History & Staff
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.
In 1832, a young cabinet-maker, Lorenzo Dow Pearson, left Shelby County to seek his fortune in the boom town of Louisville (15,000 inhabitants) on the frontier of the "New West".
In 1848, the same year that Cave Hill Cemetery was dedicated, he set up shop at Second and Main, next to the original Galt House. Occasionally, he was asked to construct wooden coffins. Demand created the need to inventory ready-made coffins and provide additional services, and within a very short time, he was established as an "undertaker", or one who undertook the arrangements for burial.
Within a few years, he moved to a location between Second and Third on Jefferson. There, business was conducted until 1898, when it was moved to a large brick residence on the southeast corner of Third and Chestnut.
During those years, the firm witnessed the Civil War and the growth of Louisville as one of the South's largest cities, growth which was paralleled by the firm and its profession.
Edward C. Pearson, son of the founder, became a leader in promoting the education and licensing of embalmers, and he himself held the first embalmer's license issued in Kentucky. He also designed the original wood paneled hearse. When motor vehicles came into use, one of these bodies was mounted on a motor-driven chassis and became Louisville's first motor-driven hearse. Within seven years of that innovation, the horse-drawn funeral disappeared, and the stable, which had been a part of every undertaker's equipment, was replaced by the Funeral Auto Company, of which E.C. Pearson was the first President.
In 1917, the third generation of Pearson's assumed direction of the business under E. Clarence Pearson, succeeded in '38 by his brother W. Edward Pearson.
In 1924, one of Louisville's most beautiful private residences, on Third and Ormsby, became the home of the Pearson institution. (Currently, the old Ferguson Mansion houses the Filson Club Historical Society.)
That same year, Pearson's was invited into membership in the Selected Independent Funeral Homes (formerly National Selected Morticians), the premiere association of funeral homes worldwide. Two of the Pearsons, E.C. Pearson and David F. Pearson have served as directors on the board of NSM, making them two of only five funeral directors in Kentucky to ever hold that position.
Under the leadership of Clyde, E.C. and Robert A. Pearson, an additional funeral home was built at 149 Breckenridge Lane in 1951. Pearson's fifth home has been located in the heart of the City of St. Matthews since nearly the city's beginning, having incorporated in 1950. The St. Matthews home became the main office of Pearson's following the sale of their Third Street Home in 1978.
In 1986, David F. and Robert S. Pearson succeeded their fathers as the fifth generation of Pearsons, renovating the 50 year-old facility on Breckenridge Lane in 2001, adding a new lounge, visitation room, additional restrooms, and improved parking.
In 2011, Pearson’s was purchased by its new owners, Larry Robbins, John Keith and Roy Keith, Jr. Larry has been in the funeral industry for almost 40 years. The Keith’s come from their own long-established history in memorial/monument industry where they are known for their quality products and personalization.
Today, Pearson Funeral Home continues to provide the highest quality and personalized service to the families of Louisville. The facility’s visitation rooms and other areas have recently been redecorated, and the front porch is also being renovated. Our facility provides the comfort & pleasant atmosphere your family deserves.
Our Valued Staff
Robert Pearson, Former Owner, Funeral Director & Consultant
Robert S. "Robin" Pearson, is the great great grandson of Lorenzo Dow Pearson, founder of L.D. Pearson & Son, Inc. Born Nov. 14, 1947 as oldest son of Irene L. & Robert A. Pearson. Graduated from St. Xavier High School in 1965, graduated from Univ. of Kentucky with a BS in Zoology & was graduated from the National Foundation School of Management at Northwestern University. Joined the family business in 1969 & in 1986, along with his cousin David, purchased the firm from the 4th. generation. In 1988, he spearheaded a group of funeral home owners & purchased a vault manufacturing company of which he served as President until 2007. He was a former Board member & Vice President of Funeral Auto Co. & served as President for two terms of the Fallls Cities Funeral Director's Assoc.
He was Entertainment Chairman & former member of Louisville Boat Club, Past Director & Impressario of Louisville Court #131 Royal Order of Jesters & a former member of Rotary Club of Louisville. He is a member of Louisville Lodge #400, F & AM, Kosair Shrine Temple, Hunting Creek Country Club & the Juniper Club.
He is married to the former Janice Ann Lancaster of Owensboro, KY & has two daughters, Carrie Pearson Hall of Louisville & Meredith Pearson Houston of Dallas, TX. & five grandchildren.
"For 42 years, it has been my privilege to serve this community & continue to represent our family in funeral service. I can truly say that funeral service is a most gratifying profession in that at the end of the day, you know you have helped ease the pain that a family faces in the loss of a loved one & have hopefully brought some semblance of order to a crisis situation."
David Pearson, Retired Funeral Director, Former Owner
David’s whose father was one of the fourth generation of funeral directors in the family business, spent his childhood living just above the business in the beautiful Third Street funeral home. Living there he was able to witness the tradition of respect and compassion that was went with the name “Pearson”.
David graduated from Atherton High School in 1959 and from the University of Kentucky in 1963. He became a social worker, but within a year his brother’s departure from funeral service prompted him to follow in the family profession. He and later Robert Pearson became the fifth generation of family in Pearsons; a duty and a responsibility they took quite seriously. During that period he also participated in many other activities. Within funeral service, he served as past president of the Funeral Directors’ Association of the Falls Cities, as a director representing Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan and then as secretary/treasurer of the National Selected Morticians (now Selected Independent Funeral Homes). He has also served as president of the Rotary Club of St. Matthews, the Executive Club of Louisville, and the board of trustees of the Episcopal Church Home, vice president of the Louisville Jaycees, a board member of Hospice of Louisville (now Hosparus) and the Louisville Chapter of the American Cancer Society and was twice Senior Warden for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
He has been married to the former Penny Hill of Louisville for over 50 years and they were the proud parents of three sons, Kent, Glen and Courtney Pearson. Courtney was the sixth generation in the family profession and his death in 2007 left a void in the succession and most definitely in their lives. Courtney and his wife, Jennifer, left them two fine grandchildren, Abigail and Luke Pearson.
Larry Robbins, Owner, Funeral Director & Embalmer
When Larry is not at work, you can find him on the river and is active in the Louisville Propeller Club. He is a member of US Naval League, Compassionate Friends, Parents of Murdered Children, and The 1953 Society of Trinity High School. He has been a member of Southeast Christian Church since 1983
Chris Dickerson, Owner, Funeral Director
He is a graduate of Lindsey Wilson College, where he is a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame for his outstanding basketball career. Chris and his wife, Tammy, moved to Louisville in 1989. They raised both of their children, Lindsey and Katherine, in Louisville, and both daughters are graduates of Assumption High School. Chris and his family are members of St. Bernadette's Catholic Church.
"I have always been a caregiver at heart. My calling to Pearson's allows me to serve the community that my family has grown to love and call home. I personally view the role of a funeral director as a guiding light, helping family members navigate through the fog they find themselves in when a death occurs. I strive to anticipate our families needs and address them before they arise. I am truly honored to assist in continuing the long standing tradition that Pearson's Funeral Home has created in Louisville. Since 1848, we have been treating our families with the utmost dignity and respect they deserve, while honoring the lives of their loved ones.
John Keith, Owner, Funeral Director
John was born and raised in Hodgenville Kentucky. After graduation in 1965, he entered the family memorial business. He and his wife, Paula, have been married for over 40 years. They have 4 children and 7 grandchildren.
John is involved with the community through his church, rotary, and the Baptist Hospital Foundation board. He has also served on the board of Campbellsville University.
Roy Keith, Jr, Owner
Roy was born and raised in Elizabethtown Kentucky. He attended Western Kentucky University, and entered the family business at 21 years of age. He married his high school sweetheart, Linda and has been married for 35 years. They have 2 children and 2 grandchildren.
Roy is involved with his church, serves on the board of both the Helping Hand, and the Kentucky Baptist Children’s Home. In his free time he loves to read and play golf.
Brian Myers, Assistant Manager, Funeral Director and Embalmer
Brian Myers was born and raised in Utica, Indiana where he still resides. He is a descendant of one of the founding families of Utica. He is involved with property that has been in his family since 1837.
Brian is a 1995 graduate of Mid-America Funeral Service College and is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the state of Kentucky. Brian's hobbies are golf and music as he was a member of several professional bluegrass music groups over the years and has traveled nationally to perform. He met many interesting people during these performances and is still a big music fan.
Brian is a member of Fern Creek Masonic Lodge #955, Kosair Shrine Temple and is an active member of Indiana’s Clark County Conservation Club where he serves as one of the organizers of the annual golf scramble
Dan McCrocklin, Funeral Director
Born and raised in Louisville, he was next to the youngest of seven children. He was raised in the Baptist church. He was a 1972 graduate of Durrett High School.
He has been employed with Pearson’s since 2000 and enjoys spending time with family and friends. As a funeral director his goal is to help a family at a time of sorrow and turn a sad situation into a meaningful experience for their loved one.
Michael Poole, Funeral Director and Embalmer
I graduated from the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science in 1978. After my apprenticeship, I received my state and national board license as a funeral director and embalmer.
I am a member of Pi Sigma Eta fraternity. Also, I am a member of Louisville Lodge 400 F & A.M. Scottish Rite, York Rite, the Kosair Shrine and Order of the Eastern Star Middletown Chapter. I received a commission to the Honorable Order of the Kentucky Colonels as well.
When not working at the funeral home, I enjoy my free time which is typically spent at Lakeside Swim Club, Baptist East Milestone Fitness Center and with my daughters. Mychael is a Pre-med student at the University of Louisville and Morgan is a junior at Sacred Heart Academy. We attend St. Raphael the Archangel Parish and also volunteer on behalf of the bereavement committee.
Jason Duncan, Embalmer, Funeral Director
Jason started his career working for a local funeral home while attending high school in Crystal City, MO. After graduating from Crystal City High School in 1990, he went on to graduate with honors from Mid-America College of Funeral Service in Jeffersonville, IN in 1992. There he earned an Associate Degree in Applied Funeral Service.
Licensed funeral director and embalmer in the states of Indiana and Kentucky, he has served the Louisville and Southern Indiana area for nearly 20 years as a skillful, licensed professional. Jason is married to Kim (Probus) Duncan, whom he met while attending Mortuary College. She is a native of Jeffersonville, IN and is a successful fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Jason’s many interests include playing music, exercising and reading.
Jessica Scott Peege, Director of Family Service and Licensed Funeral Director
Jessica manages our Aftercare Program at Pearson Funeral Home, offering a personal visit, necessary documents, and supportive materials after the service takes place. Her gift of helping people has been well received by the Pearson families.
Jessica brings years of experience aiding and consulting families on the benefits of advanced funeral and cremation planning to our firm. While she is a Funeral director, her focus is to insure that no family has to walk through our doors uninformed and unprepared on one of the worst days of their lives. Advanced planning is truly a gift to on'e family and proves the time of loss to be much more of a life celebration rather than a stressful event.
Jessica and her husband Doug have two daughters, Morgan and Brooke. When not at work she spends her time playing golf, boating, and enjoying her children's sporting events.
Dawn Ferguson, Director of Finance
Dawn was raised in South Florida and has lived in Hardin County the last 14 years. She graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor’s degree. She’s been married to her best friend for almost 20 years; they have 2 children and 2 grandchildren.
Dawn is involved with her church, scouting, and the big brothers and big sisters organization. Her favorite thing to do is camp with her family and puppies.
James Addams, Pre-planning Specialist, Funeral Director, Embalmer
Jim was born and raised in Louisville. He has spent virtually his whole life in the service to others in the funeral service. He is a graduate of Portland Christian School and the Kentucky School of Embalming. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the State of Kentucky and has been licensed for over 50 years. He and his wife Joyce have been married 56 years and have two daughters and one grand-daughter. He is also a licensed insurance agent .
Carl Recke, Funeral Service Associate
Carl Recke joined Pearson’s many years ago as a Funeral Service Associate and supports all of the staff to provide the best service possible to all families while creating a comfortable atmosphere. He was born and raised in St. Matthews and is a member at Christ Church Methodist.
Gary Bridgewater, Funeral Director and Embalmer
Gary entered the funeral service profession while attending Pikeville College, working full time at Baker Funeral Home. After graduating from college, he attended the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science, graduating with one of the current owners of Pearson’s, Larry Robbins. While attending mortuary college, he was employed by Pearson’s working at both the Third Street and Breckenridge Lane locations. After obtaining his Kentucky Funeral Directors and Embalmers license, he continues his working relationship with the funeral home. Gary also had the opportunity to teach at the local mortuary college, Mid-America College of Funeral Service for over 34 years. After retiring from the educational realm of the funeral industry, he returned to Pearson’s as a Funeral Service Associate.
Gary is married to Joan Kline Bridgewater and they have 3 children, Danny, Megan and Grant. He is also an avid sports fan and officiated High School Basketball in Indiana and Kentucky for 25 years. He also enjoys working with his wife in her real estate business.
Roy Frye, Funeral Director and Embalmer
Born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, Roy worked in funeral service from 1964-1980 in Washington, D.C. and Maryland before moving to Louisville in 1980. During that time he married his late wife Mary Louise Moore on April 20, 1978. He retired from the Naval Reserve with 22 years of service but was later called to active duty during Operation Desert Storm as an inspector at the U.S. Air Force Mortuary in Dover, Delaware.
Roy is active in the Bishop Spalding Council of the Knights of Columbus, Archbishop Floersh Assembly, Highland American Legion Post and U.S.S. Intrepid Association of Former Crewmembers. He is also a parishioner at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church where he belongs to the seniors group. He volunteers his time at St. Vincent DePaul and Meadowview Nursing Home. Roy enjoys swimming, golf, reading and crossword puzzles. He also has a “high energy” dachshund/terrier mix named Roxie that from his walks with Roy knows everyone in the neighborhood.
Jim Oetken, Funeral Service Associate
Jim was born in Louisville and graduated from St. Xavier High School and Bellarmine University, where he received his degree in Psychology and Sociology. He attended graduate school at Creighton University in Omaha.
He spent over 25 years in management at TV stations in Green Bay, Cedar Rapids, and Louisville.
From 1991 until December, 2005, he served as VP, Sales/Marketing for TMP, a division of Monster.com.
He is involved in many community activities, and is currently a member of the boards of Salvation Army, the Downtown Kiwanis Club, and the House of Ruth. He is past president of the Sales and Marketing Association of Louisville (SME), and the author of a (still unpublished) book of essays called “Stuff I Know”.
He is married, has 3 adult children, and according to him, “4 perfect grandchildren”.
Jim’s association with Pearson’s is personal.
“When our daughter died 12 years ago, we chose Pearson’s to handle the funeral arrangements. I learned how important it was to have sensitive people, people you could trust, helping you when you’re grieving.”
As part of the Pearson’s team, I now have the opportunity to help others with their loss, having experienced it myself. It’s been healing for me, and, hopefully, helpful to the families we serve”.