History & Staff
We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.
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.
Who We Are
In a nutshell? Experience, professionalism, compassion, and empathy.
General ManagerRead Bio
I've been in funeral service since 1989, working in New York City for several years. Born in Brooklyn, NY, I grew up in Montgomery, NY, two hours northwest of New York City. I graduated from Valley Central High School and managed Woolworth stores for 3 years.
In 1989, I moved to Middle Village, Queens, NY to start my career in funeral service. I attended the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in Manhattan and graduated in 1991. While attending school I worked in several funeral homes to start my training.
In 1997, my wife, Laura Anne and I relocated to central Florida. We have two beautiful daughters, Rachel Anne and Megan Riley. Laura Anne is the Director of the Wellness Department at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City and is very active in our community.
Our family attends St. Clare Catholic Church in Deltona and I attend daily Mass at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Mount Dora. I am also a Fourth Degree Knight, K of C.
I currently hold the position of General Manager of Steverson, Hamlin & Hilbish Funerals and Cremations in Tavares, Hamlin & Hilbish Funeral Directors in Eustis and Lakeside Memory Gardens in Eustis.
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.
I also volunteer with the Special Olympics, playing as a partner on the Lake County Special Olympics softball team.
Art P. Hilbish
Chapel Manager, Hamlin & Hilbish Funeral Directors in EustisRead Bio
I moved to Leesburg in 1958. My parents were in the bowling business and built Leesburg Bowling Lanes. In 1960 we moved to Eustis where they built Eustis Bowling Lanes.
I graduated from Eustis High School, as did my wife, Carol Gill Hilbish. I have an Associate of Science Degree from Miami Dade State College.
In 1964 I began working at, what was then, Zeller, Kennedy, and Hamlin Funeral Home. While in college I worked and lived at Gerhardt Funeral Home in Miami and at the funeral home here in Eustis when I was home. Since 1972 I have either owned or managed Hamlin & Hilbish Funeral Directors. In 1975 Mr. Verdual W. Hamlin Jr, Carol and I built what is now Steverson, Hamlin and Hilbish Funerals and Cremations in Tavares. Carol has been the Office Manager here since 1978.
We have two wonderful daughters, Tracey Hilbish Lichtinger and Lory Hilbish Baxley, we are fortunate, they both live locally.
I am proud to have been on the founding board of what is now Cornerstone Hospice. I am a Past President of the Eustis Chamber of Commerce. I have received three “Service Above Self” awards from the Rotary Club of Eustis. Carol and I have received many forms of recognition for our work on behalf of Toys for Tots. I have served on many Citizens Advisory Committees and School Advisory Committees at Eustis Elementary School, Eustis Middle School, and Eustis High School.
We are 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, majoring in English. That same year, I also graduated from the Dental Assisting program at Orange-Ulster B.O.C.E.S.
I am 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 first-time 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, spending time with my family (SO excited to be a “Gigi”), reading, photography, crafts, and gardening.
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!
Assistant Sales ManagerRead Bio
Thomas B. Spartz was raised in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Graduated from The Virginia Military Institute, Class of 1983 on an Athletic scholarship. Married to his wife Heidi L. Spartz since 1985, they have two children, Lindsay N. Spartz and Ryan T. Spartz.
Thomas and his family moved to central Florida in 1992, where Thomas began his career as a Financial Planner for over 22 years. From that Thomas changed his career path on helping families in a more direct personal way with their Pre Planning arrangements in April 2015. Each day his goal is to help a family remove some of the stress from possibly the worse day in a family’s lives. He Loves what he does so much that he has brought his son Ryan into the business!
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.
Debrah 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 and when asked what she likes most about the job she states, “That 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 is not working her favorite things to do are, spending time with her family, especially her grandsons and going to St. Louis Cardinal baseball games when possible (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.”