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.
Mr. 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/Embalmer/Community Outreach Coordinator
Mrs. Jennifer Lindell-Roys has been with Kersey Funeral Home since 1997, as a Funeral Director/Embalmer/Mentor for Funeral Student Interns. She also serves as the Funeral Homes Community Outreach Director. Mrs. Lindell-Roys graduated from Miami-Dade School of Mortuary Science in 1992 and has over 35 year’s experience in the funeral service industry. Her and husband Chris have a blended family of 3 adult children, Baileigh, Jared and Andrew. As Outreach Director her duties include coordinating numerous annual community events such as; the Ministers Prayer Lunch, Area High Schools Prom Promise, Hope Illuminates Christmas Remembrance, Shredding Events, Vendor Information Expo, Fall Harvest Festival and Career Day at the local area Schools. Jennifer has been active in the Auburndale Community and has served on the Auburndale Chamber of Commerce Board, Auburndale Main Street Board, President of the Auburndale Sun Ridge Junior Women’s Club, Member of Miss Auburndale Softball, past Secretary/Treasurer & Member of the Polk, Hardee & Highlands County Funeral Directors Association, Auburndale High School Chorus/Theater Volunteer, Auburndale High School Chorus Epcot Holiday Processional Volunteer and Auburndale High School Medical Academy Volunteer. Mrs. Lindell-Roys is a proud promoter of the Walter E. Kersey Annual Scholarship for Auburndale High School Senior’s. She is currently an active member of The First United Methodist Church of Auburndale, Member of the National Funeral Directors Association of Women, Ambassador for the Auburndale Chamber of Commerce, Volunteer for the Lake Alfred Chamber of Commerce, “Well Being Magazine” Board Member and Columnist. During the Thanksgiving Holiday she volunteer’s for feeding 5000 meals to the Polk County Community. Jennifer’s hobbies are spending time with her family, church, going to car shows with her husband, golf, swimming and helping the families she serves.
Shawn B. Jackson
Mr. Shawn B. Jackson was raised in Dundee, Florida and has lived in Polk County all his life. Shawn is a graduate of Haines City High School. Upon graduation, Mr. Jackson became successful a business owner in the transportation industry. One glorious day he felt the Lord call him to preach His Word. Mr. Jackson was soon ordained to preach God’s Word. As a Pastor, Mr. Jackson has been assisting families during their darkest hour for over 20 years. During this time, Mr. Jackson felt another calling on his life. A calling that would lead him to return to college to become a licensed funeral director and embalmer. Mr. Jackson successfully graduated from St. Pete College and he received his Mortuary Science Degree in the spring of 2020. In 2021 Mr. Jackson started at Kersey Funeral Home as one of their licensed Funeral Directors and Embalmers. Mr. Shawn Jackson is excited to be a part of such a prestigious and historical funeral home. His motto is, "Every family, Every time deserves the best".
Machale P. Dockins
Apprentice Embalmer/Funeral Attendant
Mrs. Machale P. Dockins has been with Kersey Funeral Home since February 2021. She is a student at SPC for Mortuary Science. Machale has obtained her apprenticeship-embalming license and her expected graduation date is June 2022. Machale is a member of the NFDA, she participates in community outreach with her fellow co-workers. Working in the funeral industry has always been a lifelong dream for Machale. After 17 years of employment at a local hospital as a lab-processing supervisor, at age 50, Machale decided to follow her dream and go back to school to become a licensed funeral director and embalmer. Her current duties include assisting the licensed funeral directors with preparations, office work, funeral services, and getting hands on training for the day she becomes a licensed funeral director and embalmer at Kersey’s. Machale is very grateful to be a team member with the Kersey family.
Mrs. Carol Carrasquillo has been with Kersey Funeral Home since 2015, she is bilingual from Puerto Rico; fluent in Spanish and English. She graduated from University of Maryland College Park with a Master of Science Accounting and Associate in Psychology. She worked before for the mental health field and now to the funeral field, which is a new whole world for her. Carol is the office administrator, supervisor and she assist Kersey’s Outreach Director setting and marketing all the outreach community events. She provide support to various groups and organizations. She collaborates and coordinates with management to create, implement and monitor programs designed to ensure fair and equitable treatment of interns, apprentices, faculty and staff. Carol feels strongly about both supporting and giving back to the community, and is involved in numerous activities and groups. She uses her vast skills on a daily basis to contribute setting the funerals and memorial services in order to deliver a memorable the last good bye’s to the love ones and their family with elegance, pride, fond memories, comfort and honor. Carol is a member of God of Church Manantial de Restauración, in Kissimmee, FL. She enjoy spending her spare time with her loving family, playing sports, serving the community, traveling and camping.