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.

Little-Ward Funeral Directors and Home Furnishers was established by Howell Little and Cliff Ward in 1913 as a funeral home and furniture company. Later the name was changed to its current name, Little-Ward Funeral Home, and serves families solely as a funeral home. The funeral home has always been centrally located in Commerce and continuously family owned and operated. With aspirations of treating families with compassion and care, Ted Evans and Howard Smith purchased the business in July of 1980. In an effort to better meet the needs of families, Northeast Georgia Crematory was established in 2006. Owning our own crematory, and having our staff personally handle the cremation process, gives families the comfort they seek.

Ted, Howard and staff strive to meet each family’s individual needs. We are grateful for the people of Banks, Franklin, Jackson and Madison County that allow us to serve their families during such a difficult time.

Our Valued Staff

  • Ted  Evans

    Ted Evans Co-Owner / Funeral Director / Embalmer

    Ted is co-owner of Little-Ward Funeral Home and a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in 1974, and has been in funeral service since 1967. He has been co-owner of Little-Ward Funeral Home since 1980. Ted is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Commerce and the Commerce Lions Club.

    Ted is married to Mary Early Evans and they have a son, David, and two grandsons, Parker and Carter Evans.

  • Howard  Smith

    Howard Smith Co-Owner / Funeral Director / Embalmer

    Howard is co-owner of Little-Ward Funeral Home and a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in 1977, and has been in funeral service since 1974. He has been co-owner of Little-Ward Funeral Home since 1980. Howard is a member of Madison Street Baptist Church, and the Commerce Kiwanis Club. He is a former member of the Commerce Dowtown Developmental Authority.

    Howard is married to Claudine Hoard Smith and they have two children, Nicole Smith Spear and Knox Smith, two grandsons, Hunter and Judd Spear and granddaughter Presleigh Smith.

  • Ronnie  Ray

    Ronnie Ray Funeral Director / Embalmer

    Ronnie is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He graduated from John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science in 1969. He has been in funeral service since 1966 and has been employed by Little-Ward Funeral Home since 1986. Ronnie is a member of Berea Baptist Church. He has served as deputy coroner of Jackson County since 1989. He is a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Team (DMORT) Region IV. He is a Mason and Shriner.

    Ronnie is married to Gloria Williamson Ray and they have one daughter, Lauren Ray Milford and one granddaughter, Connor Milford and one grandson, Hix Milford.

  • David  Evans

    David Evans Funeral Director / Embalmer

    David is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in 2007. He has been employed by Little-Ward Funeral Home since 2004. He is a member of Maysville Baptist Church.

    David is married to Tabitha Gillespie Evans and has two sons, Parker and Carter Evans.

  • Tre  Spear

    Tre Spear Funeral Director / Embalmer


    Tre is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in 2005. He has been employed by Little-Ward Funeral Home since 2005. He is a member of Athens Church and the Commerce Kiwanis Club.

    Tre is married to Nicole Smith Spear and they have two sons, Hunter and Judd Spear.

  • Roger  Moore

    Roger Moore Funeral Assistant



    Roger is a funeral assistant. He has been employed by Little-Ward Funeral Home since 1998. He is a member of Living Word Worship Center and an avid pianist.

    Roger is married to Ruth Moore and they have three children, Johnny, Emory, and Laura.

  • Sammy  Tonge

    Sammy Tonge Funeral Assistant

  • Joe  Holden

    Joe Holden Funeral Assistant

    Joe is a funeral assistant. He retired after 30 years from the University of Georgia in 2007. Joe has been employed by Little-Ward Funeral Home since 2008. He is a member of Cabin Creek Baptist Church.

  • Jeff Rogers

    Jeff Rogers Funeral Assistant

    Jeff is a funeral assistant. He is a student at Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Services in Houston, TX and graduates June 2016 with his mortuary degree. He has been employed by Little-Ward Funeral Home since 2013. He is a deputy coroner of Jackson County. He is a member of Southside Church.

    Jeff is married to Abby Minish Rogers and they have a son, Harrison Rogers