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
A graduate of Commonwealth College of Mortuary Science, Houston, Texas. Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer since 1978. Schooled in staff management, leadership, human resouces and civic leadership.
James Bass 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 ones life and offering families an environment for peaceful reflection.
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.
Carly C. Beresky, Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer
Carly was born and raised in the Tampa Bay Area. She attended St. Pete College and graduated in 2009 as a member of Phi Theta Kappa- Alpha Omega Beta chapter with an A.S. in Mortuary Science. Carly moved to Okaloosa County in May of 2012.
In addition to becoming a Florida Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in 2010, Carly has 7 years of previous experience in the health care industry that makes her a very diverse director. Carly is a talented restorative artist and embalmer. She loves working one on one with families in difficult situations to help them through the grieving process.
Carly is currently active with the Niceville/Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Walton Beach community. She lives in Crestview with her husband, Peter; child, Colin; and two dogs, Kate & B.T.
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.
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 3 years, assisting our families, and has a tremendous ability to personalize each funeral service for each family that she serves.
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.
Hailey Bryan, Embalmer Intern
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.
Wes Straughan, Funeral Assistant, Ambassador, Apprentice
Wes has been a long time member of the Fort Walton Beach Community.
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.
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.
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.
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.