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 850-864-3361 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.
Managing Partner/Funeral Director -Embalmer
James Bass is originally from McAllen, Texas. James always knew he wanted to be a funeral director and embalmer. He is a graduate of Commonwealth College of Mortuary Science in Houston, Texas and a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer since 1975. Educated in mortuary law, human resources management, leadership, and civic leadership, James is a Scottish Rite 32nd Degree Freemason, Valley of New Orleans Orient of Louisiana, Member Board of Directors, Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers, member of the Fort Walton Beach Rotary Club International, member of the First Baptist Church of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and a 33rd Degree Shriner International, Hagji Temple, Pensacola, Florida. Advisory Board Member LifeNet Health, Pensacola, Florida.
James has been married to Janice since 1993; they met when Janice was arranging funeral services for her aunt in Texas. They made their home in 2011, at Shalimar Point Dr. in Shalimar, Florida. They have three children, eight grandchildren, and Elvis and Gracie, their two little toy poodles who are their constant companions at home or when traveling.
James and the licensed staff of funeral directors, funeral assistants and celebrants provide an atmosphere of understanding and care for anyone who has lost a family member or a friend with Celebration of Life Service Options and Candlelight Memorial Services. All 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. Emerald Coast Funeral Home also hosts every Tuesday at 1:00 PM a Grief Support Meeting in conjunction with Emerald Coast Hospice to help families and friends who are struggling with the loss of a loved one.
We take time to listen and feel it is our responsibility to help educate families with options, whether arranging for traditional burial services or a traditional cremation celebration of life service at either Emerald Coast Funeral Home or our state-of-the-art Crematory, where we provide cremation services exclusively for the families we are privileged to serve. Your loved one never leaves our care.
James invites anyone interested in information regarding their options to stop by to discuss at-need arrangements, pre-need arrangements or imminent arrangements that can be funded in advance and guaranteed, or just placed on file for future use with no obligations. Our General Price List is always provided and includes our itemized professional services and merchandise that can freeze the cost of the funeral service guaranteeing that whatever services you select will never rise in cost.
James and the staff are proud to announce that on December 7, 2015 they opened the doors to their new 15,000 square foot state-of-the-art funeral home, located at 161 Racetrack Rd. NW, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, 32547, across from the Choctawhatchee High School Stadium.
Voted 2018 Finest Funeral Home and Crematory on the Emerald Coast for the 8th year in a row
Caring for people. Making a difference in people's lives.
Funeral Director, Embalmer, Crematory Operator
Kevin has been a Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer since 1988. He received his education at Forrest Park Community College in St. Louis, Missouri, earning his Associate's 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.
Funeral Director/ Embalmer
Christine Gregory is a graduate of Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, Alabama, where she received an Associate’s Degree in Mortuary Science. Christine is also active in Autism and Down Syndrome support groups. Christine resides in Fort Walton Beach with her husband, Chris, and they have two children, Haylee and Drew.
Scott was born and raised in Tipton, Iowa. He graduated in 2001 from Arkansas State University Mountain Home with his Associate's degree in Funeral Science. Scott came to the Fort Walton Beach area from Jacksonville, Florida and before that, Albuquerque, New Mexico. In his spare time, Scott enjoys golfing, bowling, and traveling. Scott is married and has three grown children, two of whom are married and have blessed him with three wonderful grandchildren. He brings 15 years of experience with him. It is a pleasure for Scott to be here in Fort Walton Beach and at Emerald Coast Funeral Home.
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 Emerald Coast Funeral Home.
Dwight Johnson is a Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer and a 1994 graduate of Bishop State College in Mobile, Alabama. He has served 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, having served for 24 active duty years.
Eddie is a third generation Funeral Director. In 1922, his grandfather, L.E. McLaughlin, Sr., founded the McLaughlin Funeral Home in Crestview, Florida, where Eddie currently lives today with his wife Rhonda. In 1955, Eddie's grandfather also founded the McLaughlin Mortuary in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Eddie is an antique car enthusiast and a 33rd degree Mason and Shriner. He has been providing professional funeral services in Northwest Florida and South Alabama since 1969, when he attended Mortuary Science School in Kentucky. He continues to serve his community and to care for his families and many friends.
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 Sub registrar for the State of Florida. She has been with Carriage Services assisting our families for nine years and has a tremendous ability to personalize each funeral service for each family that she serves.
Certified Celebrant Life Tribute Professional and 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 four grandchildren. Al and Carol are owners of Decorating Den Interiors. Al is also an "In Sight 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 family's wishes.
From Dunnellon, FL.
A 1986 Graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service with a degree in Mortuary Science. He was a Funeral Director & Embalmer in Atlanta, Ga till 1998 at H.M. Patterson & Son Funeral Home, Spring Hill Chapel Georgia. Jeff moved to Pensacola, FL & opened Gulf Coast Pet Crematory, Inc. in 1999 selling the business in 2015. He served on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Pet Cemeteries & Crematories for 8 years. Jeff moved to Fort Walton Beach with his dog Rosie in March 2017. When not at Emerald Coast Funeral Home, Jeff loves to cruise, a platinum member with Carnival Cruise Lines; travel often to Miami, due to being a huge Miami Dolphin fan. When not on a cruise or at a Dolphin game, he can be found camping in his camper or on his boat at Crab Island, Destin, FL.
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.
Diane is a full-time Floral Designer and works part-time as an Ambassador at Emerald Coast Funeral Home. In 2000, Diane moved from St. Louis, Missouri to the Fort Walton Beach area to fulfill a lifetime dream of living at the beach.
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 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 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 Emerald Coast Funeral Home.
Grief Support and Ambassador
Joan Young was previously employed at Emerald Coast Funeral Home for 10 years at our previous location and we are delighted that she has joined us again at our new location. She was National President for Gold Star Wives from 2005-2007. Ms. Joan was Volunteer of the Year for the Mental Health Association in 1999. She was inducted into the Okaloosa County Women's Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Okaloosa County Wall of Fame in 2005. For 18 years, she served as Chapter Leader for the Compassionate Friends Grief Support Group. She is currently a volunteer for the VA Clinic and previously volunteered for the Crisis Line, The Sexual Trauma Team and Transformers. She was deemed Employee of the Year at a previous employer in 1996. Ms. Joan has an Associates of Science Degree. Employee of the Year at Gulf Power, she is also a Gold Star Wife.
Donna E. Dalton Lambert was born and raised in Fort Walton Beach, Florida and is a 1982 graduate of Choctawhatchee High School. She attended Northwest Florida State College (OWJC) and graduated from Bay Area Technical College with a Certification in Cosmetology. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers and 3rd Vice President for GWCFWB Women's Club. Donna is the owner/stylist of Salon Brigitta. She is married to David and has two children and one grandchild.