112 South 21st Street Middlesboro, KY 40965

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Our Staff

Paul Connor Cawood, Jr.

Paul Connor Cawood, Jr.

Owner/President/Licensed Funeral Director

Paul Connor Cawood, Jr. is the son of Paul Connor Cawood, Sr. and Joan Asher Cawood as well as the grandson of Hobart (Elnora) Cawood and T. Ed (Lynnell) Asher.   Cawood Funeral Home was founded in 1932 by Hobart Cawood, the Cawood Family has been humbly serving the people of the tri-state area for generations.  A life long resident of Middlesboro.  Paul Connor Cawood, Jr. was born in Pineville, Ky and raised in Middlesboro.  He is a 1982 graduate of Middlesboro High School and attended the University of Kentucky as well as Lincoln Memorial University.  He is married to Laura Lee Cawood the daughter of Paul and Wanda Lee.  Laura is also a retired teacher from the Bell County School System.  They have one daughter Ellen Cawood Partin and a Son-In-Law Jake Partin.

Telephone: 1-606-248-4700

Email: 


Laura Lee Cawood

Laura Lee Cawood

Apprentice Funeral Director and Embalmer

Laura Lee Cawood, apprentice funeral director and embalmer, is the wife of Paul Connor Cawood, Jr. She was born and raised in Middlesboro, KY. Laura is the daughter of the late Paul and Wanda Lee. She is a 1982 graduate of Middlesboro High School. Laura received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Education degree from Lincoln Memorial University. Laura has been an educator in the Middlesboro Public Schools, Fayette County Public Schools and eventually retiring from the Bell County Schools. In 2020 she began working with the Elgin Children’s Foundation (Knoxville, Tennessee) where she served as a member of the academic team in Campbell County, TN schools. In addition to her work at the funeral home, she holds the office of treasurer for the Middlesboro Main Street Board. After 30 years in education Laura has joined her husband at the funeral home where she will continuing to serve the families of the Tri-State area. Laura has one daughter, Ellen Cawood Partin and a son-in-law Jake Partin. She enjoys spending time at the lake, gardening, antiquing and caring for her four fur-babies.

Telephone: 1-606-248-4700

Email: 


Alice Harris

Alice Harris

Operations Manager

Alice Harris has been a resident of Bell County Kentucky all of her life. At the funeral home, she works in the office greeting families, works with our database system and accounting, answers phone calls, and assists our current directors. She takes great honor in being able to help and serve our families during their time of grief.


Before becoming a member of the Cawood Funeral Home family, Alice served as the HR/administrative assistant at the JRS Restaurant Corporation (KFC) and prior to that, the administrative assistant at the Bell County Chamber of Commerce. Alice also prides herself as being a very involved member of the Bell County community in the past. She had volunteered in various organizations such as the Bell County Relay for Life, Cumberland Mountain Fall Festival and Discover Downtown Middlesboro.


Alice is the daughter of James Russell Partin of Middlesboro and Mary Hoskins Karns of Pineville. She is married to her best friend, Tony Harris and is the proud mother of two beautiful daughters, Megan Harris and Tori Miracle. She has one son-in-law, Brandon Miracle and she also has three beautiful grandchildren, Kasen, Raelynn and Peyton. During her free time, she enjoys going to church, the lake, riding in the mountains, and loves spending time with her family, especially her grandchildren

Telephone: 1-606-248-4700

Email: 


Melissa L. Yeary

Melissa L. Yeary

Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

Melissa L. Yeary of Middlesboro, KY has been a resident of Bell County her entire life.  Melissa is the daughter of Arthur “Buddy” Yeary and LouEdith Gordon Yeary, the proud mother of two sons Mark Comparoni and Peter Comparoni.  She has one sister Marcia and one nephew Tipton Hembree. She is a member of the Hensley's Chapel Missionary Baptist Church.  

She is a 1984 graduate of Middlesboro High School, a 1989 graduate of Lincoln Memorial University with a BS and a 2008 graduate of Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science with a Associate in Funeral Service.  Melissa has been dedicated to the funeral industry since 2006 and holds a Funeral Director/Embalmer license in the states of Kentucky and Tennessee.  She has devoted herself to the service of families and takes great pride in her job. 

Telephone: 1-606-248-4700

Email: 


Joe Holder

Joe Holder

Funeral Assistant

William Joseph Holder, Jr is the son of Nancy Cawood Holder and William Joseph Holder, Sr.  He is the youngest Grandson of Hobart Cawood and Elnora Cawood and Kenneth Holder and Katherine Jane Callison Ausmus.  Joe has been employed with the MIddlesboro Police Department for the past 19 years and is currently captain of the department.  Joe has one son Will Holder who is currently a junior at Bell County High School.  In his spare time Joe loves to go hunting and fishing with his son Will. 

Telephone: 1-606-248-4700

Email: 


Mike Crabtree

Mike Crabtree

Funeral Assistant

Michael D. Crabtree is the son of Charles and Jerri Crabtree. A long-time resident of Speedwell, Tennessee, Mike was born and raised in Elk Valley, Tennessee. He is a 1980 graduate of Jellico High School. Mike is probably best known as being one of the founding members of the bluegrass gospel group, The Glory Road Boys, in which he played several instruments for over 40 years.


Mike is married to his loving wife Lisa Mason, the daughter of Edward and Joyce Mason of Harrogate, Tennessee. They have two daughters, Stephanie Cobb and son-in-law Jeremy Cobb, and Jessica Claggett and son-in-law Johnathan. They are also blessed with five grandchildren, Jacob and Jocelyn Claggett and Tahlor, Heath and Tucker Cobb.


Mike is an active member of Pine Grove Baptist Church and currently serves as the Sunday School Director. He enjoys playing music and spending time with his family. He is honored to be a part of the Cawood Funeral Home family

Telephone: 1-606-248-4700

Email: 


Joseph Weaver

Joseph Weaver

Funeral Assistant

Joseph Weaver was raised in Claiborne County Tennessee, where most of his family resides. He has spent his adult career in emergency services.


Before becoming a member of the Cawood Funeral Home family, he had served as a Sheriff’s Sergeant, a Fire Lieutenant, and a Basic Emergency Medical Technician. It has always brought joy to him while helping others in need. While he transitions into his new career, he hopes to serve families and bring more services to the people in our community.


He enjoys playing golf while adding new challenges to each game he plays, and he loves spending time with his family and friends. 

Telephone: 1-606-248-4700

Email: 


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