Our Story

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

Ever since we opened our doors we have approached life (and death) differently. While some just see the end of a loved one’s life as a time for grief and mourning, we prefer to think of it as a time for reflection, appreciation, and even celebration. This is evident in everything we do. We are a close knit community dedicated to honoring, sharing and preserving the amazing and inspirational stories that are life.

legacies honored
years in business
moments remembered

Why Us?

In a nutshell? Experience, professionalism, compassion, and empathy.

Why Us?

We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without overwhelming. And how to meet the needs of many caring parties. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond kindness, calmness and expertise. Our goal is to create a beautiful occasion and make you feel welcome, always. We spend our days planning with families. We stay up to date with industry developments. And we make hard times a little easier.

Learn the legacy.

Originally founded by Gardner and Laura May Watson in 1942, Watson-Hunt Funeral Home has a long and illustrious history. Believed to be the oldest residence in Perry, the home was built in 1852 by the late Judge Samuel Doddridge Killen, the first Judge of the city court in Perry. Many knew of the home as "The Palace Beautiful." Upon Mr. Killen's death, the home was sold to Mrs. Francis Marion King, organizer of the Georgia Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy. Later, in 1925, the home was sold to the Penn-Dixie Cement Corporation for use as a residence for the plant superintendent and president of the company. Mr. and Mrs. Watson purchased the property in 1955 and completely renovated it for use as a funeral home. "In the atmosphere of your own home" became the slogan that is still used today.

As Perry grew, the need to enlarge became apparent. The decision to build a new facility or remain in the beautiful old home needed to be made. After much thought, it was decided to add a chapel, lounge, apartment, new restrooms, and handicapped-accessible ramps to the old home. This renovation was completed in 1984.

Riley Hunt became associated with the firm in 1960 and became a partner in 1968. Mr. Gardner Watson's son, Draper, joined the firm in 1970 and became a partner in 1972. Mr. Hunt sold his interest in the firm to Draper Watson in 1999. Mr. and Mrs. Gardner Watson's legacies still continue to influence the funeral industry in Houston County. Mrs. Laura May Watson was one of the first woman to become a Licensed Funeral Director in the state of Georgia. The Watson's retired after many successful years serving families. In 1998, Mr.Gardner Watson died after a lengthy illness and the following year in 1999, Mrs. Laura May Watson passed away to join her husband. Their son Draper Watson continues to provide the same compassionate service that he learned from his parents.

The need for another major renovation was completed in 2001. Bob Brewer and Dawne Watson were at the helm of the design task. The home received new carpeting, paint, and wallpaper, and a number of antiques were also added. With the charm and the history of our facility at 1208 Main Street, we decided to continue serving the people of Perry in our newly renovated facility in lieu of building a new facility.

The community saw a need for a perpetual care cemetery in the area, so Gardner Watson developed Perry Memorial Gardens in 1965. Still family owned and operated by The Watson Family. Our cemetery offers ground spaces for traditional burials, cremation niches to entomb your loved ones cremains, as well as private mausoleums. The cemetery is located on U.S. Highway 41 North, a mile north of Perry. With Watson-Hunt Funeral Home and Perry Memorial Gardens owned and managed locally, families have the ability to make all of their decisions at one location, eliminating much of the stress involved in the decision-making process.

Watson-Hunt takes great pride in being involved in our community through support of our churches, the Chamber of Commerce, civic clubs, schools, and charitable organizations. We have elected to remain locally owned and managed because we feel that we can provide much more personal attention to our families. Our commitment is one of trust and simply "doing what is right."

Thank you for trusting Watson-Hunt Funeral Home with your loved one.

Who We Are

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

Draper  Watson

Draper Watson

Lisa  Hays

Lisa Hays

Larry  Gray

Larry Gray

Kenneth  Smith

Kenneth Smith

Brenda  Stokes

Brenda Stokes

Ronnie  Bennett

Ronnie Bennett

Kirk  Crumpton

Kirk Crumpton

Rodney Mashburn

Rodney Mashburn

Debbie Mullis Wood

Debbie Mullis Wood

Family Services Counselor

Explore Our Location

See where we are located.