Soon after World War II ended, W.E. "Mac" McDonald and wife, Mabel, began their quest across Tennessee to find a funeral home business for sale. Mac had been associated with funeral work earlier and his uppermost desire was to return to it.
Having been deferred throughout the war because of his work with Vultee Aircraft Co. in Nashville, Mac accepted night and weekend employment with a local firm, Booth Funeral Home. The McDonalds lived in the funeral home apartment. He and his assistant took care of night and weekend calls, while Mrs. McDonald assisted with the firm's office work. This affiliation gave Mac the opportunity to become more efficient in the work and better understand responsibilities attached to the funeral profession before buying his own business. After several months there, Mac became more committed to own and operate a funeral home. Their purchase of Bradford Funeral Home in Centerville, TN, finalized on November 7, 1945, laid the foundation for McDonald Funeral Homes Linden and Lobelville.
Few rural area funeral homes at that time were equipped to offer full services. Visitation with the family and friends was often in the home of the deceased. Funeral services were held in homes, church buildings, or at the graveside.
During their early years, the McDonalds often assisted the late Holly Godwin Jr. with his funeral home service in Perry County. Since Mac had lived in Perry County, he felt a closeness to area people. In 1948 he bought Perry County Burial Association. They rented the large frame residence known as the Patterson house where Godwin had served and opened a full time office. The front room was renovated for visitations as a beginning for future accomplishments. After purchasing the building in 1957, further remodeling and building was soon begun to aid in rendering improved services. Still later, the chapel and office space was enlarged and the main entranceway was redesigned.
On August 21, 1952, the McDonalds welcomed Sonny and Dot Kirk to their staff. The Kirks moved into the Linden business and assumed its management. Sonny and Dot's assumption of many duties relieved Mac of a part of his work load. It was a sad day for the McDonalds, as well as for Perry County and surrounding areas, when Sonny suffered a fatal heart attack at the funeral home August 21, 1985, 33 years later. The firm is thankful that Mrs. Dot has been blessed with good health and is able to continue to carry on her efficient service in Linden.
In an effort to better serve the people in the Lobelville community, a new funeral home was built there in 1967 to be used with the Linden business. The McDonalds were able to enjoy planning and building a building instead of remodeling as they had in Centerville, Hohenwald, and Linden. The late Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Weatherly were employed to oversee and assist with services at the Lobelville home.
Mac continued to operate the family business until 1989 when his son, Bill took over the operations. Following Mac's death in 1996, Bill continued to run the business for several more years, using various managers in the Perry County operation.
In January 2002, Bill announced his partnership with Chris Mayberry to continue the tradition that was begun more than 50 years ago, and oversee the day-to-day operations of the funeral homes located in Perry County. Today, Chris continues to manage the funeral homes and oversee the day-to-day operations.