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Our Team

Our staff is comprised of dedicated and licensed professionals with the experience to answer all your questions regarding our services. Please feel free to contact any of our staff members at any time.

Jim Gibson

Jim Gibson

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 30 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 seven grandchildren.

 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

Tyler M. Mace

Funeral Home Manager / Funeral Service Licensee / Licensed Crematory Operator/ Pre-Need Specialist

Tyler is a native of McDowell County and is the son of Lynn Mace and Dawn Jackson.  Tyler graduated from McDowell High School and Fayetteville Technical Community College of Funeral Service. He is married to Rebekah Gibson Mace, the great-granddaughter of Sig Westmoreland.  Tyler and Rebekah are parents to their two children Griffin and Gwenna, 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.  

"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.  For the families we serve, their needs and what is important to them is what I want."

Candice Blankenship

Funeral Service Licensee / Licensed Crematory Operator / Pre-Need Specialist

Candi is the daughter of Rev. Roger and Joy Hayley and has two sisters Leah Kelley and Bethany Pittman and many nieces and nephews whom she dearly loves.  Her family relocated several times during her childhood years, eventually moving to Marion where Candi graduated McDowell High School in 1999.  She then became a 2002 graduate of John A. Gupton Mortuary College in Nashville, TN.

Candi is married to her high school sweetheart, Seth Blankenship, and they have one daughter, Kalli who is a middle school student in McDowell County Schools, and Jax their Springer-Doodle who happens to have a ton of followers on Instagram.  Most evenings Candi stays busy with her daughter’s extracurricular activities.  She also enjoys spending time with her family especially while camping, boating, kayaking and traveling. They have recently started attending Greenlee Baptist Church.

Candi takes heart in helping families get closure during a very difficult time and is passionate about making sure those families can honor the memory and celebrate the lives of their loved ones. 

Aaron Loftis

Funeral Service Apprentice

Aaron was born and raised in Marion, North Carolina and is a 2019 graduate of McDowell High School. He has had a lifelong interest in the funeral service industry, and he has been actively working in funeral service for the past four years. Aaron is currently serving as an apprentice for funeral directing and embalming while he works toward his degree in mortuary science.

Aaron is the son of Tim and Janie (Ford) Loftis of Marion, and the younger brother of Ashley Loftis of Birmingham, Alabama. When he is not hard at work assisting our families, he enjoys art, traveling and classic cars. He owns a teal 1964 Oldsmobile Hearse.  Aaron is known by his family as quite the culinary artist, and is also a talented painter.

It is important to Aaron to treat each and every family like they are his own. He wants to make sure that they receive the best care possible during their time of need.

Linda Carter

Office Manager

Linda was born and raised in Freehold, NJ and moved with her parents, Carol and Richard Lee, to Marion, North Carolina during her high school years. Linda is married to Jon Carter, who is a United States Army Veteran and works as a McDowell County Sherriff Deputy.  They have 3 children and 4 grandchildren. Their oldest daughter Cassie is married to Jon Woods and they have 2 daughters, Aria and Kinley. Their son Austin Brooks is married to Rachel Gibson Brooks, Jim and Kenita Gibson’s daughter. They have 2 children, Sawyer and Libby. Their youngest daughter Alexa, is a high school student who also works part time for Westmoreland Funeral Home.

After numerous years taking care of and homeschooling their children, Linda joined the staff of Westmoreland Funeral Home as the office manager.  Most of her job entails tasks that are behind-the-scenes.  Linda keeps us all organized and motivated to complete our daily tasks, with a slightly OCD attitude – she dots the ‘i’s and crosses all of the ‘t’s for us. Her organization and attention to detail ensures the seamless functioning of our funeral home.  

Marvin Lunsford

Marvin Lunsford

Funeral Attendant / Licensed Crematory Operator

Marvin Lunsford is a lifelong resident of McDowell County and worked as paramedic for twenty-four years.  Before that he retired from Baxter after nineteen years and was in the Old Fort Fire Department for nine years and the Rescue Squad for two and a half years.  Marvin attends Christian & Missionary Alliance Church.

Marvin has four children Chris, Cory, Milliscent, and Isabella.  The youngest, Isabella, is a high school student at McDowell County Schools and a Dysartsville first responder.  He is also blessed to be “Grandad” to four grandchildren.

Due to his love of horses, Marvin currently serves on the Board of Directors for the McDowell County Saddle and Bridle Club. Some of his other hobbies are fishing, playing golf and he is also a dog lover.

If you have ever met Marvin, he’s not easy to forget. He has a great personality, sense of humor and has never met a stranger.  Marvin has a desire to help people and enjoys working with the people at Westmoreland Funeral Home. 

Steve Bugenhagen, Jr.

Funeral Attendant / Licensed Crematory Operator

Steve was born in Iowa but has lived most of his life in North Carolina. He is the son of Steven and Arlene Bugenhagen. In 1998 he married his wife Stacy Devlin Bugenhagen and they have two daughters, Haley and Kendall and they recently gained a son in law when Haley married Connor McKinney.


Steve is a talented craftsman.  He built and remodeled many homes in our area for over 20 years.   He was called to preach in 2005 and has served the Lord as a Sunday school teacher, deacon, and has been a pastor since 2013. Steve became pastor of New Horizon Baptist Fellowship in 2018 where he currently serves as pastor.


Steve is a hard worker and genuinely cares about people. He loves the Lord, his family and enjoys serving his community.

Ed Killough

Ed Killough

Funeral Attendant

Ed Killough is a native of McDowell County.  He is married to Helen Killough and they have three children, six grandchildren, eight great grandchildren and one great-great grandson.

After forty-eight and a half years Ed retired from Hawkins Lumber Company and is a retired member of Nebo Fire Department. He and his wife are members and faithful attenders of Yancey Street Baptist Church.  

In his spare time he enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time with his family.  You can always count on Ed to be welcoming and friendly to anyone he meets. At the age of seventy Ed had a tragic fall off of a barn roof which nearly took his life.  His resilience and determination is an inspiration to others.

Dereck Lanning

Funeral Attendant

Dereck Lanning is a native to McDowell County.  His parents are Bruce and Terry McNeely, and he is married to Melissa Dawn (Duncan) Lanning of Old Fort. He and Melissa have 5 children, Gracie, Tinley, Mallory, Madelynn, and Lukas. They all attend McDowell County Schools.

Dereck graduated from Western Piedmont Community College, and McDowell Technical Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice, as well as his certification to be a Peace Officer in the State of North Carolina. Dereck's background is mostly in Law Enforcement, and Customer Service. He works as a full time private security officer and joined the Westmoreland team in 2020

In his spare time, Dereck enjoys fishing, shooting, and spending time with his family.

J.B. Johnson

J.B. Johnson

Custodial Manager / Funeral Attendant

James "J.B." Johnson, originally from Swain County, moved to McDowell County over 50 years ago.  Family is very important to J.B. as he worked full time to provide for them over the years at East Marion Manufacturing, Air Pre Heater and Broyhill. He was also a loving care giver to his younger brother, Marvin prior to his passing in 2003. 
J.B. has served many roles over the past 15 years at Westmoreland including maintaining the facility and equipment, assisting with funerals and most recently assuming custodial duties and overall up keep of the funeral home.   

J.B. is a Deacon at Solid Rock Baptist Church, where he has been a member for 40 years.  

He enjoys spending time with family and is a generous man, always willing to lend a hand where needed and is an integral and beloved part of our Westmoreland family.

Wayne Holland

Funeral Attendant

Wayne is a native of McDowell County and is married to Susan Holland.  They have one daughter Amanda who is married to Josh Collins. Amanda and Josh have a son, Jacob who is Wayne’s pride and joy.

Wayne is a member of Grace Baptist Church in Marion where he teaches an adult Sunday school class. He has been serving the community most of his life tending to the needs at the grave site and working in the Funeral Home Industry. 

Wayne is a Bee Keeper and enjoys spending time with his family. He has a calm disposition and is always ready and willing to lend a helping hand.

Alexa Carter

Digital Media / Housekeeping / Office Assistant

“Our Alexa does more than your Alexa” is a common phrase around Westmoreland. 

 “Our Alexa” is a high school student with an interest in the Funeral Home industry, quite fitting since her mother works at Westmoreland as well.

 Her parents are Jon and Linda Carter of Marion. Alexa has two older siblings and is a proud “Auntie” to her nieces and nephews. She maintains her grades while creating most of the videos and digital signage for the funeral home.  Alexa has learned new programs and strives to keep us in line with the newest and most advanced technology that the funeral industry has to offer. In her spare time at the funeral home she helps perform custodial duties to ensure a safe and clean environment for all the families we serve as well as helping in the office.

Alexa is a talented artist, loves animals and is a friend to anyone who enters. What you wouldn’t know about Alexa is that she is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Though she has and does struggle with the effects of being on the Autism Spectrum she doesn’t give up and she keeps persevering.  

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