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.

Our History

Our History

In June of 1988, five Erwin, Tennessee business men, including funeral director Michael D. Peterson, formed a corporation with the purpose of constructing and operating Unicoi County's fourth funeral home. They acquired property on Main Street that had housed an automobile dealership, a tire and appliance center, and later a van conversion center. They immediately began the renovations to make the building suitable for use as a funeral home, including a new roof structure, interior walls, ceilings, carpeting, exterior brick, and paving.

On September third and fourth of that year, just ten weeks after renovation began, an open house hosted several hundred people of the community, and Valley Funeral Home began serving Erwin and the surrounding area. In February of 1989, "The Southern Funeral Director" magazine selected Valley Funeral Home as the month's feature firm. A photograph of the facility appeared on the cover of the publication, and a story with additional photographs were included inside. Valley Funeral Home has a church-type chapel with vaulted ceiling and private family room, offices, and a large reception area.

Since 1992, four years after the opening of the funeral home, Valley Funeral Home became the leading funeral home in Unicoi County. Since the start of Valley Funeral Home in 1988, Valley Funeral Home has been increasingly preferred. In 2002 the funeral home served more families than all other funeral homes in Erwin combined. We are proud to be the funeral home of choice for the families of Erwin and Unicoi County.

Our Valued Staff

  • Amanda V. Edwards

    Amanda V. Edwards Manager/Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

    Amanda is a proud native of Unicoi County, graduating Unicoi County High School with honors in 2003. She then went to John A. Gupton Mortuary College, in Nashville, TN, where she earned an Associates of Arts Degree in Funeral Service. Amanda is the proud mother of two daughters, Madilyn McKenzie and Katie Ann Edwards. When not working Amanda enjoys being outdoors and hiking. She attends Erwin Church of God. Amanda considers it an honor to serve the families of Unicoi County and surrounding areas, and Valley Funeral Home considers it a privilege to have such a dedicated manager.

  • Shane E. Younce

    Shane E. Younce Licensed Funeral Director-Embalmer

    Shane is a native of Elizabethton, Tennessee and is a 2009 graduate of Elizabethton High School. After completing high school, Shane joined the Army National Guard and spent 6 years serving his country, then went on to earn an Associate Degree in Exercise Science from Northeast State Community College. He graduated from the American Academy McAllister Institute with an Associates of Arts in Mortuary Science in 2016. Shane has one daughter, Karaline Serenity Younce, who is his pride and joy. In his free time, he enjoys watching football and spending time with his family. Shane joined the Tetrick Funeral Home family of Elizabethton in 2015 and has joined the Valley Funeral Home family of Erwin in 2017 as a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer. He considers it an honor and a privilege to serve families and be helpful to them in their time of need.

  • Michael D. Peterson, II

    Michael D. Peterson, II Family Service Specialist

    Michael is a 2004 graduate of Unicoi County High School and is the son of retired Valley Funeral Home Manager, Mike Peterson. He has been affiliated as a part-time associate with Valley Funeral Home since elementary school and currently serves as a Family Service Specialist through Valley Funeral Home and Evergreen Cemetery. He is a member of West Park Street Baptist Church and is married to Kelly Vance Peterson. They have one daughter, Rilee Grace Peterson and one son, Connor Guy Peterson.

  • Angela L. Shelton

    Angela L. Shelton Administrative Assistant

    Angela grew up in Erwin, TN and graduated from Unicoi County High School in 1991. She attended Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, FL where she majored in Business Administration and Management. In November, 2015, she came back home to Erwin and on April 28, 2016, joined the Heritage family at Valley Funeral Home. Angela attends Erwin Church of God and enjoys photography and spending time with her nieces and nephews. Angela considers it an honor to serve the families of Unicoi County in their time of need.

  • John  Edwards

    John Edwards Funeral Assistant

    John is a 1987 graduate of Unicoi County High School, and attended Draughons Jr. College, East Tennessee State University and the Church of God School of Ministry. He has been married to Lori Hire-Edwards since 1994, and they have one son, James Ryan and two grandsons, Desmond Wyatt and Dakoda James. John is an Ordained Bishop in the Church of God, having served in many areas of pastoral and pulpit ministry across the state of Tennessee since 1986. He was proud to be selected in 2007 to come home and serve as Senior Pastor at Erwin Church of God. John’s experience in funeral service started here in Erwin in 1988, and continued in several areas of the state as he traveled, ministering the Gospel. “I am honored to extend my ministry to help serve the people of Unicoi County, here at Valley Funeral Home,” John says, “it is a great opportunity to show the love of Christ to families in some of their darkest hours, offering a helping hand, a compassionate ear, and a prayerful heart.” John joined the Valley Funeral Home family in January, 2010.

  • Kelli Hughes

    Kelli Hughes Funeral Assistant

    Kelli Hughes is a Unicoi County native and a 2003 graduate of Unicoi County High School. She is employed by the Unicoi County Circuit Court Clerk’s office and she became a part of the Heritage family at Valley Funeral Home in 2016. Kelli has attended the Carmen Church of God in Madison County, NC for the past 8 years. She enjoys fishing, hiking, shooting bow and guns and listening to bluegrass music.

  • Brian Whitson

    Brian Whitson Funeral Assistant

    Brian is a lifelong resident of Unicoi County who graduated from Unicoi County High School in 1994. He is the Owner/Operator of Fiction Addiction Comics and Toys in Erwin and has been married to Rachel Rice Whitson since 1997. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Violet and Aurora. Brian became a part of the Heritage family at Tetrick Funeral Home – Johnson City in February 2017 and a part of the Valley Funeral Home family in August 2017.