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.
Managing Partner / Funeral Director, Embalmer & Cremation Specialist
Originally from Beaumont, Texas, Jason joined Lakeland Funeral Home, Memorial Gardens & Crematory in May 2012. Jason has been serving families in the funeral industry for the past 27 years. Jason graduated from Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service in Houston, Texas in 1996, with top honors. He is a member of First Aviation Sertoma Club, Florida Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association and is a Master Mason. In his spare time Jason enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, fishing, golfing, bingo, karaoke and flying his drone. If you have a question for Jason, you may contact him at, (863) 686-2125.
Suzie Wiggs-Sanchez was born and raised in Lakeland, Florida. She now resides in Bartow with her husband Ryan, daughter Hannah and step-son Gavin. Suzie graduated from George Jenkins High School in 1997. She began her career at Lakeland Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens in 1998. Suzie quickly realized her passion for this profession and was soon promoted to the position she currently holds as Office Manager. She is devoted to helping families and her community. She is a member of the Junior Service League of Bartow, Heather’s Hope Foundation and Help for Angels. She is also the owner of Suzie’s Southern Décor, a hobby turned part-time job where she decorates businesses, homes and special events. Suzie loves spending time with her husband and kids. They love to take their boat out, fishing, working out and traveling.
Andy has been in the funeral industry since 1985. He joined Lakeland Memorial Gardens in 1999 as a Cemetery Supervisor. Andy enjoys camping and spending time with his family.
Family Service Counselor - U.S. Air Force Veteran
Mario A. Ossa was born in Medellin, Colombia and arrived in the United States on December 1969. After graduating for Miami Springs Sr. High, Florida he enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served for four years. Mario is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University and the University of Miami, Miami FL. Mario has been a long time resident of South Florida, moving to Lakeland in February 2019. Mario started his career in the cemetery business in South West Pennsylvania in 2013 and joined Carriage Services in 2015.
Mario Ossa is married to Marleny Guerra and has two daughters, Tiffany and Vanessa. Mario enjoys traveling, camping in his RV, reading, cycling and kayaking. If you have any questions, you can contact Mario at, (863) 686-2125.
Funeral Director, Embalmer & Cremation Specialist
Jennae moved to Florida in 1990, from Oxford, NY. She grew up in Englewood, where she enjoyed many days at the beach or on the water fishing. After graduating from Lemon Bay High School, Jennae moved to Orlando to attend Joe Blasco Special FX Make-Up School. In 2014, she graduated with an Associates Degree in Funeral Services from St. Petersburg College. After completing her internship in Pensacola, she moved to Lakeland in 2015. Jennae volunteers at SPCA Florida, enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and two dogs, Murphy and Binny, and shopping all the wonderful local markets, shops and thrift stores.
Funeral Director, Embalmer & Cremation Specialist
Monica Vazquez is a Funeral Director and Embalmer currently living and working in Lakeland, FL at Lakeland Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens Cemetery. She is a Florida native, as she was born and raised in Miami. After graduating from Miami Springs Senior High, she soon realized her passion for event planning and studying human cultures and proceeded to earn her degree in Mortuary Services from Miami Dade College. Monica started her career in Miami and Naples, FL and has served many families of many walks of life, assisting them in remembering and celebrating their family member with love and dignity. She has been invited to speak during Forensic events at the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science and is an advocate of the Anatomical Board of Florida, an organization that assists families in donating their bodies to medical studies, furthering human knowledge of medical sciences. Monica is a proud member of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) and enjoys gardening and kayaking the river of grass on her free time. Her ultimate professional goal is to make sure each family she serves is able to close the book of their loved one's life journey with a warm celebration of a life so beautifully lived.
Funeral Director & Embalmer
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, and is also a member of the Polk County Veterans Council. Ronnie joined the Lakeland Funeral Home family in 2001. Although now retired and traveling the U.S. he can be counted on to help out whenever he is in town.
Funeral Director, Embalmer & Cremation Specialist
Diane Mulvey was born in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. She has since lived in Baltimore County, Maryland and Republic, Missouri before she and her husband moved to Florida in 2012. She earned her Associates Degree in Mortuary Science while living in Maryland. She has been a Funeral Director/Embalmer at Lakeland Funeral Home since 2015. In her free time she volunteers at Grune Heidi Farm Rescue in Lakeland, rides her horses and enjoys spending time with her family, especially her husband Michael, sons Andrew, Justin and Garrett, and her granddaughter Raelyn.
Brandy Thomas is a lifelong Polk County resident. She has worked for Lakeland Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens since June 2008 as an Administrative Assistant. She works directly with our funeral director staff and takes great pride in helping families during their time of need. When she is not at work she enjoys spending time with her daughters, and grandchildren. She also enjoys riding her motorcycle, home improvement projects, archery, and loves the outdoors.
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.
Veronica Kerst was born and raised in Central Islip on Long Island, NY. She has been married to her husband George since 1990. They relocated to Lakeland, FL in 2001 to raise their 4 children, and now have 3 grandchildren. Veronica owns and operates “Swim 4 life” a drowning prevention program for infants and toddlers. She is also one of the Founders of the non-profit Heather’s Hope Foundation a teen dating abuse awareness & domestic violence prevention foundation in honor of her friend who lost her life to domestic violence. Veronica is also a member of Junior Service League of Bartow. She has been an administrative assistant with Lakeland Funeral home since 2012. Veronica likes to spend time with her family, friends and loves travel . She enjoys watching her husband play Baseball and her children Cheer and Dance.
Lauren Colvin is a native to the Polk County area. She was born and raised in Lake Wales, where she graduated high school in 2007. She moved to Bartow in 2013 where she lives with her son, Lucas. She started working at Lakeland Funeral Home in 2016, processing marker and memorial orders to ensure our families have the perfect memorialization for their loved ones. She grew up in the Methodist community and has been a member of the First United Methodist Church of Bartow for the last 14 years. She owns and runs a small business, Anchored Air Balloon, where she creates steampunk themed home decor. In her free time, Lauren enjoys reading, writing, cross-stitching and spending time running around with her son.
Judy was born and raised in Devils Lake, North Dakota. Met the love of her life, Joe, while attending Business College and he was stationed at the Air Force Base in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Moved to Buffalo, New York and raised a son and a daughter and a couple of dogs. We did a lot of camping while raising our children and enjoyed the outdoors. Joe retired in January of 2001 and we moved to Lakeland, Florida and have been full time residence since. I wasn’t ready to retire yet so I worked for the Polk County school system for 14 years and retired from there in 2015. I have three beautiful grandchildren. I enjoy golf, bridge, quilting , painting and the pool. Still not ready to retire yet so I’ve returned to the workforce and have been the receptionist here since March of 2018.
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.
Chuck is a lifelong resident of Lakeland and Polk County. He worked for and with FDOT in Bartow for 47 years. He is married and has raised two daughters. He now enjoys his four grandchildren and playing golf at local courses. He joined the Lakeland Funeral Home family as an Ambassador in April 2018.
Pam Bartley joined the Lakeland Funeral Home in 2012. She and her husband of 42 years, Tom, moved to Florida full time in 2011 to enjoy a sunny retirement. She has three grown children: two beautiful daughters, a handsome step-son; and her pride and joy two year old grandson Canon.
She raised her family in the same place she was born, Frankfort, IL. She retired from the Clinton Prairie School system after more than 20 years as a well-loved school bus driver. She satisfied her creative talents working as a local florist where she made beautiful floral designs. She is a lover of sports, having been in active with her children’s sports activities and now most days you can find her on a golf course, in the bowling alley, or playing cards with friends.
Tom Bartley joined the Lakeland Funeral Home in 2012, having moved to Florida full time in 2011 with his wife Pam to enjoy the warm weather. Tom has three grown children: two daughters, a son, a grown grandson, and his new best little buddy- two year old grandson Canon.
Before moving to Florida Tom had lived his whole life in Frankfort, IN. He retired after 30 years of service from General Motors. He followed that career with 15 years as a school bus driver. He kept busy at home coaching many of his kids’ sports teams, attending their games and working in his woodshop creating things for friends and family. Tom spends much of his time helping neighbors and friends with his handy-man skills, relaxing on the beach, by the pool, as well as trips to Georgia to visit Canon!
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.
Robert has been with Lakeland Funeral Home and Memorial Gardens since 2018. He was raised in Jamesville, NC, graduating from Jamesville High School in 1974. Robert relocated to Lakeland, Florida in 1986 while working for Lowes. He and his wife Bonnie are active members of Crystal Lake Methodist Church, where Robert sings in the choir. He enjoys playing golf and going on cruises with his wife and their friends.
You are welcome to call us any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or, visit our funeral home in person at your convenience.