Mynatt Funeral Home Cuts Ribbon on Third Facility in Powell

By Bill Howard

The first Mynatt Funeral Home opened in 1929 in Fountain City. It would be 76 years before the family-owned business opened a second one in 2005, in Halls.

It took only 18 years before the third facility opened in Powell last Friday. The ribbon cutting on the beautiful new 12,000 square-foot facility took place before 150 visitors and friends at 2000 Powell Drive.

In his remarks to the crowd, Director Buddy Coomer emphasized the good fortune in his life.

“I’m very blessed by my staff to be able to do this,” Coomer said. “To have people welcome us into the community, it’s a bit overwhelming. My dad taught me a lot of tough lessons about life and how to treat people. I’m very blessed to have the staff I have and to be able to stand here today.”

Tim Burchett, who represents Tennessee’s Second Congressional District and is a longtime friend of Coomer’s, gave the crowd a bit of Mynatt history.

“This funeral home has been around in this family for 123 years,” Burchett said. “It’s always been a family-owned business. It was started by Ernest Mynatt and his son Cal back in 1900 when they started selling caskets out of a hardware store. Cal and his wife Wilma eventually passed it along to Bud Coomer, his wife Mary and their son Buddy.”

“It’s always hard to lose somebody, but when you look across the table at a family-owned business with class like this, it sure makes it easier,” Burchett went on. “The staff here does everything they can do to help.”

According to Coomer, the facility was set to open sooner, but the pandemic was a major hurdle.

“We bought the property six years ago, but because of covid and health issues it took three years to complete the building,” Coomer said. “A lot of my coworkers as well as contractors, we all worked together. And this is the final outcome.”

“We outgrew our other two buildings and just needed another building and we landed down here in Powell,” said Coomer. “It had no funeral home; we wanted to try to provide better service for them.”

Dwight Van de Vate is Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs’s Chief Operating Officer.

“A family-owned business with someone taking an interest in selling caskets out the back door has grown into what you see here today: 57 full and part-time employees in three locations including this beautiful new location,” said Van de Vate. “This family and the business have been a cornerstone in Knoxville for 120 years. We are lucky that you continue to expand. This business plays a vital role in Knox Co.”

“This is the first new business on new Powell Drive,” Van de Vate said. “We’re grateful that you’re taking the risk.”

Van de Vate cited a study that found that 80% of funeral homes are family-owned and that 27% of them plan to sell or retire within five years. “They tend to sell to corporate entities,” Van de Vate said. “Buddy, we’re counting on you to stay the course and stay in the game.“

Among the event’s attendees were County Commissioner Rhonda Lee, County Property Assessor John Whitehead, County Register of Deeds Nick McBride, former Commissioner and City Councilman Ed Shouse, County Clerk Sherry Witt, and Carol Evans, Executive Director of Legacy Parks Foundation.