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.

Our History

When Otis and Gertrude Hopkins began their funeral careers in the early 1930’s, they founded a family tradition of service that now spans over 85 years.

After the couple and their two little girls moved from Garrettsville, Ohio, to Akron, they established the Hopkins Funeral Home. Gertrude, who had been assisting her husband in funeral preparations for several years, earned her own funeral director’s license in 1938.

When their daughter, Dorla, married Robert W. Lawver in 1949, they both became licensed funeral directors and joined the company, which was officially renamed Hopkins Lawver. Today, their son Ted, granddaughter, Sarah and her husband, Roger Dishong are continuing the tradition of compassionate funeral service into the third and fourth generations. It is this heritage of service and support from the families in the community that has encouraged the Lawvers to expand their services. In 1948, they acquired the landmark Mogadore home, and added the Uniontown location in 1977.

Since then, all Hopkins Lawver Funeral Homes have been serving area families with friendship, compassion, caring, and the delicate touch that is needed during a time of loss.


Our Valued Staff

  • Ted S. Lawver

    Ted S. Lawver Funeral Director, Embalmer & President

    Ted Lawver is the third generation of the Hopkins Lawver family and has been affiliated with the funeral home since 1970. Raised in Mogadore, he graduated from Mogadore High School in 1976, attended the University of Akron, and graduated from the Indiana School of Mortuary Science. He became a Licensed Funeral Director in 1980. Ted is a lifetime resident of the Akron area, and has been married to Mickey Lawver for 35 years. They are parents of five children and grandparents of 15 (soon to be 17). Ted enjoys boating, golfing and traveling in his spare time. He is proud to continue the legacy of his parents and grandparents, and enjoys working with his daughter, Sarah and son-in-law, Roger in the family business. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, and is a calming, reassuring presence to families in their time of need.

  • Sarah M. Lawver-Dishong

    Sarah M. Lawver-Dishong Funeral Director & Vice President

    Sarah started working part-time at Hopkins Lawver Funeral Home during high school in 1999. The oldest of five children born to Ted and Michelle Lawver, she has lived most of her life in the Uniontown and Akron areas. Sarah attended Lake Center Christian School in Hartville through 8th grade, and graduated from Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy in 2001. She spent two years at Malone College in Canton, graduated with a bachelors degree in Business Administration in 2005, and became a Licensed Funeral Director in 2008. Married to her husband, Roger Dishong, the couple have four children, Brooklyn (8), Anderson, (6), Avery (5) and Evelyn (2). Sarah enjoys spending time with family and friends, attending her children's activities, swimming, boating and vacationing. To sum up her feelings about funeral service, Sarah says, "Throughout my life, I have had incredible respect for the work my family does and their service to the communities we are in. I knew from a very early age this is what I wanted to do. I feel incredibly privileged to work with my dad and my husband carrying on the legacy my great grandparents started when they founded Hopkins Lawver Funeral Home in 1931." Indeed, Sarah's dedication and empathy shine through in every encounter she has with the families served by Hopkins Lawver.

  • Roger M. Dishong

    Roger M. Dishong Funeral Director & Treasurer

    Roger joined the Hopkins Lawver team full time in 2011. He was born in Ravenna, Ohio and grew up along with his sister in the Hartville and Marlboro Township area. He graduated in 2001 from Marlington High School, then went on to receive a B.S. in Marketing and Finance from the University of Akron in 2005 and an M.B.A. from Malone University in 2009. Roger became a Licensed Funeral Director in 2015. Married to Sarah Lawver, they are the parents of four children. Roger enjoys family time, sporting events including college football and the Cavs, golfing, swimming, boating and vacationing. He is honored to be working with his wife carrying on her family's tradition of Funeral Service, and looks forward to helping the communities we serve.

  • Mary  Eckard

    Mary Eckard Funeral Director

    Mary Eckard joined the staff of Hopkins Lawver Funeral Home in 2002 as a Licensed Funeral Director following the death of her husband, David Eckard. Mary offers compassionate assistance during the difficult task of arranging a loved one's funeral. She graduated from Kenmore High School and Akron General Medical Center School of Nursing, and attended the University of Akron. Mary currently resides in Uniontown and is an active member of The Chapel in Green where she enjoys singing in the Chapel choir and attending Bible Study. She is also a member of the Stark County Funeral Directors Association. Mary assists her son, Christopher in his videography/photography business, and likes vacationing at Disney World and Myrtle Beach with her two grandchildren. She enjoys staying active by swimming, knitting, crocheting, gardening and working in her yard, and also judges cars at "Pop's Cruise-Ins".

  • Kathy Roby

    Kathy Roby Funeral Director

    Kathy Roby started working at Hopkins Lawver in 1986, and became a Licensed Funeral Director in 1990. She enjoys helping families in their time of need to arrange meaningful funeral services. Kathy's early years were spent in Springfield Township, later moving to Suffield where she graduated from Field High School. She attended the University of Akron while obtaining her funeral director's license. Kathy and her husband, Mark Pollock reside in Suffield and enjoy caring for animals on their small hobby farm. She has three children and five grandchildren. She enjoys gardening, spending time with her grandchildren, sewing and crocheting. Kathy is a member of Suffield United Church of Christ and the Mogadore VFW Ladies Auxiliary.

  • Emily Ferris

    Emily Ferris Secretary

    Emily Ferris returned to the Hopkins Lawver staff in 2011, after previously working at the funeral home for seven years in the 1990's. She assists the funeral directors with various clerical details, and especially enjoys creating lasting memories of loved ones through their memorial folders, bookmarks and tribute DVD's. A resident of Ellet, she grew up in Uniontown, graduating from Lake High School, and worked for many years as a Radiology Technologist. Married to Rich Ferris, pastor at Firestone Park Christian Church, she is very active being a pastor's wife and also the church pianist and choir director. Together they have three children, Sarah, Gretchen and Ben, and grandson, Nicholas. Emily enjoys travel and singing at local nursing homes as a member of the Hospitality Choir.

  • Robin Williams

    Robin Williams Accounting

    Robin Williams joined the Hopkins Lawver Funeral Home team in 2014. She assists the accounting department and also helps to coordinate funeral services. Robin is a graduate of Ellet High School and has lived in Uniontown for the last 30 years. She is a member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Robin holds a Property and Casualty Insurance License, having previously sold insurance for 16 years. She and her husband of 36 years, Steve have two children and two grandchildren. Robin is an avid sports fan and especially loves the Cavs! In her spare time, she enjoys playing with her grandchildren and taking them to the park. Robin and her husband also like to spend time in Florida during the winter.

  • John Fuller

    John Fuller Maintenance & Funeral Staff

    John Fuller began working at Hopkins Lawver in 2008 after retiring from a career in teaching and coaching. He also served as the Athletic Director at Lake Center Christian School. John grew up in Mogadore and graduated from Mogadore High School and Muskingum College. He currently resides in Norton with his wife, Mary Ann and they have two children and five grandchildren. John is a member of The Chapel and enjoys fishing and spending time with his grandchildren. He is a valued member of our staff and serves in many capacities including the maintenance of our facilities and grounds as well as assisting during funerals.

  • Jim Parker

    Jim Parker Funeral Staff

    Jim Parker, a lifetime resident of the Ellet area, rejoined the Hopkins Lawver Funeral Home staff in 2012. Formerly a funeral director and embalmer, Jim now serves our staff as a Funeral Assistant and Driver. A 1958 graduate of Ellet High School, and a 1962 graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, he is the President of the Ellet Alumni Association, and is very active in planning and coordinating the many functions that are held. A longtime member of Bethany Lutheran Church, Jim currently attends Oak Hill Presbyterian Church. He and his late wife, Anna Mae have two daughters and five grandchildren. Jim enjoys following and assisting with his brother, Gary's band and also teaching line dancing. His knowledge of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is reflected in his abundance of energy and ability to remain active.

  • Ed Sauer

    Ed Sauer Funeral Staff

    Ed Sauer joined the Hopkins Lawver staff in 2012 as a Funeral Assistant. He graduated from Ellet High School and the University of Akron, and was employed as a mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. While serving in the U.S. Army, he spent a year in Korea. Ed and his wife, Gara together have three children and seven grandchildren. He is an active member of Oak Hill Presbyterian Church, serving in various capacities. Ed is a dedicated Hospice volunteer, making a difference in many lives with his comforting visits. He enjoys sports, reading, puzzles, yard work, traveling and playing cards.

  • Tom Bee

    Tom Bee Funeral Staff

    Tom has been with Hopkins Lawver since 2001, and enjoys being part of a family-owned funeral home. A graduate of North High School and the University of Akron, he has lived in Tallmadge since 1970, and retired from Goodyear Chemical Division after 39 years. Tom is a member of Northwest Avenue Church of Christ and has been a dedicated volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America for many years. Married to Barbara, they are the parents of seven children and have 19 grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys camping and babysitting.

  • Bob Trexler

    Bob Trexler Funeral Staff

    Bob Trexler has been associated with Hopkins Lawver Funeral Home since 1976. An Ellet resident, he graduated from Green High School in 1957, and is an active member of Oak Hill Presbyterian Church. He and his wife, Nancy have three children and nine grandchildren, and enjoy following their grandson's baseball games. Bob enjoys vacationing to North Carolina and Florida. He also enjoys golfing and working at Mayfair Country Club as a part-time groundskeeper.