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

Our History

Our company history began over 60 years ago with the founding of the North Funeral Home in Elizabethton, Tennessee. When it was sold to Donald W. Tetrick, Sr., it became the first Tetrick Funeral Home. Donald W. Tetrick, Sr. operated the funeral home by himself until 1968, when he was joined in the business by his son, Richard Tetrick.

The Tetrick’s commitment to compassionate personal service allowed the family to expand, by 1990, the Tetricks operated ten funeral homes in the tri-state area.

We officially became Heritage Operating, LLC Funeral Services in 1991, and continued to bring other funeral homes into the association. In April of 1993, we opened a crematory at Oakley-Cook Funeral Home in Bristol, TN, and in 1995 added divisions that provide our client families with a wide array of choices in cemetery monuments and burial vaults.

In January of 2000, we answered a pressing client need with the opening of what is now known as Adored Pets Crematory in Elizabethton, Tennessee.. 

Today, with our network of local, community-involved funeral homes, crematory, pet crematory, vault and monument providers, and conveniently located memorial parks, we are proud to offer our clients the utmost in caring, complete funeral services.

Heritage Operating, LLC is dedicated to providing quality funeral and cemetery service, clean, comfortable facilities, and continued growth through acquisition of high quality funeral homes and cemeteries that resemble our methods of operation.

  • Renee Lockhart

    Renee Lockhart President and CEO

    Renee Lockhart is President and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Operating, LLC. Renee joined Heritage Family Funeral Services in April of 1990. She has served as a member of the Elizabethton Civitan Club, the Rotary Club of Elizabethton and the board of Abuse Alternatives, Inc. She was selected for inclusion in the 2001 Forty Under 40 class featured in The Business Journal of Tri-Cities Tennessee/Virginia.

    Originally from Middlesboro, Kentucky, Renee is a graduate of East Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and a master’s degree in Accountancy. She has served as Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President of the ETSU Alumni Association Board and currently serves as a member of that board and of the board of the ETSU Foundation. She was inducted into the ETSU College of Business Hall of Fame in 2003. Renee and her husband of 30 years, Jess Lockhart, who has been with the Sullivan County Tennessee School Systems for 33 years, attend Chinquapin Grove Baptist Church.

  • Richard Tetrick

    Richard Tetrick Director of Corporate Development

    Richard Tetrick is the third generation of his family to be a funeral director. He started working in his family business at the age of 16. He is an active member of First United Methodist Church of Elizabethton, the Elizabethton Rotary Club and Elizabethton Kiwanis Club. He has served as a member and chairman of the Tennessee Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers and is a former director and secretary-treasurer of Selected Independent Funeral Homes. Richard has been married to Norma Greene Tetrick since 1972. They have one son, Tyler, who is active in the family business and is a funeral director.

  • Tyler Tetrick

    Tyler Tetrick President - Heritage Family Cemeteries

    Tyler Tetrick is the son of Richard and Norma Tetrick and represents the fourth generation of licensed funeral directors in the Tetrick family. He is a licensed funeral director for Tetrick Funeral Home and he formerly practiced as a licensed CPA in the State of Tennessee with Price-Waterhouse-Coopers. Tyler is also a member and past president of the Rotary Club of Elizabethton, is a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow, and has served as the president of the Cemetery Association of Tennessee. Tyler and his wife Elizabeth have one a daughter, Charlotte and a son, Tristan. Tyler and his family attend Grace Fellowship in Johnson City. He serves on multiple charitable boards throughout the community.

  • Mark Aaroen

    Mark Aaroen Vice-President / Chief Operations Officer

    Mark Aaroen has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer for 34 years, and has an extensive background in operations management and staff development having managed firms of various sizes throughout his career. Mark has held membership in several professional organizations including, the National Funeral Director Association and Selected Independent Funeral Homes. Mark is married to Marcy Aaroen and they have three sons. Mark and Marcy are members of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Johnson City, TN.

  • Paula A Akers

    Paula A Akers Human Resources Administrator

    Paula joined Heritage Family Management in 2013. In her current position as HR Administrator, Paula is responsible for the management and administration of company policies, benefits administration, and overseeing human resources activities. Paula is married to David Akers and has two sons, Eric and Justin, and a grandson, Eric Jr. Paula resides in Piney Flats, TN and enjoys time on the lake with family and friends.

  • Chad Sams

    Chad Sams I.T. Manager

    Chad is from Elizabethton and currently resides in Kingsport, TN. He graduated from East Tennessee State University with a degree in Computer Science, and has been working for Heritage Family since 2004. In his current position as IT Manager, Chad provides technical support to Heritage Family offices, so each location can better serve and take care of their families. Chad is happily married to a wonderful woman, Kristen, and is the proud step-dad to Emily Peters. He also is active in his church, Grace Fellowship, in Kingsport, TN.

  • Justin  Stubbs

    Justin Stubbs Creative Director

    Justin Stubbs joined Heritage in 2021 as Creative Director, and director of communications. Justin began working as a freelance graphic designer in 2006 where he developed a strong book of business in the entertainment and music industry. He has a passion for branding and identity with strengths in typography and editorial design. He also oversees social media and public relations for all of our firms.

    Justin is also a licensed funeral director, embalmer, and crematory operator in the state of Georgia. He spent 10 years in the funeral industry at the funeral home level before transitioning to the creative side in 2020. Melding his two passions - graphic design and funeral service - Justin feels he has the right tools in his kit to help Heritage excel in our industry.

    Justin graduated from Lowndes High School in 1999 and Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in 2012. Originally from Valdosta, GA, he currently lives in McDonough, GA with his wife, Nikki and son, Holland.

  • Greg Cannon

    Greg Cannon Director of Employee Development

    Greg is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in Georgia and Alabama, and a Certified licensed insurance agent in Georgia. He is certified by the American Academy of Bereavement as a grief facilitator. Mr. Cannon is a graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service, Decatur, GA, where he served as class president and a member of Pi Sigma Eta.

    “Serving others” is his life’s work, and after 40 years of serving families, he now shares his knowledge from those experiences with other funeral professionals.

    He has served on the national Policy Board of the National Funeral Directors Association, the Executive Board of Georgia Funeral Directors Association, and the Selected Independent Funeral Homes Educational Trust Board of Trustees. He served on the Mass Fatality Team for the 7-county area of Metro Atlanta and the Mass Fatality Planning Team for the state of Georgia. A sought-after speaker, he is well-experienced in media relations and has spoken widely to diverse funeral service and public groups and to television stations and newspaper outlets.

  • Nona Jarrett

    Nona Jarrett Accounts Payable

  • Jessica L McDonough

    Jessica L McDonough Staff Accountant

    Jessica graduated from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio in 2009. She worked in Columbus until deciding to move to East Tennessee. She recently married a remarkable Stoney Creek resident, Ezra Jacob Brummitt and they bought a house in Bristol, TN. Together, they enjoy traveling, driving and hiking the mountains with their dog, and caving.

  • Lisa Blevins

    Lisa Blevins Staff Accountant

  • Cory Cole

    Cory Cole Staff Accountant

    Cory is originally from Bristol, TN, graduated from East Tennessee State University with a degree in accounting and currently resides in Johnson City, TN. He joined Heritage in March 2022 and is a member of the organization’s accounting team. Outside of work, Cory enjoys spending time with his friends and family, as well as exercise and traveling.

  • Lance McCloud

    Lance McCloud Staff Accountant

  • Robin Rumley

    Robin Rumley Staff Accountant