Our Story

Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.

We invite you to discover who has made Rose Mortuary the ultimate provider of creating healing experiences in the community. This section contains the heritage, vision, and the people behind Rose Mortuary's reputation of quality, sincerity, and trust.

Why Us?

Since 1884, families have turned to us for personalized care. We have helped the community say goodbye to loved ones in a special way.

Why Us?

While many families remember the high quality of care received at our Broadway Chapel or Mann Heritage Chapel, many are not aware of our deep-rooted history and heritage in this community. The tradition and commitment is a combination of the dedication of several outstanding individuals and of the Mann and Rose families together.

Learn the legacy.

1884

Edward B. Mann and Richard Johnson become partners in Knoxville’s first formal undertaking establishment known as Mann and Johnson at 98 Gay Street. Shortly afterward, they merge with L.C. Shepard who was Knoxville’s oldest resident undertaker and was noted with conducting the funeral of President Andrew Johnson in 1875.

1892

Mr. Shepard and Mr. Johnson have retired. The firm became known as E.B. Mann Undertaking Company.

1908

The firm’s hearse fleet is pulled by a team of white Arabian horses. They become a community treasure and are later purchased by actor Douglas Fairbanks and star in the movie “The Thief of Bagdad.”

Arthur G. Mann becomes the owner of the company upon the passing of his father. He establishes the first Knoxville funeral home to offer motor car service to client families.

1923

Frank L. Rose joins the staff of E.B. Mann Undertaking Company after his service as Sergeant of the Infantry in World War I, and after graduation from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.

1924

Arthur Mann builds a landmark modern funeral home on the West Church Street site of the former J. Allen Smith residence. The business name is changed to Mann Mortuary.

1930

For generations, the Mann Mortuary continually improves its services and facilities, expanding the comforting parlors and chapels, adding covered parking, and employing professionals who share his commitment to attentive, compassionate service.

1932

Frank Rose opens the Frank L. Rose Funeral home at Grainger and North Fourth Avenue.

1935

Mr. Rose’s success requires the acquisition of a larger funeral chapel facility.

1938

Fred Rose graduates from Gupton-Jones College of Embalming and Robert Rose becomes a licensed funeral director. Both sons join their father in the funeral business.

1945

The third generation of the Mann family joins the Mann Mortuary. Arthur H. Pickle, son of Helen Mann Pickle, becomes secretary of the company.

1947

Mr. Rose builds a new chapel and renames his business. It is now the Rose Mortuary.

1960

The new Mann Mortuary chapel in Bearden is opened, serving families in expanding neighborhoods.

1970

Due to declining population in Knoxville’s downtown areas, the Mann family closes the iconic Church Avenue chapel.

1984

Fred Rose welcomes Robert Starkey and Kent Marcum as partners into his business.

1986

Rose Mortuary had outgrown the Broadway facilities and the need for a second location was evident. Fred Rose, along with Mr. Starkey and Mr. Marcum facilitated Rose Mortuary to enter into a lease with the funeral home property known as Highland Memorial Funeral Home located at 5315 Kingston Pike near Highland Memorial Cemetery in Bearden which became Rose Mortuary Highland Chapel.

1990

Arthur Pickle becomes sole owner of the Mann Mortuary. To reflect the company’s long tradition of community service, the name is changed to Mann’s Heritage Chapel.

1996

The Rose Mortuary Highland Chapel property was sold by its owner to a conglomerate and the lease between Rose Mortuary and Highland Memorial was severed.

To continue the family’s commitment to service, Mr. Pickle merges the firm with the Rose Mortuary. Today, the company is one of the oldest businesses in the city, and one of the largest independent funeral homes in the state.

Who We Are

Meet our staff. Members of the local community make everything that happens possible.
Together, we make this place amazing.

R. KENT  MARCUM

R. KENT MARCUM

Owner and Funeral Director
Read Bio
ROBERT O.  STARKEY, III

ROBERT O. STARKEY, III

Owner and Funeral Director
Read Bio
BRIAN R.  STARKEY

BRIAN R. STARKEY

Funeral Director and Embalmer
Read Bio
ADAM MILLER STARKEY

ADAM MILLER STARKEY

Funeral Director and Embalmer
Read Bio
ANDREW K. MARCUM

ANDREW K. MARCUM

Funeral Director and Embalmer
Read Bio
WHITNEY M.  HUNTHROP

WHITNEY M. HUNTHROP

Administrative Assistant
Read Bio
BARBARA S.  DAVIS

BARBARA S. DAVIS

Organist
Read Bio
FRANK R.  DAVIS

FRANK R. DAVIS

Funeral Director
Read Bio
CHARLES S.  GILES, II

CHARLES S. GILES, II

Funeral Assistant
Read Bio
WILLIAM A.  MARTIN

WILLIAM A. MARTIN

Funeral Director and Embalmer
Read Bio
K. KEITH  RICHARDS

K. KEITH RICHARDS

Funeral Director
Read Bio
GEORGE W.  WARD

GEORGE W. WARD

Funeral Assistant
Read Bio
SAM  WARE

SAM WARE

Funeral Director
Read Bio
TERRY F.  LITTLE

TERRY F. LITTLE

Maintenance
ASHLEY TORKELSON

ASHLEY TORKELSON

Funeral Director and Embalmer
Read Bio
RAY MARCUM

RAY MARCUM

Comfort Dog
Read Bio
JONATHAN CALDWELL

JONATHAN CALDWELL

Chief Financial Officer
CHRIS MARTIN

CHRIS MARTIN

Funeral Assistant

Explore Our Locations

See where we are and find the place that best meet your needs.