About Us | Buxton and Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home and Crematory

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.

Our History

 In 1969 Curtis Kickliter built and opened the funeral home at its present location. Kickliter then sold to Cliff Suddreth who operated the funeral home until he sold to Gail and Lavon Bass in 1976.

Gail and Lavon called the business Okeechobee Funeral Home until 1978, when they changed the name to Bass - Okeechobee Funeral Home.  Then, recognizing the community's need for a modern and larger facility, a major remodeling and addition was undertaken and completed in 1983.

Shortly after graduating from mortuary school in 1979, Paul Buxton was contacted by Willard and Janet Mays and offered the opportunity to manage a funeral home in Okeechobee; however, Paul and his wife Marilyn had bigger plans.  In 1980, Paul officially opened Buxton Funeral Home and Crematory. 

In November 2003, Tom Conway and Paul Mitchell purchased Bass-Okeechobee Funeral Home and Crematory, and in 2010, they purchased Buxton Funeral Home and Crematory.  With over 150 years of trusted service and five generations in the funeral profession, the Conway and Mitchell families have a long tradition of caring for the people in the communities they serve.  

In the fall of 2013, the Buxton Family including Matthew, Paul, and Marilyn returned to their former funeral home to work side by side with the Bass and Conway families.  This union of families brings true meaning to our new name of Buxton & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home & Crematory.

As the only locally family owned funeral home in Okeechobee, our families promise compassionate and respectful care while ensuring professional guidance for those we serve. Our spacious facilities offer well-appointed and flexible accommodations meeting all client family needs. As a full service funeral home we offer a vast selection of service and product options at affordable prices. 

Today, many families are choosing cremation and it’s important that you know we operate the only onsite crematory in Okeechobee County.  Because of this, we offer you peace of mind knowing your loved one is in our care at all times and never transported to distant crematories where countless cremations are handled. We ensure every cremation is performed with careful individualized attention to detail and with the dignity you’re loved one deserves.

Our Valued Staff

Matthew P. Buxton

Matthew P. Buxton, Licensed Funeral Director/ Embalmer - Funeral Director In Charge

Matthew P. Buxton
Phone: 863-763-1994
E-mail: [email protected]

Matthew P. Buxton or Matt, is a second generation funeral director, and the oldest son of Paul & Marilyn Buxton. Matt knew at the young age of 5 years old that he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a licensed funeral director.

Matt is an Okeechobee native and a graduated of Okeechobee High School Class of 1993. Following high school he enrolled at University of Florida where his concentration was Business Administration. He then enrolled at St. Petersburg College Funeral Services Program where he obtained his A.S. degree in Funeral Directing and Embalming in 1996.

When he is not riding in his signature orange Jeep or on his Harley Matt is very involved in the Okeechobee community. He has served on numerous boards including the B.R.A.T. Club and the American Cancer Society, and coached several youth team sports.

Matt lives in Okeechobee with his two daughters, Morgan and Dayton.

Morgan A. Buxton

Morgan A. Buxton, Morgan A. Buxton, Apprentice

Morgan A. Buxton is following in the footsteps of her grandfather, Paul Buxton and father, Matthew Buxton to become a third generation Funeral Director. She has a passion to serve her community.

Morgan is an Okeechobee native and a graduate of Okeechobee High School Class of 2017. She is currently enrolled at St. Petersburg College Funeral Services Program where he obtained his A.S. Degree in Funeral Directing and Embalming in 1996.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her fiancé, David Hunter Berggren, playing with her dogs, and crafting.

Marilyn A. Buxton

Marilyn A. Buxton, Licensed Pre-Arrangement Counselor/ Administrative Assistant

Marilyn A. Buxton was born in West Palm Beach, FL, and a lifetime Florida resident. She attended the University of South Florida in Tampa where she received her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Sociology. Marilyn married her childhood sweetheart, Paul M. Buxton in 1972. She worked for the Florida State Department of Family and Children as a liaison for families with dependent children, and the children within the foster care system.

Marilyn and Paul moved to Okeechobee in August of 1980, and together raised their three sons and one daughter. In addition to her duties at the funeral home she was owner and operator of Buxton's Flower Shop until it sold in 1991.

Marilyn has volunteered for countless organizations including the Raulerson Hospital Pink Ladies, Christian Service Center, the Okeechobee Welfare Board, multi-county library cooperative program and many more. Currently she sits as a Martha's House Board Member, volunteer for the Annual Okeechobee Blood Round-Up, and is an active member of Church of Our Saviour Episcopal Church.

In her spare time she enjoys mother/ daughter time with her only daughter, Rachel; church activities; traveling and spending time with her 6 grandchildren.

Karen  Varnadoe

Karen Varnadoe, Funeral Director Assistant

Phone: 863-763-1994
E-mail: [email protected]

Karen was born and raised in Okeechobee. She resides in Okeechobee with her husband, Jeff Varnadoe and two children; a son and daughter. Karen is dedicated to serving families' needs.

Ray  Stone

Ray Stone, Funeral Home Attendant

Ray Stone is a native of Tifton, Ga. At the early age of 10 years old, Ray and his family moved to South Florida where he has lived in Okeechobee. Ray is retired from the Okeechobee County Sheriffs Department. Ray has been with Buxton & Bass Okeechobee Funeral Home since September 2012. He assists the funeral directors in day to day operations, working visitations and services.

Those who do not know Ray do not remain a stranger for long. His friendly personality and willingness to lend a hand has made Ray a friend to many within the Okeechobee community.

He enjoys keeping busy in his retirement with odd jobs, fishing and trips to town with his beloved dachshund, Katey Sue. He is a member of First Baptist Church of Okeechobee where he serves as an usher, and is a member of the Okeechobee Masonic Lodge No. 237.

Ray is married to his wife, Phyllis and they have three sons.