Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.
Ward’s Funeral Home is locally owned by Gainesville natives John Wayne & Wendi Abernathy. John Wayne knew as a small child that he wanted to be a funeral director. When he & his parents would visit families at a funeral home, he was always fascinated by the different funeral homes and directors. He would bury his fisher price men and had his technique down to perfection. After high school he pursued his career. He takes pride and gives a family his full attention to make sure they are taken care of to the fullest. When asked where did this come from he said, " yes you can say different people influenced me but honestly, my credit goes to The Lord! Because without him I couldn't do this. He is my rock and he has given me the ability to have this talent and ministry". John Wayne and the caring staff are here to help you through this difficult time. You can count on us to help you personalize a lasting tribute to your love one. During this time of sorrow our goal is to help guide you through the many decisions that must be made. Whether your need is immediate or you wish to pre-plan a service we are always ready to assist.
You are welcome to call us at any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or, visit our funeral home in person at your convenience. We also provide a wealth of information here on our web site so you can learn more from the privacy of your own home.
COMPASSION, INTEGRITY & EXCELLENCE
We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without overwhelming. And how to meet the needs of many caring parties. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond with kindness, calmness and expertise. Our goal is to create a beautiful occasion and make you feel welcome, always. We spend our days planning with families. We stay up to date with industry developments, and we make hard times a little easier. We at Ward's do this with compassion, integrity and excellence. We are the right choice when choosing a funeral home.
Learn the legacy.
Ward's Funeral Home was established in 1934, and serving families has always been our focus. We take pride in being able to guide people through some of their most difficult days. We take pleasure in maintaining a setting that allows people to find peace. Celebrating life is our mission. That’s never changed. And with pride, it never will.
John Wayne Abernathy
Owner, Funeral Director & Embalmer
John Wayne has served families in the Gainesville area for 28 years. He served as deputy coroner for Hall County for 12 years. He is an ordained minister and realizes the funeral service industry is not a job, but a ministry. John Wayne currently is the chairmen of the Greater Hall Fellowship of Christian Athletes Board. He and his wife, Wendi of 25 years have a daughter, Lauren. He attends Gillsville Baptist Church.
Wendi Kinsey Abernathy
Co-Owner & Administrative Assistant
Wendi is a graduate of North Hall High School and attended Piedmont College. She enjoys baking, spending time with family, Bible study groups and helping others in need.
Lauren Abernathy Rouadi
Funeral Service Apprentice, Marketing Director & Event Coordinator
Lauren is a graduate of North Hall High School. She graduated college with a degree in Business. Lauren has a heart for senior adults and plans to one day manage all the estate planning at Ward's.
Funeral Service Assistant
Nick graduated from North Hall High School, then went to North Georgia Tech and finished the lineman program. He currently works full time as a lineman with Pike Electric and part time here at Ward's. He enjoys the outdoors, and is engaged to Lauren Abernathy.
Jimmy has been serving the families of Gainesville & the surrounding area for the past 47 years. The past 18 years as previous owner of Ward's Funeral Home. He is a member of Pine Crest Baptist Church in Gainesville & serves as a deacon. Jimmy is married to Becky Pinson Brewer & they have 2 sons Jeff & Justin, 2 granddaughters, Haley & Molly Brewer.
Becky is married to Jimmy Brewer. She is a member of Pine Crest Baptist Church & is active in the WMU & Awana programs. Becky has served at Ward's Funeral Home as the administrative assistant for the past 9 years.
Rev. Maxey Ladd
Funeral Service Apprentice, Pre-Need, Aftercare & Public Relations
Maxey grew up in Gainesville and married his high school sweetheart Sue Poole Ladd. Together they have two boys, Shannon married to Neysa McDonald and Benji married to Kristi Hart. They also have 5 grandchildren. Maxey has served as a local minister and in the funeral business for the past 20 years.
Visitation Attendant & Administrative Assistant
Sue Poole Ladd grew up in Gillsville, GA. She is the daughter of Wallace & Geraldine Poole. She was one of 6 children and is married to Maxey. Sue retired in January after a 45-year career in Banking. Sue & Maxey have 2 sons, Shannon & Benji. Sue enjoys spending time with her five grandchildren, Luke, Lydia, Emery, Jesse & Hadley.
Funeral Service Assistant
Wayne was born and raised in Lula, and married Patricia Gibbs from Gainesville. They have two children and 7 grandchildren. Wayne retired 14 years ago from a career in manufacturing management, and was a part time cattle farmer for 30 years. He also serves as a Deacon at Liberty Baptist Church in Lula.
Raymond "Spider" Buffington
In Memory of
In Memory of Raymond "Spider" Buffington. He was a funeral director & embalmer for Ward's with 53 years of service. Spider was loved by all who knew him and missed beyond words.
Rev. Mark Russell
Funeral Service Assistant
Mark Russell is a native of Gainesville, GA and serves the New Holland Baptist Church as Associate Pastor where he leads the music and youth ministries among other responsibilities. He is married to Beth and has three grown daughters, April, Chelsea, and Brooke.