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.
Because at the most important time, you and your family should receive the experience, professionalism, compassion, and empathy during every step of this journey.
We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without being overwhelming. And how to meet the needs of many caring parties. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond with 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.
Although our facilities are somewhat new, Max Slayton Funerals and Cremations has a heritage that is long standing at a Terrell landmark. With our chapel being in what was formerly the historic Terrell Pharmacy, we here at the funeral home are proud to be a continuing part of Terrell's tradition and history. Max was born and raised here in Terrell and his wealth of knowledge-not only about residents of the city but also the surrounding communities-has enabled him to be a trusted provider for almost 30 years to each family during a time of need. Max's ability to incorporate his compassion and humility helps each family he is privileged to serve feel an immediate comfort as they make decisions to celebrate a loved one's life. The chapel is centrally located in Terrell for ease of service to all local churches and cemeteries. The facility has a family gathering room that can also be used for a reception/receiving area and can also be utilized to accommodate larger services with additional seating. Having a strong sense of tradition tempered with inviting and contemporary décor, Max Slayton Funerals and Cremations can assist any family with personalization and memorialization choices that befit the life being celebrated.
Our Dedicated Staff
Here for you
"Serving You, faithfully..."
Meet our staff. Members of the local community make everything that happens possible.
Together, we make this place amazing.
Owner/Funeral Director In Charge
Max is a lifelong resident of Terrell where he feels that the Lord has called him to serve faithfully. He has been very blessed to call Terrell home and he feels very strongly that the sense of community that each person in Terrell has for each other is important to carry on. Families have come to equate selfless service with Max's name and he feels very honored to have served the many families that placed their trust in him when he entered into the funeral industry almost three decades ago. Max feels very strongly that families should have options that best fit their needs during a difficult time so that they can celebrate a life well lived. He has three daughters, Jennie Slayton (who passed away at the age of 11), Lindsey Webb and Hannah Mack. A person who has always been committed to service, Max is very grateful to be able to continue to serve Terrell and all of the surrounding communities.
Veronica W. Slayton
Veronica graduated from San Antonio College in the Mortuary Science Program in 1996 and has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer in Dallas, Waco, San Antonio, Ft. Worth and, finally, here at home in Terrell. She has two children, Alexandria and Grant, both of whom she is very proud of. Veronica is an active member of First Baptist Church where she teaches 6th through 8th grade girls' Sunday School in the youth ministry. Her ability to assist families during a difficult time is a hallmark of the service we strive to provide here at Max Slayton Funerals and Cremations and she is committed to presenting options to every family so that they are able to make the best decisions for thier loved one's celebration of life.
Very Best Receptionist Who Always Gave the Best Hugs
November 1, 1933 ~ September 8, 2022
Virginia Phillips Dyess, beloved mother and Granny, was born November 1, 1933, in Dallas County, Texas and passed away peacefully on the morning of Sept. 8, 2022. She was born to J.R. and Vera Phillips, the second child to a family of four and she was the only girl. Growing up, she lived on a small farm in South Dallas County and was reared in a Baptist Church. She attended school at Hutchins Elementary in Hutchins, Texas and she graduated in 1951 from Wilmer Hutchins High School. Virginia was very active in high school in many clubs and organizations including the Red Cross, librarian, FGHA and an office worker. She also was active in athletics as a basketball player for four years and was captain for three as well as the fastest runner in track. She was also a cheerleader for three years where her school spirit could be found on the court and on the sidelines. Her personality made her a high school favorite and during her freshman year, she was voted the Most Popular Girl. Her sophomore year, she was voted as the FFA Sweetheart and class officer. During her junior year, Virginia was voted Football Sweetheart and Miss Television. Her senior year, she was voted by the high school as Most Popular Girl.
After graduation, Virginia went to work for AT&T. She worked as a teletypist and marked maps for phone lines to be laid in Dallas. As a teletypist, her name was well recognized in the work force as a hard and very precise worker and ticker-tape reader. In her free time, she enjoyed playing softball for a Dallas team for two years. In 1952, Virginia married her high school sweetheart, James Earl Dyess, and they started a family in Hutchins, Texas. After her daughter, Karen, was born, she went to work for EMCO oil equipment company in their Dallas office as a teletypist and a substitute receptionist for the president of EMCO. After her son, Michael, was born, she decided to leave the workforce to stay at home, raising her family.
After a few years, Pollock Paper Company of Dallas called and asked Virginia to begin working for them until she and James Earl bought an 80-acre farm in 1959 that spanned over three counties: Kaufman County, Van Zandt County and Hunt County. When the Sabine River Authority created the Iron Bridge Dam, Lake Tawakoni was formed and it adjoined their property making their idyllic farm even more beautiful.
Their children started school in Quinlan and Virginia was very active in school activities. She served as PTA president for two years and on the basketball, football, and school carnival committees. She helped in the office or anywhere they needed her and her efficiency and attention to detail made her an asset to all of the school’s administrative and student activities.
Her children, Karen and Michael, were her life. She was so proud of them. She enjoyed having her family to her home for Christmas and Thanksgiving dinner where she loved to cook and entertain making memories that are still cherished to this day. They had many friends and spent most of their weekends with them playing poker and dominos, games that were filled with fun competition and even more fun conversations! James Earl was a superintendent for a Dallas construction company that kept him occupied with many projects. After his retirement, they grew apart and divorced in 1993, but they remained close until James Earl’s passing in 2011. After their separation, Virginia lived in her family homeplace on Lake Whitney for a bit. In 1994, she moved back to Terrell and bought her own home. Never one to not work, she soon found employment at Le Dump and Lady Beatrick Tea room until it closed in 1997. Virginia always had an eye for collectibles and antiques and so, also in 1997, she began working with Billie Carr at Antique Row in Forney for many years. She then worked as a manager for Texas Star Antique for five days a week and the other two days she worked at Carrs Marketplace until they closed in 2000. Virginia also worked for Fair Park at First Monday in Canton one weekend every month until she retired. In 2006, she went to work for Max Slayton at Anderson Clayton Bros. Funeral Home helping with funerals, visitations, receptionist duties and assisting however she could during unimaginable times of grief for the families Max was called to serve. When Max opened his own funeral home in 2015, Virginia was the first person he called to “come help”! Hers was the first caring smile that families saw at the front door and her ability to make every visitor and attendee feel welcome and at ease was a unique, and very well known, part of how she served others during the toughest times of loss. Virginia knew everyone and if there was a time that Max couldn’t place a name or a family/business relationship, his first call or text was to Virginia to check his memory so he could keep it all straight! She had the incredible ability to remember names, dates, where people lived and who had passed on and her encyclopedic knowledge of Kaufman, Hunt and Van Zandt County residents was legendary.
One of Virginia’s proudest accomplishments was going back to work at the age of 60 to make a good life for herself. She always said that she met many great people and made many lifelong friends at every part of her life and she felt so blessed with the many folks that she called her friends. Virginia enjoyed traveling and has visited all the states except for North and South Dakota. She cruised to Alaska and all five Hawaiian Islands and Mexico and has been to Niagara Falls twice. In her free time when she wasn’t traveling, she enjoyed reading, fishing, and playing the slots at casinos. She loved the Hill Country and loved to hike.
Virginia was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Vera Phillips, her brothers, Jimmie and Jerry Phillips.
Virginia is survived by her two children: her daughter, Karen McSpadden and her son, Michael Dyess and his wife, Mitzi; grandchildren: Jon Dyess and his wife Sarah, Jamie Lee, Amanda Morrison and husband, Travis, Brandi Howie and her husband Phillip, and Cody Dyess and his wife Megan; 12 great grandchildren: Cooper Dyess, Caroline Dyess, Colton Howell, Landen Lee and wife, Anna Marie , Kamie Lee, Blane Lee, Kaylee Howie, Luke Scoggins, Paisley Scoggins, Cannon Dyess, Cole Dyess and Carlie Dyess, all of whom Virginia loved so much as well as her beloved "baby" brother, Freddie "Butch" Phillips and his wife, Kris of Wyoming. She is also survived many nieces and nephews and a sister-in-law, Jaynie Phillips along with a host of other extended family, countless friends and her cherished family at Max Slayton Funerals and Cremations.
“My friends that came to Max Slayton Funerals are wonderful. Even though I was there during sad times, those friends made a place in their heart for me.
I am a family person- what more can be said?
I love my brothers, dearly.
My children, motherly.
My grandchildren, proudly.
My great-grandchildren, joy by all means.
My friends, thank you fully.”
Pastor Brian West
Funeral Director/Pre-arrangement Specialist
Brian West is a 2021 graduate of San Antonio College Mortuary School and became a licensed funeral director in 2021. He joined the Max Slayton family in 2019.
Originally from San Antonio where he graduated high school, Brian continued his education at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX, where he met his wife, Lora. Together they have two incredible daughters, Brianna and Lauren. Brian spent his time pastoring in central Texas before moving to the metroplex area.
Brian is passionate about exceeding the expectations of every family he is honored to serve.
In his spare time, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his family.
Funeral Director/Embalmer/Pre-arrangement Specialist
Destiny joined the Max Slayton Funerals and Cremations team in 2021. She recently graduated as a funeral director and embalmer through Dallas Institute of Funeral Service. She and her husband, Chase, have one daughter, Aurora, who is the light of their lives. They are active members of College Mound UMC where Destiny has faithfully served in many ministries, especially the Children's Ministry. She is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation and in her free time, she loves making crafts and supporting Aurora with Athena and Chaos, Aurora's Zebus, with the FFA Show team. Destiny is honored to be a part of Max Slayton Funerals where serving the families she has known her whole life has been very special to her heart.
Ashley joined Max Slayton Funerals and Cremations in April of 2023. Her bio is coming soon!
Starla joined our ‘family serving families’ in 2023 and, as the granddaughter of a Pastor, Starla has been a continued blessing to provide the compassion and guidance that our families’ have come to expect from Max Slayton Funerals and Cremations. As is the case with small town funeral homes, Starla also has experience with the professional services of Max during the losses in her own family. In seeing how Max and his staff handled each service with dignity and respect as well as the staff being ‘familiar faces’, this led Starla to believe that a career in the funeral industry was calling her. She remembers that in 8th grade, her Sunday School teacher let her know that her calm demeaner, empathetic personality and quiet strength made her an ideal candidate to be a funeral director and help families which planted a seed that Starla is actively pursuing in her joining with Max Slayton Funeral Home. Starla is the second of eight children and family is her number one priority. She and her partner, Austin, live in Wills Point with their dogs, cats, turtles, and horses. When not striving to attend to each of our client families’ requests for a perfect service, Starla enjoys reading, genealogy searches, hiking, camping, fishing, and exploring native Texas plants and wildlife.
Shelley Wood Martinez
Funeral Assistant/Aftercare Specialist
Shelley is a lifelong resident of Terrell with deep family roots in Kaufman County. She became part of the Max Slayton family in 2022 as a funeral assistant and specialist in memorialization and personalization. Shelley is married to Felix Martinez, and she is the mother to three beautiful children: Kathryn, Corey, and Ryan.
Growing up in the area, Shelley brings a familiarity with the expectation of both small-town traditional values with contemporary ideas of personalization uniquely suited to each family Max Slayton Funerals is honored to serve.
In her spare time, she enjoys watching her son play baseball and spending time with her family.
Sandy Durham joined the Max Slayton Funerals and Cremations family in 2022 where she brings a wonderful and caring demeanor to each visitation, gathering and service where she loves meeting people and helping them during a time of remembrance. Sandy and her husband, John, were high school sweethearts in Tyler and have been married over 57 years. They have for children: Molly, Amy, Lindsey and Bo, 15 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren. She and John are active and longtime members of First Baptist Church in Forney where Sandy is an avid, and competitive, pickleball player.
Lauren joined Max Slayton Funerals and Cremations in October of 2023. Lauren graduated high school in 2023 and spends her spare time making art, reading, baking, taking care of her pet frog Mr. President, and playing online games with her partner. Lauren strives to bring excellent care to each person she encounters and hopes to help the community of Terrell.
Guimel Carolina Barba
Guimel "Carolina" joined Max Slayton Funerals and Cremations in November of 2023. Her bio is coming soon!
Madison Braziel joined Max Slayton Funerals and Cremations in October of 2023.. She grew up in Forney with her loving family consisting of her father, Gary, her sister, Gabriale, and her two dogs Stormy and Paulie. Madison was drawn to the funeral profession during her early high school years because of her passion for helping people through the grieving process and leaving a positive impact on their lives. She is currently a student enrolled at Dallas Institute of Funeral Service for funeral directing and embalming. Between studying and striving to serve families at Max Slayton Funerals, Madison enjoys playing the bass guitar, games, and thrift shopping.
Natalee is a 2014 graduate of Dallas Institute of Funeral Service after which she began working at funeral homes in Kaufman and Dallas counties. She became a part of the Max Slayton Funeral family in 2017 where she is one of the first voices and faces that our families hear and see during a difficult time. Natalee is happily married to Gil Altom, III, and together they have three “children”, their beloved dogs, Piper and Ellie and their cat, Midnight. In May of 2022, Natalee and Gil welcomed their first child, Norah, a beautiful daughter they both cherish. She and Gil enjoy spending time with their family and friends and love to travel every chance they can. In addition to helping our families with their personalization requests, Natalee is also integral in our development of virtual services on streaming platforms which is a blessing to those who are unable to personally attend services.
Hannah Slayton Mack
Administrative and Funeral Assistant
Hannah is very well aware of how important it is to ensure every family is cared for with the utmost concern in that she is the daughter and granddaughter of funeral professionals. She is married to Justin and they have one daughter, Style, wand a son, Klassic, both of whom keep every day an adventure.. Hannah's priority is to make sure that every family served at Max Slayton Funerals and Cremations feels cared for during a time of loss. Her special ability to empathize with how our families feel is a testament to her compassion and kindness.
Administrative and Funeral Assistant
Lindsey, who is also a daughter and granddaughter of career funeral directors, recognizes the importance of being able to enable families to make informed decisions during a difficult time. Her commitment to every family we serve by making certain they are aware of all of their options is a valuable asset to Max Slayton Funerals and Cremations. She is married to Justin and they, with their two children, Brayden and Tenley, are very active in their church as well as with several rodeo events and, when not serving families, they can be found serving in their community.
Justin is married to Lindsey and has made sure to successfully incorporate compassion with integrity. His special talent for being able to visit and guide our families through a difficult time has been a hallmark of his caring personality. When not serving with Lindsey and their two children, Brayden and Tenley, at church, Justin enjoys hunting and rodeoing.
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