Ronnie Highfield, Retired Funeral Director - Past President
In June of 1967, Ronnie began working with Perry Funeral Home in Centre, Alabama. A 1969 graduate of Cherokee County High School, he attended Gupton-Jones Mortuary College in Atlanta, Georgia where he graduated in 1975. Ronnie is a licensed Funeral Director, Embalmer, and Cremationist in the State of Alabama and hold Funeral Director and Embalmer license in the State of Georgia. He is National Board Certified in Embalming.
In June 2018 at the 132nd Convention for the Alabama Funeral Directors Association, Ronnie received a 50 year pin in recognition for his 51 years of funeral service.
After completing mortuary school, he purchased and operated Collinsville Funeral Home from 1975 until 1981. He was hired in August of 1982 to work at Wilson Funeral Home while it was still under construction at its current location. He owned the establishment after purchasing it on August 15, 2007 until passing the torch to his daughter. Ronnie is now enjoying his retirement years working in his wood shop, some bus tour travels and watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren's sporting events, but still assists on funerals when needed.
Ronnie is married to Sonja Dutton of Sand Rock and lives in the Fischer Community on Lookout Mountain. They have two children: Amy Highfield Justice and husband Randy, and Brent Highfield and wife Hannah. They have also been blessed with five grandchildren: Cole Justice and wife, Alli, Pressley Justice, Lauren Grace, Shelby Claire, and Stella Rae Highfield and four great-grandchidlren Jasper, Jessi, Jayda, and Linna Cate Justice.
Ronnie and Sonja are members of Minvale Baptist Church. Ronnie also serves as Chaplain for the Fischer Rescue Squad.
Amy Highfield Justice, President - Licensed Funeral Director
Amy is a 1991 graduate of Fort Payne High School. She is married to Randy Justice of Mantachie, Mississippi, who teaches at Fort Payne Middle School They have two children: Cole Justice and wife, Alli and Pressley Justice. She and Randy are proud grandparents (MayMay and ShayShay) to four precious grandbabies: Jasper, Jessi, Jayda, and Linna Cate.
Serving as a second generation funeral director, Amy grew up watching her father minister to families during the most difficult time in their life. It was that service that drew her to become a part of helping others through the process of grieving for a family member and friend.
“I truly believe this is a ministry, not a job, and I am thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the lives of the people of this community”.
Amy is the past president of the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce where she served as a board member for 10 years. She was named the 2020 Chamber of Commerce Woman in Management and was named as a DeKalb County Top 20 Leader in 2018. She serves as District 2 Director for the Alabama Funeral Directors Association. She and her family are members of First Baptist Church of Fort Payne where she enjoys singing with the choir and teaching Sunday School with Randy.
Mike Leath, Licensed Funeral Director - Cremationist
Mike joined the staff of Wilson Funeral Home in 1999. A 1975 graduate of Fort Payne High school, he spent his entire career in public service, accumulating 32 years of service with the Fort Payne Fire Department, 8 years with the hospital based ambulance service, and 3-1/2 years as the Director of the local Emergency Management Agency. He became a licensed Funeral Director in 2006.
Mike is married to Kathy Lee Leath and lives in Fort Payne. They have 2 children: Michael Leath, II and Michelle Anthony; and 3 grandchildren: Tyler and Kaelyn Anthony and Matthew Leath. Mike sings with the Sharps Quartet and is a member of Minvale Baptist Church.
“Service and helping others during times of need has been my entire life. I sincerely view this as a calling and, with God’s help; I will continue to assist those I can with compassion, dedication, and love.”
Caleb Roberts, Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer - Cremationist
Caleb began working with Wilson Funeral Home in September of 2009. He is a lifelong resident of Fort Payne and a 2008 graduate of Fort Payne High School. In 2011, he graduated from Jefferson State Community College with an Associate in Applied Science of Funeral Service, receiving license in funeral directing and embalming in Alabama and Georgia. He is a certified crematory operator by the National Funeral Directors Association.
Caleb has a son, Kip.
Bill Jeffery, Licensed Funeral Director
Ron Ogle, Funeral Assistant
Edward "Ned" Ayres, Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer - Cremationist
Ned has served in the funeral industry for over 30 years. He is a 1992 graduate of Gupton Jones College of Mortuary Science in Atlanta, Georgia and is National Board Certified. He has served families in North Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee, where he managed Cox-Martin Funeral Home for Carriage Services in the late nineties. In 2019, he received certification as a Certified Crematory Operator.
A native of Palm Beach County, Florida, he and wife of 39 years, Cathy Hart Ayres reside in Mentone. They own and operate Ayres Antiques in Mentone.
Heather Burt, Funeral Assistant - Apprentice Funeral Director/Embalmer
David McCarrell, Funeral Assisant
Bro. David McCarrell has worked for Wilson Funeral Home and Crematory as a part-time assistant for several years. He has served as the Pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church for 14 years and has been involved in Chaplain ministry for over 20 years. David is married to Jeannie McCarrell and they have one daughter, Jada.
"I am honored to get to know the families we serve and be a comfort to them in difficult times."
Cathy Ayres, Administrative Assistant
Cathy joined the staff of Wilson Funeral Home in August 2020 as Administrative Assistant. She received her funeral director's license in October 1996.
Raised in Palm Beach County, Florida, Cathy now calls Mentone home, along with her husband of 39 years, Ned.
In her free time, Cathy enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, gardening, and buying antiques.