We have years of experience caring for families from all walks of life, cultures and faiths. Our unsurpassed staff and our family provide kind, caring, professional service. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession who are dedicated to excellence in service, adhere to the highest funeral industry standards, and have exceptional integrity. We consistently earn phenomenally high customer satisfaction survey results.
Our licensed, professional staff is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call 850-678-7768 anytime. We will even come to you to make arrangements in the comfort of your home.
Prompt, compassionate service is always just a phone call away, where and when you need it.
Managing Partner /Funeral Director
Originally from McAllen, Texas and bilingual, James always knew he wanted to be a funeral director and embalmer. He is a graduate of Commonwealth College of Mortuary Science, Houston, Texas and has been a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer since 1975. Schooled in staff management, leadership, human resources and civic leadership, James is a 32nd Degree Mason, is a member of the Scottish Rite and the Fort Walton Beach Rotary Club International, sits on the Board of Directors of the Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers. He is a member of First Baptist Church and a 33 degree Shriner at the Hadji Temple.
James has been married to Janice for over 25 years. They met when Janice had to arrange funeral services for her Aunt in Texas. They have made their home in Shalimar, Florida and have three children, eight grandchildren, and Elvis and Gracie, two little poodles who are their constant companions.
James and the staff are licensed to provide an atmosphere of understanding and care for your loved ones in celebration of their lives. We are highly devoted professionals dedicated to providing the most meaningful celebrations of a loved one’s life and offering families an environment for peaceful reflection. We realize we have funerals every day whereas the families we serve do not. We take our time to listen, and we feel it is our responsibility to help our families, who are arranging a traditional burial services, or Ceremonial Celebration of Life, followed by traditional cremation at our state-of-the-art Crematory where we only provide cremation exclusively for the families we are privileged to serve. Your loved one never leaves our care.
James invites anyone in need of information to stop by to discuss At-Need Arrangements or Pre- Need/imminent Arrangements. With no obligations attached, we provide our General Price List that includes all of our itemized services fees.
Funeral Director/EmbalmerA Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer and a 1994 graduate of Bishop State College in Mobile, Alabama, Dwight has been serving the community since graduating at the following locations: McLaughlin Mortuary, the former Little Chapel, Twin Cities, Niceville, and Emerald Coast. He served a Church Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and is retired from the United States Air Force for 24 years of active duty.
Funeral Director/ Embalmer
Christine is a long time native of Okaloosa County. She is a graduate of Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, Alabama where she received her Associate’s Degree in Mortuary Science. She has a passion for creating a personalized experience for families honoring their loved ones in unique ways. Christine and her husband, Chris, have two children and reside in Fort Walton Beach. When not working, she enjoys deep sea fishing, concerts and travelling.
Jeffrey was born and raised in Carrollton, Georgia. He graduated from Jefferson State Community College in Birmingham, Alabama with his Associate’s degree in Funeral Science. Jeffrey started in the funeral business in 1997 in Carrollton, Georgia and moved to Milton, Florida in 2007. Jeffrey enjoys the outdoors including camping and long walks on the beach. His favorite pastime activity is playing the piano. Jeffrey has been in the business for over 20 years and looks forward to another 20 years with McLaughlin Twin Cities Funeral Home.
Born in neighboring Santa Rosa County, Phillip possesses the hospitable nature characteristic of people in the South. He has a passion for helping people after the passing of their loved ones. Phillip earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Troy University and went on to earn his Applied Science Degree in Funeral Science Education at Georgia’s Ogeechee Technical College. Prior to joining the professional staff at Emerald Coast Funeral Home, he served as a funeral director at Atlanta’s historic H.M. Patterson & Son Funeral Directors. Phillip currently holds funeral director and embalmer licenses in both Florida and Georgia.
Funeral Director, EmbalmerEddie is a third generation Funeral Director. In 1922, Eddie's grandfather, L.E. McLaughlin, Sr., founded the McLaughlin Funeral Home in Crestview, Florida, where Eddie currently lives today with his wife Rhonda McLaughlin. In 1955, Eddie's grandfather also founded the McLaughlin Mortuary in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
Apprentice Funeral Director/Embalmer
After living in Oklahoma and Texas for most of her life, Brandy moved to Florida in February of 2021. She first felt called to serve grieving families as a young teenager while watching her mother work at a funeral home as an Office Manager. She earned an Associate degree in Mortuary Science from Dallas Institute of Funeral Services and is currently doing her apprenticeship to attain her funeral director and embalmer licenses. Brandy lives in Baker with her husband and their 3 children. She is committed to compassionately caring for each family while celebrating each life lived with dignity and honor.
Taylor is from Carterville, Illinois and a 2019 graduate of Southern Illinois University where he received his Bachelors of Science degree in Mortuary Science and Funeral Service. He obtained his funeral director and embalmer licenses in the state of Kentucky following in the footsteps of his late grandfather, Robert Earl Taylor, whose funeral home Taylor grew up in. Taylor has lived in Mary Esther since August of 2021 and is currently reciprocating his Kentucky licenses to Florida. When he is not serving families, Taylor enjoys the gym, fishing, watching St. Louis Blues hockey, and spending time with his dogs Gracie and Binnie.
DJ has lived in the Fort Walton Beach area for 55 years graduated from Choctawhatchee High School, managed a printing business for 30 years.
Widowed, she has two daughters, 6 grandchildren and 3 Great granddauhters. I love the funeral business it makes me happy to take care of families in their time of need.
Celebrant/Funeral AssistantAllan "Al" Stearns joined the staff in 2011. Al is a retired Air Force officer and has resided in the local area since 1978.
Gary is a lifelong resident of Ft. Walton Beach, FL. Gary was in the insurance and auto business since 1974. After retiring, Gary joined our team as a funeral assistant. Gary has raised four children and has seven grandchildren. He and his wife, Gloria reside in Ft. Walton Beach.
Gerling is originally from Charleston, West Virginia. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2005 after 20 years of service. Gerling has two children, Jakob and Jadyn. He resides in Fort Walton Beach, Florida with his cat, Sebastian.
Funeral AssistantDiane is a full-time Floral Designer and works part-time as an Ambassador at Twin Cities Funeral Home. In 2000, Diane moved from St. Louis, Missouri to the Fort Walton Beach area to fulfill a lifetime dream of living at the beach.
Ted Stookey is from St. Louis, Missouri, where he worked many years in the Funeral Industry and owned his own crematory (Stookey Pet Cremation Service). He moved to Florida in March of 2018 and is the proud father of 2 children. He began working at Emerald Coast Funeral Home as an Ambassador in January of 2019. Soon after, he attended classes and became certified as a Crematory Operator here in Florida, through the Matthews Cremation Program. He is now a Crematory Operator for the only crematory in south Okaloosa County.
Jerry was born in Florida, moved around to Louisiana, Texas, then settled in Fairfax, VA where he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served his country honorably as an Aircraft Maintenance/Personnel. After retirement, he pursued a career in the building trade and eventually moving to Fort Walton Beach to work with the United States Air Force in Lodging Maintenance. Jerry enjoys rebuilding old cars, listening to oldies music, and his cat “Tiger”.
Ambassador/Grief SupportPat hosts two bereavement groups; this warm and caring service is open to anyone, and there is never any charge.
You are welcome to call us any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or, visit our funeral home in person at your convenience.