funeral home and cremations in Fort Walton Beach, FL

Meet Our Staff

Our staff provides excellent funeral planning services

We have years of experience caring for families from all walks of life, cultures and faiths. Our unsurpassed staff and our family provide kind, caring, professional service. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession who are dedicated to excellence in service, adhere to the highest funeral industry standards, and have exceptional integrity. We consistently earn phenomenally high customer satisfaction survey results.

Our licensed, professional staff is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call 850-244-5163 anytime. We will even come to you to make arrangements in the comfort of your home.

Prompt, compassionate service is always just a phone call away, where and when you need it.

Mr. James Robert Bass

Mr. James Robert Bass

Managing Partner, Licensed Funeral Director, Embalmer. Crematory Certified.

Originally from McAllen, Texas and bilingual, James always knew he wanted to be a funeral director and embalmer. He is a graduate of Commonwealth College of Mortuary Science, Houston, Texas and has been a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer since 1975. Schooled in staff management, leadership, human resources and civic leadership, James is a 32nd Degree Mason, is a member of the Scottish Rite and the Fort Walton Beach Rotary Club International, sits on the Board of Directors of the Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers. He is a member of First Baptist Church.

James has been married to Janice for over 22 years. They met when Janice had to arrange funeral services for her Aunt in Texas. They have made their home in Shalimar, Florida and have three children, eight grandchildren, and Lacey and Gracie, two little poodles who are their constant companions.

James and the staff are licensed to provide an atmosphere of understanding and care for your loved ones in celebration of their lives. We are highly devoted professionals dedicated to providing the most meaningful celebrations of a loved one’s life and offering families an environment for peaceful reflection. We realize we have funerals every day whereas the families we serve do not. We take our time to listen, and we feel it is our responsibility to help our families, who are arranging a traditional burial services, or Ceremonial Celebration of Life, followed by traditional cremation at our state-of-the-art Crematory where we only provide cremation exclusively for the families we are privileged to serve. Your loved one never leaves our care.

James invites anyone in need of information to stop by to discuss At-Need Arrangements or Pre- Need/imminent Arrangements. With no obligations attached, we provide our General Price List that includes all of our itemized services fees.

Dwight Johnson

Dwight Johnson

Funeral Director/Embalmer

A Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer and a 1994 graduate of Bishop State College in Mobile, Alabama, Dwight has been serving the community since graduating at the following locations: McLaughlin Mortuary, the former Little Chapel, Twin Cities, Niceville, and Emerald Coast. He served a Church Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and is retired from the United States Air Force for 24 years of active duty.

Christine Ann  Gregory

Christine Ann Gregory

Funeral Director/ Embalmer

Christine is a long time resident of Okaloosa County.  She is a graduate of Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, Alabama where she  received her Associate’s Degree in Mortuary Science.  She has a passion for creating a personalized experience for families honoring their loved ones in unique ways.  Christine and her husband, Chris, have two children and reside in Fort Walton Beach.  When not working, she enjoys deep sea fishing, concerts and travelling.


Jeffrey S. Wilkinson

Jeffrey S. Wilkinson

Funeral Director/Embalmer

Jeffrey was born and raised in Carrollton, Georgia.  He graduated from Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, Alabama with his Associate’s degree in Funeral Science.  Jeffrey started in the funeral business in 1997 in Carrollton, Georgia and moved to Milton, Florida in 2007.  Jeffrey enjoys the outdoors including camping and long walks on the beach.  His favorite pastime activity is playing the piano.  Jeffrey has been in the business for over 20 years and looks forward to another 20 years with McLaughlin Mortuary.

 



Phillip Pridgen

Phillip Pridgen

Funeral Director/Embalmer

Born in neighboring Santa Rosa County, Phillip possesses the hospitable nature characteristic of people in the South. He has a passion for helping people after the passing of their loved ones. Phillip earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Troy University and went on to earn his Applied Science Degree in Funeral Science Education at Georgia’s Ogeechee Technical College.  Prior to joining the professional staff at Emerald Coast Funeral Home, he served as a funeral director at Atlanta’s historic H.M. Patterson & Son Funeral Directors.  Phillip currently holds funeral director and embalmer licenses in both Florida and Georgia. 

 


Brandy Coryell

Brandy Coryell

Apprentice Funeral Director/Embalmer

After living in Oklahoma and Texas for most of her life, Brandy moved to Florida in February of 2021. She first felt called to serve grieving families as a young teenager while watching her mother work at a funeral home as an Office Manager. She earned an Associate degree in Mortuary Science from Dallas Institute of Funeral Services and is currently doing her apprenticeship to attain her funeral director and embalmer licenses. Brandy lives in Baker with her husband and their 3 children. She is committed to compassionately caring for each family while celebrating each life lived with dignity and honor.

 


Lisa Coll

Lisa Coll

Administrator

Lisa Coll was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Indiana University with a Bachelor of Science degree.  She has two children and five grandchildren.


Gary Fuller

Gary Fuller

Funeral Assistant

Gary is a lifelong resident of Ft. Walton Beach, FL.  Gary was in the insurance and auto business since 1974.  After retiring, Gary joined our team as a funeral assistant.  Gary has raised four children and has seven grandchildren.  He and his wife, Gloria reside in Ft. Walton Beach.


Gerling Hughey

Gerling Hughey

Funeral Assistant

Gerling is originally from Charleston, West Virginia.  He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2005 after 20 years of service.  Gerling has two children, Jakob and Jadyn.  He resides in Fort Walton Beach, Florida with his cat, Sebastian.


Allen Stearns

Allen Stearns

Celebrant/Funeral Assistant

Allan "Al" Stearns joined the staff in 2011. Al is a retired Air Force officer and has resided in the local area since 1978.

Al is very active in the Fort Walton Beach community, especially the Fort Walton Beach Yacht Club, the Emerald Coast YMCA, the Fort Walton Beach Rotary Club, and his church.
Al is married to Carol and has two adult sons and four grandchildren. Al and Carol are owners of Decorating Den Interiors.

Al is also an "InSight Certified Celebrant" with Life Tributes Professionals, providing customized, personal funeral and memorial services that reflect the personality and lifestyle of the deceased. Al meets with families and coordinates with our funeral directors to tailor a service based on a families wishes.

Diane Schwartz

Diane Schwartz

Funeral Assistant

Diane is a full-time Floral Designer and works part-time as an Ambassador at McLaughlin Mortuary. In 2000, Diane moved from St. Louis, Missouri to the Fort Walton Beach area to fulfill a lifetime dream of living at the beach.

Ted Stookey

Ted Stookey

Crematory Operator

Ted Stookey is from St. Louis, Missouri, where he worked many years in the Funeral Industry and owned his own crematory (Stookey Pet Cremation Service).  He moved to Florida in March of 2018 and is the proud father of 2 children.  He began working at Emerald Coast Funeral Home as an Ambassador in January of 2019.  Soon after, he attended classes and became certified as a Crematory Operator here in Florida, through the Matthews Cremation Program.  He is now a Crematory Operator at Okaloosa Crematory located at McLaughlin Mortuary.  


Larry H. Rogers

Larry H. Rogers

Crematory Operator

Larry H. Rogers moved from his hometown in Birmingham, Alabama to the Fort Walton Beach area in 1996. After four years of working as an Ambassador assisting with funerals and visitations at Emerald Coast Funeral Home, he became the Crematory Operator at Okaloosa Crematory located at McLaughlin Mortuary. He attended class and was certified as a crematory operator in April 2008 through the Matthews Cremation program in Apopka, Florida. Larry lives in southwest Okaloosa County.

Pat Holmes

Pat Holmes

Ambassador/Grief Support

Pat hosts two bereavement groups; this warm and caring service is open to anyone, and there is never any charge.

Pat is married to Maggie Holmes and has three daughters and four grandchildren. He is retired from the automobile business and is an active member of Saint Mary Catholic Church. Pat is extremely proud to be on the staff of McLaughlin Mortuary.

Let us help guide you



Contact Us


McLaughlin Mortuary
|
17 Chestnut Ave SE
| Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
|
Tel: 850-244-5163
| Fax: 850-664-2719

|

| Directions

You are welcome to call us any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or, visit our funeral home in person at your convenience.

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