The Arkansas Funeral Directors Association named Charles F. “Chuck” Dearman, Jr. the Arkansas Funeral Director of the Year. He was honored at the association’s annual convention in Hot Springs Friday and Saturday.
Bill Booker, president of Roller Funeral Homes of Arkansas, presented Dearman with the award at Friday night’s banquet.
Dearman is vice-president and general manager of Stephenson-Dearman Funeral Home, Inc. in Monticello.
The honor is awarded to an Arkansas funeral director each year and is based on a distinguished career in funeral service, professionalism, community service and responsible care for the families in his or her area of the state.
A lifelong resident of Monticello and a fourth generation funeral home owner, Dearman graduated with honors from Monticello High School, graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from the University of Arkansas of Monticello, and earned an MBA degree in accounting from Louisiana Tech University.
He is a graduate of the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service where he was valedictorian and president of his class, and received the outstanding student award (Bill Pierce Award).
Dearman is a member and past-president of the Arkansas Funeral Directors Association, member and past-president of the Southeast Arkansas Funeral Directors Association, member of the National Funeral Directors Association, member of the board of directors for Selected Funeral & Life Insurance Company and member of the Union Bank Board of Directors.
He recently completed a term on the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission where he was appointed by Governor Mike Beebe; he was also appointed by the Governor to the Arkansas Burial Association Board.
Dearman is a member of First United Methodist Church, past board member of the Monticello School Board for 15 years, and has served on numerous other civic and community organizations, clubs and charities. He and his wife, the former Cindy Eubanks, have two children, Haley, who resides in Little Rock and is employed by Arkansas Business Publishing Group and Charles F. “Chad” Dearman, III, who is a senior at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
“I am extremely honored and humbled for my peers from around the state to recognize me with this award,” Dearman said. “It means so much to me, my family and my entire staff.
“I would first like to say thank you to my wife for putting up with my long hours of work which are a given in our industry,” Dearman said. “To my father and mentor who taught me how to treat people and minister to their every need, thank you. To my staff, which in my opinion will compare to any in the state, for their hard work, dedication and commitment. This award is for them as well.
“I take extreme pride in being a fourth generation funeral home owner which, by the way, is very rare in our industry,” Dearman said. “It is with these many years of experience comes the level of service and facilities that we offer the families we serve. Our pledge is that we will continually strive to offer the families of southeast Arkansas the level of quality service that began in 1928 (86 years ago), ‘service with dignity, distinction and respect.’”