Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.
That is our Community Commitment.
Listening to what our community expects and needs from a funeral home.
Learning about our families and how to best honor and celebrate the life of their loved one.
Investing in our facility to provide a truly comfortable, familiar, healing environment.
Educating about ceremony, cremation, memorials, service, burial and funeral options.
Guiding the families of Cobb and surrounding counties through loss, providing options to meet any financial situation.
We believe that all grieving and pre-planning families deserve guidance, genuine care and options.
We will explore options and ideas that go beyond traditional thinking, making final good-byes memorable, reverent and affordable.
We want healing to begin here.
We believe an important part of life is doing meaningful work.
We take pride in being the caring professionals that our community relies on at their time of need.
Honesty, Transparency, Integrity, Experience, Professionalism, Compassion, and Empathy.
We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without overwhelming. And how to meet the needs of many caring parties. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond kindness, calmness and expertise. Our goal is to create a beautiful occasion and make you feel welcome, always. We spend our days planning with families. We stay up to date with industry developments. And we make hard times a little easier.
Learn the legacy.
Who We Are
Meet our staff. Members of the local community make everything that happens possible.
Together, we make this place amazing.
David W. Roach, F.D., C.C.O.
President and CEO
David is a native of Atlanta and had lived in Cobb County till the age of ten. He attended Smyrna Elementary School before moving to Thomaston, Georgia where his father, the late Rev. C.L. Roach, pastored the Baptist Tabernacle. His mother, Mrs. Jackie Roach is one of the warm faces that will greet you as you enter our funeral home.
A graduate of Tabernacle Academy in Thomaston and a 1980 graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Atlanta, David started a career in funeral service at the age of 15 where he worked at Pasley Fletcher Funeral Home in Thomaston. David returned to Cobb County in 1984 to manage Winkenhofer McCurdy Funeral Home in Smyrna until 1993 when he decided to pursue opening a new funeral home in West Cobb.
After a long planning and building process, the dream of having West Cobb’s first designed location for a funeral home came together and we opened the doors in October 1995. As the sole owner and founder of West Cobb Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., David’s desire is to provide West Cobb the funeral home and crematory of choice in our area.
Past President New Smyrna Jaycees (1988-1989)
Past President Academy of Graduate Embalmers of Georgia (2003-2004)
Past President Independent Funeral Directors of Georgia (2005-2006)
Member Leadership Cobb Class (1992-1993)
Active Member of Past President’s Club of Georgia
Active Member of Georgia Funeral Directors Association
Active Member of CANA (Cremation Association of North America)
Active Member of NFDA (National Funeral Director Association)
Past Board Member (Special Appointee) Cobb County Chamber of Commerce
Current Board Member of Calvary Children’s Home
Former Board Member and Past Chairman of the State Board of Funeral Service appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue (2004- ) and reappointed by Governor Perdue in 2010
Currently Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in Georgia and Tennessee
Served on the 2015-16 National Funeral Directors Association Advocacy Committee
David and his wife, Valerie Yvonne Camp Roach (formerly of Newnan), have two daughters: Kimberly (“Kimmie”) Roach who graduated from Kennesaw State University, and is now a teacher in the Cherokee County, and Jordan Roach, who graduated from Berry College in Rome. David and Val reside in the Oakleigh Community in Powder Springs. David enjoys flying, golf and spending time at the beach with his family.
Chris Messina, F.D., C.C.O.
Chris is a lifelong resident of Cobb County. A 1986 graduate of R.L. Osborne High School, he attended Southern Tech before entering the funeral business at Winkenhofer-McCurdy Funeral Home in Smyrna. After graduating from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta, Chris managed Winkenhofer Pine Ridge Funeral Home in Kennesaw from 1991 until 2005. He is a Past President of the Kennesaw Business Association and the Kennesaw Optimist Club. He married Christa Rabern in 1993, and has two sons, Hayden and Cameron, who both graduated from Harrison High School. Chris formerly served on the Harrison Football Booster Club as Secretary and on the Harrison High School Council as Chair Person. He was named Harrison High School's Volunteer of the Year for 2014-2015. His family resides in Dallas, and are members of Burnt Hickory Baptist Church. He joined the staff of West Cobb Funeral Home and Crematory as General Manager in January of 2006. [email protected]
Bennitt G. Walker, II, F.D., C.C.O.
Bennitt is a native of Savannah, Georgia where he graduated from Bible Baptist High School in 1987. Bennitt began his career in funeral service at Sipple’s Mortuary in Savannah as a young man. He worked "behind the scenes" washing cars, sweeping sidewalks, delivering chairs to families homes, assisting on visitations and funeral services, whatever he could do at that time. Funeral service and helping families through their loss appealed to Bennitt and he sought to make funeral service his life's ambition. Bennitt graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Decatur, GA in 1994. Professionally, Bennitt is a member of Pi Sigma Eta National Morticians Fraternity and the Academy of Graduate Embalmers of Georgia. Bennitt enjoys golfing, hunting, fishing, and most of all spending time with his wife, Kim and their two boys Bennitt, III and Benjamin. Kim is a Kindergarten Teacher with the Cobb County School System. Bennitt, III graduated from Hillgrove High School. Benjamin is now a sophomore at Hillgrove High School. Bennitt joined West Cobb Funeral Home and Crematory as Funeral Director and Embalmer in May, 2014.
Jana S. Hice
Jana Smith Hice is a native of Cobb County, where she graduated from McEachern High School in 1983. Upon graduation, she was employed with Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, and then moved to Wellstar Health Place. After a 14 year career with Wellstar, she joined West Cobb Funeral Home in June of 1998 as the Office Manager. She married Byron Hice in 1986, and they have a daughter and son-in-law, Jordan and Scott Barner; a son and daughter-in-law. Logan and Lauren Hice and three beautiful granddaughters. They enjoy attending sporting events and time at the beach. They are active members of Floyd Road Baptist Church. [email protected]
Roger D. Thellen, F.D., C.C.O.
Assistant Supervisor, Cremation and Preparation
Roger Thellen moved to Atlanta from Augusta, GA after graduating from Aquinas High School and serving his funeral apprenticeship at Thomas L. King Funeral Home in Martinez, GA. He graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in 1973, which was the second graduating class of the school in Atlanta. Roger worked for H.M. Patterson Funeral Home in Atlanta for 7 years before deciding to make a career change. He continued his college and graduated from Southern Tech with a BS degree in Computer Science, and became employeed at Lockheed-Martin Aeronautics as an engineer. Roger married Carol Kuhnen, a native of Marietta, in 1975. Roger joined the staff of West Cobb Funeral Home and Crematory in 2000 as a key part-time employee. He has recently retired from Lockheed after 33 years of service and joined the staff at West Cobb Funeral Home as a full time employee. [email protected]
Casey Connell, F.D., C.C.O.
Casey is a Lawrenceville GA native. He graduated from Central Gwinnett High School in 2011. Casey played basketball at Reinhardt University prior to attending Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Services. While going to mortuary school, Casey worked at Tom M. Wages Funeral Service in Lawrenceville Ga. It was there that Casey grew a passion for the funeral business. He graduated from Gupton-Jones in 2016 and worked full time at Tom M. Wages for an additional 5 years. He met Rachel Mercer, a lifetime resident of Cobb County and current teacher at North Cobb High School, in 2019. They got engaged and built a beautiful home in Dallas, GA. Due to the distance and travel (to and from work) Casey began working at West Cobb Funeral Home in 2020. Casey and Rachel got married in April of 2021! The Connell's share their new home with their Goldendoodle, Cleo. They both love sports, especially the Atlanta Hawks, and go to as many games as possible.
Gary Gallant, F.D., C.C.O.
Advance Planning Specialist
Mr. Gene Hice is a lifelong resident of Cobb County. He graduated from John McEachern High School in 1954. He worked for a short time for the Birmingham Slag Company and International Harvester Company. He went to work for the U.S. Postal Service in 1955, and retired in 1992 as Manager of Employment and Developement for the Atlanta Division. He continued working as a contract consultant until 1996. He was a member of the Board of Managers for Electro-Mail Sort, Inc. from 1992 until 2006. He married Lois Richard in 1956 in the home that he built and still lives in. Gene has two sons, Byron and Barry, and is an active member of Macland Baptist Church, where he has served in many capacities, including Deacon, Chairman of the Finance Committee, the Planning Growth Committee, and the Building Committee in the construction of the Family Life Center. He currently sings in the choir and teaches the Adult V Sunday School Class. Gene Joined the staff of West Cobb Funeral Home and Crematory in August of 1999.
Mrs. Jackie Roach
Associate and David's Mother
Mrs. Jacqueline Virginia Roach was born to Harvey and Pauline Fleming of Atlanta, where she attended O'Keefe and Roosevelt High Schools. In 1949, she married C. L. Roach, and had three children, Toni, Lamar and David (the owner of West Cobb Funeral Home and Crematory). Together, they served while C.L. pastored Spring Street Baptist Church in Smyrna, and later moved to Thomaston, GA, where they also served the Baptist Tabernacle. In 1978, C.L. and Mrs. Roach began traveling while he held Bible Conferences across the country. In 1993, they moved back to Cobb County to help take care of David and Valerie's small children during the beginning years of the funeral home. After C.L. passed away in 2002, Mrs. Roach joined the funeral home, where she has become the smiling and caring face greeting our families that we serve every day.
Apprentice Funeral Director and Embalmer
Clyde was born in Atlanta but grew up in Cobb County. He is a 1967 graduate of Campbell High School, Smyrna. He received his Bachelor of Arts in 1972 from Oglethorpe University where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and received his Juris Doctor in 1979 from Woodrow Wilson College of Law. Clyde was Director of Purchasing at Grizzard Advertising Agency for 24 years and retired with 26 years of service as Logistic Support Chief with the U S Navy. He married Dianna Smith in 1980, they have one son Matthew who is a firefighter with the City of Marietta. Clyde was past president of the SAE Alumni Association, and an Assistant Scout Leader for Troop 1294. He teaches a Cardio Exercise with certification as a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Martial Arts. He is an active member of McEachern Memorial United Methodist Church.
Mr. Ernie Braxton is a native of Seffner, Florida, which is near Tampa, and graduated from Brandon High School in 1961. He married Alyce in 1963, and they have two children and five grandchildren. On completion of his enlistment in the United States Navy in 1965, Ernie went to work for Honeywell in Largo, FL. His family relocated to Cobb County in February of 1967 where he continued his employment with Honeywell as a field service representative and an estimator in the sales department, retiring in 2005. Ernie enjoys volunteering with the McEachern Disaster Response Team, Cobb County C.E.R.T., and Cobb A.R.E.S. He is an active member of McEachern Memorial United Methodist Church in Powder Springs, and he joined the staff of West Cobb Funeral Home and Crematory in March of 2006.
Mr. Gene Cantrell was born near Lost Mountain in West Cobb, and is a lifelong resident of the area. He graduated from McEachern High School, attended the University of Georgia Extension Center, and served two years in the United States Army. After working for 7 years with Ken Stanton Music/The Sportsman in Marietta, he was employed with the Coca-Cola Bottling Company for 27 years in sales and management. Mr. Cantrell then worked for Georgia Mountain Water before retirement. He enjoys the opportunity of serving families at West Cobb Funeral Home, and still resides in West Cobb and is a member of Lost Mountain Baptist Church.
Betty and Bill Rorie
Funeral Assistants and Staff Chaplain
Bill recently retired after a successful twenty-six-year career with SunTrust Banks, Inc. where he was a corporate Group Vice President with roles in corporate accounting and analysis, as well as customer and regional marketing analysis. Bill’s formative years and schooling through high school took place in Kalamazoo, Michigan, after which he attended Grinnell College in Iowa where he participated in the R.O.T.C. program and was commissioned as a reserve officer in the Air Force upon graduation in 1971. Bill was stationed at McConnell AFB in Wichita, Kansas where he served with distinction as a Select Titan II Missile Combat Crew Commander until 1975. After military service, Bill attended Wichita State University where he earned a master of science degree in Management Accounting. During and after his degree work, Bill began his banking career, met and married his wife, Diane, in 1980, and began a family before leaving Kansas to join SunTrust Bank in Nashville, Tennessee. While with SunTrust, the Hanse’s served in Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis, and ultimately in the Atlanta corporate office since 2003.
Bill and Diane have two grown children, Carri Duke, wife of Reverend Joshua Duke, in Maryville, Tennessee, and their son, Wade, who resides with his bride MaryBeth in Buckhead. Bill and Diane are proud grandparents of nine-year-old Samantha-Grace Duke and six-year-old Elijah Duke. Wade and MaryBeth Hanse are both professionally employed and working toward advanced degrees at Georgia State University and Georgia Tech, respectively. Diane is employed by with the Cobb County School District and teaches sixth-grade reading at Lost Mountain Middle School.
Bill and Diane have been active members and worshipers at McEachern Memorial United Methodist Church in Powder Springs since moving to Marietta. Both are active in the adult choir and Bill teaches the choir Sunday School class. Before retiring in 2013, Bill received extensive training and was commissioned as a Stephen Leader in the Stephen Ministry program at McEachern which offers one-on-one emotional and spiritual care. In the last three years, Bill has taken an additional leadership role in the Atlanta Area Stephen Ministry Networking Group which offers training and mutual support for over one hundred religious organizations that sponsor Stephen Ministry in support of their congregations. Bill is an avid reader and enjoys hiking, fly fishing, music of all kinds, watching sporting events, and is a passionate supporter and advocate for youth and adult competitive soccer.
I was born in Portsmouth, Ohio on July 15, 1956. I lived there until 1972 at which time we moved to Georgia when I was fifteen. I attended McEachern High School and graduated in 1975. I had several jobs for a few years until I got a job working for Kennesaw State University. I worked in the receiving department and retired with 34 years of service. In October of 2016, I started to work for West Cobb Funeral Home & Crematory.
My wife Anita and I were married February 14, 1992 and have been married for 25 years. I have one stepdaugther, Erin. She is married to Addie Pethel and lives in Hiram. They have three children, two boys Anthony 14, Spencer 12 and a girl Alexandria 5, I have a brother Marty who is married and lives here in Powder Springs with his wife Angie. My mother is still living but my father passed away in 2013. He is buried in the Georgia National Cemetery. He was a veteran of the Korean War.
My wife and I have been members of McEachern Memorial United Methodist Church for many years and are actively involved in the Sanctuaty choir.
Pastor Richard Hemphill
Funeral Director and Embalmer