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.

Our History

Our History

In January 1949, the first Tom M. Wages Funeral Home opened in Lawrenceville, Georgia on Pike Street in a former family dwelling on the Courthouse Square, where it remained until 1963.  The business outgrew the facility leading Mr. Wages to build his first modern establishment, Tom M. Wages Oak Lawn Chapel at the corner of Scenic Highway and Jackson Street in Lawrenceville.  Several changes and additions occurred during a remodeling of the facility in 1973.  Recently, a complete building renovation, both inside and outside, was done to bring families served by Tom M. Wages one of the most spacious and warm environments available in death care today.  The community is invited to tour the renovated facility anytime between the hours of 8:00am to 5:00pm daily.

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the second Tom M. Wages location on Highway 78 outside of Snellville, Georgia were held in May, 1984 and further growth and service in the community was realized by the Wages family. The Snellville Chapel has served as one of the most elegant funeral homes in the Greater Atlanta area.  The Tom M. Wages staff has continued the tradition of updating and modernized their facilities to better serve families. At the end of October, 2012, the Snellville Chapel completed a redecorating of the funeral home with the addition of plantation shutters, new carpet, furniture, lamps, artwork and other accessories that provide families with a home-like environment to celebrate the life of their loved one.  The community is invited to tour the Snellville Chapel between the hours of 8:00am to 5:00pm daily. 

In 1993, Tom M. Wages Funeral Service once again proved to be the “leader in the area” opening Gwinnett County’s first Crematory.  Since its opening, Peachtree Cremation has been on the “cutting edge” for a facility of its kind.  The crematory has proven to be a vital part of the various service options offered to meet the needs of Tom M. Wages’ families. Loved ones no longer needed to be transported to a third party provider to perform the  cremation. Beginning in 1993, all cremation services were handled on-site, which provides a tremendous amount of peace of mind for the families served by Tom M. Wages.  The entire staff takes great pride in knowing that families that select cremation as their form of disposition for their loved one can be assured that the cremation is done exclusively right on-site in Lawrenceville at Peachtree Cremation.

An important aspect of the death care profession is advanced planning and pre-payment for an impending death, as well as, estate planning and having to prepare to place a loved one into a nursing home facility.  Advanced planning is one of the most caring, compassionate things you can do for your family.   Tom M. Wages Advanced Planning Counselors are available daily to explain the benefits of advanced planning and if desired, pre-payment for services.   You create peace of mind for your family knowing that your wishes and desires have been taken care of in advance.  It truly is a “gift” to your family.

Throughout the years, the reputation of Tom M. Wages Funeral Service as caring, compassionate and devoted professionals has become widely known throughout the state, as well as, the nation.  On November 19, 2005, Tom M. Wages, Sr., died at 81 years of age.  During the visitations held at each chapel many people called him “an icon, one of a kind, my mentor, my friend and my father.”  Tom M. Wages, Sr., was truly one the greatest funeral directors’ having the honor of serving families.  He continues to be greatly missed by his community and the funeral profession.

Our Valued Staff

  • Rick  Johnson

    Rick Johnson Chief Executive Officer

    In 1978 Rick married Tom Wages' daughter, Tommie Ann, and started his career in funeral service. Born in Gwinnett County, he grew up in Waycross, GA and, in 1973, moved back to Lawrenceville. Rick, a licensed Embalmer and Funeral Director, has served two terms on the Lawrenceville City Council, served as Mayor Pro Tem of Lawrenceville, enjoyed his time on the Board of the Aurora Theater, was president of the Gwinnett Municipal Association, and now enjoys playing ALTA tennis and playing in the First Baptist Atlanta Orchestra. Rick and Tommie Ann have three children - Matthew, Kathryn, and Sam. He presently serves as CEO of Tom M. Wages and focuses on the development of the company.

  • Valerie J. Wages

    Valerie J. Wages

    On June 6, 2018 Valerie received her forty-year Achievement Award from the Georgia Funeral Directors Association for faithful and diligent licensed professional service to the public. She also received the first annual 2018 Warren Chandler Legacy Award for dedication to the death care profession and providing exceptional customer service.

    Valerie has worked with Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, LLC, served as a National Training and Development Specialist and as a Commencement Speaker. Her career included consulting with and developing funeral home personnel throughout the United States, as well as in Europe. She was recognized as a sought after public speaker in the death care profession for her passion for serving families and being able to communicate to other professionals the important role they play in the lives of people when a loved one has died.

    Valerie graduated from Central Gwinnett High School in 1967, Georgia College & State University, Milledgeville, Georgia, in 1971 with a Bachelor Degree in Education and was an honor graduate from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta, Georgia on August 19, 1977.

    She has served as a licensed Embalmer & Funeral Director in the State of Georgia since 1977 and holds the designation of Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) through the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice (APFSP).

    Valerie received numerous awards and recognitions in her career, such as, serving as the first woman President of the Georgia Funeral Directors Association (1988-89) and first licensed woman Embalmer and Funeral Director to serve on the Georgia State Board of Funeral Service.

    Valerie was also a recipient of the Initiative Award given through the National Funeral Directors Association Professional Woman’s Conference in recognition of outstanding leadership and commitment to funeral service.

    It was always Valerie’s desire to provide exceptional customer service, provide each family with meticulous attention to detail and help family members and friends begin the next journey of their lives without their loved one physically with them on this earth. As Valerie stated, “I will always cherish the relationships I was able to build with so many families over the years, by given the honor of taking their loved one into our care. I hope my service and the service of my fellow colleagues helped them to move forward with their changed-lives.”

    It’s just time for me to take care of myself by relaxing, doing some traveling, and spending time with friends” as stated by Valerie.

    Valerie is still available to serve those families that request her services when she is not traveling. The Tom M. Wages organization is being effectively lead into the future by her brother-in-law, Rick Johnson, CEO, Chris Banks, Snellville Chapel Manager, Bryan Rickert, Head of Care and Preparation for the organization, and her brother, Tom M. “Tommy” Wages, Jr., Lawrenceville Chapel Manager.

    “I know my father would be so proud of these four professional gentlemen honoring the legacy and heritage of the business he started in 1949,” as stated by Valerie.

  • Christopher S. Banks

    Christopher S. Banks CFSP, Snellville Chapel Manager

    Christopher S. Banks, CFSP, Snellville Chapel Manager of Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, LLC, is the Funeral Director in full and continuous charge. Chris is a 1992 graduate of LaGrange High School and graduated in 1993 from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service. In 1995 he obtained his licenses with the State of Georgia as an Embalmer and Funeral Director. Chris is a member of the Georgia Funeral Directors Association where he served as the 1 East District Chairman for GFDA in 2011. He is a member of the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice, and the Academy of Graduate Embalmers of Georgia. He has been trained by Emory University and certified by the Georgia Eye Bank as an Eye Enucleator.

  • Tom M. Wages, Jr.

    Tom M. Wages, Jr. Lawrenceville Chapel Manager

    Tom M. (Tommy) Wages, Jr. was literally born into the funeral profession. As a child he spent most of his time at the funeral home with his father. Tommy is a 2011 honor graduate of Central Gwinnett-Lawrenceville High School, a 2014 graduate of Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management, and is a 2016 Mu Sigma Alpha Graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service where he was Valedictorian of his class as well as the recipient of the Bill Pierce Award. Tommy is also a member of Pi Sigma Eta National Mortician's Fraternity where he served as Master Artist.

  • Bryan E. Rickert

    Bryan E. Rickert Licensed Embalmer & Funeral Director

    Bryan E. Rickert, immediately following his 1992 graduation from Central Gwinnett High School in Lawrenceville, started his funeral service career with Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, LLC. In 1994 he graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service and soon thereafter earned a license as an Embalmer and Funeral Director. Bryan started at the apprentice level and after many years of hard work and dedicated service has proven to the company, his co-workers and families served by Tom M. Wages that he has been gifted in the area of embalming. He now oversees all preparation work done for both locations. You may email Bryan with any questions at [email protected] Bryan also serves families at Peachtree Pet Crematory.

  • Bradford Joe Bailey

    Bradford Joe Bailey CFSP Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

    Brad and his wife Ruth reside in Covington, GA since 1999, formerly from Stone Mountain. We have two children, Christina (John) Barker and Christopher Bailey. Two grandchildren, Dalton and Sophia Barker. He started his career in Funeral Service in 1985. Graduated from Gupton-Jones College of funeral service in 1996. Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer. Certified crematory operator through Cremation Association of North America (CANA) and has obtained his CFSP title. Brad’s philosophy about funeral service is to treat every family with compassion and respect at all times. Received recognition from Fountain National Academy, Springfield, MO in Reconstructive Surgery. Member of the Georgia Funeral Directors Association, Selected Independent, currently serving on the board of Academy of Graduate Embalmers of Georgia, Kiwanis club and Lions club. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family. Very excited about being part of Tom M. Wages.




  • Teena W Fowler

    Teena W Fowler Administrative Assistant

    Teena W. Fowler, from Snellville, GA, currently of Jefferson, GA has joined Tom M. Wages, Snellville Chapel as an Administrative Assistant. Teena has been married to her husband Hal (Herbert) for 32 years and they have one daughter, Jessica Fowler Sears. Teena and Herb have been blessed with 2 step grandsons and 2 granddaughters, AnnMarie and Maggie Jean.

    Teena worked at The Emory Clinic for 15 years working with Breast Cancer patients. In 1998 she retired to stay home and take care of her family. Following Jessica’s graduation from college Teena decided to return to work and joined the Snellville Chapel as an Administrative Assistant.

    Teena and Herb have dedicated many years to the Snellville Masonic Lodge and Order of the Eastern Star, donating their current location in Memory of Teena’s father. Teena was also active with Beta Sigma Phi. They are members of Snellville First United Methodist Church. Teena currently serves a board member for Heart of Gwinnett and most recently worked on the committee for Spring Green Festival.

  • Stephanie Friess

    Stephanie Friess Administrative Assistant

    Stephanie Friess grew up in Toledo, Ohio and moved to the Snellville area, May 2014. She is a graduate of Davis Business College, where she obtained her Associates Degree in Business. She joined the team at Tom M. Wages, Lawrenceville, in May of 2014, after working for a funeral home in Ohio, as an Administrative Assistant for 13 years. Stephanie is currently married to her husband Mark, and between them they have 5 children; Tyler, Chelsea, Crystal, Mark, and Catherine and a grandson, Nash.

  • Casey Connell

    Casey Connell

    Casey, a native of Lawrenceville, a graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science, knew early in life that he was called into service as a funeral director. He has been with Tom M. Wages Funeral Service since 2014 and his dedication, seldom seen in a young person in today's world is evident through his willingness to excel and work hard in life.

  • Jessie  Banks

    Jessie Banks Administrative Assistant

    Jessie grew up in Destin, FL and moved to Lawrenceville, GA in 2010. She obtained an Associate of Arts in General Education from Northwest Florida State College, where she graduated with honors. She is currently a student at Gwinnett Technical College, earning her Associate of Science in Radiological Technology with a concentration in Radiation Therapy. Jessie began working at Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, LLC in 2010, and takes pride in her work as an Administrative Assistant.

  • Annessia Richardson

    Annessia Richardson Administrative Assistant

    Annessia Richardson was born in Georgetown, Guyana and raised in Queens, New York. She relocated to Loganville, GA in 2006. Along with attending Grayson High School, she joined the nursing program at Maxwell High School of Technology. Annessia is a 2013 graduate of Grayson High School, as well as a 2016 graduate of Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service. She became a member of Pi Sigma Eta National Mortician's Fraternity. She is also a certified crematory operator through Cremation Association of North America (CANA). In late 2016, she began her funeral service career as an apprentice with Tom M. Wages Funeral Service. Aside from funeral service, she has dedicated 6 years to children education, care, and wellness, and continues to actively work with them. Her aspirations are to complete her apprenticeship and become a licensed funeral director/embalmer. Annessia is excited to start her new journey in this industry and serving families.

  • Caleigh Holland

    Caleigh Holland Administrative Assistant

    Caleigh was born in Moultrie, Georgia and later moved to Lawrenceville in 2006. She is a 2016 graduate of Brookwood High School and is currently enrolled at Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service. She began working at Tom M. Wages Funeral Service in the late Summer of 2016, and is an aspiring Funeral Director and Embalmer.

  • Steve “Bo” Roberts

    Steve “Bo” Roberts Funeral Assistant

    Bo, known as “Boweevil” to the families of Barrow County, Georgia and surrounding areas, has been in the funeral profession since age 11. He worked at Wise Funeral Home in Winder, Georgia for 20 years before coming to Tom M. Wages where he has found a home since 1991. Between the years of 1981 and 1984, Bo was the Coroner for Barrow County. He is an active member of the Winder Apostolic Church of the Lord Jesus Christ and has family in both Barrow and Gwinnett Counties. His life has been dedicated to the funeral profession and his compassion is known throughout North Georgia. Bo has coached and mentored many funeral service apprentices in how to exceed each family’s expectations and the importance of high quality family service. He is an expert floral arranger and has done some of the largest funeral services in the area. His talents also include being a soloist at many services where he sings acappella. Bo holds the distinction of being certified by the Crematory Association of North America as a “Certified Crematory Operator”.

  • Bernice  Dodson

    Bernice Dodson Administrative Assistant

    Bernice was born in Alabama and moved to Snellville, GA in 1991. Bernice began her career in Banking in 1969 when she lived in Alabama. She has been employed with The Brand Banking Company since 1999 as a teller, currently at the downtown Lawrenceville Branch. Bernice has been with Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, LLC since 2003 as a Weekend Administrative Assistant. She is a very compassionate and caring individual and develops great rapport and relationships with the many families she comes in contact with through our organization, as well as her service to the Brand Banking Company. Bernice has one daughter, Ashley. Ashley is married to Snellville native Wayne Briscoe, and Bernice is the proud grandmother of Makayla and Chandler.

  • Tammy Donofrio

    Tammy Donofrio Funeral Assistant

    Tammy Donofrio is a native of Upstate NY. She moved to Georgia in 1987. Tammy joined the Tom M. Wages in April 2016. Tammy married her late husband Joe Donofrio in 1994.
    Tammy is an active member of Snellville First Baptist Church where she serves as a life group leader, choir member and a mentor to young women. Tammy spends her time volunteering in the community with family homeless centers and singing with the Jubal Choirs and Jubalheirs. Tammy has been invited to be a keynote speaker at many women’s ministry events, retreats and conferences. Her caring and outgoing personality along with her compassion for others will be an asset to Tom M. Wages.

  • Kathy Wells

    Kathy Wells Administrative Assistant

    Kathy Wells has lived in Lawrenceville all her life. She graduated from Central Gwinnett High School and attended Georgia College at Milledgeville. Kathy joined Tom M Wages Funeral Service LLC in 1995 as an ambassador and is currently working as a Part Time Administrative Assistant. Kathy has previously worked in the banking industry for over 32 years. She has been married to Kenneth for 41 years and they have one daughter, Kelley. Kathy is a caring and compassionate person.

  • LaVoy  Johnson

    LaVoy Johnson Ambassador

    Paul LaVoy Johnson, born in Tampa, FL Graduated from Lee University and Bob Jones University where he earned a B.A. in Bible and finished seminary in 1957. He has been married 55 years to Bettye. They have lived in Loganville for the past 11 years. They have 4 children and 11 grandchildren. After finishing seminary he served in Campus Crusade for Christ at Oklahoma University and Oklahoma State University. He was Assistant Pastor at Forrest Hills Baptist Church in Decatur and Sales Manager for WAVO radio station in 1979. LaVoy co-founded Concerned Christians for Good Government and was a Lobbyist at the Capitol for Christian concerns for several years. After retiring he worked at Sears. He is now employed at Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, LLC as a Funeral Assistant and Ambassador.

  • Shirley Harbin

    Shirley Harbin Ambassador

    Shirley Harbin was born in Monroe, GA. She married her husband Robert Harbin in 1962 and just celebrated 52 years of marriage. Shirley and Robert moved to Snellville in 1965, and now reside in Grayson, GA. They have 3 children, Robbie, Russ, and Renee, along with 4 beautiful grandchildren. Shirley has been employed with Tom. M. Wages since 2013, as an Ambassador. Before becoming employed with Tom M. Wages, she was the co-owner of Harbin’s Body Shop for 37 years, and was also employed with Scientific Atlanta for 13 years. Shirley enjoys coming to work, and admires and respects her fellow co-workers. She once stated “an added benefit to working at the Funeral Home is, no matter what location she’s working at, she always runs into someone she knows”.

  • Grace Clower

    Grace Clower Ambassador

    Grace Clower, a native of Gwinnett County, lives in Snellville and is retired from the United States Department of Agriculture. She is now using her skills in working with families at Tom M. Wages. Grace is a faithful member of Snellville United Methodist Church where she serves as teacher of the Friendship Sunday School Class and is a member of the Archives Committee, United Methodist Women, and Vice Chair of the Church Council. She is a member of the Vision Committee at Snellville UMC. She has served as the Treasurer, Vice President, and soon to be President of the Snellville Historical Society and is a devoted member of the Snellville Lions Club. As a Lion, Grace has served as District 18-D Leadership Coordinator, is currently Leadership Coordinator for the State of Georgia, and is Past District Governor and Past Council Chair of Lions of Georgia. Grace is continually doing volunteer work in the community, but she enjoys time spent with her grandson, Braylon Emmett Clower, granddaughter, Ellie Catherine Clower, and her son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Katie Clower. She also enjoys playing golf. Grace’s husband, Woody Clower, died in 2006 after a gallant battle against kidney cancer; so Grace brings her gift of understanding and compassion to the families served by Tom M. Wages.

  • Betty  Hughes

    Betty Hughes Ambassador

    Betty Hughes has lived in Snellville, GA, Gwinnett County all her Life. She is retired after 30 years from the Gwinnett County Public School System. She is married to Kenneth, a Baptist Minister. They had two children and three grandchildren. She is very active in her church and Snellville Eastern Star. She enjoys doing things for others and helping people. Betty is a devoted, compassionate Ambassador for Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, LLC.

  • Mary Anne  Jenkins

    Mary Anne Jenkins Ambassador

    Mary Anne was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She went to Greenleaf Business College in Atlanta, Georgia where she graduated in 1964. Mary Anne also worked as a Medical Secretary and Assistant for 16 years. She then worked for Gwinnett Public Schools 14 years as a Secretary and later an Administrative Assistant. She moved to Lawrenceville in 1971 when she married Bartow Jenkins, they were married for 37 ½ years and raised 3 daughters, Nancy, Lauren and Robin. Mary Anne has 8 grandchildren and 1 great granddaughter. Mary Anne came on board with the Tom M. Wages team in March of 2010 as an Ambassador. Her caring and outgoing personality along with her compassion for others has been an asset to Tom M. Wages.

  • Dr. Joeann H. Malone

    Dr. Joeann H. Malone Ambassador

    Dr. Malone is a saved born again believer. She received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, January 23, 1988, at the Mt Calvary Methodist Church in Lawrenceville, GA. After receiving the Holy Spirit, Dr. Malone allowed the Lord to begin a new work in her life. She was later licensed to the Gospel Ministry, January 23, 1994, and the next year, she received her ordination June 4, 1995. Dr. Malone is married to Willie Malone and they have four sons, Maurice, Thomas, Isley and Justin. Dr. Malone graduated from Central Gwinnett High School. She later attended Gwinnett College of Business, and graduate with a Certificate in Business. Dr. Malone also attended Shorter University Rome, GA., where she received her Associate of Science Degree in Business, and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Management. She also has a Bachelors of Arts in Christian Education, a M.A. in Christian Counseling, and a PhD (in Theology) all from International Seminary Plymouth Florida.

  • Keith  Allgood

    Keith Allgood Ambassador

    Keith Allgood was born on August 30, 1953 in Belleville, Illinois. His childhood was spent as a member of a Military family (Air Force “Brat”) till 1968.

    Keith is a 1971 graduate of South Gwinnett High School and a lifelong expert cabinetmaker and woodworker. He loves swimming, snowmobiling, working outdoors where he enjoys his prized garden.

    Keith serves as a Funeral Assistant and Ambassador for Tom M. Wages. Keith and his family are members of The Cross Church in Loganville, Georgia. Keith and his wife, Donna, enjoy three dogs, two cats, two children, and one grandson (not necessarily in this order either!).

    Keith’s family is from the Youth Community-Loganville area and he enjoys his time with family and friends.

  • Sim Chastain

    Sim Chastain Apprentice

    Simcha “Sims” Chastain was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. He is a graduate of Riverwood high school in Sandy Springs, and graduated with honors in French foreign language. Sims started his career in the funeral industry in 2012, and began working for Tom Wages in late 2014. Sims is currently serving his apprenticeship and aspires to be a licensed funeral director.

  • Christine Berrier

    Christine Berrier Funeral Assistant

    Chris was born and raised in Ohio but chose to become a Southerner in 1976. She attended Trumbull Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and has worked in many different fields as an RN. She and her husband, David, raised three children in Lilburn who all went on to graduate from UGA. (Go Dawgs!). When her husband passed away in 2012, she chose to have his Memorial Service at Wages in Snellville. During the course of planning, Valerie Wages asked where she was working and suggested that she might be good in the funeral service field. Three years later she came in and asked if there were any positions open. " I feel like I've come home", she told her daughter that night. She loves the attention and compassion the staff consistently shows when dealing with hurting families and feels that this is her way of giving back what she was given in her grief. She enjoys her pups, UGA and Falcons football, spending time with her kids, granddaughter and friends and has enjoyed getting to know her co-workers at her new position at Tom Wages.

  • Patrick Hedger

    Patrick Hedger Apprentice

    Patrick Hedger is originally from Huntington West Virginia and has lived in the Atlanta area since 1988. He has gone to Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service. He is a member of Grace Fellowship Church and serves on the hospitality team at the New Hope campus. He lives in Lawrenceville with his wife Donna and stepson Ethan. He looks forward to serving families for years to come as a future Funeral Director.

  • Jim Foster

    Jim Foster Funeral Assistant

  • James Dean Burdett

    James Dean Burdett Funeral Assistant

    Dean Burdett, retired from ABF Freight after 40 years in the trucking business. My wife, Margie, and I just celebrated our 46th Wedding Anniversary. We have a daughter, Stephanie and a son, Justin. We have three beautiful granddaughters. My hobbies are UGA football, I have been a season ticket holder for 31 years.

  • Jefferson Hogg

    Jefferson Hogg Preneed Planning Family Servbice Advisor

    Jefferson Hogg is the Family Service Adviser at Tom M. Wages Funeral homes. I have many years of experience helping families like yours. I graduated from BYU with a Bachelors in Exercise Science and a Minor in Business Management. I was lucky enough to marry my college sweetheart Kelly and we have a son named Turner. I love spending time with my family, playing sports, and supporting the local teams. I am a top professional in this industry and have help hundreds of families per-arranged their funeral needs. I have a passion for helping others and giving guidance through such an important decision in their life. I look forward to have the opportunity to meet you and serve your family.

  • Dupree Padgett

    Dupree Padgett CARE Team