Who We Are
Our professional staff has years of experience caring for families from all walks of life. We are leaders in our profession, with dedication to service and professional integrity.
When we sit down with a family, our shared goal is to create a fitting, memorable and affordable service for their loved one. We offer them a wide variety of services and products, as well as a wealth of creative ideas and suggestions. Together, we'll design a memorial or funeral service that suits their needs now, and in the future. Families who come to us know that years from now, they will have deep peace-of-mind because in coming to us, they've done their best to honor their loved one.
Our firm traces its roots back, deep into the 20th century, when our first facility was dedicated. Many years later, this location has seen renovations and changes, but has always been and will continue to be an integral part of this community.
Over the years, the original mission of the firm hasn't changed. We have always intended to provide the best, most professional services, complemented by the finest products. Today, we pride ourselves on being current with the major changes in funeral service trends - and bring those innovations and memorialization options to our client families with integrity and insight.
Mr. James R. Bass, Managing Partner/Funeral Director -Embalmer
Originally from McAllen, TX, bilingual, James always knew he wanted to be a funeral director and embalmer. A graduate of Commonwealth College of Mortuary Science, Houston, Texas, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer since 1975. Schooled in staff management, leadership, human resources and civic leadership, James is a 32 degree Mason, a member of the Scottish Rite and sits on the Board of Directors of the Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers and is a member of the Fort Walton Beach Rotary International.
James has been married to Janice for over 20 years, they met when Janice had to arrange funeral services for her Aunt in Texas, They have made their home in Shalimar, Florida, they have 3 children, and 8 grandchildren and Lacey, a little white toy poodle who is their constant companion. Janice's mother Faye Miler also resides with them in Shalimar, Florida.
James and the staff provide an atmosphere of understanding and care for your loved ones Celebration of Life. 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 and 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 the McLaughlin Mortuary where 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 interested to stop by to discuss At Arrangements or Pre- need/imminent Arrangements. With no obligations are General Price List are provided that include all of services.
Thank you, James Bass
Kevin Lee Farris, Funeral Director
Kevin Farris, Funeral Director and Location Manager
Kevin is a Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer since 1988. He received his education at Forrest Park Community College in St. Louis, MO earning his associate degree in Funeral Service Education. He is licensed in Missouri and Florida. Kevin has been a part of the McLaughlin/Emerald Coast family since 1993 and is active in local civic and community affairs.
Dwight Johnson, Funeral Director
A Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer and a 1994 graduate of Bishop State College in Mobile, Alabama. Serving the community since graduating, at the following locations McLaughlin Mortuary, the former Little Chapel, Twin Cities Niceville & 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 serving for 24 active duty years.
Jerry L. Roth, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
In 1989, Jerry graduated with an associate's degree in Mortuary Science from Mid-America
College of Funeral Service, Jeffersonville, Indiana.
Born and raised in Van Wert, Ohio, Jerry moved to Florida in 1974 working for Smith Funeral Home
and later Kent Forest Lawn in Panama City, Florida. It was there he met his wife of thirty years, Camellia who he shared the Music Ministry with until her death in 2002. Jerry returned to the
Florida Panhandle from South Florida after accepting his current position as a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer with Emerald Coast Funeral Home in December of 2012.
Hailey Rain Bryan, Funeral Director and Embalmer
Born and raised in Louisiana and has recently moved to Florida were her husband proudly serves in the United States Military. Hailey went to school at East Mississippi Community College and has her Associates Degree in Mortuary Science.
Lindsey Baxter, Funeral Director and Embalmer
Lindsey was born in Dothan, Alabama but grew up in the small town of Malone, Florida. She was highly involved in the youth group at her church where she was able to help with the cleanup after Hurricane Katrina , as well as several other workshops in her community. After completing High school she attended Chipola College on a Bright Futures and Theatre Scholarship. During this time she felt she wanted to do something more meaningful and give back to the community. After moving to St.Petersburg, FL in 2008 she then attended St. Petersburg College where she obtained her degree in Funeral Services.
She is excited to be apart of the Emerald Coast team and looks forward to helping families. In her spare time , Lindsey loves going to the beach, reading, playing Bingo, spending time with Friends, visiting family and playing with her toy poodle, Riley.
Scott Howrey, Funeral Director
Scott is a long-time resident of the N.W. Arkansas region where he was a graduate of the University of Arkansas, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education. After spending a few years in the teaching field, Schott decided to change career paths but still wanted to work and serve the public. He chose the field of Mortuary Science where he earned his Associates degree in 1997 from San Antonio Texas College.
After having worked for various companies in both Texas and Virginia, Scott is excited to serve the families of Florida and the Emerald Coast region.
Scott is happily married to his wife of 12 years, Anna. His hobbies include being an avid supporter of Razorback sports, landscaping, gardening, dining out, cooking and antique shopping. He and his wife, Anna also enjoy experiencing new cultures through their enjoyment of traveling to different world countries.
Dylan Morrison, Family Service Counselor
As a Family Service Counselor at Emerald Coast Funeral Home Dylan's mission is to preplan all families in the Fort Walton Beach, Destin, and Niceville region because he is passionate about helping people on one of the most difficult days of their lives. He strongly believes everyone should benefit from the positive impact of preplanning and be made to feel comfortable throughout the process.
Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Canada Dylan comes from a very close family of five and understands the value we place on loved ones. Choosing to further his education Dylan migrated south to Atlanta, Georgia in 2007 where he was very active in both academics and athletics.
Dylan has since received his bachelors in business and professional selling from Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Georgia. He was also the President of the Hockey Program where he won a National Championship while on an International Scholarship for Academics.
Antoinette Richard, Administrator
Antoinette has enjoyed a career in the Floral Industry for over 20 years and has worked and come to know many families in the Fort Walton Beach Community and surrounding areas. She is a registered Notary and a Subregistrar for the State of Florida. She has been with Carriage Services for 5 years, assisting our families, and has a tremendous ability to personalize each funeral service for each family that she serves.
Felicia Nichole Popp, Assistant Administrator
Felicia is a welcome addition to our staff with many clerical skills in serving our families. Also assisiting with visitation and funeral services. She is dedicated to attention to detail to insure
exceeding our families expectations.
Larry H. Rogers, Crematory Operator
Larry H. Rogers moved from his hometown Birmingham, Alabama to the Fort Walton Beach area in 1996. After four years working as an Ambassador assisting with funerals and visitations at Emerald Coast Funeral Home he became the CrematoryOperator 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.
Wade Welle, Administrator Assistant
Wade is a 40 year native of the Okaloosa County area who has an extensive background in service to the community through public safety as a firefighter/paramedic. Wade currently serves families by functioning as our medical liaison to the Physician community.
Wes Straughan, Funeral Assistant, Ambassador, Apprentice
Wes has been a long time member of the Fort Walton Beach Community.
Allan Stearns, Ambassador
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 4 grandchildren. Al and Carol are owners of Decorating Den Interiors.
Jan Bass, Administration