History & Staff
Personalized service options allow you to honor your loved ones in a way that is both meaningful and healing. We hope to provide support and caring while delivering memorial services that celebrate life and help families find the peace they deserve.
If you’re seeking an honorable celebration of life, we invite you to learn more about where we came from, our vision, and the dedicated people behind our work.
A History of Caring
Heritage Memorial Funeral Home was founded in 1994 by Rabun O. Smith who previously had 47 years’ experience in the funeral industry, 41 of those being a fully licensed funeral director and embalmer. Rabun Smith moved to Warner Robins in 1969 and went into partnership with Mr. Lamar Christopher to form Christopher-Smith Funeral Home. After Mr. Christopher’s retirement in 1979, Smith bought out his share of the funeral home. During this time Smith also served as president of the Georgia Funeral Directors Association in 1987.
In 1988 Smith sold Christopher-Smith Funeral Home and continued to serve families in the community for six more years until retiring. After enjoying retirement for a few years, Smith decided that he wanted to go back into the funeral business and opened Heritage Memorial Funeral Home in 1994 with Clinton W. Tanner. Today, Smith’s daughter, Kimberly S. Harris, is still involved with the business caring for families and serving the community.
Our Staff’s Dedication to Respectful Care
A funeral, or memorial service, should provide family members and loved ones with the chance to reflect, remember, and celebrate a life well-lived. Our goal is to create exceptional services and experiences that fulfill the wishes of your loved one. Our experienced Funeral Directors provide guidance on the crucial first steps toward healing.
Location Leader/Funeral Director/Embalmer
Jason completed his apprenticeship at Christopher-Smith Funeral Home from 1999-2001 and in 2001; he traveled to Statesboro, Georgia to pursue his degree. He graduated with honors from Ogeechee Technical College in July 2003 with a degree in Funeral Service Management.
Jason was born in Savannah, Georgia and grew up in Perry where his parents moved after he was born. He attended The Westfield Schools until his sophomore year in high school and graduated from Perry High School in 1991. He graduated from Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with an Associate’s degree in Ag Marketing. After college, he worked for Tolleson Lumber Company. He really enjoyed his job and what he was doing, until his grandmother passed away in 1998. Jason had always had an itch to be a part of the funeral business, his brother is also a funeral director, and had debated on going to school several times. However, it wasn’t until his grandmother’s passing that he realized what his true calling was.
He is married to the former Katherine Blount of Perry. She is a 5th grade teacher at Kings Chapel Elementary. They have two sons Blake and Ben . He and his family live in Perry, and are members of Cross Point Baptist Church. In Jason’s free time he loves to deer hunt, salt-water fish, and play golf.
Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer and Celebrant
Andy Pickens was born and raised in Centerville, Georgia. He graduated from Northside High School class of ’93. Andy married his high school sweet heart, Melissa, and they have four children Drew, Ashley, Emily, and Abby, and two grandchildren, Josiah and Junia. He graduated with a B.A. in Religion, Pastoral Ministries from Trevecca Nazarene University. He is an Ordained Elder in the Church of the Nazarene where Andy serves as a Chaplain. He served as a pastor in a few churches in Georgia including the First Church of the Nazarene in Warner Robins. Andy entered the funeral industry in 2004 and worked in Hart's Mortuary and Crematory, and the former Crest Lawn Funeral Home in Macon as a Funeral Service Apprentice and Chaplain.
“I saw the funeral industry as an opportunity to help hurting families through a difficult time. I thought as a Funeral Chaplain I could do a lot of good, and I did. Then, as the funeral home I was working at exposed me to more of the science and business side of the industry, I learned I could do as much good from the other side of the pulpit at a funeral service.”
Andy came to Heritage Memorial Funeral Home and Crematory in April, 2016 as a Funeral Service Apprentice/Chaplain. He received his Associate of Applies Science degree in Funeral Service Education at Ogeechee Technical College. He enjoys spending time with his family, canoeing, a good story, an engaging conversation, and lots of laughs!
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs are people who are truly alive!” G.K. Chesterton
Leigh is the daughter of Keith and Ann Watson. She is a lifelong resident of Warner Robins, Georgia and a 2011 graduate of Warner Robins High School. Leigh and her family are members of Southside Baptist Church. After high school, she attended Georgia Military College where in 2013, she earned an Associate’s Degree in Pre-Nursing. Shortly after, Leigh realized nursing wasn’t for her and decided to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She graduated from Ogeechee Technical College in 2015 with her degree in funeral services. After two years working in the funeral industry, Leigh joined the Heritage Memorial Funeral Home team in February 2016 as a full time Funeral Directors Apprentice. In her free time, Leigh enjoys trips to the beach, shopping, and spending time with friends and family. Leigh truly feels that the funeral industry is a ministry. She is passionate about her work and feels blessed to be able to serve the families of our community in their time of need.
Kendrick is a native of Dublin, Georgia and brings a great level of care and comfort to families we serve. Kendrick has served in the Funeral Industry 20 plus years. Over the years, Kendrick has gained valuable knowledge with embalming difficult cases and major reconstruction and has been called upon throughout the State. He serves on the Board of Director for Dublin-Laurens Boys and Girls Club. He is a graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Services, and serves on the Funeral Service Advisory Board of Ogeechee Technical College.
Kim just recently graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta and received her degree in Mortuary Science. Kim is married to David Harris, also from Warner Robins. They have twin daughters, Charly and Lauren, who are currently attending College. Kim loves the outdoors, working with her five horses, waterskiing, and spending time with her family. Having grown up with her father in the funeral business, it is Kim's desire to continue the business and serve the members of the surrounding community with the same respect and dignity that her father shared with so many.
Funeral Director/Embalmer Apprentice
Katie began her career as an apprentice funeral director in 2016 at Macon Memorial Park Funeral Home . She received her degree in funeral service from Ogeechee Technical College in Statesboro, GA in 2019. Katie came to Heritage Memorial Funeral Home in 2020 and believes that serving families is her calling.
In her spare time, Katie enjoys gardening, cooking, and spending time with her two nephews and niece. She also cares for two fur babies, Bailey and Gibson.
Funeral Director/Embalmer Apprentice/Administrator
Zachary Ivester was born to Ricky and Heather Ivester and is a lifelong resident of Warner Robins, Georgia and a 2018 honor graduate from Warner Robins High School. Zachary is a graduate from Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service where he obtained his Associates of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service. Zachary is a current student at Mercer University where he is pursuing a Master's degree in Human Resources Management where he has earned a place on both the President and Dean's list.
"I saw funeral service as a ministry to help serve the families of Middle Georgia during a very difficult time. Throughout my tenure within the funeral ministry I have learned the importance of compassion, and empathy."
Zachary is a member of Second Baptist Church. In his free time he can often times be found camping, fishing, hunting, or sharing a smile with those he love.
Zachary finds working at Heritage Memorial Funeral Home a great honor and serves each family as if they are his own. He first began his career within the funeral ministry while in high school at the age sixteen at Burpee-Scott Memorial Chapel. Zachary joined the Heritage Memorial Funeral Home family in August of 2018 where he strives to provide a high level of service to every family he serves.
One of Zach's favorite quotes is, "There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don't care who get the credit". -Ronald Regan
Funeral Director/Embalmer Apprentice
April is a lifelong resident of Warner Robins, GA. She graduated from Houston County High School and pursued a degree in pre-nursing from Macon State College. Her first career was in orthodontics, working for Spillers Orthodontics for nearly 25 years as an orthodontic assistant and treatment coordinator.
The true passion of her heart is funeral service. As a child she always dreamed of being a funeral director. After years of dreaming, she began her funeral service career as an apprentice in 2016. In 2022, she obtained her Associate of Applied Science in Funeral Service degree from The Dallas Institute of Funeral Service in Dallas, Texas.
She and her husband Kevin have three children. When she isn’t working, she can be found at the baseball field, gymnastics practice or karate practice. Her three dogs, Ollie, Hazel, and Henri are considered additional children in the family. She enjoys spending time with her family, DIY projects, and cheering on her children in all that they aspire to be.
Sheila was born in Starke, FL to the late Cecil and Velma Hammond of Centerville, GA. She graduated from Northside High School and attended Lee University in Cleveland, TN. Sheila is married to Tommy DuPriest, from Macon, GA. Tommy has been employed at Robins Air Force Base for 34 years. They have two children, Stephanie (Chad) Campbell and Michael (Mika) DuPriest, and six wonderful grandchildren, Cali, Sloan, Marlee, Judah, Eli and Dylan.
In her spare time, Sheila enjoys spending quality time with family and anything involving her grandchildren. She enjoys her friends, shopping, and exercising.
Sheila is an active member of City Church. Sheila considers it a ministry and receives personal satisfaction to be able to help families in their time of sorrow. She is honored to be a part of the Heritage Memorial Funeral Home Staff.
Pre Arrange Funeral Advisor
Greg is from Chicago, Illinois and moved to Georgia in 1997. He and his loving wife of 5 years, Eve, have two adopted children. Greg and Eve enjoy traveling to the beach and the North Georgia Mountains for vacation. They also enjoy spending time with their two children, and two beautiful grandchildren. Greg has been a Pre Arrange Funeral Advisor for more than 15 years and loves helping families in their time of need.