Special to the Register
Gainesville Daily Register
Clement–Keel Funeral Home in Gainesville is a culmination of the years of funeral service in Cooke County and represents several well-respected funeral service names.
The property was purchased in 1919 by Roy T. Walling, who commissioned a Dallas architectural firm to design the home to be occupied by his family. Brooks Powell purchased the home from Walling in 1928 and it became Brooks Powell Funeral Home.
Powell later sold the firm to J. L. Leazer and Vernie Keel and the name was changed to Leazer-Keel Funeral Home. As was customary, the funeral home provided ambulance service to Cooke County. Leazer-Keel had the first air-conditioned ambulance in Gainesville. It was fully equipped, down to the venetian blinds.
Vernie Keel bought out Leazer’s interest in 1950, and he operated under the name of Vernie Keel Funeral Home. Keel added the present chapel in 1954. He, his wife and daughter lived in the upstairs living quarters as was the custom in those days. Later, other employees made their home in the upstairs apartment.
After Keel’s death in 1971, his widow sold the business to Earl W. Clement and the name was changed to Clement-Keel. A completed renovation began in 1988. The refurbished chapel features comfortable pews to provide seating to 260 people, wide aisles, sound system and improved acoustics and lighting.
“In 2012, Clement-Keel has plans of an extensive remodel, which will include the addition of a new larger chapel,” funeral director Margaret Barlow said.
The employees of Clement-Keel Funeral Home are dedicated to giving the most meaningful service possible to our families. Traditional funeral services in a church, in the chapel or at the graveside, direct burials, cremations, services of remembrance, and shipping services for those families wishing to have burials or cremation in another area of the country, are some of the services offered by the caring staff at the funeral home. It is our aim to be the best in the field.