History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Aikins-Farmer Funeral Home

The history of the Aikins-Farmer Funeral Home began in the early 1920s when Mr. Fred Aikins entered into the funeral profession with Mr. A.J. Gibbons, owner of the Gibbons Funeral Home and Lumber business of Metropolis.

In 1927 Fred and his wife Lizzie Foreman Aikins formed a partnership with Mr. Dewey Fleming. This became Aikins-Fleming Funeral Home with Chapels in Metropolis and Joppa. Following the sudden illness and death of Mr. Fleming it was then that Mr. and Mrs. Aikins established Aikins Funeral Home.

Joining the business in 1940 was Fred and Lizzie’s daughter Lowanda and her husband, Ike Farmer, a graduate of St. Louis College of Mortuary Science.

In 1952 Owen “Steve” Farmer, nephew of Ike Farmer, graduated from St. Louis College of Mortuary Science. Steve and his wife, Jeanette (Patton) Farmer settled in Metropolis and became affiliated with the business.

Following the death of Ike Farmer, Steve and Jeanette assisted Lowanda with the management of the funeral home. After Lowanda’s death in 1965 Steve and Jeanette assumed ownership of the business which became Aikins-Farmer Funeral Home.

The First United Methodist Church, which was adjacent to the funeral home, was destroyed by fire on January 11, 1970. In order to rebuild, the church purchased the funeral home property. A building site was selected in the Hospital Addition and a new funeral home was completed in August of the same year.

In 1973, the Kennedy Funeral Home in Brookport, Illinois was purchased from Gladys Morris and renamed, Aikins-Farmer Brookport Funeral Home. This facility was demolished and rebuilt in 2000. The original neon clock was incorporated back into the sign.

Over the years, Aikins-Farmer has always maintained their professional standards. Aikins-Farmer Funeral Home will continue to serve the community with pride and dignity. We are dedicated to the care of those we serve.

Miller Funeral Home

Baynes Funeral Home was established in 1912 by William Pinkey Baynes, who settled into Metropolis about 1877, and here spent the remainder of his life. Early in life he became interested in city government, and was elected a member of the City Council at the age of 21, perhaps the youngest ever elected to that body. When only a lad, he was employed by the Roberts Box Company and remained with that industry for many years, serving the company last as a timber buyer. He severed his connections with the Roberts Box Company to engage in the furniture and undertaking business in 1912. Later he devoted all of his time to the funeral service.

On May 30, 1954, Mr. Baynes died at his home, leaving the business to his wife, who operated it along with her grandson, Ralph Frazier. Ralph became a licensed funeral director and embalmer, working at the funeral home for several years before becoming a doctor and leaving the funeral industry. Chancey Long was also very active in the funeral home after the death of W.P. Baynes.

On April 1, 1956, John L. Miller of Pana, Illinois, moved to Metropolis after purchasing the Baynes Funeral Home. He changed the name of it to Miller Funeral Home, and began servicing the community. Before coming to Metropolis, Mr. Miller had worked seven years at the Hebblethwaite Funeral Home in Evanston, Illinois. Mr. Miller was a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University at Bloomington, and also Warsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago. Mr. Miller was married to the late Mary Seiler of Pana. They owned and operated the funeral home for 27 years, giving courteous service to the community, before retiring in 1983.

On July 1, 1983, Steven I. Farmer, a native of Massac County, assumed operation of Miller Funeral Home. Steven was the son of the late Owen "Steve" Farmer and Jeanette (Patton) Farmer. Prior to operating his own funeral home, Steven had worked with his father in the funeral business for several years. Steven married Sandra L. Otis, daughter of Lavern J. and Peggy (Baker) Otis in 1982. Sandra was formerly of Kankakee, Illinois, but has been a resident of this area since 1970. Together, they owned and operated the Miller Funeral Home, whose name they chose not to change.

Steven passed away on February 6, 2013, leaving the business to his wife, Sandy. Many additions have been made to the original building since operations began in 1912, making it larger and more convenient for the public. We are in our 102nd year of serving the public in the same building, and hope to continue doing so with the same professionalism and courtesy always shown in years past.

Our Valued Staff

Jason  McManus

Jason McManus, Owner/Funeral Director

Jason McManus, a life long resident of Massac County, started his career with Miller and Aikins-Farmer Funeral Homes in March of 1996. Jason graduated from Massac County High School in 1996 and from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale Mortuary Science program in 1998. Jason is married to Christina (Barnhill) McManus. They have twin boys, Cameron and Hunter, and a daughter, Aubry.Jason is a member of the First Baptist Church in Metropolis, where he serves as a deacon. In his free time, he enjoys camping and spending time with his family."I count it both a priviledge and an honor to be able to serve your family in their time of need." Jason

Emily  Loftus

Emily Loftus, Owner/Office Administrator

A Metropolis native, Emily is the daughter of Sandy Farmer and the late Steven Farmer and the granddaughter of Jeanette Farmer and the late Owen Kenneth "Steve" Farmer.
Emily graduated from Massac Co. High School in 2005 and from Murray State University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Business in Business Administration. She currently resides in Metropolis with her husband Lance, formerly of Hopkinsville, KY and their son, Lincoln. Emily is a life-long member of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church where she teaches Sunday School and is a former church council member. She is also a member of the Metropolis Rotary Club and was the 2014-2015 President of the club.

"Family tradition is important to me. I hope that I can honor my family by carrying on the legacy of providing empathy and compassion to families in their time of need."

Greg  Russell

Greg Russell, Funeral Director

Greg Russell, a Metropolis native, began his career with Aikins-Farmer Funeral Home in 1971 under the late Owen Kenneth "Steve" Farmer. He started SIU at Carbondale Mortuary School in 1973 and completed a school internship at Myers Funeral Service in Mt. Vernon. He graduated with an Associate's in Mortuary Science in 1975. Greg has been a licensed Embalmer and Funeral Director for 38 years and a Deputy Coroner for 10 years. He finds it gratifying to help people of our community when they need someone.
Greg is married to Denise (Jones)Russell. In his free time, Greg enjoys hunting and gardening.

Mark  Fitch

Mark Fitch, Funeral Director

Mark Fitch is a Massac County native, growing up on a cattle farm. He graduated from Massac County High School in 1999 and completed a BA in Mortuary Science from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2004. Mark married Katherine (McWilliams) Fitch of Evansville, IN in 2005 and they have one daughter, Caroline Rebecca Fitch. This is Mark's 14th year in the funeral industry and has worked for Aikins-Farmer for 8 years. He ran for and was elected Massac County Coroner in December of 2012. In his spare time, Mark enjoys outdoor activities with his family. "I love what I do. Often, I deal with people on one of the worst days of their lives. It brings me an incredible amount of joy if I can make that experience just a little easier for the family I serve. I am very proud to be a part of the Aikins-Farmer and Miller Funeral Homes team where I am able to serve my hometown community." -Mark

Justin  Wolfe

Justin Wolfe, Facilities Coordinator

Justin Wolfe was born and raised in Massac County and feels truly blessed to be part of such a great community. He graduated Massac County High School in 1992 then attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale from 1992-1993. Justin started his employment at Aikins-Farmer Funeral Home in 1995. He married Miranda (Scheirbaum) Wolfe in 2006, has two girls and a grandson. " I am honored to be able to serve the families who come through our doors in one of their greatest times of need. Dignity, respect and caring for the needs of others is of up-most importance to me and everyone else that I work with. It is my goal to maintain the trust of the community by helping each individual's unique need to do whatever it takes to honor the life of your loved one. It is a responsibility that I take very seriously and is never taken lightly by me or any other staff member. Thanks to all for the opportunity to serve you and I look forward to this service for many years to come." - Sincerly, Justin Wolfe

Sharon  King

Sharon King, Secretary

Sharon King was born and raised in Metropolis and graduated from Metropolis Community High School in 1970. She attended Marion Beauty College and obtained her cosmetology license in 1985. In January of 2000, she started work at Miller Funeral Home as a secretary. Sharon is married to Bob King. They reside in Metropolis and attend Waldo Baptist Church.

"I pray that all I say or do will show comfort and concern to everyone that we serve at all of our funeral homes."
- Sharon

Ethan  Farmer

Ethan Farmer, Funeral Assistant

Ethan is the newest edition to the business. He is 21 years old and recently moved back to the area after 4 years in Bradley, IL. Ethan is the son of Sandy Farmer and the late Steven Farmer. "I am excited to be working in the family business and hope to help carry on its fine traditions." - Ethan

Sandy  Farmer

Sandy Farmer, Former Owner

Sandy (Otis) Farmer, was born in Kankakee, Illinois but moved to her mother’s home town of Metropolis in 1970. She graduated from Metropolis Community High School in 1977 and Shawnee Community College in 1979. She was married to Steven for 30 years and has three children from that union: two of which currently work in the family business, and one with her Masters in Speech Language Pathology. Sandy is a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Massac County Girl Scouts, and Friends of Fort Massac. Outside the funeral homes, she is the Executive Director of the Miss Metropolis Scholarship Program, owner of Metro Limo, and a devoted community volunteer. With change comes uncertainty, but we at Miller, Aikins-Farmer, and Brookport Chapel are proud to continue to serve our community as the same family owned and operated establishments we have always been. I hope you will consider choosing us in your time of grief.