From Our Family

to your Family

Harry McKneely & Son Funeral Home have been serving the local community for many generations.  

We are proud of our professional and compassionate staff. When faced with the challenges of making funeral arrangements and prearrangements, you will find our knowledge and expertise a great comfort.

We are committed to the very best care of the families and their loved ones which we are privileged to serve at this most difficult time.
In keeping with that commitment, we provide several resources on our website to help with arrangement process, and we are always available to answer your questions.

Meet

Our team

Owner

Lance Vicknair

Lance is a lifelong resident of Ponchatoula where he currently lives with his wife, Crystal. He has two sons, Lawson and Kale, and attends The Mission Church in Hammond.

Lance has been a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer with Harry McKneely & Son since he began serving the Hammond and Ponchatoula communities in 1991. He has extensive experience in all aspects of funeral service, and was an integral part in the development and construction of the first crematory in Tangipahoa Parish at Harry McKneely & Son Funeral Home in Hammond. Lance has always had a passion for helping people and he is honored to continue to support the needs of those he serves.  

He is a member of the Hammond Chamber of Commerce, the Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce, the Louisiana Funeral Directors Association,and the National Funeral Directors Association.

Lance Vicknair
Office Manager

Jobeth Vicknair Faust

JoBeth has been with Harry McKneely & Son since 2003 where she began as an administrative assistant. She is now the Office Manager.  JoBeth is a graduate of Loranger High School and Southeastern Louisiana University.

Jobeth Vicknair Faust
Manager / Funeral Director / Embalmer

Gregory Hill

Greg has been a licensed Funeral Director since 1985. He has been with Harry McKneely & Son since 2002 and is the Manager of Operations. He chose this profession because he finds it very rewarding to help people through a difficult time.

He is a native of Hammond and lives in Springfield with his wife, Debbie Davis Hill. He enjoys working at a family owned funeral home because it gives him the ability to serve families on a more personal level.

Greg also serves as Alderman of Springfield and is a member of the Hammond Chamber of Commerce, the Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce, the Louisiana Funeral Directors Association, and the National Funeral Directors Association.

Gregory Hill
Funeral Director / Embalmer

Rich Merlau

Rich is from Hilton, NY, and is now a resident of Hammond. He graduated from Simmons Institute of Funeral Service in Syracuse, NY and has been a licensed Funeral Director since 2000. He has worked in New York, South Carolina, Texas, Alaska, and Louisiana.

Rich joined Harry McKneely & Son in 2014. He is a member of the Hammond Chamber of Commerce, the Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce, the Louisiana Funeral Directors Association, and the National Funeral Directors Association.

Rich Merlau
Funeral Director / Embalmer

Erica Wells

Erica is a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer with over 19 years of experience, and holds licenses in both Texas and Louisiana. She is a 2001 graduate of the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, and earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Texas at Dallas. Erica is also a licensed Crematory Operator and Life Insurance Agent.

Erica moved to Louisiana in 2013 and married her childhood sweetheart, Casey, the same year. They currently live in Baton Rouge with their son, Otto. She is a member of the Hammond Chamber of Commerce, the Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce, the Louisiana Funeral Directors Association, and the National Funeral Directors Association; as well as a content contributor for FindAGrave.com.

Erica Wells
Funeral Director

Lance Hutson

Lance is a native and resident of Ponchatoula where he lives
with his wife, Monica. He has 3 children, Jordan Threadgill (Jacob), Emily and Mackenzie Hutson. He is a graduate of Ponchatoula High School and Southeastern Louisiana University. After recently retiring from the Livingston Parish Public School System after 26 years of service, Lance became a licensed funeral director. He and his family attend Jerusalem Baptist Church in Pumpkin Center, where he serves as a deacon.

Lance Hutson
Intern Funeral Director / Embalmer

Haden Puma

Haden was born and raised in Ponchatoula, Louisiana and graduated from Ponchatoula High School in 2014. Haden worked as a missionary for several years with The Mission Church and Youth With a Mission, spending most of his time in Texas, Mexico, and Haiti. Upon returning home, Haden joined our staff in 2018, and quickly felt at home helping people through their time of need.

Haden resides in Hammond with his fiancée, Elizabeth. He enjoys meeting new people and spending time getting to know others. He and his family attend The Mission Church in Hammond.

Haden Puma
Funeral Assistant

Jim Faust

Jim began working at Harry McKneely & Son in the 1970s along side the late Harry McKneely, Sr., the late Harry McKneely, Jr., and Jim's own father, the late Bryant Faust. After a 34-year career with the Tangipahoa Parish School System, Jim returned to Harry McKneely & Son in 2001.  

He has served as President of the Louisiana Association for Public and Community Adult Education, board member of the Richard Murphy Hospice Foundation and member of the Education Committee of the Hammond Chamber of Commerce.  He is an elder and trustee of the First Christian Church in Hammond.

Jim Faust
Insurance Claims

Virginia Wilson

Virginia is a native of Amite and a longtime resident of Kentwood. She has a son, Jeff, a daughter, Tammy, two grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. For many years, Virginia worked as a counselor and community outreach coordinator helping victims of domestic violence. She has been with Harry McKneely & Son Funeral Home for over 13 years helping families process life insurance claims after a loved one has passed. Virginia is well versed in the requirements of different insurance companies, and is excellent at streamlining the often confusing and time-consuming process of making an insurance claim.

Virginia Wilson
Receptionist / Death Certificate Coordinator

Libby Brandenburg

Libby is a lifelong resident of Ponchatoula. She graduated from Ponchatoula High School class of 2014 and attended Southeastern University. She currently lives in Ponchatoula with her fiancé, Lawson, and two cats, Nala and Buddy. In her spare time Libby enjoys painting, fishing, and visiting the beach.  Libby has been with Harry McKneely & Son since March of 2020, where she manages the front desk and coordinates death certificates.  

Libby Brandenburg