employed with Westmoreland Funeral Home for over 20 years as office manager, until she recently became semi-retired and is still working part-time. Prior to coming to Westmoreland, she was employed with Marion Fabrics for 42 years and worked in several capacities, the last 13 years in the Human Resources Department. "I am proud to have been a part of the Westmoreland Funeral Home family for all these years and plan to continue on a part-time basis."
Funeral Director/ Funeral Service Apprentice / Licensed Cremation Operator
Mike is a Funeral Director/Funeral Service Apprentice and a certified crematory operator. He is married to Sheila and has four children, with Emma and Mitchell still at home. He came to North Carolina, after receiving is B. S. from Berea College in Kentucky, to work as an engineer and eventually as a supervisor in the furniture industry, for both Lexington and Century Furniture companies. He started a remodeling business in the late 1990's that evolved into a hardwood flooring business that was formed in 2001. He came to work at Westmoreland as a part-time employee in 2013 that became a full-time position a year later. He is currently enrolled in the Funeral Services Program at Fayetteville Technical Community College.
Rachel Gibson Brooks, a native of McDowell County, is the great-granddaughter of Sig Westmoreland and the daughter of Jim and Kenita Gibson. Rachel is married to Austin Brooks, a Marion Police Officer, and they are currently expecting their first child in January 2017. Rachel and her husband are long-time members of Christian & Missionary Alliance Church and enjoy spending time with family and their dogs. Rachel graduated with an Associate Degree in Hospitality Management from Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and in addition to working at Westmoreland, she is a wellness consultant for Young Living Essential Oils. She is proud to be a part of the Westmoreland family legacy and looks forward to continuing to serve McDowell County for many years to come.
Shirley was married for 54 years to the late Carroll McEntire of Old Fort where they have lived most of their married life. They have four children, six grandchildren, and one great-grandson. After retiring from McDowell County Schools, she enjoyed spending time with her husband and family. She is a member of Cherry Springs Baptist Church and a charter member of the Old Fort Community Chorus. After her husband's death, she started working part time in the office of Westmoreland Funeral Home in Old Fort. Shirley says she enjoys working at the funeral home and is proud to be a part of the funeral home family.
Maintenance Manager / Funeral Attendant
James "J.B." Johnson, originally from Swain County, moved to McDowell for industry over 30 years ago. J.B. has served as Maintenance Manager of Westmoreland for over 10 years, after previously working at East Marion and Air Pre Heater for 13 years each. In addition to maintaining the Funeral Home's building and equipment, he also often assists with funerals. J.B. is a Deacon at Solid Rock Baptist Church, where he has been a member for 30 years. He enjoys spending time with family and is a generous man, always willing to lend a hand where needed.
Chris Matthews is a native of Buncombe County. He is the son of Robert Matthews and the late Willie Wilson Matthews. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Harlene Pettit Matthews, for 26 years. Chris and Harlene have two children and one grandson. He has been the pastor for Stone Mountain Missionary Baptist Church in Black Mountain for 3 years. He has been in the ministry for 18 years. He has been employed at Westmoreland Funeral Home for 7 years and has been in the funeral industry for a total of twelve years. He was previously employed at Kirksey Funeral Home in Marion, where he worked for 3 1/2 years. Chris has enjoyed working at Westmoreland Funeral Home is thankful to be a part of something special.
Funeral Attendant / Licensed Crematory Operator
Marvin Lunsford is a lifelong resident of McDowell County and worked as paramedic for 24 years. Before that he retired from Baxter after 19 years and was in the Old Fort Fire Department for 9 years and the Rescue Squad for 2 1/2 years. Marvin has several hobbies which include a love for horses, fishing, and playing golf. He is also a dog lover. Marvin has 4 children and 3 grandchildren. He attends Christian & Missionary Alliance Church. Marvin has a desire to help people and enjoys working with the people at Westmoreland Funeral Home.
Ed Killough, a native of McDowell County, is married to Helen Killough, also of McDowell County. He is a member of Nebo Fire Department. He retired from Hawkins Lumber Company after 48 1/2 years. They have three children, five grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. He and his wife are members of Yancey Street Baptist Church. In his spare time he enjoys his family, hunting, and fishing. He is employed with Westmoreland Funeral Home and enjoys being a part of the Westmoreland Funeral Home family.
Charles Stockton, a native of McDowell County, lived in Old Fort for most of his life before moving to Marion. He is married to Evelyn, also a native of McDowell County, and together they have a son, Allen, in addition to their late daughter, Lisa Whitesides. Charles has four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and another great-grandchild on the way. Before coming to Westmoreland to work as a Funeral Attendant, Charles retired from the City of Marion. He enjoys riding golf carts, camping, and spending time with his family and his dog Chico.
Michael is a native of McDowell County and he and his wife, Amber
Harris Branch, have two beautiful children, Kilee Emmaline, age seven, and
Michael Isaiah, age four. He enlisted in
the Army National Guard at the age of seventeen, between his junior and senior
years of high school, and is currently assigned to the 1451st
Transportation Company where he is a Staff Sergeant. Michael also serves as their Master
Resilience Trainer, Retention NCO, Safety Officer, and Squad Leader. He has
served eight of his eleven years full-time with the NC Army National Guard
Military Funeral Honors team. He also served
as the Western North Carolina Regional Coordinator and Training NCO, and
continues to do so part time. During his
time with the Honor Guard, he had the honor of rendering Military Honors to
hundreds our nation’s finest, the men and women who served selflessly in all
branches of the armed forces. Michael is
also a member of the Lovelady Masonic Lodge #670 in Valdese, NC, and currently
serves as their Junior Deacon. Michael
loves being outdoors, whether he is fishing, hiking, shooting, or working in
the garden. He is a member of Emmanuel
FWB Church in Nebo. He is looking forward to continuously serving Veterans, and
Christian Wyatt is a native of McDowell County and the son
of Lisa Slagle and the late Andy Wyatt. Christian graduated from Marion
Christian Academy then went on to obtain his Associate’s Degree in Criminal
Justice Technology. Christian has served in emergency services in McDowell
County for the last 10 years, where he is now a volunteer Firefighter/EMT with
Marion Fire Department. He is currently a Patrol Corporal with the Marion
Police Department, where he has worked since 2010. He is a member of Mystic Tie
#237 Masonic Lodge in Marion. He is a member of Yancey Street Baptist Church.
Christian loves being outdoors whether it is fishing, hunting, riding
motorcycles, or boating on Lake James. He looks forward to serving our
community in their time of need.