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.
Phillips & Luckey Funeral Home was established
January of 1936. Opening that year was Rockdale and Caldwell with
Giddings opening in 1938. There was also a Phillips & Luckey
Funeral Home in Belton, Texas but was closed years ago. Today Phillips
& Luckey still operates funeral homes in Rockdale, Giddings and
Caldwell with a office and visitation area in Lexington.
Phillips & Luckey was established by E.B. Phillips & P.E.
Luckey. Prior to opening the funeral homes they formed Phillips &
Luckey Burial Association that grew to be the largest Burial Association
in the State of Texas.
P.E. Luckey and E.B. Phillips both worked for Henne and Meyer Hardware where they also sold coffins. Henne and Meyer closed in 1933 due to the Depression. Mr. Phillips was a licensed undertaker and Mr. Luckey was a carpenter. Mr. Phillips kept the office and did the embalming and since they had no money for the purchase of coffins, Mr. Luckey built them in a workship behind his home. This home was located just west of the present City Hall.
The first funeral home was located at 240 Burleson in a large home. On Thanksgiving Day 1943 the home burned to the ground. The funeral home was rebuilt at that same site. World War II was going on and the lumber and other materials were hard to come by. As the story goes, because they built caskets they were able to get the materials to build a new funeral home.
Later Mr. Luckey's son Don Luckey and Mr. Phillips's son-in-law Boswell Newton joined the funeral home and later became owners of the funeral homes and insurance company becoming the second generation to operate Phillips & Luckey Co.
After the death of Boswell Newton and later Don Luckey, the funeral homes in Rockdale, Giddings and Caldwell were sold to two long time employees, Clyde Jones and wife Wilma of Rockdale and Alfred Zoch and wife Vernelle of Giddings in May of 1972. The sale did not include the insurnace company. The insurance company later sold in 1980 to Landmark Life Insurance Co. in Brownwood, Texas. The funeral homes kept the name of Phillips & Luckey Funeral Home and the only change was moving the Rockdale office from 233 N. Main to the funeral home at 240 Burleson.
Clyde Jones had started working with Phillips & Luckey in 1946 in Rockdale. He worked several years in the Giddings business before moving back to Rockdale. Clyde was active in many civic organizations in the city as well as his funeral home business. His children were ever present in his life. When Wilma came to town with the two boys, Wallace and Stephen, you would see them in Clyde's shadow. In 1992 Clyde Jones died and in 1995 his son Wallace Jones purchased his interest in the business, starting the second generation of family ownership. Also involved in the business is a brother, Stephen Jones, and a sister, Gracile Lillard, and daughter, Amanda Jones.
Later in 1992 the funeral home moved from Burleson St. in Rockdale to a new location at 1041 West Hwy 79 in Rockdale. Since 1992 the old funeral home has been used by Rockdale I.S.D. for class rooms, the Rockdale Police Department used it as a weight room, as well as the past home of Rockdale Rotary Club.
Phillips & Luckey also formed the Pre Need Corporation to offer pre paid funeral program. Phillips & Luckey was one of the early pioneers in Texas to form a pre arrangement trust. We still maintain the Pre Need Corporation.
Years ago most ambulance services were operated by the local funeral home. Phillips & Luckey operated Rockdale's ambulance service for many years. On March 1, 1969 the City of Rockdale took over the ambulance service and two ambulances were sold to the city for $1.00 each. One Phillips & Luckey employee stated that day was the best day of his life when the city took over.
Our Valued Staff
Wallace Jones, Owner/Partner, Funeral Director & Embalmer
Stephen Jones, Funeral Director & Embalmer
Amanda G. Jones, Funeral Director
Gracile Lillard, Office Manager
Roberta Pounders, Receptionist
Vernelle B. Zoch, Board Member
Paul Kipp, Managing Director, Funeral Director & Embalmer
Eric Dawson, Funeral Director & Embalmer
Kurtis Hankemeier, Funeral Assistant/Preneed Account Manager
Frances Fritcher, Funeral Assistant
Bob Belyeu, Funeral Assistant
Johnathan Noack, Provisional Funeral Director
Donny Wood, Funeral Director & Embalmer
I was born in Houston during WWII where my father was a trucking contractor for the government hauling building materials. After the war, my parents moved us back to their home town of Alto where I grew up and attended Alto public schools. I graduated in 1962 and attended the fall semester at Stephen F. Austin University majoring in pre veterinary medicine. When the semester was over, I enlisted in the US Navy and served with Attack Squadron 85 aboard the USS Kittyhawk CVA 63, an aircraft carrier, for two tours of duty in the South China Sea during the Viet Nam War. I was honorably discharged as an Aviation Machinist Mate Second Class in June of 1967.
I returned to my roots in Alto, and was employed in several mechanical and maintenance capacities. In 1970, I began working part-time for the local funeral home and became full- time in 1976. I enrolled in Commonwealth College of Sciences in February of 1978 and graduated as Salutatorian of my class and received the Bill Pierce Award for having been judged by my classmates as having the most professional attitude toward funeral service.
For more than 20 years, I was a member of Alto Volunteer Fire Department and served as chief for several years. I also served two terms Alto City Council and a term as Mayor in the late 70’s.
In the early years of my career in funeral service, I was employed by funeral homes in Alto, Lufkin, Tyler and Livingston before coming to Phillips & Luckey Funeral Home in Caldwell in May of 1991. Caldwell soon became “ home” where I attended church, coached little league, and participated in charitable functions of the community. I was a member of the board of directors of South East Texas Funeral Directors Associations and served as its president from 1993-1994.
Locally, I am a Life member of VFW Post 4458 and American Legion Post 451, a member and past president of Caldwell Evening Lions Club. I am also an Endowed Member of Warren Lodge # 56 AF&M and a member and past president of Copperas Hollow Country Club.
My wife, Pam and I are members of First Assembly of God Church and cherish the members of our church family.
Pam and I have five children and ten of the smartest and best looking grandchildren in the world. I will remain available on staff for consultation as requested and relief when needed.