History & Staff

At Diuguid Funeral Service & Crematory, we provide personalized service options that allow you to honor your loved ones in a way that is both meaningful and healing. We hope to provide support and caring while delivering memorial services that celebrate life and help families find the peace they deserve.
If you’re seeking an honorable celebration of life in Lynchburg and the surrounding areas, we invite you to learn more about where we came from, our vision, and the dedicated people behind our work.

A History of Caring

Honoring Our Veterans

Our Waterlick Chapel

Learn The Legacy

Diuguid Funeral Service & Crematory is the oldest in Virginia and the second oldest funeral home in the United States. 

In 1817, thirty-one years after the beginning of Lynchburg, Sampson Diuguid of Appomattox married Martha Patterson and moved to Lynchburg to start a hand-carved furniture business. The Diuguids were descendants of French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution. In America, they took the name as a contraction of the motto "Dieu Guide" meaning "God as our guide."

By 1820, Sampson was making caskets and conducting funerals. Seven years later, he purchased the property at 616 Main Street, where the business continued until 1933 when it moved to its current location at 21914 Timberlake Road.

"Honesty, Integrity, and Unwavering Correctness of Conduct"

George A. Diuguid, Sampson’s son, joined the funeral home business. Sampson passed away in 1856. A large procession accompanied him to his place of rest. As one observer noted at the well-attended funeral service: “In a long life of honesty, integrity, benevolence and unwavering correctness of conduct, he had gathered around him a host of earnest friends.” 

During the Civil War, the Diuguid Funeral Home buried nine generals and hundreds of Confederate soldiers, including General Thomas Jonathan Jackson and General Richard Henry Lee, father of General Robert E. Lee. 

It was in 1880 that W.D. Diuguid joined his father, George, in partnership. The rubber-tired, motorized hearse was first used in the 1880s in Virginia at Diuguid's.

W.D. had a particular interest in palindromes because his surname, Diuguid, is the same, spelled backward or forward. W.D.’s funeral license was 11; his phone number was 111. His home address was 616 Court Street, and his post office box was 33.

With the death of W.D. Diuguid in 1927, his daughter, Mary Diuguid, a prominent local artist, became president of the firm. She sold the funeral home in 1948 to John C. and W. Ford McKee. In 1970, James P. Wilkerson, who had been with the firm since 1941, along with Robert R. Woodall, Haywood G. Ogden, and W. Ray Mitchell took over from the McKee’s. 

Two Centuries of Service

Diuguid Funeral Service & Crematory continues its 200+ years of service to Lynchburg families. Our newly renovated Timberlake Road facility is a comforting setting for one-of-a-kind funerals, memorials, and life celebrations. An on-site crematory ensures that your loved one never leaves our care. 

It’s unlikely that Sampson Diuguid could have foreseen that his funeral home would become one of the oldest and most prestigious in Virginia and the nation. Today’s expert care and support staff are committed to upholding his legendary integrity, honesty, and service.

Our Staff’s Dedication to Respectful Care

A funeral, or memorial service, should provide family members and loved ones with the chance to reflect, remember, and celebrate a life well-lived. At Diuguid, our goal is to create exceptional services and experiences that fulfill the wishes of your loved one. Our experienced Funeral Directors provide guidance on the crucial first steps toward healing.

Charles "Chuck" Bartel
Location Leader and Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer

Originally from Sheboygan, WI, Charles "Chuck" Bartel has more than 30 years of funeral service experience. Chuck graduated from Sheboygan North High School, attended the University of Wisconsin, and graduated with honors from Milwaukee Area Technical College with an Associate Degree in Funeral Service. He states that, “during one of the most trying times of our lives we turn to family for comfort. When entrusting me with the care of your loved one, you can take comfort in knowing that they will be treated as if they are a member of my family. I am honored to be a Funeral Director and take great satisfaction in helping families get through difficult times.”

Chuck and his wife, Jennifer, enjoy the scenic view of the mountain ranges from their home in Forest, VA. Chuck and Jen look forward to meeting many new friends and taking in everything that Lynchburg and the state of Virginia has to offer. Chuck is also affiliated with local Moose Lodge 715 in Lynchburg.

Dan G. Mason
Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer

Dan is a licensed funeral director and pre-need adviser at both Diuguid locations. He is a graduate of Central Virginia Community College, Lynchburg College, Central University School of Medicine, John Tyler Community College-School of Mortuary Science and Liberty University- Bible College. In addition to his duties with Diuguid, Dan is the Associate Pastor of Inglewood Baptist Church.

Marissa Jayne
Funeral Director/Embalmer in Training

Marissa is a Funeral Director/Embalmer in Training. She and her husband Aaron recently moved back to Lynchburg from Virginia Beach. Marissa was formerly a Mortuary Transport Assistant for all of Hampton Roads Police Departments and the Medical Examiner’s Office. She graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor’s of Science majoring in Criminal Justice and Minors in Strategic Intelligence Studies & Pre-Law. She has worked for law-enforcement agencies and several sheriff’s offices, and has been a Probation/Pretrial Officer. This led her into the funeral industry where she is currently in school for her funeral services degree. She is excited to be a part of the Diuguid Funeral Service family.

Alice Keys
Administrative Assistant

Alice is the Administrative Assistant for Diuguid Funeral Service. She and her husband Bob are members of Thomas Terrace Baptist Church. Alice is a former Sunday School teach for the 5 year olds and is currently a greeter. She is also the Widow to Widow Program Coordinator for the funeral home. This group meets monthly at one of the local restaurants, which allows the widows to meet, fellowship and share their grief together. Various programs are presented during the year for the benefit of the ladies who are living alone. Alice & Bob have one son, Bobby and his wife Lisa and three grandchildren.

Dennis Farnsworth
Funeral Assistant

Dennis has been living in this area for nearly 50 years.  He has always had a career in customer service positions. Dennis enjoys assisting clients and families in their daily lives. He has now brought that passion for service to Diuguid Funeral Service. Dennis and his wife are members of Pleasant View Baptist Church for over 25 years.  They have three grown children.

John Goodrich
Funeral Assistant

John has been a Funeral Assistant for the firm for five years. He feels it is a special privilege to be able to help families during their time of grief. John was raised in Pennsylvania, attended college in Northern Virginia and moved to the Lynchburg area in 1993. He enjoys spending his free time with his wife, their dog, and their two cats. 

Wanda Goodrich
Funeral Assistant

Wanda works as a Funeral Assistant, and also part-time Receptionist for the firm. She was born in West Virginia, but has been a “Virginian” since she was five. She retired after 40 years with Piedmont Metal Products in Bedford, and is looking forward to her new career helping people during one of life’s most difficult times.

Melissa Grey
Community Outreach Coordinator

Melissa Kennedy Grey is delighted to join the Diuguid family as Community Outreach Coordinator. With a background in theatre, event coordination, project management, and animal welfare, Melissa is excited to bring her skill set and and passion for creating community to this role. She is the founding director of Effulgent Productions and its youth outreach program, Acting Out Theatre Club. When she's not working with kids or tending to her own magical menagerie of rescued animals, you can find her celebrating happily-ever-after with her darling husband at Disney World!

Brittany Hogan
Funeral Attendant

Brittany is so delighted to be a part of the team at Diuguid Funeral Service. She takes great pride in being able to assist families during their time of loss and grief. Brittany is currently enrolled at John Tyler Community College - School of Mortuary Science. Brittany and her husband Dustin and their two children, Jaden and Carter, reside in Madison Heights.

Andrew Taylor
Funeral Attendant

Andrew has lived in Lynchburg for 32 years. He and his wife Stacy have three children, two dogs, two reptiles, and two fish. They are both from New Jersey but met in Lynchburg. They have been married for 21 years. Andrew is a graduate with honors of the Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke with a degree in Nursing. Andrew has switched career focuses and is excited to be a member of our team. Andrew has a passion for history and saw the long and groundbreaking history in the funeral home industry that Diuguid has to offer. Andrew is also an artisan vendor at the Lynchburg Community Market. 

James Marston
Funeral Attendant

Jimmy was born and raised in the Lynchburg area and is a Brookville High School graduate. Him and his wife Sheryl have 2 grown daughters who are married with 5 grandkids. Jimmy worked in the medical field in his early years, was a realtor for the past 28 years, as well as a broker/owner of Mustard Seed Realty. He enjoys tending to a farm with a small assortment of animals in addition to spending time at the beach. Jimmy has been a member of the Hyland Heights Baptist Church for the past 25 years serving as a teacher, deacon, and follower of the Lord. He loves going on Mission trips and has been to many places sharing the gospel.

Terrell Thomas Jr.
Funeral Attendant