History & Staff

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, we invite you to learn more about where we came from, our vision, and the dedicated people behind our work.

A History of Caring

Even though our family has been assisting the Venice community for more than 50 years, our tradition of service dates back to 1932. My grandfather, John J. Farley, embarked on a lifetime of funeral service by opening his own funeral home in Indianapolis in 1932. He soon recruited his father, Omer Farley, and his brothers to work alongside him. After he sold the funeral home to his brothers, he established the funeral home in Venice in 1962 along with the help of my father David and uncles, Joseph, Mark and Phillip.

In 1970, the company expanded further and now operates a location in North Port. Our family’s dedication to compassionate service caused the company to grow, and in 1987, the Venice facilities of the Rawles Funeral Home were acquired.

We invite you to call or stop by to meet our family and staff. Our doors are always open to you.

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. 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.

Michelle Farley Williams
Funeral Director

Michelle is a lifelong resident of Venice and graduated from Gupton-Jones Mortuary College with an A.S. in Mortuary Science. Michelle grew up in the funeral profession as the daughter of David and Joanne Farley. She is a fourth generation Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer and Owner of Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory.

Her civic and professional involvement has included positions with church boards, The Loveland Center, Kiwanis, and the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce.

John Williams
Funeral Director

John graduated from Troy University with a B.S. in Accounting and St. Petersburg College with an A.S. in Mortuary Science. Advanced education in the funeral, cremation and cemetery profession includes a diploma from the ICCFA University in Memphis, Tennessee. He is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, Certified Crematory Operator, Certified Public Accountant, and Owner of Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory.

His civic and professional involvement has included positions with church boards, Salvation Army Advisory Board, United Way Allocations Panel, All Faiths Food Bank, City of Venice Planning Commission, South County YMCA, Past President of the Florida Funeral Directors Association, and the Florida Cemetery, Funeral and Cremation Association. Professional memberships also include both the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Joanne Farley


Joanne graduated from Florida State University in 1965 with a B.S. in Nursing. She is a Licensed Registered Nurse and Owner of Venice Memorial Gardens.

Her civic and professional involvement has included positions with church boards at Grace United Methodist Church, YMCA, Youth Group Advisor, Florida Trail Association, Appalachian Trail Association, WWII Memorial, Patriot's Park Freedom Walk, St. Mark's Pre-School, Harvard Medical School Nurses Health Study, and Daughters of the American Revolution.

David Farley


David graduated in the Class of 1966 from the Indiana College of Mortuary Science. He is a third generation Licensed Funeral Director and is President/Owner of Venice Memorial Gardens.

His civic and professional involvement has included positions with church boards, Past President of Florida Funeral Directors Association, National Funeral Directors Association, Cremation Association of North America, Salvation Army Advisory Board, Florida Medical Examiner's Commission, Venice Area Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, Hospice of Southwest Florida, Past President and Board Member of Funeral Services, Inc., and the Florida United Methodist Children's Home. He served a total of 13 years as an elected City Councilman for the City of Venice.

Funeral Directors

Danielle Bicker

Director of Operations for Southwest Florida, Location Leader, Lead Funeral Director & Embalmer


Danielle is originally from Northern Illinois and relocated to the Venice area in April 2020.  She graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, Illinois in 2011 and has worked in the Funeral Services industry since 2009.  Danielle serves our families in both the Venice and North Port locations as well as building relationships in our community as the Community Outreach Coordinator.  She is a licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer, Certified Crematory Operator and Certified Funeral Celebrant.

Danielle is married with two children, enjoys spending her spare time with friends and family and outdoors whenever possible.  She also volunteers as a "Big Sister" with Big Brother, Big Sister.

Alexus Pierce
Lead Funeral Director and Embalmer


Originally from Henryville, IN, Alexus relocated to Venice in 2007.  She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy from Florida Gulf Coast University, and in 2021 she graduated from St. Peterburg College with an A.S. in Funeral Services. Alexus is licensed as a Funeral Director & Embalmer and is a Certified Crematory Operator.

Bruce C. Kingsbury
Senior Funeral Director & Embalmer


Bruce graduated from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Business Administration and from St. Petersburg College with an A.S. in Mortuary Science. He is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, Certified Crematory Operator, and Certified Funeral Celebrant.

His civic and professional involvement has included board positions with the Kiwanis Club of Venice, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce.

James Eric Swope
Funeral Director and Embalmer


Eric is a Sarasota County native and graduate of Riverview High School. He began his career in funeral service as a teenager. Upon graduation from high school, he enrolled and graduated from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service with an A.S. in Mortuary Science. He is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer and Certified Crematory Operator.

His civic involvement includes membership in the First Church of God South Venice and Past President and current member of the Sunrise Rotary Club.

Aspen Donohue
Funeral Director and Embalmer


Aspen is originally from Rockville, Indiana and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mortuary Science and a minor in Gerontology from Gannon University.  She completed her mortuary degree at Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science.  She relocated to Florida in 2018.  Aspen is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer as well as a Certified Crematory Operator.

Before working in the Funeral Services Aspen worked as a C.N.A., in a Hospice Nursing Home facility.  Aspen is a volunteer member of the Heartwood Preserve Natural Burial Crew.  When she is not working you can find her spending time with her friends and family.  Aspen is serving our families in both Venice and North Port areas.

Kailey Etienne
Funeral Director and Embalmer


Kailey is a native of Iowa and relocated to the Venice area in June of 2019.  She graduated with a B.A. in Exercise Science from Central College and began working in funeral services in 2018, while attending Des Moines Area Community College for Mortuary Science.  Kailey graduated with her A.A.S. in Mortuary Science in 2019.  She is a licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer, Certified Crematory Operator and Certified Funeral Celebrant.

Her civic involvement includes membership at Coastlife Church in Venice.

Thomas Pacyna
Funeral Director and Embalmer


Tom is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University receiving his B.S. and M.S. degree. He is also a graduate of the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in NYC. He began his career in funeral service as a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in 1969 in Connecticut, before relocating to Florida in 2011. In 2013, Tom became a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in Florida.

While in Connecticut, he was the Co-Founder of Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop 75 in New Britain.

 Family Service Advisor

Coral Gonzalez
Family Service Advisor


Coral graduated from college in 1992 with a B.A. in Business Management. Coral is a Licensed Family Service Representative with Venice Memorial Gardens and Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory. She has extensive experience in helping families with their funeral and cemetery arrangements and is also fluent in Spanish.

Her civic and professional involvement includes active membership in Calvary Chapel Church, as well as past membership in various chambers of commerce.

Catherine Jeffers
Family Service Advisor


Cathy attended the University of Rhode Island and is a licensed Pre-Need Sales Agent and an Aftercare Family Services Representative, helping families plan ahead to protect their loved ones and giving grief support to those families previously served.  Cathy is also a licensed Life and Health Insurance Advisor with over 28 years experience in the Health Insurance field.

Cathy has served on the Board of Directors of Westerly Community Credit Union and presented insurance related topics for Lorman Educational Services.

Courtland Root
Family Service Advisor


Courtland graduated from the University of Buffalo with a B.A. degree in Business Management. Courtland is a licensed Pre-Need Sales Agent and Family Service Representative.  He is also a licensed Health and Life Insurance Advisor including a Variable Annuities Advisor.

Courtland is an active member of the Epiphany Cathedral Catholic Church. He has spent several years on the local Little League board, was responsible for the fundraising campaign and has also coached youth basketball and baseball.

Timothy Taylor
Family Service Advisor


Timothy has served families in the funeral profession as a Licensed Pre-Need Advisor since 2015. In his earlier career, Timothy served as a Pastor in Texas and Florida. His work with the church inspired him to minister to those making difficult life decisions, leading him to his current path, where he believes that prearrangements result in less stress for the bereaved at their greatest time of need.

When he is not walking alongside families through their end-of-life care options, Timothy spends his time with his wife, Beth, and their two boys, Joshua and Caleb. Timothy and Beth enjoy the life they are building together and find joy in watching the boys play soccer, basketball, and baseball. The Taylor family truly understands what Dr. Seuss meant when he said, “you’ll never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory”.

Funeral Home Support Team

Lori A. Yarnall
Manager of Administration


Lori is a native Floridian, originally from the Ft. Lauderdale area, she relocated to Southwest Florida in 2003 with her husband Rich.  Lori is a Florida State University Alumni and has been an Office Professional for nearly 20 years.  She joined the Farley family in 2015 and supports all aspects of the business directly and indirectly serving our families, vendors and staff.

Lori resides in North Port with her husband and two children.  Always on the go, she is very active in Scouts BSA, her church and other local non-profit and youth organizations.  She is an animal lover and long-time boxer owner.

Becky Belanger
Administrative Assistant (Venice)


Cemetery Support Team

Sharon Ramsden
Lead Administrative Assistant


Sharon is a Florida native and loves boating, fishing, catching lobsters, scalloping and watching the sunset.  She has worked in the cemetery industry since 1977 and joined Venice Memorial Gardens in 2006 overseeing all aspects of our office administration.

Her civic involvement has involved fundraising with the Fire Charity Fishing Tournament for The Children’s Burn Foundation of Florida and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, in honor of her daughter Daphane “Duck”.  She is a Florida Gator and proudly supports UF Alumni.  All of her dogs have been named “Gator”.

Marjorie Dellecker
Administrative Assistant


Marjorie is a native of New Jersey, a past resident of California and Mexico, and relocating to Venice, Florida in 2004 with her husband.  She has over 30 years experience in the banking industry and has been a member of the Venice Memorial Gardens family since 2016 offering support to the Office Accountant and Family Service Representatives.

She loves giving back to her community and in 2017, Marjorie introduced a "Little Free Library" to the cemetery.  She is also responsible for coordinating the annual Memorial Day Flag Placement activities as well as the annual Candlelight Memorial Service which is held the second Saturday every December.