In 1934, Frank Abernathy, a Towns County entrepreneur, established Frank Abernathy Funeral Home in Young Harris, Georgia. Thirty years later in 1965, he opened a second location in neighboring downtown Hiawassee. In 1969, Bill Banister and his son Myers purchased both locations from Mr. Abernathy, renaming them Banister Funeral Home. When Bill Banister passed away in 1998, Myers closed the Young Harris location and consolidated to the Hiawassee office until 2001 when he sold the funeral home to Robby McClure.
In April of 2012, Tamela joined the staff as the full time Funeral Director. A few years later, in the summer of 2016, Robby decided to retire from the funeral home. Tamela and her husband Marvin Cooper then completed the purchase of Banister Funeral Home on March 1, 2017. Marvin and Tamela added their name to the funeral home at the beginning of 2020 making it Banister-Cooper Funeral Home.