The Pendley’s and the Funeral Business

Posted on September 23, 2015 by J. Chad Pendley under Most Common Questions
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The Family…

Our family is steeped in tradition and very strong family values.  Our family, much like other families celebrate together, eat together, work together and depend on each other… our business is what separates us from most families.  We all have a deep passion for funeral service and it all came naturally, never forced or pushed on us.  Each of us have a different story on how we became a part of Mayes Ward-Dobbins Funeral Home, we all took different paths in our own lives but those paths all collided at different times at the funeral home.  People always ask how we all became a part of Mayes Ward-Dobbins so my focus in this blog post is to give a brief description on how that happened to our family.

Terry Pendley,  the Dad…

The story starts with my father, Terry Pendley who started in the funeral business when he was 15 at a local funeral home in Powder Springs.  Dad started in the business by working on an ambulance, which in those days was a big part of the funeral home.  By working the ambulance dad learned the trade of funeral service and realized that he had a natural ability and discovered a deep passion in the service of others.  He spent a few years learning the trade before he found his home at Mayes Ward funeral home, from that point on he has never stopped serving families throughout this community.  With having 3 rambunctious boys who were involved in everything from music, sports, etc… he started other businesses so he could provide for all of us while still working at the funeral home.  His passion for the business was more than what he could earn but he put in extra work through other trades so he could continue to stay at Mayes Ward and provide for his family the way he wanted too.  Years into his service he was given the opportunity to assume the business that he had worked so hard for, putting more on him he devoted his full attention and time only to making the funeral home the best that it could be.  Dad now has over 40 years of service into this industry and company, all of his hard work and efforts are displayed throughout every detail of this business and he is committed more now than ever to serving others.  Dad could have done many other things in life but he knew that this was what he was supposed to do and now with his family standing beside him he can see why he was called to be a funeral director.

Darlene Pendley, the Mom…

Mom was actually one of the last ones of the family to join the team at Mayes Ward-Dobbins but in all truths she probably has more time committed to this business than any other Pendley.  Being married to a funeral director is much harder than actually being a funeral director and it takes a strong, supportive woman to accept her husbands role and calling while raising children, keeping a home and working multiple jobs.  With the unknowing of dad’s ever changing work schedule, it always left my mom to handle everything outside of the funeral home so dad could serve other families.  My mom worked just a block away from the Marietta Funeral Home location as an insurance agent for years before she retired from there and took her role of managing the business office of my father’s dream, Powder Springs Chapel.  My mother never worked less than 3 jobs throughout our childhood and when she retired she could have stayed home to “enjoy” her life, but instead she wanted to be closer to her family and help the family maintain and achieve a successful business that her and dad had worked so hard for.  Mom is the glue that holds our bond together… and also provides a touch to our business that only a mother could do.

Jason Pendley, the oldest son…

Jason, like most of us boys spent his youth running the halls of the funeral home growing up.  For us to spend time with our father we had to go and see him at the funeral home and then run across the block to see mom at work, there were many summer days of doing this growing up.  Jason found a passion in music and  youth leadership through our local church as he was going through school.  He always knew he wanted to help people but went to college and took jobs in the technology field studying networking and communications.  After spending a few years working after college he decided to come to work with dad in May of 2000.  He was looking for another way to expand his service oriented heart and decided to start with the funeral home while he continued to lead the youth for a couple of different churches.  Just like dad, Jason discovered he had a natural talent and he poured his heart into serving families who called on the funeral home.  Jason has developed many wonderful relationships with our families that call on us and people feel a sense of comfort just by sitting down and talking with him.  He has a strong passion for serving others and has answered this calling as a funeral director.

Chad Pendley, the middle son…

I joined the team at Mayes Ward-Dobbins in August of 2000.  I remember hearing the stories that Jason told me once he started and as he was my older brother, I looked up to him as most younger brothers do.  Dad never approached any of us about working at the funeral home because he knew how hard it would be on our lives and the commitment that it takes, but after graduating high school I asked dad if he would let me come to work to sweep the floors for some extra spending money.  He told my mom to go and buy me 3 suits and for me to be at work on Monday morning… I told him I thought it was silly to wear a suit just to sweep floors, little did I know that you do everything at the funeral home in a suit!  As soon as I entered the business I fell in love with it and discovered my passion and calling… I was to be a funeral director, it was in my blood.  All the sacrifices and heartache I have encountered because of this calling will never change my mind or make me re-think my decision to become a funeral director.  I love the fact that I can serve families and help carry on what my father has put so much effort into.

Shane Pendley, the youngest son…

Shane was also involved in leading youth groups and had a strong desire to help people through church.  Shane spent a few years as a youth director in a local church while he was working his way through college.  Shane had intentions of going through seminary and seeing how far he could continue in ministry but his heart felt a tug in another direction.  At this point Shane was the only one who was not in the “family business” and he called me one day and asked if I could meet him for lunch to discuss what the funeral home was about.  As we met together I wanted to make sure that he didn’t want to join the business just because he is the only one not a part of it… I told him all the horrific, bad and terrible things that would happen to his life if he joined just so he would be aware, I tried my best to scare him so that he would make the decision based on a calling rather than just because he wanted to be a part.  After talking with his wife he decided he wanted to get involved to see what it was all about… again, he saw what we had all seen and he went full steam ahead in committing himself in the business.  He found that his desire for ministry was utilized through helping families grieving a loss and he found a career that could utilize all of his talents.  Shane has the ability to calm a family and help them prepare a service that will make memories for years to come.

Tandy Pendley, the uncle…

We also have Tandy Pendley, dad’s brother who has joined the team.  Tandy has come in the business to help carry on what his brother has started with the new Chapel addition in Powder Springs.  Tandy has a heart for service and hard work, he has used his experience in technology to help bring innovation to the funeral home while providing compassion to families.  Tandy wanted to stay close to home to help with family matters and the addition of our new chapel was a perfect fit for him and for us as a family.

Synopsis…

These are the stories that have brought us all together into the funeral service industry.  The funeral business life is not something that can be acquired easily, you have to have some sort of ability and natural talent to be able to accept what this business offers… I guess you could say that we were all born to do this.  This is not just a job… this is a calling!

J. Chad Pendley

Chad is a licensed professional and is a native of Cobb County, growing up in Powder Springs and currently living in Marietta Ga. After graduating from McEachern High School Chad attended Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service and graduated as a Master Artist of the Pi Sigma Eta Honorary Mortician Fraternity. He was the recipient of the Bill Pierce award and Daniel E. Buchanan award, recognizing him as a leader in the funeral profession. A member of the Marietta Metro Rotary and different organizations in his profession, Chad also participates in monthly activities promoting the funeral home and networking with other professionals in the area. He is a member and attends Westridge Church in Dallas Ga. He is married to Kristin and as a proud father, Chad enjoys the time he gets to spend with his family. Chad is an avid hunter and a true outdoors man. He has a gift of developing a warm, helpful, and strong relationship with the families he serves and is a valuable source of knowledge at Mayes Ward-Dobbins.

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