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.

Who We Are

We understand the joys and the challenges of the many relationships that touch so many lives. It isn’t just our training that helps us to understand, it's also because of the fact that these relationships so profoundly touch us too. The mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, friends, neighbors and co-workers that all of you are- we are too.

Through the ups, the downs and everywhere in between, we are not just your funeral home, we are your guides and support. We are your trusted confidantes and your family away from home, wherever life’s journey may take you.

For more than 50 years, Clay-Barnette Funeral Home has specialized in providing the very best in care. From our opening in 1960, to present day, we have upheld the very important traditions of the past and developed the new and innovative traditions of the present and future.

With an emphasis on functionality, comfort and aesthetics, our facility on Dixon Boulevard in Shelby was completed in 1998. Our spacious chapel and visitation rooms, state of the art family conference room and merchandise selection center are just a few of the many details that we have included for your ease and comfort. Since opening, we have redesigned aspects of our facility and our service offerings, ensuring that we always meet the growing needs of every person and every family that we serve.

In 2009, we opened our second location in Kings Mountain, with the same commitment to the highest standards of service, professionalism and accommodation. We revitalized the former Trinity Episcopal Church on Phifer Road to incorporate both the historical as well as the modern comforts of the architecture. From the grand chapel adorned with family-treasured stained glass windows, to the care-free rockers on the front porch, we have created an elegant, yet “homey” respite.

With more than 100 years of combined experience, our dedicated team is founded upon perfection- whether it be in the simplest or the finest of details. We invite you to see what makes us positively different and truly distinguished from the others, for an experience that will far surpass your expectations.


Our Valued Staff

Eric M. Bester

Eric M. Bester, Owner, Funeral Director & Embalmer, B.M.S.

Licensed in North and South Carolina


Kayce O. Bester

Kayce O. Bester, Funeral Director

CT (Certified in Thanatology:Death, Dying and Bereavement)


W. Dwight Tessneer

W. Dwight Tessneer, Funeral Director & Embalmer


Krista  Sands

Krista Sands, Funeral Director & Embalmer


Charles Lowrance

Charles Lowrance, Funeral Assistant


Rev. Richard Stroup

Rev. Richard Stroup, Funeral Assistant


Noah  Saldo

Noah Saldo, Funeral Assistant


Rodney Roseboro

Rodney Roseboro, Funeral Assistant