Our Staff

Our dedicated and supportive staff are here to guide you through this difficult journey. We take pride in doing our absolute best to ensure your needs are met. We are here for you.

Licensed Staff

Jody T. Lea

Owner - Licensed Funeral Director - 
Licensed Embalmer Licensed Insurance Agent

Email: jody.leaandsimmons@att.net
Office Phone: 731-772-8880
Fax: 731-772-8743
Mobile Phone: 731-432-9104

Jody is a lifelong resident of Brownsville and attended Haywood County Schools. Jody graduated from John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science of Nashville in 1990. Jody is married to Jeanna Roberts Lea of Brownsville and has 3 children, J.T. Lea Jr., Miller Lea and Avery Bradford Lea.

In 2009, Jody fulfilled his dream of owning his own funeral home with the help of his brother Chris Lea and good friend, Elliott Simmons.

Jody is a member of New Vision Baptist Church, the Brownsville Exchange Club, The Brownsville Business Association, The Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce as well as an Ambassador for the Chamber, The Carl Perkins Child Abuse Center Board of Directors, served as the West Director of the Tennessee Funeral Directors Association & The Haywood County Leadership Board of Trustees and was a graduate of the 2011 Leadership Class. Jody was chosen as the 2011 Ambassador of the Year. 

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J. Elliott Simmons

Owner - Licensed Funeral Director - Licensed Embalmer - Licensed Insurance Agent

Email: leaandsimmons@yahoo.com
Office Phone: 731-772-8880
Fax: 731-772-8743
Mobile Phone: 731-780-7732

​Elliott was born and raised in Brownsville, TN. A graduate of Haywood High School and Northwest Mississippi College with a degree in Mortuary Science. Elliott has been in the funeral business for 19 years. Elliott’s desire to have a career in the funeral business started while he was in high school working for Brownsville-Bells Funeral Homes. Elliott and his wife, Lisa reside in Brownsville, TN with their two children, Bryse & Brenna Carlton. Elliott and his family attend First United Methodist Church, Brownsville, TN.

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Chris W. Lea

CFSP - Owner - Licensed Funeral Director - Licensed Insurance and Preneed Agent

Email: leaandsimmons@yahoo.com
Office Phone: 731-772-8880
Fax: 731-772-8743
Mobile Phone: 731-432-9111

Chris was born and raised in Brownsville. He has two children, Emma, and Joseph. Chris is very active in the community and has proudly served on many boards throughout the city and county.  Some include: Haywood County Commission, Budget Committee, Public Safety and Jail Committee, Carl Perkins Advisory Board of Directors, Haywood Park Hospital Board of Trustees, and the Rotary Club. He is a member of New Vision Baptist Church.

Chris proudly joins Elliott, Jody, and the rest of our caring staff in serving the wonderful citizens of Haywood County and surrounding areas in providing the most compassionate service in caring for the loss of their loved one. He also heads our pet loss division which provides burial and cremation services for our loyal companions. Our funeral home is 100% locally owned and operated; therefore you can be assured that it is “Our Family Serving Your Family”.

Chris  brings with him over 35 years of experience in the funeral industry and is a graduate of John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science. He is also licensed in the states of Arkansas and Mississippi, and has earned the designation of Certified Funeral Service Practitioner.

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Cindy L. Blalock

Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

Cindy is a Friendship, TN native and a 1993 graduate of Crockett County High School.  She graduated from John A. Gupton College of Mortuary in 2013 and has been serving the families of Crockett and Haywood Counties for the past five years.  In 2017, she received her license as a Pre-need Counselor.  Cindy is married to Darron B. Blalock and has three children, Robert Pace, James Conner Pace and Brilee Blalock. Cindy is very proud to be serving alongside her son, Robert.

Barbara Dedmon

Funeral Director, Office Manager, Insurance Producer

Barbara Dedmon has been a Brownsville girl all of her life. She graduated from Haywood High School and opened her own business (The Sugar Palace) for 21 years, she then sold the business and sought other ways to help people. The door opened for her in the funeral industry and the rest is history.  She has been part of the Lea & Simmons team since they opened in October of 2009, serving as a funeral director, office manager and licensed insurance agent. She makes her home in Brownsville with her Jack Russell, KoKo.  She is an active member of Christ Church of Brownsville.

Non-Licensed Staff

Tommy Baxter

Funeral Assistant - Licensed Insurance and Preneed Agent

Tommy was born and raised in Haywood Co, grew up in the Tibbs Community and attended school in Haywood Co. Tommy has two daughters Meredith Baxter Cody, Kristen Baxter Etheridge and four grandchildren, Garrett and Ethan Cody and Will and Wyatt Etheridge. Tommy joined the Tennessee Highway Patrol in 1984 and was a State Trooper assigned to Haywood Co. He retired in August of 2009 after 25 years of service and started working for Lea and Simmons in October of 2009. His interests are going to car shows and restoring classic muscle cars in his spare time

Richard Dickerson

Family Services Counselor - Funeral Assistant -
Licensed Insurance and Preneed Agent

Richard was born and raised in Bolivar, TN.   He is a graduate of Bolivar Central High School, Union University, and Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, TX.    Richard brings great experience in Family Care having served on the staff of three churches over the past 35 years.    He has served Covington Pike Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Union City, and Woodmont Baptist Church in Nashville , TN.  

Richard is married to Carol H. Dickerson and they have one son, Russell Dickerson, his wife Kailey, and one daughter, Claire Dickerson all of Nashville, TN.    They have one dog named Keegan.  He enjoys college sports,  following the Tennessee Titans,  and following his son's career in Country Music.  

Richard has immediate  family who have lived in Haywood County for over 40 years and it is a  blessing to serve the people in Haywood and Crockett County.  It is very rewarding to follow up with aftercare for these individuals and families who are dealing with grief.  

Robert Andrew Pace

Funeral Assistant
Robert is a 2013 graduate of Crockett County High School and the son of Cindy L. Blalock.  Robert has been serving the families of Crockett and Haywood Counties for the past four years.  He is the grandson of Robert E. and Wanda Garrett of Friendship, TN.   

Judy Brown

Office Manager - Bells Funeral Home

Judy Brown is a native Crockett Countian. Her parents were the late Alvin & Eula Jones Hoppers. Judy was the 6th of 7 children. She is married to Terry Brown. She was the mother of the late Cindy Blair Watson and is the grandmother “Nanney” to Jacob, Deme and Jersey Watson. She is JuJu to Steve, Cristy, Avery and Jake Brown and Keith, Dianne and Alissa Warren and to a host of nieces and nephews. God, family and friends have always been the most important thing in Judy’s life.

Judy is an active member of Holly Grove Baptist Church where she has served for the past 35 years. She has taught children, youth and adult classes over the past years. She presently serves on the youth committee, the finance committee, the kitchen committee and works in children’s church and the nursery.

Judy’s hobbies are playing with her grandchildren, gardening and playing dominos while traveling with Disaster relief on mission trips.

Judy says she is so blessed to be able to work at the funeral home and help other hurting families during the most devastating time of their lives.

WendAll "Red" BRadford

Non-Licensed Funeral Assistant

Wendell has worked at the Brownsville and Bells Funeral Homes since 1965. He helps open and close graves and assists in cemetery management by helping maintain Brownsville Memorial Gardens.

Wendell is married to Ann Conatzer Bradford and has two children: Wendy Timms and her husband, Bill, and Phillip Bradford and his wife, Leta. He has two grandchildren, Andy Timms and Candy Timms.

Mike Marbury

Mike Marbury was born and raised in Haywood County. The last of eight children, son of Herbert Lee Marbury and Olive Sullivan Marbury. Mike has one daughter, Summer Marbury Smith. He graduated from Bells High School in 1970 and a member of the Baptist Church. He retired from the Tennessee Farmer’s Coop after 40 ½ years. He is a volunteer for the Bells Fall Festival and his hobbies include gardening, cooking and traveling

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