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

“Upholding high standards of service to the bereaved.” 

Hamlett-Dobson has been a trusted family business since 1916—back when Kingsport was a small but fast-growing farming community. Maintaining the ideals of its founders, our staff of more than 30 individuals continues to serve the community with empathy and integrity. Explore the timeline to learn more about our history. 

1915 - Local personality J. Fred Johnson recruits James (Jim) Hamlett, Sr.—manager of a store that held funeral services in Clarksville, Tenn.—to manage funeral services for "the Big Store," Kingsport's largest department store at the time.  

1916 - Hamlett's wife, Maude, and their four children (Clifton, Elizabeth, Clara, and Jim, Jr.) take their first train ride to join Hamlett in Kingsport.

1916 ~ 1919 - Hamlett, often accompanied by his children, travels throughout the Kingsport community to get acquainted with other area families. These beautiful walks through the countryside are some of daughter Clara's favorite childhood memories. 

1919 - Lawrence ("Jimmie") W. Dobson returns home from WWI and, at age 27, joins Hamlett in the undertaking department of the Big Store. With Hamlett's guidance, Dobson establishes his path as funeral director after attending the Gupton Jones School of Mortuary Sciences in Nashville.  

1926 - Committed to the belief that the funeral home should stand alone in its service to the community, Hamlett and Dobson purchase the undertaking department from the Big Store for $3,200 and move their partnership to the downtown location of Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home near Church Circle.  

1931 - Dobson marries Emma Lou McIllwain, a Kingsport schoolteacher from Parsons, Tenn. They raise two children, John and Emily. 

1948 - James (Jim) Hamlett, Sr., dies. Hamlett was a member of the First Christian Church and was one of the founders of the Kingsport Lodge #688 F. & A.M. 

1952 - Hamlett-Dobson establishes a funeral home in Fall Branch. 

1961 - With a master's degree and several years of business experience, Dobson's son-in-law Harold W. Childress joins the family business. In keeping with Hamlett-Dobson's philosophy of service, he initiates Kingsport's first program of grief support.  

1970 - Shortly after returning from military service, Bob Childress joins the family firm. 

1970 - Hamlett-Dobson establishes a Grief Resource Center and Grief Support Program. 

1975 - Hamlett-Dobson establishes a funeral home in Colonial Heights.

1983 - Lawrence W. "Jimmie" Dobson dies. Dobson was voted citizen of the year by the local Civitan Club in 1968 and served as the Grand Marshall of Kingsport's Fourth of July Parade in 1977. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church.

1992 - A graduate of the John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science in Nashville, Harold Childress' son-in-law Chad Correll joins the Hamlett-Dobson staff. 

2001 - Having worked part-time with the firm beginning in 1993, Larry Childress, Harold Childress's son, joins the administrative staff on a full-time basis.


Our Valued Staff

Harold Childress

Harold Childress, Owner, Funeral Director

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 1961


Chad  Correll

Chad Correll, President, Funeral Director & Embalmer

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 1992


Bob  Childress

Bob Childress, Funeral Director

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 1970


John W. Haben

John W. Haben, General Manager, Funeral Director & Embalmer

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2011


Jacob  Green

Jacob Green, Manager, Fall Branch, Funeral Director & Embalmer

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2000


Steve  Britt

Steve Britt, Crematory Manager, Funeral Director & Embalmer

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 1981


Damon Depew

Damon Depew, Funeral Director and Embalmer

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson. since 1997.


Buddy Brown

Buddy Brown, Funeral Director & Embalmer

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2013


Brian  McCasland

Brian McCasland, Funeral Director & Embalmer

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2008


Ashley Weems

Ashley Weems, Funeral Director & Embalmer

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2003


Jake Vela

Jake Vela, Family Service Counselor

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2013


Noonie  Bennett

Noonie Bennett, Funeral Assistant

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2008


Steve Benton

Steve Benton, Funeral Assistant

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2013


Merwyn  Chase

Merwyn Chase, Funeral Assistant

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2010


Charles  Eastep

Charles Eastep, Funeral Assistant

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2008


Faye  Jones

Faye Jones, Funeral Assistant

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2002


Don  Hubbard

Don Hubbard, Funeral Assistant

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 1988


Wesley J. Light

Wesley J. Light, Funeral Assistant

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 1990


Tony  Lane

Tony Lane, Funeral Assistant

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2007


Roy  Pennington

Roy Pennington, Funeral Assistant

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2007


Carol  Price

Carol Price, Funeral Assistant

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2010


Johnnie Ryans

Johnnie Ryans, Funeral Assistant

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2003


Kyle  Smith

Kyle Smith, Funeral Assistant

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2006


David  Swayze

David Swayze, Funeral Assistant

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2006


Frances Whitmore

Frances Whitmore, Funeral Assistant

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since


Jessica Kerney

Jessica Kerney, Secretary

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2015


Rita Newell

Rita Newell, Secretary

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2013


Patricia  Robinette

Patricia Robinette, Secretary

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 1985


Amy Terry

Amy Terry, Office Manager

Serving families with Hamlett-Dobson since 2011