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

Brooks Lyon

Brooks & White Funeral Home was founded prior to 1914 in Hurdle Mills, NC by George D. Brooks and Cyrus Clifton White. They ran a blacksmith shop, woodworking shop, country store and garage. Brooks Funeral Home, was opened in Semora, NC during the late 1920's by George D. Brooks, his wife Mollie, and their daughter Merle. Merle was one of the first females to become a licensed funeral director in the states of Virginia and North Carolina.

The business was moved to the current location at the corner of Main Street and Seymour Drive in South Boston, Virginia in 1935. After the death of Mr. Brooks, Merle and her husband, F. E. “Tom” Jones, operated the funeral home until Tom’s death in 1980. At that time, their son, Douglas Brooks Jones and his wife, Betty, took over management of the funeral home. In 2000, Doug and Betty’s daughter, Kathy, a graduate of John Tyler Community College with a degree in funeral service, assumed ownership of the funeral home.   

May 2, 2014 the firm was acquired by Michael and Jane Lyon and the name was changed to Brooks Lyon Funeral Home.  Betty Jones, remained a part of the funeral home staff.  A funeral director since 1977, Michael is licensed in both Virginia and North Carolina. Jane, his wife is a Duke University Divinity School graduate and leads a non profit Whole Woman Conference ( click here ).  She is an ordained minister, gifted speaker and leads Christian Women Conferences.  After graduating from Gupton Jones College of Mortuary Science, Michael worked with Howerton Bryan Funeral Home in Durham, NC - a firm founded by Halifax County, Virginia native, R.T. Howerton, Sr in 1874.  Michael's entrance into Halifax County as death care provider completes a circle.  A Funeral Director formed and trained in a Durham, NC firm founded by a Halifax County Virginian, comes to Halifax County to provide service to descendants of RT Howerton.  The Lyon's ownership includes Watkins Cooper Lyon Funeral Home ( Click here ), Lancaster Funeral & Cremation Services ( click here ) and Cremation Society of Virginia (click here). 

However, throughout the history of Brooks Lyon funeral Home and it’s four generations of family ownership there is one thing that has remained the same, and that is putting the needs and desires of the bereaved families first. This tradition continues to be the goal of the staff of Brooks Lyon Funeral Home.   

Watkins Cooper

Watkins Cooper

Watkins-Cooper-Lyon Funeral Home's history spans over 170 years and is uniquely intertwined with Randolph Macon College and Clarksville Presbyterian Church. In 1833 a Master cabinetmaker and German immigrant, Frank I. Liipfert was hired to help build the campus of Randolph Macon College. After the Civil War Randolph Macon was relocated, but Mr. Liipfert remained in Mecklenburg County as a cabinet maker and coffin builder. 

It was from that humble beginning that Watkins-Cooper-Lyon Funeral Home began. In 1953 Jack Watkins and Jim Cooper relocated the facility to the Clarksville Presbyterian Manse. Jim Cooper was an Elder of the church that year and was among the first to know of the pending sale. He and Mr. Watkins acted quickly to purchase the current location. Jim Cooper's share of the company was later sold to Jack Ligon, who served as General Manager for many years. 

In 1986, Michael R. Lyon and his wife Jane moved from Durham, NC and became the owners of Watkins-Cooper Funeral Home and added their name to the business. With the help of Jack & Hilda Ligon, a new era began. Renovations, procurement of new equipment and the latest technology, combined with a "WE CARE" policy created a unique company. A business known in the 1800's for undertaking and furniture today is best identified as progressive, growing, and caring. Serving not only Virginia, but also North Carolina with distinction.

Our Valued Staff

  • Michael R. Lyon

    Michael R. Lyon

    Michael is a graduate of Gupton Jones College of Mortuary Science and has worked for funeral homes in Elkin, High Point and Durham, North Carolina. Since 1986 he has been President and manager of Watkins-Cooper-Lyon Funeral Home. He was instrumental in expanding the town cemetery for Clarksville and operates the marketing for Oakhurst Cemetery. In 1999 he formed Cremation Society of Virginia, Southside, Inc. providing the first on premise cremation service within this region.

    Involvements present and past include Halifax Regional Health System, Board of Directors, and Dominion Health, Board of Directors, Baptist House Board of Studies, Duke University, Board of Directors, a member of Antioch Baptist Church, a former member of Clarksville Baptist Church, where he served as Director of Sunday School, Church Deacon and Trustee. Other memberships include Lion's Club and Ruritan Club. He had also participated on the Mecklenburg Commission for Mecklenburg County, Church Treasurer, Durham Kiwanis Club (Distinguished Service award Recipient), and YMCA Director. As a child, he was active in the Boy Scouts of America where he obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. He had served as District Chairman for the Meherrin District of the Heart of Virginia Council, Boy Scouts of America.

  • Jane Tucker Lyon

    Jane Tucker Lyon

    Jane has a Master of Divinity from Duke University and a BA in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She serves as Vice President and on the Board of Directors for WCL, CSV and Oakhurst. She formerly worked for Burlington Industries in Human Resources and Customer Advocacy and then with Halifax Regional Health System as a community representative. As an ordained clergy, she has worked in parish ministries and Hospice aftercare. She currently pastors Antioch Baptist Church in Red Oak, Virginia. Jane heads the non profit group Whole Women and leads retreats for women nationwide.

    When asked why someone should trust our firm "A funeral/ memorial service is an expression of love that requires hard work and experience, we have both to offer." Our firm isn't just family owned; it's also personal care and concern centered. Our focus is caring for each person within their values of spiritual and practical needs. Regardless of type of service need, resources or values brought from life to death, we are determined to provide thoughtful ceremony options.

  • Betty Booth Jones

    Betty Booth Jones, Aftercare Coordinator, Funeral Assistant - Brooks Lyon

    I married into the Brooks family and 45 years later I'm still serving a community that I've called home my entire life. Through the years, I've served as President of the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce and Mental Health America of Halifax County, was a part of the founding board of what became Halifax Regional Hospice, currently I fill in at the Halifax County Visitor Center, and I'm also a mother and grandmother, church member and passionate funeral assistant. My efforts at Brooks Lyon are directed toward caring for the grieving through funeral and aftercare services

  • Steven Smith

    Steven Smith, Manager, Funeral Director - Brooks Lyon

    I was born and raised here in Halifax County. I graduated from Halifax County High School in 2004 where I was a member of the varsity baseball team. After high school, I attended Virginia Tech for my undergrad degree. I graduated cum laude from John Tyler Community College in August 2017 with a degree in Funeral Services and became licensed in the state of Virginia in November 2017.

  • Nathaniel  Bellissimo

    Nathaniel Bellissimo, Manager, Funeral Director - Watkins Cooper Lyon

  • Linda Hughes

    Linda Hughes, Office Manager - Brooks Lyon

    A native of Halifax County, Linda serves as the Office Manager at Brooks Lyon. I am honored to assist and care for families during their time of grief. I am also the funeral home pianist, having been with the funeral home for over 15 years. I am married to Ben Hughes, who is also a native to Halifax County, and we have 4 children and 2 grandchildren.

  • Clarissa W. Ferrell

    Clarissa W. Ferrell, Office Manager - Watkins Cooper Lyon

    Clarissa serves as Office Administrator for Watkins Cooper Lyon. She brings more than 30 years of bookkeeping, banking and office management to the company. She is honored to be able to assist the funeral home staff in caring for families from the community that she loves. Clarissa was raised in Chase City, has lived in the Red Oak & South Boston communities and presently lives in Clarksville. She is the proud mother of Justin Ferrell, a Physician Liaison with Bon Secours Depaul Medical Center in Norfolk and Jessica Ferrell Elliott of Bullock, NC, who owns and operates Southern Roots Hair Salon in Clarksville. In her spare time, she enjoys sports, working in the yard and spending time with her beloved pets.
    “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace:” 1 Peter 4:10 ESV

  • Bert Martin

    Bert Martin, Funeral Service Licensee - Brooks Lyon

    My family has been involved in death care for three generations. My Grandfather, Egbert Stover Martin, Sr and father, Egbert Stover Martin, Jr. operated Martin & Nichols Funeral Home in Clover, VA until 1986. With the closing of Martin & Nichols I joined the staff at Brooks, now Brooks Lyon Funeral Home. All my life I have served my neighbors as a member of Clover Volunteer Fire Department with over 40 years of service. I also am a lifetime member of the Halifax County Rescue Squad where I served for 20 years and met my wife Kathy. Most Sunday mornings I am in church at Clover Baptist Church, where I serve as a deacon. Kathy, my wife teaches the eight grade English at Halifax County Middle School and our daughter Emily has returned to school to continue her education.

  • Joe L. Jenkins III

    Joe L. Jenkins III, Funeral Assistant - Watkins Cooper Lyon

    I've been on staff at Brooks, now Brooks Lyon Funeral Home since 1992. Born and raised in South Boston, I am the second generation of my family to serve this community in funeral care. I attended East Tennessee State University before returning home in 1992.I am a member of First Baptist Church where I have served as a Deacon, Youth Leader, and Choir member. In the past, I have been involved with Halifax Co. Little Theatre and Habitat for Humanity. In my spare time I enjoy reading, sports, movies, and especially time spent being "Papa" to my four grandsons.

  • J.D. Conner

    J.D. Conner, Funeral Assistant - Brooks Lyon

    I’ve been married 32 years to Janet and we have three children, Michelle, Lori and Brittney. I have five grandchildren, Zoe, Olivia ,Zane, Charlie and Jake. I graduated in Halifax County High school in 1973. We attend Union Christian Baptist Church. I am a two time past Master Mason for the 37th Masonic District. I have worked with VDOT 37 years and I am currently the Maintenance Manager for the Halifax Residency.

  • Janet Conner

    Janet Conner, Funeral Assistant - Brooks Lyon

    Janet Conner is retired from Sentara Halifax Regional. During her tenure there she worked in customer service and served as patient advocate helping take care of patients and families needs. She and her husband, J.D. Conner reside in Halifax, Va.

  • Jerri Lynn Tuck

    Jerri Lynn Tuck, Funeral Service Intern - Brooks Lyon

    I was born and raised here in Halifax County and am proud to currently serve the families of our community. I will be a 2021 graduate of John Tyler Community College. Before pursuing a career in funeral services I was a nail technician at Simple Splendor Salon for 10 years. I am married to Jonathan Tuck and we have two pets, our dog Randy, and our cat Sophie.

  • Joanne  Smith

    Joanne Smith, Funeral Assistant - Brooks Lyon

  • Reya  Roller

    Reya Roller, Funeral Assistant - Brooks Lyon

  • Dwight  Stewart

    Dwight Stewart, Funeral Assistant - Brooks Lyon

  • Sherry Link

    Sherry Link, Funeral Assistant - Brooks Lyon

  • Chuck Bates

    Chuck Bates, Funeral Assistant - Brooks Lyon

  • Robert Wilkerson

    Robert Wilkerson, Funeral Assistant - Watkins Cooper Lyon