The Hamlin & Hilbish Difference
Since 1915, we have been honored to deliver healing experiences to the Eustis community. We exist to serve the unique needs of every family. Learn our story. Lean on us. And let our expertise lead you through the best experience possible.
We’re here to give you care and comfort as we help guide you through the planning journey.
We've learned a lot about caring for families over the years. We realize that we aren't just caring for a loved one, but the entire family. People come to us during their most difficult times, and we respond with kindness, understanding and expertise. Our goal is to make everyone feel at home as we work with them to create a memorable service in honor of a beautiful life.
Hamlin & Hilbish Funeral Directors in Eustis has been under the same local management since 1974 when Verdual Hamlin & Arthur and Carol Gill Hilbish purchased the former Zeller Kennedy & Hamlin Funeral Home. We strive to provide compassionate, empathetic service and value to the families we are honored to serve.
Dedication, compassion & experience
We have built a reputation for excellence and are committed to creating a unique personalized experience for every individual. We know the importance of small details and assist in creating an experience that is just right for your needs and preferences. Whether it is a simple service or an elaborate one, we work diligently to ensure that it is a memorable experience.
Known for its dignity, peace and serenity, Hamlin & Hilbish offers the one-stop convenience of an expansive funeral home and cemetery.
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Years in Business
We're members of the local community who have many years of experience caring for families from all backgrounds and all walks of life. Families know they can count on us to provide them the comfort they need when they need it most.
Managing Partner, Operations
John started his career in funeral service in 1989 in New York City. Born in Brooklyn, NY, he grew up in Montgomery, NY, two hours northwest of New York City. John graduated from Valley Central High School and managed Woolworth stores for 3 years.
In 1989, he moved to Middle Village, Queens, NY to start his career in funeral service. He attended the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in Manhattan and graduated in 1991. While attending school, he worked in several funeral homes simultaneously to start his training.
In 1997, John and his wife, Laura Anne relocated to central Florida. They have two beautiful daughters, Rachel Anne and Megan Riley. Laura Anne is the Director of the Wellness Department at AdventHealth Fish Memorial hospital in Orange City and is very active in their community.
Their family attends St. Clare Catholic Church in Deltona and John attends daily Mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Mount Dora and St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church in Eustis. He is also a Fourth Degree Knight, K of C.
John is the Managing Partner of Operations at Steverson, Hamlin & Hilbish Funerals and Cremations in Tavares, Hamlin & Hilbish Funeral Directors in Eustis and Lakeside Memory Gardens in Eustis.
Art P Hilbish
Co-Founder & Funeral Director
Art has been a resident of Lake County since 1958 when he and his family moved to Leesburg and built the Leesburg Bowling Lanes. He and his wife, Carol Gill Hilbish, are alumni of Eustis High School where he was a standout football player and she was a popular cheerleader.
Art started his career in funeral service in 1964, when he began working at Zeller, Kennedy, and Hamlin Funeral Home. In 1972, he and Carol became co-founders of Hamlin & Hilbish Funeral Directors with their friend and partner Verdual Hamlin; and in 1975, after being approached by several community leaders in Tavares, they built what is now Steverson, Hamlin and Hilbish Funerals and Cremations in Tavares. Carol served as Office Manager of the Eustis location from 1978 – 2020. Art and Carol devoted themselves to the firm and served multiple generations of the Eustis and Tavares communities over the years.
They are blessed with two wonderful daughters Tracey Hilbish Lichtinger and Lory Hilbish Baxley, who still live locally. Art’s service to the community has included serving on the founding board of what is now Cornerstone Hospice; and he has been recognized by Toys for Tots for gathering thousands and thousands of toys for the needy children of our community. He also is a past president of the Eustis Chamber of Commerce and received three prestigious Service Above Self Awards during his many years with the Eustis Rotary Club. He has mentored many during his years as a volunteer coach and served on many Citizens Advisory Boards and Committees at Eustis Elementary, Middle and High Schools. Art and Carol are also active members of the First Baptist Church of Umatilla.
Funeral Home Manager
I was born in Greensburg, PA and moved to Orlando, FL at the age of 16. I graduated from Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando. After high school, I moved to Gainesville, FL where I attended the University of Florida and Santa Fe Community College.
In 1994, I moved to Nashville, TN to begin my career in funeral service. I worked for several different funeral homes while I was going to school to get my degree in Funeral Service. I graduated from John A. Gupton College in Nashville in 1996.
After graduating from college, I returned to Florida to start my career as a Funeral Director. I have worked for the same group of funeral homes here in Lake County since returning from college. While working full time as a funeral director, I went back to college taking night courses and received my B.A. degree in Organizational Management from Warner Southern College in Lake Wales, FL in 1998. I currently hold the position of Funeral Home Manager at Steverson Hamlin & Hilbish Funerals and Cremations in Tavares.
In my spare time, I enjoy traveling, camping, and spending time with my two dogs, Jameson and Zyda.
I also volunteer with the Special Olympics, playing as a partner on the Lake County Special Olympics softball team.
Funeral Home Office Manager
Kathy started working part time at Hamlin & Hilbish Funeral Directors in May of 2015. She is now honored to be the Funeral Home Office Manager and to work with such a great team.
She is originally from Worthington, Ohio and lived in the central Ohio area until she moved to Florida in 1996. She has called central Florida home since then. She first lived in Orlando, then Silver Springs and now Tavares.
She lost her dear husband John in 2008 and is the mother of 6 children, 3 sons and 3 daughters. She has 14 grandchildren that are dispersed throughout Florida, Arkansas, Ohio and California that are the joy of her life.
J. David Sawyer
Managing Partner, Family Service
David was born in Daytona Beach and raised in Orlando, Florida. He is a third-generation Cemetery / Funeral professional who began his deathcare career in Lake County, Florida in 2009 at Lakeside Memory Gardens in Eustis, FL.
David has spent ten years in family service during his career in the funeral and cemetery profession and is well adept at discovering the needs and developing a meaningful solution for the families he is honored to serve. David always treats every family as his own and knows that God has given him the gift to help others in this sensitive field. He feels that there is no greater reward than to help a family put a plan of protection in place, for one of the saddest days of their life.
David loves sharing life with his wife Ashley, his two daughters, and granddaughter. He also loves spending time reading, fishing, kayaking or just sitting on the beach.
David and Ashley are members of St. Andrews Chapel in Sanford, Florida.
We illuminate paths to peace with personalized ceremonies and memorial tributes that honor your loved one.
What Families Are Saying
My wife passed away Sept 12, Hamlin handled the arrangements, they were great, cannot thank them enough.Larry Harper 5 stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
You all did a great job especially with my experience with you all when my son Ronnie Stillwell passed.So I recommend you all to my niece for my nephew Ray Boyer which I raised for years he was like a son to usPaula Shaw 5 stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Very helpful, responsive, and professional.Ashley Hobbs 5 stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Very kind and caring.Linda Bartley 5 stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Thank you for all you did for my family and I. You made things so easy. I didn't have to think about anything I might forget. You had it covered!Jane Crowe 5 stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Everyone was very helpful and understanding. They answered all of my questions and took care of all my needs. I was able to have a personal visual and they set it up so nicely! I was so impressed! I will be using them again for pre-planning.Jillian Pham 5 stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
News & Events
News Feb. 03, 2021
Learn What Matters Most
These times have shown us that life does not come with a guarantee. Get started with your free planning guide.
News Jun. 22, 2020
Life Moves Quickly
From first steps to first jobs and all the times in between, life moves quickly. How you will be remembered is just as important as how you lived.
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We offer a healthy work/life balance and invite ideas and innovation. Hamlin & Hilbish Funeral Directors is where our team members' purpose and passion unite.