Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.
Ever since we opened our gates we have approached life (and death) differently. While some just see the end of a loved one’s life as a time for grief and mourning, we prefer to think of it as a time for reflection, appreciation and even celebration. This is evident in everything we do, from the way we conduct our services to the amenities we choose to offer. We are not a burial ground. We are a close knit community dedicated to honoring, sharing and preserving the amazing and inspirational stories that are life.
In a nutshell? Experience, professionalism, compassion, and empathy.
We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without overwhelming. And how to meet the needs of many caring parties. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond kindness, calmness and expertise. Our goal is to create a beautiful occasion and make you feel welcome, always. We spend our days planning with families. We stay up to date with industry developments. And we make hard times a little easier.
Learn the legacy.
We are so honored to be thought of by families in their time of need. Because we do understand the importance of trusting us with those you love and cherish, we commit ourselves to the best care we can offer physically and emotionally. In 2019 we pledge the same commitment we have practiced over these many decades, to treat others as we would be treated. Funeral service is a grand tradition. Our traditions were not just taught to us, they were created by the Hawthorn Family as the first and foremost funeral home in Carthage and Panola County, Texas. We keep these traditions alive and move forward into the 21st century remembering who we are and where we came from and creating new traditions in this new era of funeral service.
Who We Are
Meet our staff. Members of the local community make everything that happens possible.
Together, we make this place amazing.
Mr. Carlton H. Shamburger
Mr. Carlton H. Shamburger, Owner/ Funeral Director
Carlton was born in Ruston, Louisiana. His father worked as an oilfield sales executive, and Carlton grew up, living throughout Texas and Louisiana. He was schooled in Shreveport, Louisiana, graduating from Huntington High School with the class of 1980. He attended Louisiana Tech University majoring in business and active in the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. He and his wife, Karen Lynn Goodwin met in high school and were married in 1985. They have three children, twins, Kathrine Elizabeth and Meredith Ellen Shamburger, and a son, Benjamin Ryan Shamburger, all graduates of Carthage High School, Centenary College, S.M.U., and Louisiana Tech consecutively. Most recent Kathrine received her Masters from “Ole Miss.”
Carlton came to Carthage as a graduate of Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service with honors and distinction. He served an apprenticeship through Hawthorn Funeral Home and later came to manage and ultimately purchase the funeral home business and historic property. Carlton and Karen are active community members. Karen is a professional educator working for C.I.S.D. for over 20 years. The Shamburgers are active members of the First Baptist Church of Carthage. Carlton is a proud member of the O.K. Men's Sunday School Class. He also sings in the choir, serves on the Personnel Mat and the Long term Visionary Team. He is active in the Carthage Rotary Club, and serves and dedicates his time on the Mission Carthage Board of Directors. Carlton is President of the Panola Charter School Board of Directors and enjoys fellowship in the Carthage Music Club. Carlton's leadership lead to an invitation to join the Selected Independent Funeral Homes organization in 2013, which is a national organization of independent funeral homes and funeral professionals and leaders accessible by invitation only. His years working for Prime Succession (the former owner of Hawthorns with well over 200 funeral homes nationwide) as manager he received the Manager of the Year award and was given the Perseverance Award which was created for him for demonstrating leadership in funeral service against all odds. Carlton is a member of the NFDA. Carlton has published a newsletter called “The Carriage Trade” for Hawthorn Funeral Home to share with other professionals who serve the bereaved.
"Our perspective at Hawthorn's is unique. We come from the day of horse and buggy and operate today in the information age where technology seems to advance faster than comprehension. Through the decades we’ve learned this contrast is what makes us unique - unique in the services we provide to families, from branding caskets for the Diamond D Ranch to mule drawn wagons, or a confederate soldier’s tribute to a Caisson bearing our own City Officer killed in the line of duty. We are unique in the services we provide our community from honoring Texas Peace Officers and remembering those who we have lost each year in our Service of Remembrance, to honoring those children who excel above and beyond in our Accelerated Reading Program. Karen, myself, and the Hawthorn Funeral Home family have a heart to provide whatever our community needs, in our own unique manner to those we honor and serve." - Carlton H. Shamburger, Owner/Operator.
Mr. Donny Honeycutt
Funeral AssistantRead Bio
Donnie Honeycutt, a native of Panola County, is the son of Don and Billie Honeycutt. His father worked at Hawthorn Funeral Home for 55 years. During his life, Donnie's family lived near or on the premises of the funeral home. In the 1950's a new home was constructed behind the funeral home and occupied by the Honeycutt family. The home still stands.
While he attended Panola College during 1965-1968, Donnie worked part-time as an ambulance driver. It was during that time that he met his future wife Richie Kelly. After Panola College, he received his Bachelor's degree in drafting from Texas State Technical Institute in Waco, Texas. In 2012, after a career at the Panola County Appraisal District's office in Carthage, he came to work for Hawthorn Funeral Home.
Donnie and Richie have been married for over 40 years, and they have two daughters, Kelly and Donna, four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Donnie and Richie are active long-time members of First Baptist Church.
Mr. Bob Fleming
Funeral AssistantRead Bio
Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, Bob grew up in Carthage and graduated from Carthage High School. He is married to Cheryl Meyer Fleming. Together they have one daughter, Kim Fleming Morris, and six grandchildren.
"The things I like most about working at the funeral home are serving and caring for families and working as part of the caring Hawthorn Family." Bob has been with Hawthorn Funeral Home for ten years.
Mr. Bob Cowan
Funeral DirectorRead Bio
After retiring from a successful 27-year career as a forester, Mr. Bob Cowan attended the Commonwealth Institute in Houston, Texas and received his degree in Funeral Service in 2001. He then began his second career as a Funeral Director in Many, Louisiana before moving to Carthage in 2008.
Bob married the love of his life, Susie, and they have four children and ten grandchildren. Bob and Susie are active members of the Still Waters Cowboy Church in Carthage.
Bob says, "Susie and I love Carthage, and working at Hawthorn Funeral Home is a blessing."
Mrs. Kelly Cox
Mr. John Hardy
Pre-arrangement CounselorRead Bio
John was born in Kannapolis, N.C. in 1952. He attended Tennessee Temple College and holds an Associate Degree from Rocky Mountain Christian College. John enjoys cooking, sport fishing, and road trips. He married Sarah Gillespie Hardy in 1971. They have two children and two grandchildren.
John has been a per-arrangement specialist for twenty years and has been with Hawthorn Funeral Home since 2004.
Mrs. Trudy Craig
Administrative AssistantRead Bio
Trudy is a native of Panola County and grew up in the Buncombe Community around Lake Murvaul. Her parents owned and operated Womack's Bait and Grocery and that is where she developed her work ethic and love for family and community.
She graduated from Carthage High School in 1974 and has been married to her high school sweetheart, Ricky Craig, for 44 years. Ricky is retired from Delta Airlines and is now working for the City of Carthage. They have one son, Cody.
Trudy home schooled her son for many years and worked as a secretary in various offices throughout her career. She brings that same dedication and love of organization to Hawthorn.
"Hawthorn Funeral Home has always been a part of my history. The love and caring they have continually shown my family through the years makes it an honor to now be a part of caring for other families in the same manner."
Mr. Steve Sowell
Steve was born and raised in the Dallas area. After graduating from Lewisville High School in 1976 he moved to the Beckville area and built a house between Fairplay and Beckville where he and his wife Cindi still live today. He is the father of two children, John Sowell and Holly Jo Alexander who both reside in Panola County with four of his six grandchildren-two have gone on to college. Steve attended The University of Texas at Arlington where he received his certification as a Specialist in Safety & Health and retired as a safety specialist with TXU after 37 years of service.
“Hawthorn Funeral Home has been here for my family since I was a young child, providing a warm, encouraging atmosphere at a time when it was most needed. The opportunity to be a part of the Hawthorn family as they help others during their time of loss is very much a privilege and a blessing.”
Mrs. Alice Cades Williams
Funeral Assistant, EmeritusRead Bio
Alice is a fourth-generation native of Panola County. She graduated from Carthage High School in 1954. She is the mother of two daughters and has four grandchildren.
Alice brings the qualities of loyalty and steadfast devotion and friendship to Hawthorn Funeral Home. She is a friend to everyone, and Hawthorn's values the services provided by Alice.
"Like so many others, Hawthorn's was there for me when I needed them. I am privileged to work beside people who are honest and sincere about caring for others in a most difficult time in life. I am proud of even the smallest part I play in serving my friends and neighbors that I know and love so well."
Mr. Mark Burleson
Longtime Funeral AssistantRead Bio
Funeral services for Mr. Mark Burleson, 62, of Carthage, Texas will be 2:00 p.m. Sunday, April 2, 2017 at the Hawthorn Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Dale Reed officiating. Burial will follow in the Shiloh Methodist Cemetery under the direction of Hawthorn Funeral Home. Visitation will be prior to the service from 1:00 until 2:00 p.m. Sunday. Mr. Burleson died peacefully March 30, 2017 at his Carthage home.
Mr. Randall Mark Burleson was born July 13, 1954 in McAllen, Texas. He was one of four boys born to the marriage of Van Gordon and Dorothy Mae Franks Burleson. He came to Carthage at age seven graduating with the class of 1973. Mark worked almost forty years for Hawthorn Funeral Home and the ambulance service before that. He worked in monument sales, owning a monument cleaning business. He later owned and operated the Restland Memorial Park Cemetery prior to his retirement. Mark married Jeena Gibbs on December 11, 1986 and they celebrated 30 years together. He was a past member of the Carthage Fire Department and the antique tractor association and loved fishing, baseball and gardening. He is preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Gary Burleson.
Mr. Burleson is survived by his devoted wife, Jeena Burleson of Carthage; daughter, Jamie Mathews and fiancé Robert Little of Carthage; brothers, Kirk Burleson and wife Emma of Carthage and David Burleson of Austin; nieces and nephews, Chris Burleson of W. Virginia, Michelle Hollingsworth of Cleveland, Dusty Burleson and wife Staci of Clovis, NM, Katy Coles of Carthage; great nieces and nephews, Kayla Hollingsworth, Jack Coles, Blair Burleson and Annie Burleson.
Serving as pallbearers will be Bryan Murff, Chris Adams, Robert Little, Larry Lowe, Scotty Jones, James Welch, Jerry Wayne Harrison, Robert Earl Mason and Joe Miller.
Mr. Don Honeycutt
Longtime Funeral AssistantRead Bio
Funeral Services for Mr. Donald M. Honeycutt, Sr., 85 of Carthage, Texas will be 2:00 p.m., Friday, March 19, 2010 at the Hawthorn Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Allen Tilley officiating. Burial with military honors will follow in the Lakewood Memorial Cemetery in Henderson, Texas under the direction of Hawthorn Funeral Home. Family visitation will be Thursday, March 18, 2010 from 6-8:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Mr. Honeycutt died Tuesday, March 16, 2010 in Carthage, Texas.
Mr. Donald Maurice Honeycutt, Sr. was born January 5, 1925 in Henderson, Texas to Reuben Oscar and Ella Dee Reagan Honeycutt. The oldest of four children, he attended Crims Chapel schools, graduating from Henderson High School. Don proudly served his country though the United States Army serving in the 300 Combat Engineers Battalion under the direct command of Major Crandell and the supreme command of General Eisenhower. He was a part of the 2nd wave that landed on Normandy Beach, as well as serving during the Battle of the Bulge. Don met and married Billie June McDowell on January 16, 1947 and together they celebrated 52 years of marriage. Don came to Carthage in 1950 on loan from Crawford-A-Crim Funeral Home to assist Hawthorn Funeral Home and remained a part of the Hawthorn Funeral Home family for 60 years. A faithful and longtime member of First Baptist Church of Carthage, Don was a member of the Berean Sunday School Class. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Billie Honeycutt; brother, Reagan Honeycutt, and a sister Jean Holder.
Mr. Honeycutt is survived by his two sons, Donny Honeycutt, Jr. and wife Richie of Carthage, Billy Richard Honeycutt and wife Gayle of Pasadena; daughter, Gloria Jean Parks and husband Randy of Fate; brother, Buddy Honeycutt and wife Shirley of Overton; grandchildren, Kelly Reeves and husband Scott of Hot Springs, AR, Donna Kushner of Carthage, Randi Parks of Royse City, Trey Nixon and wife Mindy of Pasadena and Lana Mistretta and husband Cliff of Sugar Land; great grandchildren, Ben, Meredith, and Emily Reeves, Sarah Rose Kushner, Taylor, Ty, and Travis Nixon and Cole Mistretta.
Serving as pallbearers are Pete Williams, Mark Burleson, Carlton Shamburger, Melvin Johns, Jr., Brandon Smith and Marty Stewart. Honorary pallbearers are The 300 Combat Engineers Battalion, Neal Hawthorn and the Berean Sunday School Class.
Mr. Mark Osborne
Alice Hawthorn Osborne
Fondly known as "Miss Alice" in the community she loved and served for decades, Alice Louise Florey of Overton, Texas, became the wife and business partner of Neal Adolphus Hawthorn when they married in 1922. Together Alice and Neal Hawthorn operated the Hawthorn family hardware business on the west side of the Carthage square where "funeral goods" were sold. Eventually, their expansive white two-story Hawthorn home at 307 W. Wellington St. was remodeled and elaborately decorated to serve as both a family home and a funeral home with the family, including Neal A. Jr., residing upstairs. By that time, Neal had obtained his embalmer's license. In the 1940's, they purchased an appropriate vehicles and hired extra staff and functioned as one of the best funeral homes "east of Dallas". Alice participated in the daily operations of the funeral home business and continued to do so even after the death of her husband in September 1947. She remarried in 1968 to Mr. Mark Oborne.Together, they continued running Hawthorn Funeral Home until they retired in 1968. "Miss Alice" passed away at the age of 97 on March 21, 1999. Mr. Osborne preceded her in death by a mere two years. Both were very active members of the First United Methodist Church and many local civic and altruistic organizations.
Mr. Neal Adolphus Hawthorn
Owner/Funeral DirectorRead Bio
Neal Adolphus Hawthorn was born on August 3, 1902, in Carthage, Texas. He married Alice Louise Florey in a small wedding ceremony at her parent's home in Rusk County, Texas in 1922, and they made their home in Carthage, where Neal and his family lived. For a while, they operated the family's Hawthorn Hardware store located on the town square. Goods sold included funeral caskets and other related items. Together, they established Hawthorn Funeral Home, and Neal became a licensed embalmer. Their large two-story Hawthorn home on W. Wellington St. was elaborately remodeled and enlarged in 1937 to serve as both the family home and and the first funeral home in Carthage. In the 1940's a new fleet of automobiles including an ambulance was purchased. Together Neal and Alice operated their funeral home until he died on June 12, 1947, in Caddo, Louisiana. He was buried in his hometown of Carthage. For the next twenty years, Alice and Mr. Mark Osborne continued to operate the business. Eventually, they married.
Mr. Melvin "Junior" Johns Jr.
Grave DiggerRead Bio
Funeral services for Mr. Melvin Johns, Jr., 65, of Carthage, Texas will be 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at the First Assembly of God in Christ Church with Rev. Hubert Owens officiating. Burial will follow in the Walker Cemetery under the direction of Hawthorn Funeral Home. Visitation will be 6-7:00 p.m. Tuesday evening at the funeral home. Mr. Johns went to his heavenly home on November 16, 2016 in Carthage.
Mr. Melvin Johns, Jr. was born July 10, 1951 in Carthage, Texas to Melvin and Lovie Nora Pipken Johns, Sr. He was raised in Panola County, attended Turner and Carthage Schools, was a member of Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, and was known to everyone as Junior. Junior started Johns Grave Service in 1987 and worked for Hawthorn Funeral Home for 29 years. He married Bert Ann Pope in 2001 and together they celebrated 15 years. Junior was an avid Carthage Bulldog fan and enjoyed going to the games. But most of all, Junior loved being with his family and especially his grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Noxsie Jean Johns and Vada Aitman.
Mr. Johns is survived by his loving wife, Bert Ann Johns of Carthage; sons, Brandon Johns of Houston, Christopher Pope and wife Danyea of Houston, Chad Lewis and wife Hana of Houston, Coby Lewis of Carthage; daughters, Maranda Johnson and husband Keith of Carthage, Heather Johns Harrison of Houston, Shaneda Roquemore of Frisco; sisters, Glenda Johns of Carthage, Rita Johns of Carthage, Sabrina Allison of Carthage, Ruth Brooks and husband John of Carthage, Vickie Ingram of Carthage; 11 grandchildren; special niece, Amber Wilcox; special mama, Mrs. Linnie Alexander and her son, Billy Alexander; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.
Serving as pallbearers will be Corey Brown, Caleb Pope, Taylor Stapleton, Patrick Brown, Freddie Castleberry and Corey Cato. Honorary pallbearers will be Brandon Johns, Zachary Allison, Joseph Clark, Billy Alexander, Jr., Keith Johnson, Keith Johnson, Jr., Chris Salaam, Jaydon Lewis, Calvin Wilcots, Christopher Pope, Chad Lewis and Coby Lewis.
Mr. Melvin Johns Sr.
Grave DiggerRead Bio
Mr. Melvin Johns Sr. was a fourth generation native of Carthage and Panola County, Texas. Melvin had six children, 17 grandchildren, and 12 great grandsons. Melvin served Hawthorn's for 54 years. He began working directly with the Hawthorn family in their dry goods store on the Carthage square in the early 1900's. Melvin later served as the funeral home grave digger for several decades. He was unfailing in his devotion to providing excellent service. Melvin was of the "Old School," and he proudly kept everyone versed in it's meaning every day.
"I worked for all the folks at Hawthorn, not Mr. Teeb, but I did work for Mama Lula Hawthorn and so many from the funeral home and dry goods store, where we often worked on Saturdays. We were like a family all working together. Folks are sure happy to see the funeral home folks today. Everyone's a family like it used to be. I guess these are the good ol' days."
When Melvin Johns Sr. passed away, his son Melvin Jr. replaced his father as Hawthorn's grave digger.