The Marshall County Post

Follow Us On:

Bills-McGaugh & Hamilton Funeral Home has new director and a therapy dog

Posted on Thursday, June 6, 2024 at 2:30 pm

By Patty Blackburn

This past November, Dennis Hamilton, Funeral Director at Bills-McGaugh & Hamilton Funeral Home & Crematory, decided it was time to retire after 50 years in the funeral home business. Emily Crowe has been hired to take his place as manager, funeral director, embalmer, and crematory operator.

Crowe, from Coalfield, Tenn., comes from a family of nurses. Her family was quite surprised when she decided to become a funeral director and not a nurse. When asked why she decided on this profession, Crowe said, “Being a mortician is a science and an art when preparing a body. Nurses are compassionate and caring and so are morticians.”

Crowe first worked at a funeral home as a greeter, a secretary, then became an apprentice and signed up for mortuary school in Nashville. She always dreamed of having her own funeral home.

Crowe was employed at a Franklin funeral home when she learned of the positionat Bills-McGaugh & Hamilton Funeral Home & Crematory being open. She inquired about the funeral director opening, was hired, and started in November 2023.

The funeral home in Franklin, where Crowe worked, has a grief therapy dog. Crowe watched how this special animal provided comfort to grieving families. Because of the therapy dog’s skill set, the dog provided comfort and support to families and friends who tried to manage their grief, especially for grieving children who were not comfortable talking about their feelings with adults.

The therapy dog gave them someone to talk to and comforted them during an emotional and confusing time.

After seeing how the grief therapy dog related with people, she decided to get her own special animal. Soon she found a Bernedoodle, which is a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle. She named him Finley and he is with her each day at Bills-McGaugh & Hamilton Funeral Home & Crematory. Finley has been through several obedient and therapy classes. He is very social, gentle, and intelligent. “Finley is very loving and is a great therapy dog,” stated Crowe.

Debbie Willis, at the funeral home, calls him “Friendly Finley.” Finley sits in a chair as family and visitors walk through the door at the funeral home, waiting on someone to pet him. He really can make a person smile.

Friday, June 14, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the public is welcome to stop by Bills-McGaugh & Hamilton Funeral Home & Crematory to meet and get acquainted with Emily Crowe and Finley, as well as celebrate ’s second birthday. There will be light refreshments for all to enjoy. So join the crew for a barking good time!