Our History

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

Kimbrell-Stern was founded in 1880 by William Hamilton Wilder.  While in the furniture business, he became interested in the funeral industry.  He and his cabinet maker, Mr. McDaniel, started making coffins in the back of the furniture store.  His skill and reputation led him to establish, in 1880, the William H. Wilder and Son Undertakers, located in the furniture store in the 200 block of Broad Avenue. Mr. Wilder died in 1895 and was succeeded by his son, Felix Love Wilder.  After the death of Felix Love Wilder in 1906, the name of the funeral home was changed to L. Vannucci Company.  Mr. Vannucci was an associate of William H. Wilder and Son and a licensed funeral director and embalmer.

In 1914, when Mr. Vannucci died, the name of the funeral home was changed to Albany Undertaking Company and was operated by his widow, Viola B. Harris, who later married C. W. Thomas.  In 1927, the organization moved from 125 North Jackson Street to 323 Broad Avenue and continued to be operated by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas until Mrs. Thomas' death in 1950.  Our organization had the first automotive hearse and the first electric organ south of Atlanta.  On June 13, 1950 the company was sold to Charles M. Stern, W. R. (Bob) Kimbrell, and E. J. (Buck) Stern, Jr.; and the name of the funeral home was changed to Kimbrell-Stern Funeral Directors.

In December of 1964, our present facility was built on Dawson Road, and we installed the first crematory retort serving Albany and southwest Georgia in March 1985.  In October of the same year, Crown Hill Cemetery, which was established in 1927, was purchased by Kimbrell-Stern and began offering monument and memorial work to the families we serve.

The Tradition Continues

In April of 1990 ownership was transferred to longtime employees David M. Stern, R. L. (Bucky) Brookshier, Jr., William I. (Billy) Coleman, Jr., and S. S. (Sandy) Mackey, Jr.  As our organization enters its second century of service, we will continue to be progressive, offering the finest service to southwest Georgia.