Our Staff


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Calvin Evans

Calvin Evans

General Manager of Cottle & Cottle-Pearson Funeral Director & Embalmer

Calvin was raised in the piney woods of East Texas in San Augustine. His family was in the logging industry as well as farmers. He was one of six children and were raised in a very Christian oriented family. Calvin began his funeral service career in San Augustine at the Wyman Roberts Funeral Home as a part time employee in the summer of 1976. In 1987 he enrolled at Commonwealth Mortuary School in Houston. While attending school, Calvin worked at Earthman Funeral Home. After graduating from Mortuary School he moved to Nacogdoches and worked for Laird Funeral Home, then at the Cason Monk Funeral Home. In 2007 he moved to Temple and went to work for Harper-Talasek Funeral Home. In 2013 Calvin moved to Troup, Texas to become the general manager of Cottle Funeral Home, and the Cottle-Pearson Funeral Home in Overton, Texas.


Calvin's late wife was Sue Williford Evans. He has one daughter, a step-son, five grandchildren and two sisters.


Calvin said, "Even though he has seen a lot of changes in the funeral profession over the years, it still evident to me that you have to be compassionate, caring, hones and dedicated", in order to be successful in anything you do! 


Telephone: 1-903-842-3131


Phyllis Starnes

Phyllis Starnes

Manager of Cottle Pearson - Funeral Director & Embalmer

Phyllis Starnes is a graduate of Dallas Institute of Funeral Service and has been a Funeral Director and Embalmer in the State of Texas since 1994. She has been employed at the Cottle Funeral Homes and served as Funeral Home Manager and Director since 2001.

She is a member and Past President of the Overton Rotary Club and has served on the Board of Directors of the Overton-New London Chamber of Commerce.

She and her husband, Tom, are the parents of seven children, twelve grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren. They live in New London and are members of the First Assembly of God Church, Overton.

Telephone: 1-903-834-3111

Email: phyllis.starnes@cottlefuneralhome.com


Tom Starnes

Tom Starnes

Funeral Assistant & Pre-Need Specialist

Tom Starnes has been a part of the staff of Cottle Funeral Home, Troup and Cottle-Pearson Funeral Home, Overton for the past twelve years.

He is the husband of Funeral Director, Phyllis Starnes they are member of the First Assembly of God Church, Overton. He is a Veteran of the US Army and served in the Vietnam War in Cambodia and Laos.

Tom is an active member and Past President of the Overton Rotary Club and a member of the Overton-New London Chamber of Commerce.

Telephone: 1-903-834-3111


Dorothy Lacy

Dorothy Lacy

Receptionist & Visitation Attendant

Dorothy has lived in Troup for most of her life. She retired from the Troup Post Office as a mail-carrier. Dorothy is married to Jerry Lacy. They are members of the Mixon First Baptist Church. Their son was the late Billy Lacy of Troup. The Lacy's have two granddaughters.



Ronald 'Ron' Helm

Ronald "Ron" Helm

Apprentice Funeral Director / Embalmer

Ron is the newest addition to the staff of Cottle & Cottle Pearson. Ron is currently attending the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science Online Program. He is a retired military veteran with 25 years of service to our country. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal of "Valor" for actions taken against the enemy in Iraq, along with other distinguished awards for multiple deployment throughout his career. Ron also served in three combat deployments and one peace keeping mission.

Ron is married to Laura (Willis) Helm. She is a native of Texas and Vice-Principal of Caldwell elementary Arts Academy in Tyler. They also have four nieces and one nephew in the area.



Melissa Peterson

Melissa Peterson

Funeral Home Administrator

Melissa has recently returned to work at Cottle's in Troup. Previously she had been here for 8 years and we are glad to have her back! She has three children and is a member of the Tyler Christian Fellowship. Melissa is married to Sam Peterson who is the Director of Sponsored Programs at Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins.


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