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

What began back in 1883 with D. D. Pafford operating a local hardware store with "undertaking services" turned into a full time funeral home when his son, Royal R. Pafford guided the business into the 20th century.

After Royal Pafford's early death in 1950, his daughter, Eva Louise Pafford, continued the family business. Being a woman in the business traditionally run by men, the now Eva Pafford Helms devoted her entire life and steered the family business into a community icon.

Mrs. Helms died in 1989, and Pafford Funeral Home continued with the fourth generation owner, her son, Robert Pafford Helms. With tradition as its foundation, the family business that began simply in 1883 as a hardware store is now a leader in the community and state within its profession.

As a family business that faces its third century, it continues to serve the citizens of Lexington and Henderson County in unparalleled service and professionalism and is the county's oldest family owned and operated business.

Expanding to give families the quality service they deserve throughout all aspects of the funeral service, we also own Henderson County Memory Gardens. Our goal is to provide the highest quality funeral service to families with care and dignity to the deceased as has been our tradition for over 120 years.


Our Valued Staff

D. D.  Pafford

D. D. Pafford, First Generation


Royal  R. Pafford

Royal R. Pafford, Second Generation


Eva  Pafford Helms

Eva Pafford Helms, Third Generation


Robert Pafford Helms

Robert Pafford Helms, 4th Generation Owner Funeral Director & Embalmer

Robert Pafford Helms, a lifelong resident of Lexington, graduated from Lexington High School in 1979. After graduation he attended John A. Gupton College of Nashville and received his Associates of Arts Degree in Mortuary Science in 1982. He continued his education at Belmont University, recieving his Bachelor of Business degree in 1984. He has been married to his wife Carol Britt Helms for 32 years, and they have two children, daughter Christin, 26, and son Weston, 23. The Helms family attends First United Methodist Church where Rob has served on several different committees. He is also an active member of the community, serving on the Lexington School Board, Past President of the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, Lexington Main Street Association, Lexington Industrial Recruitment Board, and the Lexington Rotary, where he served as President and has been honored as Rotarian of the Year and Paul Harris Fellow.


John Cavness

John Cavness, Funeral Director & Embalmer


Dalton Dyer

Dalton Dyer, Funeral Director & Embalmer


Ronnie Hicks

Ronnie Hicks, Unlicensed Funeral Assistant


Gina Woods

Gina Woods, Office Manager


Joann Gross

Joann Gross, Hostess


Janet Cody

Janet Cody, Hostess


Brenda Casey

Brenda Casey, Hostess


John Easley

John Easley, Outside Services