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.

Our History

Our History

In 1932, Jay B. Smith and his wife Marie first established Jay B. Smith Funeral Homes when they purchased the Sarah Sutton Harrison mansion located in Maplewood, Missouri. The mansion was built in 1890. Through the years, although the mansion has been expanded and modernized several times, it's beauty and charm remain.

John B. Hardy joined the firm in 1948, working for the Smiths until the death of Jay B. Smith in 1956. Mr. Hardy purchased the firm and Marie Smith continued working until her retirement in 1967.

Today, Jay B. Smith Funeral Homes continues to be family owned and operated by David Work.   We offer funeral services and funeral pre planning in Webster Groves. With two convenient locations in Maplewood and Fenton, Missouri. Jay Hardy continues the dignified and trusted service that began in 1932, providing hometown values and personalized service, always at an affordable cost.

Contact us today for more information.

Our Valued Staff

  • David Work

    David Work Funeral Director/Owner

  • Shane Smith

    Shane Smith General Manager

    Shane was raised in Collinsville, IL and graduated from Collinsville High School in 1994. He worked in Real Estate Appraising and Banking for many years before finding his calling in the Funeral Industry. He graduated from Forrest Park Community College in 2012 with a degree in Mortuary Science. He enjoys spending my free time with his partner of 20 years, Susie, their two dogs, Baya and Gus, going camping, watching New York Islanders hockey and playing pickleball.

  • Jay Hardy

    Jay Hardy Funeral Director

  • Nikki Lynn Ham

    Nikki Lynn Ham Funeral Director/Embalmer

    I started working at Jay B. Smith in January of 1986 while finishing college. I majored in Embalming and Funeral Service. I enjoy helping families in their time of need as I feel God chose me for this. I had three amazing daughters Stephanie Drennen, Kyla Ham and the Late Elizabeth Ham-Cline who we lost in July 2020 during child birth. I live in the country which is very serene and rejuvenating.

  • R. Beth  Akers

    R. Beth Akers Funeral Director/Manager

    Beth is the Funeral Director in Charge at Jay B. Smith Fenton Chapel. She has been with Jay B. Smith Funeral Home for 15 years and has been a licensed funeral director for over 33 years. In addition to being a licensed funeral director, she is also a Certified Celebrant and holds a Cosmetologist license. Beth loves to learn new things and is always reading about anything she find of interest. Especially industry specific information that bring value to our families and help them to heal.

  • Stephanie Brown

    Stephanie Brown Funeral Director/Embalmer

    Stephanie started with Jay B. Smith when she was a mortuary student and graduated in 2016 with a degree in Mortuary Science. She was born in St. Louis and resides in St. Louis County. She has been married for over 20 yrs and has 2 son's and a fur baby. In her spare time she enjoys running and spending time with family and friends.

  • Steve  Chancellor

    Steve Chancellor Assistant Funeral Director

  • Andrew Kulha

    Andrew Kulha Apprentice Funeral Director

    Andrew is a funeral director apprentice. He’s been in the funeral industry since 2020 and has decided to pursue an education in funeral directing and embalming after realizing his calling in the industry. Andrew has four kids, a wife, and three dogs at home, so he stays busy outside of work. He’s a freelance sports writer and has been since 2010, and he enjoys fishing as well as playing music.

  • John Wiltsch

    John Wiltsch Preplanning Specialist

    As a caring and passionate funeral professional, John has spent the last decade serving families and doing whatever he can to help ease their pain during their difficult time. He excels at helping families make their funeral arrangements ahead of time, that way it eases the burden on their friends and family once they're gone. He's seen the positive impact preplanning can have on a family, and he recommends it to every family he meets with.

  • In Memory of Forrest  Hobbs

    In Memory of Forrest Hobbs