PEOPLES FUNERAL HOME, the first black mortuary in Marianna and Jackson County owned by blacks, was established in 1938 by Lemuel Granberry. It was on old home purchased for the use of a funeral home. Lemuel opened the funeral home on the west side of Marianna in the black community. He selected Henry G. Bryan as his funeral director.
In 1969, after realizing he was getting older, Lemuel sold Peoples Funeral Home to his nephew, Aaron A. Granberry, III, who then selected James Williams as his funeral director. He chose Aaron as his successor because he wanted someone whom he could trust to take over the business. Aaron ran a successful business for more than 37 years. He did major renovations to modernize the business.
Other licensed funeral directors that worked under Aaron’s administration were, Henry G. Bryan, Arthur E. Cutler, Sr. and Chephus D. Granberry. The key to his success when asked was, “Managing net worth. Being able to put back in what you take out.”
Realizing that he too was getting older, he in turn did what his uncle did and sold the business in 2006. His successors were Chephus D. Granberry and Gwen S. Long, both are licensed funeral directors, embalmers and notaries. Chephus brings more than 10 years of experience and Gwen brings more than 30 years. Together, they have enhanced the business with traditional values and new ideas.