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 863-686-2125 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. Jason D. Higginbotham

Mr. Jason D. Higginbotham

Managing Partner / Funeral Director & Embalmer



Mrs. Suzie Wiggs Sanchez

Mrs. Suzie Wiggs Sanchez

Office Manager

Suzie began her career at Lakeland Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens in 1998 as the Front Office Receptionist. Suzie quickly realized her passion for this profession and was soon promoted to the position she currently holds as Office Manager. Suzie is a lifelong residence of Lakeland, where she graduated from George Jenkins High School. When she is not managing her qualified staff, she loves spending time with her husband, daughter and step-son, all of whom are members of Highland Park Church of the Nazarene.

Ronnie Carl Hicks

Ronnie Carl Hicks

Embalmer/Funeral Director

Ronnie C. Hicks was raised in Louisville, Kentucky and graduated from high school in 1974. After completing high school, he joined the U.S. Army and is a Vietnam era veteran. Ronnie was with the 25th Infantry Division, and his tours of duties included Hawaii, Fort Sam, Houston, Texas; and Fort Know, KY, where he served as a Combat Medical Aidman. After spending 10 years in the U. S. Army, he attended Mid-America College of Funeral Service in Jeffersonville, Indiana, where he received his Associate of Science Degree in Funeral Service. Ronnie has been a Lakeland resident since 1985. He is a member of the United States Military Vets Motorcycle Club, serving as the Vice President of the North Florida State Chapter, and is also a member of the Polk County Veterans Council. Ronnie joined the Lakeland Funeral Home family in 2001 and is our lead embalmer and the Site Safety Supervisor.

Email: ronnie.hicks@carriageservices.com


Brandy Hicks

Brandy Hicks

Administration

Brandy is a lifelong resident of Polk County. She became part of the Lakeland Funeral Home family as an Administrative Assistant in June 2008.

Michelle Mouncey

Michelle Mouncey

Administration

Michelle is a lifelong resident of Lakeland and thoroughly enjoys raising her two boys in the same town she grew up in. Michelle is no stranger to the funeral industry, having spent over seven years with us at Lakeland Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens. As an active member of our administrative team, she takes great pride in helping families with any questions that might arise with any of their arrangement accounts.

Robert DeRushia

Robert DeRushia

Funeral Assistant

Robert "Tito" moved to Lakeland in 2005 from Washington, D.C. and the Northern Virginia area. He retired from George Washington University Hospital after 28 years of service. Robert had always been fascinated by the funeral industry and decided to seek a new career. He joined our family as a Funeral Assistant in 2005. 

Jerry Moore

Jerry Moore

Ambassador

Jerry moved to Florida in 1993 and retired in 2005. He worked in a funeral home for two years back in the early '60s. Jerry served in the US Army in the Vietnam and Korean Wars, holding the rank of Captain, and retired in 1975. He joined the Lakeland Funeral Home family as an Ambassador in March 2006.

Andy Tuttle

Andy Tuttle

Grounds Superintendant

Andy has been in the funeral industry since 1985. Andy joined Lakeland Memorial Gardens in 1999 as a Cemetery Supervisor. Andy enjoys camping and spending time with his family.

Albe Gonzalez

Albe Gonzalez

Grounds Crew

Albe moved to Lakeland from New York in 1996. Albe joined our grounds crew family at Lakeland Memorial Gardens in 1998. He is a proud father of three and enjoys spending time with his family.

Monroe Haltaman Jr.

Family Service Counselor



Lisa Wood

Lisa Wood

Administrative Assistant

Lisa C. Wood, originally from Lakeland, spent 15 years in Tennessee, where she raised her three children, got her degree and started her career in Family Service. Upon returning to Lakeland in 1999, she worked in the medical field until returning to Family Service with Lakeland Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens in 2006. Lisa is passionate about the responsibility that one has to their family regarding the inevitable obligation of making final arrangements. She is active in educating the community through seminars and speaking engagements on the fundamental steps of pre-planning and the benefits of providing protection and peace of mind to the love ones left behind. Lisa and her husband, Charlie, are blessed with a blended family of five children and four grandchildren.

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