Founded at the same time as the city in which it serves, Cordele’s oldest funeral home had its start as Dekle Funeral Home, first residing in a storefront, before moving to a home on 12th Avenue, then into one of Georgia’s first purpose built funeral homes on the corner of 3rd Street and 17th Avenue, and finally to its current location on 24th Avenue.
Location at 205 E. 12th Ave.
Location at 501 E. 17th Ave.
Founded in 1889 by George L. Dekle, his son R.L Dekle continued to run the establishment after his father’s death. After his graduation from mortuary school in 1939, J.D. Rainey Sr. joined the staff as a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer.
In 1953, after the death of R.L. Dekle, J.D. Rainey Sr. purchased the funeral home from the Dekle Family and moved it to the 17th Avenue location in 1954 which was custom-built and state of the art for a funeral home at the time. In 1964, J.D. Rainey, Jr. joined the family firm and began work as a licensed funeral director and embalmer. Over the ensuing years, the funeral home became known for its attentiveness and service to the community, and its families in their time of need.
Current Location at 1415 E. 24th Ave.
In 2000, Wesley Rainey joined the family business as a third-generation licensed funeral director and embalmer. The decision to change the name from Dekle Funeral Home to Rainey Family Funeral Services was made to reflect the three generations of the Rainey Family that were now all working together in service to the community. Construction had already begun on a new modern state of the art facility located on 24th Avenue and it opened in October of 2002. In 2006, at the time of his death, J.D.Rainey Sr. was the oldest licensed funeral director and embalmer in the state of Georgia.
Newspaper Ad from 1961
Over the years, Rainey Family Funeral Services, Inc. has been blessed with many hard-working and dedicated staff members who have served together to provide service to families in their time of greatest need. Currently, J.D. Rainey Jr., Wesley Rainey, and Anthony Blanchard serve as licensed funeral directors and embalmers, with Anthony joining the staff in 2001. Betty Freeman has been on staff for over twenty years as office manager. Cliff Souther has been serving the funeral home as well for over forty years, helping in all areas of the business.
In addition, the staff includes Walt Cannon, monuments; Ben Drennan, licensed funeral service apprentice; Trey Allison and Corey Welch, cemetery and grave crew; and Duain Hobbs, funeral service attendant.