Our Historical Foundations

Our History

Being like many African American men during his time, Mr. William Mallory Smith wanted to offer a much-needed service to his community and provide for his family.  With his strong desire, financial resources, and creativity… The William Mallory Smith Funeral Home was established in 1932, with his wife Mrs. Viola Larkin Brown-Smith helping him in different capacities.

The original location of the funeral home was located at 2 Radcliffe Street within the Historic City of Charleston. In 1947, it became necessary to expand and renovate the funeral home, so the business had to relocate to 151 Coming Street as renovations occurred. 

Growing up at an early age, Mrs. Margaret Smith-Connor was inspired by her father’s business skills, determination, and dedication in seeing his community succeed.  She decided she wanted to become a funeral director. So, she became more active in her father’s business by answering the phones, taking messages and clerical duties.  She attended Reonard Training School of Embalmers in New York City to enhance her skills and she completed all the course requirements and became a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer.

Seeing the excitement of their father and sister, Mrs. Margaret Smith-Connor’s sisters Wilhelmina and Juanita decided to join in, making it a complete family affair.  Each sister had their own special talent and skill.  Wilhelmina worked as the funeral home beautician, Juanita worked as the recording secretary, and Margaret was the embalmer and funeral director.

In February 1960, Mr. William Mallory Smith transcended into rest from his building and his daughters continued to work long and diligently, to keep their father’s dream alive by providing, “Service with Serenity, Sincerity, and Sensitivity.” Which is the motto we still stand on today.

In 1993, Mrs. Margaret Smith-Connor and her sister brought in Mr. Bryan McNeal, Jr. He was a Licensed Embalmer, Funeral Director, and Vice President at Harleston-Boags Funeral Home, Inc.  He started out as a part time to help them with the workload.

By May of 1996 it was time for another renovation since the 1947 renovations.  It took 6 months to complete.  With the new look came new faces to the business.  On December 29, 1996, Mrs. Margaret Smith-Connor and her sister, Mrs. Juanita Smith-Jordan had the Dedication Services for the new and improved Wm. M. Smith Funeral Home at the 2 Radcliffe St. location.  They also introduced the community to their now new Manager Mr. Bryan McNeal, Jr. and Mrs. Delores M. Whaley, also from Harleston-Boags Funeral Home and a retired public-school teacher as the new Chief Clerk.

Mr. Bryan McNeal, Jr. gained many relationships with people that would travel with him for the rest of his life. In 1999, the now Wm M Smith Funeral Home became incorporated.  In 2001 Mrs. Margaret Smith-Connor made him a partner of the funeral home and it became renamed to. W.M. Smith – McNeal Funeral Home, Inc. By October 2001 expansions were made and a new location was purchased.  In December 2001, the Awendaw location was dedicated. 

On August 4, 2004, Mrs. Margaret Smith-Connor made her transition to be with her father, mother, and two sisters.  As Mrs. Margaret and her sister had done before, Mr. McNeal did the same he stepped up and continued to work long and diligently, to keep the dream alive by continuing to provide “Service with Serenity, Sincerity and Sensitivity,” while he served this now expanded community of Charleston and Awendaw.

At an early age, Mr. S. Gervais McNeal was inspired just as Mrs. Margaret was with her father. He saw how what they did changed lives as well as how much they did in support for their community.  By the age of seven he was in the funeral home anytime school was out, especially during the summer times.  In 2015, he graduated from Gupton – Jones College, his father’s alumni as the Salutatorian with a Science Degree in Funeral Service Management.  In 2017, he completed his Apprenticeship under his father and became a Dual Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer.  His father was excited and inspired by his hard work and dedication from the age of seven up to an adult and honored him with partnership in 2018.  Where he is now Vice- President of W.M. Smith – McNeal Funeral Home, Inc. 

Some of the Original Employees of William Mallory Smith Funeral Home: 1932

Mr. Jessie Capers

Mr. James Dent

Mr. Robert Frasier

Mr. Harold Taylor

Mr. David Sanders

Mr. David Powell

Our Mission:
Here, at W.M. Smith-McNeal Funeral Home, we have a mission... a mission of quality service that is reflected in everything that we do. When families come to us for funeral services, they feel comfortable in expressing their wishes and discussing the options available to them. That's because it's all about family at W.M. Smith-McNeal Funeral Home. We personally make the decisions that affect the standard of service we provide. You can be sure that you will receive the utmost professional care from W.M. Smith-McNeal Funeral Home. Each of our funeral directors are licensed and experienced. We maintain the highest standards with careful attention to every detail. Each and every person on our staff plays an integral part in maintaining our reputation for personal attention and excellent service.

  • Our Valued Staff

    Our Valued Staff

    We have many years of experience in caring for families, from all walks of life.  Some of our professional staff have been brought up as children to do what they do now; and that is to continue in being the leaders in our profession, who are dedicated to excellence in service, having the highest integrity, and to treat not just the family, but their loved one with respect. 

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  • Testimonials


    Our goal is to provide our client families with memorable remembrance experiences. Celebrations of their loved one's life, and the time they shared. So who should speak of our success? That's easy; those we've served. Our words are expected, while theirs genuinely share their feelings about our services.

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  • Community Events

    Community Events

    We give every family in our community unique opportunities to learn, share, and remember. Each of our educational, grief support or remembrance events is designed to appeal to a wide age range, including adults and children. It is our intention to enrich lives, educate minds, and ease sorrows.

    Read more about Community Events