About SunsetAbout Sunset


Starting Sunset Memorial Park, Funeral Home and Crematory has fulfilled a long-time dream of Toni and Robert Byrd. In 1994, Robert Byrd established Sunset Cemetery, and we had our first burial on April 15. Since that date, Sunset has gone through many changes but has always had the same goal in mind: to provide the most compassionate services to the residents of the Wiregrass area at a reasonable cost. 1999 saw the construction of the first set of mausoleums inside the Pavilion and were dedicated to the area's Veterans. A community garden mausoleum with niche banks was added and completed in 2001.

Robert sold Byrd Funeral Home in 1995, and we embarked on bringing the most professional funeral service in the Wiregrass area to Sunset Memorial Park, Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC. Several hundred interments later and a name change to Sunset Memorial Park, Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC, our dream to have a funeral home on our cemetery grounds has come to fruition. We completed the first phase of construction in May of 2007 and revived our funeral establishment license from the State of Alabama Board of Funeral Service. The second phase of construction was completed in February 2009 and includes a chapel, visitation parlors, and a reception center.

Families choosing Sunset now have the advantage of being able to secure all of their arrangements at one convenient place. The need to visit several different establishments on the worst day of your life is no longer necessary.

Back to Top

About Our StaffAbout Our Staff

Robert Byrd

Born and raised in the Wiregrass Area, Robert Franklin Byrd was born to Dr. Robert Morris Byrd and Georgia Helen Smith in Midland City, Alabama. He was a 1973 graduate of Headland High School. At the young age of 16, Robert began his career in the funeral industry, working under the direction of Wilton R. Holman, Sr., who founded Holman Mortuary in Headland, Alabama in the early 1930’s. It was here in 1972 while serving his funeral directors apprenticeship that Robert was first exposed to the duties of a coroner as Mr. Holman was the Henry County Coroner. Robert is a 1976 Graduate of the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science located in Cincinnati. He has been a licensed funeral director in Alabama since 1976 and has also been a licensed funeral director in Florida since 1994.

In 1983 Robert opened Byrd Funeral Home in Dothan, Alabama and was elected as Houston County Coroner in 1986, a position he has held since. Robert is a member of the Alabama Coroners Association, Alabama Funeral Directors Association, The Independent Funeral Group, Inc, ICCFA, the Alabama Cemetery Association, the Dothan Rotary Club, the Knights of Columbus, and the Houston County Republicans Association. Robert proudly participates in the Houston County Substance Abuse Campaign called Prom Promise. He is a member of St. Columba Catholic Church, and enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, and riding his motorcycle in his spare time. Robert is married to Toni Newton Byrd of Dothan, and has five children, Jordan, Phillip, Andrew, Matthew and Emily Byrd.

Back to Top

Toni Byrd

A true Dothanian, Toni Newton Byrd was born and raised right here in the Wiregrass Area. Having a heritage on her mother's side of the family that extends from Slocomb and on her father's side from Taylor, she has loved this community and was proud to stay and raise her own family here. A 1988 graduate of Dothan High School, Toni has also attended Wallace Community College and Troy University of Dothan where she was well on her way to a degree in elementary education. But God had other plans, and so it was that in 1989 while seeking part time work she began working at Byrd Funeral Home. She met and later married Robert Franklin Byrd. The Byrd's have five wonderful children, Jordan, Phillip, Andrew, Matthew, and Emily, and now have one super-wonderful granddaughter, Olivia!

After being a stay-at-home mom for several years, Robert and Toni began carefully planning and developing a cemetery in 1994. A lifelong dream of being a complete funeral service provider began coming true when plans for a funeral home on the property were laid out and construction began. Sunset Funeral Home opened its doors in 2007. The Byrd family is grateful and humbled to serve the families of this community for all of their funeral needs. Toni is a licensed Alabama Funeral Director, a member of the Alabama Funeral Directors Association, The Independent Funeral Group, Inc, ICCFA, the Alabama Cemetery Association, and the Houston County Republicans Women's Association. Toni is a member of St. Columba Catholic Church and enjoys needle-pointing, a hobby she learned from Robert's grandmother, travel, and spending time with her growing family.

Back to Top

Ben Earnest

Benjamin Lee Earnest was born in Dothan, his father stationed at Fort Rucker and his mother a school teacher. Ben and his family moved away at an early age to follow his father around the country who was stationed at various places in the U.S. In 1980, Ben returned to Dothan and was a 1987 graduate of Northview High School. He is a graduate of Marion Military Institute with further studies at the University of Alabama and Troy State University. One of Ben’s proudest accomplishments is the attainment of Eagle Scout in 1984.

Ben has worked with the Byrd family since November of 2001 and has been with Sunset since January of 2002. He worked at Sunset as manager and also at Byrd Funeral Home until October of 2006. Ben worked with Robert and Toni Byrd on the development of the new funeral home and has helped them manage the day to day operations since. He has also worked with Houston County as a Deputy Coroner since 2004. Ben lives in Dothan with his wife, Laurie, and their daughters, Baylee and Audrey.

Back to Top

Bob Byrd

Robert “Bob the Barker" Byrd was born in Thomasville, GA and has lived in the Dothan area since 2003. His first job at Sunset included the management and oversight of the helicopter installation project in Freedom Park. He was also instrumental in the development and planning of all of the phases in the new building at Sunset. He handled day to day operations of the project to include everything from plan revisions to labor disputes.

Bob’s primary duty today is front door greeter and grief therapist. We are honored to have Bob here with us and have learned a tremendous amount of knowledge from his expertise. Please ask for Bob the next time you come to visit at Sunset. Bob lives in Dothan with his family: Robert, Toni, Phillip, Andrew, Matthew, Emily, and Lolly.

Back to Top

Tena Ellison

Tena Ellison is a native of Dothan and attended school here prior to attending college in Columbus, GA. She brings with her to Sunset experience of working in the art and home décor industry for 27 years. She was instrumental in the interior décor of the new funeral home as well as the landscaping.

Back to Top

Wyman Gamble

Wyman Gamble was born in Dothan, AL and lives on Gambletown Farm, east of Headland, AL. Wyman graduated from Houston County High School in 1969 and continued his education at George C. Wallace Junior College. He graduated from Troy State University in 1973 with a Bachelor of Science degree in General Business Administration. After 30 years of purchasing steel in Georgia and Florida, he moved back to “Sweet Home Alabama” in 2003. Since then he has worked for two local funeral homes in the Dothan area and began employment at Sunset Funeral Home in January of 2010. He loves to work at Sunset and enjoys meeting and helping people.

Wyman’s favorite hobby is restoring antique cars. Therefore, he enjoys going to car shows and automotive swap meets. Also, he enjoys singing Southern Gospel music and attending Southern Gospel concerts. When needed Wyman will sing for funerals at Sunset. Another love Wyman has is clothes shopping for the right suit, shirt, tie, shoes and accessories. He has got to be “Dressed to the 9’s” with hair fixed and shoes shined! Lastly, on Friday nights you might find him out dancing or singing karaoke and on Saturday nights look for him at a local dirt track race.

Back to Top

Tracy Martin

Tracy Martin was born and raised in Panama City, Florida. Prior to moving to Dothan, Tracy was employed with Bay Medical Center in Panama City for over 14 years where she gained valuable knowledge in working with families in their time of need. She became part of the Byrd family mission at Sunset in 2008 and is eager to lend a compassionate hand in all aspects of the funeral process.

Tracy met and married Joel Martin and relocated to the Dothan area. Their family includes a daughter Tiffany, a grandson Gabriel, a very spoiled Kitty and a grand-puppy Jasper. They are members of Faith Tabernacle Community Church. She loves to spend time with all her family and friends, go for long walks on the beach and a drive with her husband enjoying the beauty that God created. She absolutely enjoys southern gospel music and her favorite saying is "I'm blessed"!

Back to Top

Keith Stowers

Keith Stowers was born and raised in Southern Ohio. He attended the Citadel Military College in Charleston, South Carolina. After graduation he joined the Air Force, serving 20 years on active duty and 23 years as a civil service employee. While in the military one of his many duties was to work with the Air Force Mortuary Program. After retirement, Keith and his wife Marsha moved to Dothan to be with two of their four children; their other two children reside in the St. Louis area. Keith and Marsha attend Calvary Baptist Church and are actively involved in the Senior Program. When not working or at church, they stay very busy with their eight grandchildren.

Back to Top