History & Staff
We have many years of experience caring for families from all walks of life. As leaders in the industry, families know they can count on us to provide them with the comfort they need when they need it the most.
Why Choose Us?
Learn The Legacy
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.
Our friendly and caring staff members help each family create a service that is unique and truly honors their loved one. We know the importance of small details and assist each family with their needs and their preferences. Be it an elaborate service or a simple event, we take care to see that your loved one is honored according to your wishes.
You can choose from a selection of memorialization options including video tributes, floral services, dove releases, military honors, and special musicians among others. Whatever your preference, we will ensure that the arrangements and service are executed to your satisfaction. Above all, we strive to ensure that each service is a memorable event that honors and celebrates the life of the departed soul.
While we conduct services in any religious institution, and/or cemetery, we invite you to choose our funeral home. The tasteful decor and rich woodwork of our chapel creates an ambiance that is warm and comforting and among the finest in the Lake County area. We also have our own cemetery and offer a number of entombment and cremation options. Our facilities are designed to cater to your specific needs and provide a peaceful and well-maintained final resting place for your loved one.
Mr. Hilbish , you are a very honorable man! I did not expect a refund & would not have known about it. Thank you for your great attitude that made me feel good about you taking care of my S. He was a wonderful man!Mrs. S
I had such a positive experience - I will never forget how kind and considerate Mr. Hilbish was. They did everything humanly possible - thank you. They responded quickly to every request, more than generous very fair. Thank you once again K.CK.C
Although the cost of my service was minimal compared to the average funeral expense, I felt I was treated with the same respect and professionalism as someone whoes expenses were much greater than mine. I drove from the hospital to the funeral home without calling first and was seen upon arrival. Information was provided, my questions were answered and the... Read MoreMrs. M.W
Who We Are
General ManagerRead Bio
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 General Manager of 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 DirectorRead Bio
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.
Sales ManagerRead Bio
Raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dan has always worked in professions that involve helping people. Having worked in the Cemetery/Funeral industry over 20 years, he is passionate about his work as a Sales Manager in Lake County, Florida.
Dan is dedicated to the families and staff who call on him, seeking assistance, guidance, and practical solutions to their needs. He is trained to listen and personally address particular issues and concerns. He specifically enjoys sharing the necessary information needed to make informed decisions about making arrangements now or planning for the future.
David Kenneth Crane
Assistant Sales ManagerRead Bio
Born and raised in Mobile, AL. Kenneth is married to Rebecca Crane. He was home-schooled from kindergarten through 12th grade. Kenneth graduated from Bishop State Community College with an Associate's Degree in Business Management and Supervision Technology.
Kenneth has been in the funeral Industry since 2016 and when asked why he is in the business Kenneth states "I have always enjoyed helping people. Whether it is helping them set up a new type of technology, or helping them set up their final arrangements, helping someone understand something that would usually be difficult and making it easier provides me great joy."
When asked what the best advice was, he had ever received Kenneth said "Every single person you come into contact with has their own story. They are meeting us during one of the worst times of their lives so it is our duty to help them out in any way we can to make this difficult time easier."
When Kenneth is not working his favorite things to do are: watching movies, playing games with my family, riding a bike, and spending time with his wife.
Jesika L Pucino
Chapel Manager / Funeral DirectorRead Bio
Jesika L. Pucino has been with the same group of funeral homes in Lake County since 2009. When Jesika began her career in the funeral industry she was 19 years old and started out as a staff associate, working part time in the office and assisting at funeral services. It did not take long for her to realize that she had found her calling in helping others during their time of need. At age 20, Jesika moved to Nashville, TN to attended John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Science, while continuing to work in the funeral industry, as she completed her schooling. Jesika graduated in 2012 and moved back to Lake County, FL where she finished her internship and obtained her license in funeral directing and embalming. Jesika has a passion for helping others and specializes in the personalization of celebration of life services. Jesika is currently the location manager of Hamlin and Hilbish Funeral Directors and looks forward to serving her community.
Chapel Manager-Tavares ChapelRead Bio
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 Location 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.
Office ManagerRead Bio
Kathy started working part time at Hamlin & Hilbish Funeral Directors in May of 2015. She is now honored to be the 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.