Our Staff


Staff members of Dahlonega Funeral Home are caring and experienced professionals who understand that each family is unique and has personal requests and traditions. These requests and traditions are of utmost importance to our staff of licensed funeral directors.

Lauren W. McDonald, Jr.

Lauren W. McDonald, Jr.

Owner

A native of Commerce, GA, Bubba graduated from the University of Georgia and for many years owned the ACE Hardware and Building Supply in Commerce. In 1997 he established McDonald and Son Funeral Home with his son, Lauren W. McDonald III.

Elected as a Jackson County Commissioner in 1968 he went on to serve in the Georgia House of Representatives from 1971 to 1990. He ran for governor in 1990 and served as the President of Georgians for Better Transportation form 1992 - 1998. Bubba currently serves on The Georgia Public Service Commission.

Bubba has been an active volunteer serving as a Presbyterian Elder, on the Board of Governors SBDC (UGA), on the Board of Governors of Mercer Medical College, and as a member of the Jaycees and Kiwanis. He also served as the Fire Chief in Commerce, GA for 25 years.

Bubba is committed to continuing the tradition of caring for families in our community as if they were part of his family as they travel life's most difficult journeys.


Lauren W. McDonald III

Lauren W. McDonald III

Owner/Funeral Director

Lauren and his wife, Claire, live in Cumming with their two sons, Wylie, Ridley and daughter, Hailey. A proud graduate of the University of Georgia, Lauren is also a graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service. He is a past member of the Georgia State Board of Funeral Service.

He is an active member of Cumming First United Methodist Church, Lanier-Forsyth Rotary Club, Cumming/Forsyth Chamber of Commerce, and the Yaarab Shrine of Atlanta. Lauren serves on the board of a number of local organizations including the Northeast Georgia Red Cross, Forsyth County Arts Association, Northeast Georgia Boy Scouts and the United Way of Forsyth County.

In his spare time, Lauren has served as a volunteer fireman with Forsyth County for 21 years. He was also an elected official in Forsyth County.


Claire McDonald

Claire McDonald

Owner/Funeral Director

Having always lived in the Atlanta area, Claire was born at Piedmont Hospital, graduated from Walton High School in Marietta, graduated from the University of Georgia in Athens with a Bachelor of Science in biology and worked for her family's manufacturing company in Smyrna for twelve years.

Claire and her husband, Lauren, married in 2001 and live in Cumming with their three children: Wylie, Ridley and Hailey. In 2014 she completed her studies at Ogeechee Technical Institute and received her Funeral Service Education degree.  She is now licensed as a funeral director and embalmer.

Claire is an active member at Cumming First United Methodist Church and a member of UMW. She is a past executive member of the UMW Board and has served on the committee for the consignment sale for the past few years. Claire is the current president of her Forsyth Rotary.


Amanda Jones

Amanda Jones

Director of Family & Community Relations

Amanda is a native of Dahlonega and graduate of Lumpkin High School. She is a licensed funeral apprentice and has worked at Dahlonega Funeral Home since 2010. She is the Director of Family & Community Relations and location manager for our Dahlonega location as well as our Cleveland location under the leadership of Claire McDonald.

  Amanda is a Certified Crematory Operator and holds a certificate since 2019 from the NFDA.  Amanda operates our on site crematory in our Cleveland Funeral Home.

Through her role in the funeral industry over the last 12 years and with developing relationships with families she has served she has felt the impact of certain unexpected deaths.  This has caused her to become an advocate for Suicide Prevention where she carries a certificate in Suicide Prevention Training and for Overdose prevention where she is part of the Georgia 911 Good Samaritan Law fighting fatal opioid overdoses. In this is trained and able to administer Naloxone.

Amanda currently attends Ogeechee Technical College to complete her final step in obtaining her degree for Funeral Directing.

Growing up in Dahlonega and just recently making a temporary move to Dawsonville with her son Dockery; she is assisting in the process of restoring an older home in downtown Dahlonega where she hopes to reside very soon.

Amanda plays an active role in all daily activities with McDonald Family Funeral Home's and spends a great deal of time volunteering in the community and being a key part of many organizations including CASA, Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Lumpkin, Dahlonega Cemetery Committee, Eastern Star, Kiwanis, and Dahlonega Woman's Club.  Amanda takes pride and fills her already busy schedule by coordinating many Senior Events, Cell Phones For Soldiers Projects, our annual Toys For Tots Drive, and partners with Lumpkin County Family Connections, Community Helping Place, Thankful Hearts and Rainbow Children's Home for many other community projects and events in hopes to better and give back to the community in which she loves so much.

Amanda is a court appointed special advocate and has previously served on the board for Enotah CASA (an organization that advocates for abused and neglected children). She has served as a chair on the Lumpkin County Cemetery Committee, the Fundraising Chair for Lumpkin County PFO, a Secretary for W.I.L.L (Women in Lumpkin Leadership), President of the Lumpkin County Healthcare Committee, and Vice President  Health & Family Expo organizing committee.

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Paul Holbrook

Paul Holbrook

Funeral Director

Paul is a Forsyth County native who currently lives in Cumming with his wife Tracy and three daughters Daphne, McKenzie, and Madison.

He graduated from South Forsyth High School in 1992 and from Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service in 1995.

Paul has degrees in Mortuary Science and Forensic Science. Paul became a licensed Funeral Director in 2013.

He has volunteered with Prevent Child Abuse Georgia.


Brian Todack

Brian Todack

Funeral Director/ Embalmer



Savannah Crowe

Savannah Crowe

Apprentice

Savannah graduated from Banks County High School in 2017. She is currently enrolled at Ogeechee Tech. in their Funeral Service program.

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Brandon Elliott

Brandon Elliott

Apprentice



Peyton Forrester

Peyton Forrester

Funeral Associate

Peyton is a full time college student at UNG majoring in business and in hopes to continue to mortuary school after completion. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and discovering new shows on Netflix. She has lived in Dahlonega since 2005 with her parents Marcie and Jonathan Forrester. Peyton is active member of GAMMA SIGMA SIGMA National Service Sorority and was an active member of The Lumpkin County High School Band of Gold.


Johnny & Margaret Weathersby

Johnny & Margaret Weathersby

Funeral Attendants & Community Outreach

Johnny and Margaret both retired from over 25 years each in the real estate business selling residential and commercial properties, farms and plantations. Since Margaret is a 5th generation native of Young Harris, GA, her roots run deep and she always wanted to return to the beauty of the North Georgia Mountains. So it was no surprise that after selling their own real estate company in south Georgia, they would fall in love with Dahlonega. It did not take them long to find their perfect challenging five acre old home place in Yahoola Valley to remodel and make a place for themselves in the mountains …...that was 23 years ago.

 

Johnny & Margaret have both been very active members of Dahlonega Baptist Church since making the mountains their home. Both have served on numerous committees, starting and heading a Greeting Ministry for DBC for over 10 years, being Presidents of the Challengers Sunday School Class, as well as Johnny serving as a Deacon.

 


Kayla Sullens

Kayla Sullens

Family & Funeral Support Associate

Kayla is a native of Suches who currently lives in Dahlonega with her two daughters Raelyn and Addilyn. 

She attended high school at Woody Gap and is currently a Georgia state licensed EMT.

Kayla is our team Family Support Coordinator & Funeral Associate at Dahlonega Funeral Home and Cleveland Funeral Home as well as one of our on staff notaries. 

Kayla is currently furthering her education and experience in Public Service as an EMT-A and obtaining her degree in mortuary science.


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