History & Staff
At Kersey Funeral Home, we have provided customizable memorial services for many years. Personalized service options allow you to honor your loved ones in a way that is both meaningful and healing. We hope to provide support and caring while delivering memorial services that celebrate life and help families find the peace they deserve.
If you’re seeking an honorable celebration of life in Auburndale and the surrounding areas, we invite you to learn more about where we came from and the dedicated people behind our work.
A History of Caring
Mr. E. Walter Kersey
Kersey Funeral Home, once a privately owned home and one of the largest in Auburndale, Florida, was built in 1913 at a cost of $7,500. This home was built for Mr. Mikell Baynard, a local businessman, rancher and citrus grower of the times. As the story goes, Mr. Baynard and his wife Nettie wanted a larger house than an acquaintance of theirs at the time, so they constructed an estate on 7.5 acres of citrus groves overlooking Lake Stella.
The home consisted of 19 original rooms and eight fireplaces, each with a unique mantle. The huge pillars on the front of the building were brought down the Mississippi River and across the Gulf of Mexico. They were hoisted into place on the wrap-a-round porch.
Mr. Baynard was killed in 1933 when his car was struck by a train in Auburndale. When he died, the estate went to the banks, and a man named Harry Penn ran the estate for the banks, until Walter Kersey started leasing the property in 1950.
"Except for enclosing the porch and adding a chapel, I've tried to keep the home just as it was when I purchased it," said Walter Kersey. He, along with Herbert Peyer established the funeral home in 1950.
"The first year it was rough getting started, we had about seven calls that year. The next year we had 50 calls and every year after that we started to grow."
The late Walter and Kathryn Kersey lived in the funeral home raising their three children, Jim, Mary, & David. In 1990 Walter Kersey retired and son, David Kersey and daughter, Mary Kersey Wright took over operating and managing the Kersey Funeral Home. Mary Kersey Wright retired in 2000 making David Kersey the full-time manager in charge. David Kersey continued the family tradition for 20 more years before retiring at the end of 2018. David's son, Eric Kersey, then took over until 2021 where he left the funeral home for an opportunity within the company to help oversee a different division. Eric was the 3rd generation of Kersey to operate and manage the beloved funeral home and continue what has become a family tradition in impeccable care and service.
The Kersey name has and will continue to stand for exemplifying the best in care, service and confidence. In the town of Auburndale, we are all family.
Our Staff’s Dedication to Respectful Care
A funeral, or memorial service, should provide family members and loved ones with the chance to reflect, remember, and celebrate a life well-lived. At Kersey, our goal is to create exceptional services and experiences that fulfill the wishes of your loved one. Our experienced Funeral Directors provide guidance on the crucial first steps toward healing.
Richard Allen Hazelwood has been a funeral director and embalmer with Kersey Funeral Home since 2019. He was promoted to the role of Manager in 2021. He is dual certified having his funeral director/embalmer license and pre-need insurance license. He holds a B.A.S. in Healthcare Administration and Supervision Management from Polk State College. He graduated from St. Petersburg College with an A.S. in Mortuary Science in 2016. Richard has over 25 years of management experience and has worked in the funeral industry since 2010. His duties at Kersey’s include directing and supervising the work of the funeral directors, administrators, embalmers, funeral associates, death certificate clerks, cosmetologists, or other staff.
Richard’s family has been in the Auburndale since 1971. It was his dream to work at Kersey Funeral Home and to serve the great people of this community. He was born in Louisville, KY but considers Auburndale his home town.
Funeral Director/Community Outreach Coordinator
Jennifer Lindell has been a Funeral Director with Kersey Funeral Home since 1997. She graduated from Miami-Dade School of Mortuary Science in 1992 and has over 22 years experience in the funeral service industry. Her duties include coordinating community relations events such as the Annual Ministers Prayer Breakfast, Prom Promise and Career Day at the local elementary schools. Jennifer has been active in the Auburndale community and has served on the Chamber of Commerce, Sundridge Jr. Women's Club of Auburndale and Miss Auburndale Softball and is member of The First United Methodist Church of Auburndale.