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
Steverson, Hamlin & Hilbish Funerals and Cremations has been serving the Tavares community since 1959.
Hermon Steverson, Verdual Hamlin and Art Hilbish devoted themselves to their community. Our staff has continued with the tradition of providing care and comfort to families during their time of loss.
We value the importance of small details and assist each family with their needs and their preferences. Whether it is a simple service that you desire or the most elaborate arrangement, we work diligently to create a service that is unique and personalized.
We offer video tributes, floral services, dove releases, military honors, special musicians, and dozens of other tributes. Our effort is to ensure that your tribute to your loved one is an event that will be remembered and cherished by all those in attendance.
My son-in-law and I have nothing but praise for the staff here. they were very helpful in everything that needed to be done for my daughter/his wife. Thank you again for making everything as easy as it could be during our time of sorrow.Karen Lockamy
I thank you so very much for all your help, information & suggestions at our first meeting. It helped us make the decisions we needed to make. Thank you and your staff for working so hard to make it possible for us to say good bye to our brother the way we wanted to. You truly worked hard to make it possible for us to afford to lay our brother to rest.... Read MoreBettie
Thank you and the staff for all that you did to make or day, the way we wanted it to be🙏🙏🙏 Sincerely, Tammy JamiesonTammy Jamieson
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.
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: watch movies, play games with my family, ride a bike, and spend time with his wife.
Matthew A. Pierson
Chapel Manager, Steverson, Hamlin & Hilbish Funerals and Cremations in TavaresRead 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.
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.
Brenda Leigh Pucino
Office ManagerRead Bio
I was born in Goshen, Orange County, New York (The Hudson Valley). I am the middle child of 5 and was raised in Cornwall, New York.
I graduated from Cornwall Central High School in 1977, while majoring in English. That same year, I also graduated from the Dental Assisting program at Orange-Ulster B.O.C.E.S.
I have been married 38 years to my husband, Joseph A. Pucino and together we have three children-- Joseph William, Jesika Lara, and Robert Scott Pucino. I am also a grandmother to Cooper, born June 1, 2018, and Marshall, born November 1, 2018.
Shortly after our third child, Robert was born, we moved to the Central Florida area in 1992. We are members of the First Baptist Church of Deltona.
I have been working at Steverson, Hamlin & Hilbish Funerals and Cremations since 2010. I love my job and the group I work with and am proud of what we do to serve this community in a caring and compassionate manner. Knowing we have successfully helped a family, even in a small way for a short time, is a humbling sign of a job well done.
When I am not working, my favorite things to do are, spend time with my family (so excited to be a “Gigi”), read, photography, crafts, and garden.
The best advice I have ever received is: No matter what it is you are doing, whether the task is big or small, always do your best –Always!
Deborah Yvonne Williams
Administrative AssistantRead Bio
Yvonne was born in Gaffney, South Carolina, and is married to her husband, Ray Williams. Together they have three (triplets) children: Matthew, Jyllean, and Michelle Williams; and two grandsons, Luke and Ben.
Yvonne has been in the funeral industry since 2010. When asked what she likes most about the job she states, “We try our best to do everything possible to help and comfort families at one of the most difficult times of their lives.” When Yvonne isn't working she enjoys spending time with her family, especially her grandsons, and going to St. Louis Cardinal baseball games (big fan).
When asked what the best advice she has ever received was she said, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and if you worry, pray – If you pray, don’t worry.”