Our Staff

Tamela Smith

Tamela Smith

Owner / Funeral Director

Tamela Smith is the owner and operator of Banister Funeral Home and has been a Georgia licensed funeral director and embalmer since 2012. She is a graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service and has been employed at Banister Funeral Home since April 2012. Tamela began working in the funeral industry in Cleveland, Georgia. Tamela is serving in her second term as Towns County Deputy Coroner.

Tamela resides in Towns County with two of her three children, Mackenzie, a senior at Towns County Comprehensive High School and Memphis a sixth grader at Towns County Middle School. Tamela's oldest son Morgan is enlisted in the United States Army. Tamela's fiancé Marvin Cooper also resides in Towns County and they are planning a November 2017 wedding. 

Tamela is active in the community where she is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, supporter of the Towns County Emergency Management Agency, member of the National Funeral Director's Association and the Georgia Coroner's Association. Recently, through funeral home sponsorship, Tamela has been handing out life saving Vital Boards free to the community. 

Telephone: 1-706-896-2218

Email: tsmith@banisterfuneral.com

Marvin Cooper

Marvin Cooper


Marvin Cooper is the co-owner with his fiancé, Tamela Smith, of Banister Funeral Home. He has been a north Georgia resident and small business owner for over 20 years. He brings significant financial and managerial experience to the company.

Marvin completed a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Memphis in 1987 before moving to Georgia to pursue a Master's degree at Georgia Tech and and MBA at Emory University. He has worked for companies large and small including IBM and AT&T throughout the southeast as well as resided internationally before settling permanently in north Georgia. He loves the beauty of Towns County, the good hearted people here and our pace of life.  His part in Banister Funeral Home is a chance to give back to this wonderful community and minister to people when they are hurting.

Sarah McClure


Sarah McClure has been part of the staff at Banister Funeral Home since October 2014 where she first started as a secretary but later determined her desire to obtain a professional license in Mortuary Science. She is currently enrolled in Ogeechee Technical College and on track to graduate as a licensed funeral director and embalmer in May of 2018. 

Sarah resides in Towns county and has two children, Zoe, who attends Towns County Middle School and Wyatt, who attends Towns County Elementary School. 

Sarah is a member of North Mt Zion Church of God where she is the media director. 

Telephone: 1-706-896-2218

Email: banister@banisterfuneral.com

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