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 HistoryWe have served the Wildwood and Sumter County communities with compassion and care for over four decades. Our founders, Lonnie Page, his son-in-law Cecil Theus and Coleman Banks, have sought to create a top-notch facility with excellent standards of service. Our funeral professionals continue this tradition and strive to help each family honor their loved one in a personalized and unique manner.
We strongly focus on the needs of each family. We know the importance of small details and assist in creating an experience that is just right for your needs and preferences. Whether it is a simple service or an elaborate one, we work diligently to ensure that it is a memorable experience.
We offer Video Tributes, Floral Services, Balloon Releases, Dove Releases, Military Honors, Special Musicians, and dozens of other ways to memorialize and pay tribute to the departed soul.
We are available to conduct services in any religious institution and/or cemetery. We also provide a number of options both for funeral services as well as entombment at our own cemetery.
Our friendly and helpful staff is always available to answer your queries and provide any information or assistance that you may need.
Our Valued Staff
Jim Semesco, Vice President of Operations
Stuart Force, Funeral Home Manager
Stuart Force was born in Elizabeth, N.J and is married to his Wife Elaine. They have six children, Joe Smith, Scott Smith, David Force, Elizabeth Acton, Laura Rodriguez and Amanda Church. Stuart has been in the funeral industry since 1982 and when asked why he is in the funeral industry he states “I love helping people and being involved in the community. This career allows me to assist people thru the hardest time in their life and to be active with the community.” When Stuart is not at work his favorite things to do are, Backpacking, Hiking, kayaking, camping and spending time with his grandchildren. When asked what was the best advice you ever received he said “Be patient.”
Pamela Hollimon, Office Manager
Cynthia Beam, Assistant Office Manager
Bill Ward, Funeral Director
William C. Ward, III was born in Rochester, New York and is married to his wife Dr. Marnie L. Ward. They have three children, Diana M. Ward, William C. Ward, IV and Grace L. Ward. Bill has been in the funeral industry since 1991 and when asked why he is in this industry Bill states “Since I was a young man I have always had a calling to help those who were truly in need of help. The funeral service has truly offered me the opportunity to help families who are truly in need of help.” When asked what Bill likes about his job he stated “Helping families through the difficult process of the funeral arrangement, funeral service and committal service. Thereby allowing them the opportunity to have a service that meets and exceeds their request.” When Bill is not working his favorite things to do are, Helping his children with school work, 4H projects and working on his Lionel Train layout. When asked what the best advice was that he had ever received Bill said “Always treat a client family as though they were your own family and you will never be wrong! Given by the late Orlando J. Fero, Jr. who was the owner of Fero Funeral Homes of Beverly Hills and Dunnellon, Florida.”
Russ Critendon, Family Service Counselor
Russ Critendon was born in Houston, Texas and has one child, Darby Dowdy. Russ has been in the funeral industry since 1989 and when asked why he is in the funeral industry he states “To help families gain peace of mind, avoid emotional over spending and make decisions together.” What Russ likes most about his job is freedom and helping families pre plan. When he is not working his favorite things to do are, making videos, putting them on YouTube, photography, nature, and his iphone. When asked what the best advice was that Russ ever received she said “Love the Lord with all your heart, mind, and body and Love others as myself.”
April Rose, Family Service Counselor
April Rose was born in Massachusetts and has one son, Dylan. She has been in the funeral industry since 2013 and when asked why she is in this business she states “I worry too much. By helping people pre plan, I like to give them one less thing to worry about.” When April is not working her favorite things to do are, Working out, playing with her dog at the dog park, and spending time with her family. When asked what the best advice was that April ever received she said “Act with integrity in all you do.”
Don Jernigan, Staff Associate
Don Jernigan was born in Orlando, Florida and is widowed with two children, Paul and Jeff Jernigan. Don has been in the funeral industry since 2007 and when asked why he is in the funeral industry and what he likes most about his job Don states “I like meeting people. The people I work with and being understanding and sympathetic to our clients in the most difficult times in their lives.” Don’s favorite things to do when he is not working are, Teaching Sunday School and relaxing. When asked what the best advice was that he ever received Don said “Treat people how you would like to be treated.”
Cheryl Newmons, Staff Associate
Bobby Caruthers, Staff Associate
Peggy Banks, Clerical & Administrative Specialist
Peggy Banks was born in North Carolina and has three daughters, Paige, Deidra and Cheryl. Peggy has been in the funeral industry since 1966. When asked why she is in the funeral industry she states “ My husband, Coleman Banks, was a Funeral Director, Embalmer for 42 years prior to his death in 2003.” What Peggy likes most about being in the funeral industry is the satisfaction of knowing she can help a family during their time of grief. When she is not working her favorite things to do are being with her family, helping with her grandchildren and great grandchildren and shopping. When asked what the best advice was that she has ever received she said “Never take life for granted – we don’t have the promise of tomorrow. (This has been true in many, many instances).”