Our People

We value our reputation for providing the highest quality of professional services. We recognize that personal attention and understanding are needed to help you and your family through a difficult time. Our Staff is committed to celebrating a life lived and honors the memory of your loved one with dignity and respect.

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James E. Cusack Owner
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Brenda L. Badger Cusack Executive Lady Attendant
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Charles Allen Cusack III General Manager
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Karen D. Cusack Lady Attendant
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Darcell P. Ashley Funeral Attendant
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Charles P. Bailey Jr. Funeral Attendant
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James A. Bailey Funeral Attendant
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Wanda D. Bailey Funeral Attendant
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William L. Bradley, Sr. Funeral Attendant Emeritus
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Reverend Eugene R. Collier III Chaplain
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Tony T. Collier Funeral Attendant
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Mary Alice Daniels Attendant/Part-time receptionist
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Margie N. Ellis Funeral Attendant
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Bennie Francis Funeral Attendant
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Roderick D. Fludd, Sr. Funeral Attendant/Maintenance
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Tamara Y. Gibson Funeral Attendant
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Vickie Cook-Heath Funeral Attendant
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Ivory Jones Funeral Attendant/Maintenance
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Bernard Miles Funeral Attendant
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Reverend Alicia M. Monroe Office Assistant/Funeral Attendant
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Gwendolyn Moody Office Assistant
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Reverend Willie J. Reed Bereavement Counselor/Minister
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Reverend Wilbert A. Ridgley Jr. Chaplain
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Steve C. Rowson Funeral Attendant
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Kenneth R. Watson Funeral Attendant
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Thomas M. Williams, Sr. Attendant Emeritus

James E. Cusack

Owner
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The rarity of being a native Floridian, coupled with the unique experience of being born in the "delightful city of DeLand" distinguishes James Cusack. James was born at the DeLand Naval Base Hospital, April 12, 1949, the youngest son of Ruth Evelyn Johnson Cusack and Charles Allen Cusack, Sr. and very welcomed baby brother of Charles Allen Cusack, Jr. "Chuck".

 

James Erskine Cusack attended Euclid and Starke Elementary schools during some very transitional times in our social history. An honor (Salutatorian) graduate of Southwestern Jr. - Sr. High School, class of 1967, where he was elected Student Government President, "Most Likely to Succeed", Vice-President of his Class; and was cited for outstanding leadership to the Future Farmers of America, specializing in competitions in Oratory and Parliamentary Procedures. He further distinguished himself as a member of the Honor Society, delegate to Boy's States, served as a Senate Page and performed in the School's band, where he excelled on woodwind instruments, receiving Superior ratings at State Festivals and competitions.

 

He accompanied friends and family in local bands until engagements began to conflict with his work and church commitments. Faithfully committed to the Greater Union First Baptist Church, an avid Sunday School Scholar, he often represented their Youth Department at Conferences and Conventions at the local, District and State level. As a young boy, he assisted his parents, who were both employed at the Arthur J. Mack Funeral Home, then located at 234 South Clara Avenue, DeLand.

 

Learning office skills from his mother, he soon assisted her with clerical, bookkeeping and attendant duties; and his father with automobile and Cemetery maintenance. Impressed by his intellect and "true grit", Reverend Mack provided him part-time employment throughout High School. Under the guiding hands of the late George Williams, Allen Johnson and Dr. Lancaster Starke, he was awarded the Bausch & Laumb Science Scholarship to the University of Miami, majoring in Biology/Pre-Medicine until drafted into the US Army (no college deferments during the Vietnam War).

 

In 1969 he was Honorably Discharged from active service. With scholarships relinquished, he resumed studies in Biology at Stetson University, until admitted into Miami-Dade's William Philbrick, Sr. - School of Mortuary Science. To finance his education, he worked as a laborer, lab assistant (at both schools) and commuted back to DeLand on weekends to work as a Funeral Assistant and driver. With a special interest in "Restorative Arts", he completed studies and his internships (under Reverend Arthur J. Mack) in Embalming and Funeral Directing, simultaneously. He passed the State Boards immediately upon graduation and was among the first graduates of the Mortuary Program to pass the National Boards, giving him license to practice in his profession in 44 of the 50 states.

 

After a brief tenure as Manager of James N. Davis Funeral Home, Jacksonville and Manager/Operator of Sunset Funeral Home (now Lewis-Ray Mortuary), Titusville; and following the demise of both of his parents, who had now been named Owners (silent partners), he returned to the place of his earlier employment as Manager/Embalmer. He was also employed for 15 years by the Volusia County School System as a Campus Advisor and retired as Vocational/Career Counselor. Despite the many opportunities and lucrative offers made, in other cities and states, he chose to remain in his beloved hometown of DeLand. Believing that he could be of greater of service to the people he knew best, his focus and watchword was/is "to provide courteous, professional, sympathetic service." Governed by a personal philosophy that "you can't live off the community, if you're not willing to live in the community", he presently serves as: Chairman of Board of Directors/Deacons of Greater Union First Baptist Church, Chairman of "Weed & Seed" for the City of DeLand and is an active School Volunteer and sponsor for Church, community, fraternal and youth athletic programs. He is a member of the Fourth Regional District, Florida Morticians Association (past Chairman), Independent Funeral Directors of Florida, National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, National Funeral Directors Association, Life Membership NAACP, Citizen's Advisory Task Force and a Board member for College Arms Towers. He also holds membership in the Sickle Cell Disease Association of Volusia County, Charter member, Springhill Kiwanis Club (Board of Directors) DeLand & Lake Helen Chamber of Commerce, VFW Post #2380, Epsilon Nu Delta Mortuary Fraternity, Progressive Pallbearers Lodge # 119 and Senator Coleman Elks Lodge I. B. P. O. E. of W # 1175. His past memberships include: Mu Sigma Tau Honorary Mortuary Fraternity, DeLand High School Advisory Council, Commissioner, DeLand Housing Authority, Board of Directors, African- American Museum of the Arts and Florida Funeral Directors Association.

 

On February 17, 2002, James was honored by the Fourth Regional District of the Florida Morticians Association as "Mortician of the Year". He was recognized by an overflowing crowd of family, friends, colleagues, community and well-wishers in a memorable banquet, an honor which he is well-deserving of. He is married to Brenda (Badger) Cusack, formerly of Jacksonville, who has worked by his side throughout their marriage. They are the proud parents of one son, Charles "Allen" Cusack, III, who has chosen to follow in his father's footsteps. James is the grandfather of four: Ayja, Taccara (Chanden), Devin and Destiny and one great-grandchild, Taryn.

Brenda L. Badger Cusack

Executive Lady Attendant
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Brenda L. Badger Cusack was born in Jacksonville, Florida, the youngest of six children to the Reverend Dr. Solomon L. Badger Jr. and Mrs. Susan Moffitt Badger (both deceased). She is a graduate of Eugene J. Butler High School, class of 1969. She furthered her education at Bethune-Cookman College, class of 1973 where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Nova Southeastern University (1984), receiving her Masters of Administration. She also did post-graduate studies at Stetson University and the University of Central Florida.

 

Upon her graduation from Bethune-Cookman, she began her long and successful career in education. Brenda served as s Classroom Teacher/Instructor, Volusia County's First Female African-American Athletic Director, later as a school administrator and finally as the Parent Relations/Staffing Specialist for Volusia County Schools. She retired in 1995. 

 

Brenda serves actively in her church work and the community. She grew up in Emanuel Baptist Church, where her father baptized her and served as her Pastor. Her life of commitment to Church began in the music ministry, Sunday School, youth department and the Union St. James District Association as the Sunshine Band president at age 5 (Ironically, her granddaughter Ayja followed in her footsteps.) She is a member of Greater Union First Baptist Church, serving as a Deaconess, Sunday School Teacher (55 years), Christian Education Directress, Children’s Church, Youth Advisor and choir member. She serves as President of the Women’s Convention for Mt. Zion Northeast Coast District Association and 1st-Vice President of the Women's Convention for the Florida General Baptist Convention.

 

Brenda is a life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Delta Kappa Gamma, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (life-member), former Vice-President for the DeLand Area Chamber of Commerce (representative for the mortuary), the Retired Educators Association, Volusia County Sickle Cell Disease Association and an Ambassador/Recruiter for Florida Memorial University.

 

She is the mother of one son, the grandmother of four and great-grandmother of one.

 

Charles Allen Cusack III

General Manager
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Born in Daytona Beach, Florida, the only son of Brenda L. Badger Cusack and James E. Cusack.

 

Charles Allen Cusack, III attended local schools and graduated with honors from DeLand High School. During his high school years, he served as a member of the Student Government Executive Board, two years consecutively as well as a class officer. He was Vice-President of Diversified Cooperative Training and was also active with the Yearbook Staff, Newspaper and Peer Counseling and a chorus musician, throughout school. In his sophomore year, he was chosen to represent the school at the Hugh O'Brian Youth Foundation's Leadership Conference, being cited for outstanding leadership as well as citizenship. Again, during his senior year, he represented the school as its honoree for the Community Service & Academic Achievement Award given by the Westside Business and Professional Association. 

 

"Allen" served as the Charter President of the West Volusia Youth Council Branch of the NAACP, also during high school.

 

After school, he worked at the funeral home, assisting with attendant duties, maintenance and clerical work. 

 

At six months of age, Allen was diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia Disease. Once he was old enough to understand his health issues he made it a turning point in his life. He was selected as Poster Child for the Volusia County Sickle Cell Foundation and later that same year name as State Poster Child, eventually representing the association on a National Speaking Circuit and being published at Duke University. His speech "I'm Not Contagious", that had made national coverage was published as an informative book, explaining to parents as well as patients who suffer from this life threatening disease.

 

Following high school, he furthered his education at Cambridge University, majoring in Business Management and Administration, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree; he also studied at Saint Petersburg College of Funeral Service and later earned his degree in Funeral Services from the National Academy of Mortuary Science. He also holds a Doctorate in ministry from the Graduate School of Theology at Minnesota. 

 

Allen began teaching music at the African-American Museum of the Arts until being hired by Stetson University as the Director of its Gospel Choir. He has served as a musician in several churches throughout Volusia, Seminole and Duval Counties.

 

In 2002, he recorded an album, with the Youth Choir that he directed until 2005. The CD is entitled, "Greater Union Youth: Singing In Love & Unity". He has recently completed another recording project to be released in January 2017. He also holds membership with the NAACP, Charter Member of the Springhill Kiwanis Club (Board of Directors), Sickle Cell Disease Association of America (Board Member) Progressive Pallbearers Lodge # 119 and a former YMCA Black Achiever.

 

 

Professionally, he holds membership with the Third Regional District, Florida Morticians Association, where he is the Creating Editor of its Newsletter, "The District Digest"; Independent Funeral Directors of Florida, National Funeral Directors Association and the Gospel Music Workshop of America, where he serves as an Assistant Chapter Representative and Minister of Music.

 

 Allen is a member of Greater Union First Baptist Church, DeLand, where he has served in many capacities since 1987, such as Choir Director, Usher and Advisory Ministry member. He also serves as the Minister of Music for the Saint Annis Primitive Baptist Church of DeLand; the Music Minister/Director of the Mt. Zion Northeast Coast District Association and its Mass and Youth Choirs; and the Florida General Baptist Convention Women's Convention where he serves as Director of Music.

 

He is married to Karen (Humphrey) Cusack, formerly of Rochester, New York. They are the proud parents of Ayja, Taccara (Chanden), Devin and Destiny, and one granddaughter, Taryn.

Karen D. Cusack

Lady Attendant
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Wife of Charles Allen Cusack III was born the youngest of six and only daughter of the late Herman and Johnnie Mae Moore Humphrey. Karen was born in Rochester, New York where she graduated from Monroe High School and School of the Arts (SOTA) a performing arts academy. She furthered her education at Bryant and Stratton College and Florida Technical College. Upon moving to Florida, she worked for Volusia County Schools and currently serves as a Financial Analyist for Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center Women’s Care (OB/GYN).

 

Karen is a member of Greater Union First Baptist Church and a member of the choir. She is also a member of Mt. Zion Northeast Coast District Mass Choir and the Gospel Music Workshop of America.

 

Karen is the mother of Taccara (Chanden), Devin, Destiny and Ayja; and grandmother of Taryn

Darcell P. Ashley

Funeral Attendant
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DeLand native, the son of Rubye C. Ashley and the late Reverend Calvin Augustus Ashley; brother of Harold E. Ashley and the late Terree B. Ashley. A graduate of DeLand High School, class of 1974 and a 1979 graduate of Bethune-Cookman University. Darcell is retired from the City of DeLand where he was employed as an Environmental Biologist and Industrial Pre-Treatment Specialist. He is also a veteran of the United States Air Force (Reserves).

 

Darcell is the owner/operator of Ashley’s Lawn Care and the father of three daughters, Darchelle Amber, Taylor and Tyra. He is a member of the Trustee Board and Finance Committee for Mount Calvary Freewill Baptist Church and former musician. A well-known and sought after percussionist, Darcell has been a musician in several gospel and jazz ensembles.

 

Currently, he is seeking to complete his studies in Mortuary Science, with plans to become a Licensed Funeral Director and is a student member of the Third Regional District of the Florida Morticians Association.

Charles P. Bailey Jr.

Funeral Attendant
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James A. Bailey

Funeral Attendant
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Wanda D. Bailey

Funeral Attendant
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William L. Bradley, Sr.

Funeral Attendant Emeritus
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William L. Bradley Sr. was born in Osteen, Florida the second of eleven children to the late Reverend Dr. Henry Louis Bradley Sr. and Mrs. Johnnie Mae Robinson Bradley. He grew up in Lake Helen, Florida and graduated from Euclid High School, class of 1957. He was married to the late Eugenia Williams Bradley (46 years) and to their union was born six children: Regina B. White, Pastor William Bradley Jr. (Dot), Deborah Graham, Pastor Troy Bradley (Crystal), Cynthia Woods and the late Duncan Antonio Bradley, who was also an employee of the Mortuary until his passing. His son, Troy; daughter, Deborah and nieces Yolanda & Mary Alice have also been employed at the Mortuary at some point in time. William is a well-known family patriarch and a member of Greater Union First Baptist Church of DeLand. He is very much involved in the community and a father-figure to many of his neices, nephews, and extended family.

 

He was employed by G. E. for more than 30 years and an Army veteran of the Korean Conflict. He is also a 33rd Degree Mason and a past Grand Master and District Deputy for Prince Hall Masons, a member of Springhill Lodge # 65. Due to failing health, he retired from active duty with our firm, but is still considered a member of the staff and was officially considered "Attendant Emeritus" in 2010.

Reverend Eugene R. Collier III

Chaplain
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Tony T. Collier

Funeral Attendant
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Mary Alice Daniels

Attendant/Part-time receptionist
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The oldest of six (and proud of it) born to the late Naomi Williams Galloway. She is a graduate of DeLand High School and later worked at West Volusia Memorial Hospital. She married Minister Willie J. Daniels Jr. on April 5, 1971 and they are the parents of three; grandparents of five.

 

She is a devoted member of Pillar Ground Outreach Church and served in whatever capacity she is needed, mostly as an Usher. Alice is a very supportive and will keep you laughing. She is affectionately known as “The Mother”. A true caregiver, she has been a supportive and loving caretaker for many. Her sister Yolanda was also employed by the Mortuary for a brief period. She has been a part of the clerical staff and also a lady funeral attendant when needed for more than 25 years.

 

You are guaranteed to smile after you’ve been in her presence. Among her hobbies, she loves soap operas, game shows and just loves her rocking chair, which she says is to help her rock and care for babies.

Margie N. Ellis

Funeral Attendant
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Bennie Francis

Funeral Attendant
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Roderick D. Fludd, Sr.

Funeral Attendant/Maintenance
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Tamara Y. Gibson

Funeral Attendant
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Tamara was born in DeLand to Limuel Yarn and the late Minister Deborah Floyd. A graduate of DeLand High School and Florida Technical College obtaining to Associate of Science degrees in Medical Administration and Business Management Technologies/Computer Science. She became a Licensed Practical Nurse, Mental Health Counselor & Pharmacy Technician.

 

In 1997, she answered the call into Ministry and serves at Greater Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church.

 

In 2004, she married Reverend Wendell Gibson. They are the parents of Simone, Wendell Jr., Santana and a grandson Siymon.

Vickie Cook-Heath

Funeral Attendant
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Ivory Jones

Funeral Attendant/Maintenance
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Bernard Miles

Funeral Attendant
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Bernard Miles was born May 21, 1948 in DeLand, Florida to the late Bobby and Catherine Miles; the second of six children, Bobby Jr., Deloris, Odessia, Billy and Clayton.

 

He attended the Volusia County School System graduating from Southwestern High School, participating in Future Farmers of America and the Marching Band.

 

On October 13, 1973, Bernard married the love of his life, Marilyn Elaine Smith. To this union, three (3) daughters were born, Tanya Angelica, Sonia Christina and Bernardette LaShalle. He is also the proud grandfather of six (6) grandsons and (1) granddaughter: D'Andre, James, Bernard, Ronald III, Israel, Bernard, Kirk and Sonya.

 

Bernard has received several Community Service Awards for his dedication and work with children in the DeLand and Lake Helen area. He is known by all for his integrity, generosity, helping hands and most of all for his Christian life and love of the Lord.

 

His working career began in the year 1967 as a Maintenance Worker and Groomsmen for Ben White Raceway of Winter Park, Florida. On July 1, 1972, Bernard started the next phase of his life working for St. Peters Catholic Church in DeLand, Florida. He worked in almost every capacity at the church including, yard maintenance, school maintenance, church maintenance and bus driver. He loved what he did and did what he loved. His tenure with St. Peter's lasted until his departure date of June 13, 2012. As a retiree, he is enjoying some of his hobbies such as fishing, motorcycle riding, helping and assisting those in need.

 

Bernard serves as the Head Deacon of the Empowerment Church of God in Christ for over 42 years. He has served at least three (3) or four (4) pastors in this time frame. He is a Deacon Indeed as he works the work and does what is necessary to get the job done. His legacy will live on long after he has departed this earth.

 

His service to the mortuary includes Funeral Attendant and also serves over the Maintenance of Community Cemetery of DeLand.

Reverend Alicia M. Monroe

Office Assistant/Funeral Attendant
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Gwendolyn Moody

Office Assistant
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A native of Elizabeth, New Jersey, Gwendolyn Moody and her husband, J. Herbert (deceased) moved to DeBary, Florida in the early 1990's. She is the mother of three children and a grandmother of two.

 

Gwendolyn is a graduate of International Seminary and Spellman College. She is a member of Greater Union First Baptist Church, DeLand, where she is active in the Choir, Mission Ministry and Sunday School.

 

She joined the office staff in 2014 and has been a valued addition since coming aboard. Prior to joining the office staff, she was employed by Stetson University in the President's Office.

Reverend Willie J. Reed

Bereavement Counselor/Minister
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Reverend Wilbert A. Ridgley Jr.

Chaplain
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Steve C. Rowson

Funeral Attendant
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Kenneth R. Watson

Funeral Attendant
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Born in DeLand, Florida to the late Alonzo & Minerva Griffin Watson. His father was one of the first Taxi Cab Owners in DeLand and his mother was known as "everyone's teacher", having taught for more than forty years.

 

Upon graduation from Southwestern High School (Class of 1964), he attended Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education (Class of 1969). He was a proud member of the Famous FAMU Marching 100. Kenneth is also a 40+ year member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

 

Kenneth married Shirley Richardson and they have been married for 49 years. He is the father of Teresa Watson Goins, Latonya Smiley Jervey and Kenneth Watson Jr. (Deitra). He is also the grandfather of seven and the great-grandfather of eight.

 

With a long family history of Christian Service, he grew up in Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. He has served as a Steward and also as a Drummer. For more than thirty years he served as a Steward and Drummer for Saint James African Methodist Episcopal Church of Titusville, Florida. Upon his retirement, he and his wife Shirley returned home to DeLand where he has reunited with Bethel and resumed his Steward and Musician duties.

 

Kenneth retired from a 32 year career as a Manager/District Manager of Eckerd Drugs and also 12 years as an assistant manager of Walmart.

 

Before moving to Titusville, he was employed briefly at the South Clara Avenue Chapel. Kent has now reconnected with the establishment. We are very happy to have him back in DeLand and once again working with the mortuary.

Thomas M. Williams, Sr.

Attendant Emeritus
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