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W. Adrian Holman: Owner, Funeral Director/Embalmer
In December 1946, in Dothan, Alabama, William Adrian Holman was literally born into the funeral home business. Moreover, until he was six years old he actually lived in the family-owned funeral home in downtown Ozark. Today Holman Funeral Home remains the oldest independent, locally-owned funeral home in Dale County, offering the same personalized service, flexibility, and affordability for “honoring someone special” that it has provided since 1929, when it was established by Adrian’s father, Kenneth Holman.
By the time Adrian purchased the business from his father in 1972, he was already a well-seasoned mortician, riding along on ambulance trips when he was just nine years old and assisting with actual funeral services by age 12. Licensed by the State of Alabama Board of Funeral Service as an apprentice embalmer at only 15 years old, Adrian soon began making ambulance calls with a licensed assistant driver. The following year, when he became a licensed Alabama driver himself, he made solo ambulance trips as far away as Birmingham.
Interestingly, in 1950s rural Alabama, the terms “ambulance” and “hearse” were virtually synonymous. The same vehicle was used for both functions, and from 1929 until 1967 Holman Funeral Home provided the only ambulance service for both Dale County and a portion of Barbour County. At the same time, Holman’s further distinguished itself by making such calls in one of the most unusual and up-to-date vehicles available anywhere – a 1950 Buick Roadmaster Flixable (pronounced “flexible”) Hearse Ambulance. Later, in his years at Ozark’s Carroll High School, Adrian acquired the Buick as his personal transportation. He claims to have had “many good times” in it, and rumor has it that the back windshield sported an Auburn sticker! (If such an automobile can be found today, it commands as much as $90,000 at auction. Adrian wishes he had kept it!)
After graduating from high school in 1965, Adrian attended Troy State College (now Troy University) graduating in 1969 with a B.S. degree in Business Administration. A year later he entered the John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science, the first institution to be accredited by both the American Board of Funeral Service Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the higher education accrediting agency for the Southern states. With the prestigious SACS accreditation Gupton began offering a two-year associate degree program with scholastic transferability. In 1971, with prior college credits from Troy State, Adrian obtained his associate’s degree in only one year, the same year he joined his father in the family business. In addition to his professional career as a funeral director, Adrian also served his country for six years in the U.S. Air Force Reserve on Air Force bases at Brookley in Mobile, Gunter in Montgomery, and Eglin in Ft. Walton Beach, FL.
Throughout his life, Adrian Holman has strived to improve himself and his business in order to expand his service to others. Among his professional achievements are the following:
Received private pilot’s license at age 19, advancing to both commercial and instrument ratings
Established and operated an aircraft charter company, serving as chief pilot and operator for 27 years
Operated and continues to operate the Burial Vault and Monument Company founded by his father in 1948
In his civic and community life, Holman’s past and present memberships include:
Past member, Ozark Kiwanis Club
Past member, Ozark Jaycees
Member, Ozark First United Methodist Church, the church where he was christened in 1947
Board of Trustees
Board of the Dothan District of the United Methodist Church
10-year member, Board of Directors, Ft. Rucker National Bank
Personnel Board, Ft. Rucker National Bank
4-term member, Blackwell Airport Advisory Group
Re-elected Chairman, 2020-2023
Despite his many professional, civic, and community commitments, Adrian and his wife, Judith Coats Holman, also make time for a rich personal life. Together they take great pleasure in their family – one daughter and son-in-law for each of them and four grandsons in whom they delight. They enjoy traveling with their Airstream Travel Trailer, skiing in Colorado, relaxing at Panama City Beach, FL, and caring for the land and the draft Percheron horses and cattle on their beloved farm, located adjacent to their business property.
In summary, William Adrian Holman has devoted his entire life to upholding, expanding, and improving that same commitment his father made to his community when he established Holman Funeral Home nearly 100 years ago: “Your shelter in the storm since 1929.”
Judy Holman: Funeral Assistant
Ted B. Smith, Jr. : General Manager, Funeral Director/Embalmer
Ted is a 1983 graduate of Carroll High School in Ozark. After serving his apprenticeship as a funeral director and embalmer at Holman Funeral home, he graduated from John A. Gupton College in Nashville, Tennessee, receiving an Associate of Arts Degree in Funeral Service. Ted returned to Holman Funeral Home as a national board certified funeral director and embalmer in 1995.
Ted was married to the late Kaye Matheny Smith and they have three children, Ted, III, Carolanne and Alex. He is a member of the Ozark Baptist church, a member and past president of the Ozark Rotary Club and member of the National Funeral Directors Association.
William Martin "Bill" Sullivan, Jr. Funeral Director, Embalmer, and Cremationist
Bill was born in Ozark to the late (W. M. Sullivan Sr.), and Inez Adams. He is a 1983 graduate of Carroll High School and a veteran of the U. S. Navy. Bill began his mortuary apprenticeship in January 1998 at Roy Brown Service Funeral Home in York Alabama while attending East Mississippi College of Mortuary Science. He graduated Magna Cum Laude in May of 2000 with academic honors and an Associates of Arts in Funeral Service Degree. In December of 1999 he obtained licensure from The National Board of Funeral Service and presently holds a Funeral Director, Embalmer, and Cremation license. Bill believes that funeral service is a calling, his ministry, and a privilege. He is married to the former Betty Ann Wilkerson of Ewell and they have three daughters; Brandy (Ryan) Rhoades, Amber Stephenson, Mikaela Sullivan, and ten grandchildren. They are members of Chalkhead Baptist Church in Ewell. Bill sings in the choir, is a Gideon in the Dale County Camp, and a member of the National Funeral Directors Association. He is an avid Alabama fan and enjoys motor sports and hotrods.
Shelia Skipper Searcy: Office Manager / Funeral Director
Shelia was born in Ozark to the late James Wyatt Skipper and Adell Grant Skipper. She graduated from Carroll High School in 1969 and attended Enterprise Community College. Shelia worked with Avondale Mills and Archer Daniels Midland prior to 1996 when she began working with Holman Funeral Home in Ozark. She has been a Licensed Funeral Director since 2000. Shelia is a Christian and member of the New Hope Baptist Church. She feels that having the opportunity to assist families during their sorrow is a gift from God. She married the love of her life, Jimmy Searcy, in 1976 and they have one daughter and son, Leanne and Richard Pinyan; one grandson, Trevor Cole Pinyan.
Noah L. Marshall: Pre-Arrangement Specialist / Funeral Director
Noah was born in Montgomery, Al. and graduated with the class of 1965 from Sidney Lanier High School. He served in Alabama Air National Guard for 6 years. Noah is a graduate of The National Life Underwriters Training Council in 1969 and Certified Life Underwriters in 1971. He has held a Life and Health insurance license since 1968. Noah has lived in Ariton, Al. with his wife Judy Fielder Marshall since 1994. They have three children Lee (Amanda) Marshall of Enterprise, Heather (Kenny) Sanders of Dothan, Anna (Dakota) Hudson of Dothan and five grandchildren. Noah is a Funeral Director licensed in 2001 by The Alabama Board of Funeral Service. Noah specializes in consulting families in the pre-arrangement of funeral services as well as assisting families in personalizing funerals for their love ones at the time of need.
Justin L. English: Licensed Embalmer
Justin Lee English was born May of 1992 in Ozark to Larry Lee and Tammy Sue English. Justin is a 2010 graduate of Wallace Community College in Dothan, Alabama. He served his funeral director and embalmer apprenticeship at Holman Funeral Home in Ozark while attending Jefferson State College of Mortuary Science in Birmingham. Justin graduated in 2020 from Jefferson State Community College receiving an Associates in Applied Science Degree. Justin is a Licensed Embalmer and continues to learn new and exciting things every day.
Justin is married to the former Sabrina Lee Lomaneck. They have two beautiful children, Layla and Betty. He enjoys vacations with his family, fishing and kayaking on the local rivers in Dale county. He strives to help others in the community any way he can.
Trevor Cole Pinyan: Funeral Assistant
Stanley Enfinger: Funeral Assistant
Hugh Taylor: Funeral Assistant
Tommie Spurlock: Funeral Assistant