Marcus A. “Mickey” Milam, III
Mr. Milam joined the Army after high school and served as a paratrooper. Upon discharge from military service, he attended Mortuary College at Miami-Dade Community College and received his funeral director and embalmer’s license in 1968. He went to work for his father-in-law, Dick Williams, at Williams-Thomas Funeral Home in Gainesville and worked there until purchasing the Johnson-Hayes Funeral Home in 1990.
After purchasing the funeral home, Mr. Milam renamed the firm ~ Johnson-Hayes-Milam Funeral Home. In 2004, he renamed the firm Milam Funeral and Cremation Service to better reflect the services provided to our community. Our Gainesville location houses the Central Florida Crematorium and all cremations are performed “in-house”.
In 1993, Ashley joined Milam Funeral Home as part-time office help while attending University of Florida. Over the next two years she became more involved in assisting with visitations and services. Then, after receiving her funeral apprentice license; she started working and learning directly under her father Mickey.
Ashley enrolled in St. Pete Junior College in 1995 for funeral service and in July 1996 she graduated from SPJC with an Associate of Science in Funeral Service. In 1997 she obtained her license from the State of Florida as a Funeral Director.
She moved to Newberry, Florida in June 2006 and became the FDIC at the Newberry Milam Funeral Home Chapel. In 2008, she moved to Plantation, Florida and worked with T.M. Ralph Funeral Home, another family owned and operated firm. And in 2009, Ashley came back to Alachua County and is presently the FDIC in Newberry, Florida where she resides.
In January 2015, as we were entering the 25th anniversary of Milam Funeral Home, Mickey decided to turn the reigns over to Ashley and semi-retired from working. He still comes in to work, and he handles all of our monument orders, and helps when the staff is busy. He is enjoying life and his family, after 50 years of working as a licensed funeral director.
Ashley has been the General Manager for the last fifteen years, and in January transitioned into the Chief Licensed Funeral Director. She has also enrolled in the Bachelor’s program at Santa Fe College, to earn her Bachelor’s in Business Management, and finished her first year of classes in April 2015.
Paul has been in funeral service for over 25 years. He graduated from Lynn University in Boca Raton and served his internship in Washington DC. There he conducted thousands of funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, including an astronaut and many of our nation’s most highly decorated heroes. He also participated in the re-patriotization of the 19 pilots that died in the Kobar Towers attack following the Gulf War.He began his career at the Milam funeral home in 1997, and has been the manager for most of those years. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer, certified crematory operator, licensed monument salesman and notary public.His memberships include Gainesville Exchange Club, Moose Lodge, Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce, The Bunch and The Florida Surf Casters. When he is not at work, he can usually be found at the beach pursuing his favorite pastime – surf fishing. He teaches others regarding rig making, casting, and other techniques through seminars and websites and is affectionately known in that community as The Fishin Mortician. Paul attended a distance casting tournament in North Carolina and recorded a cast of 705 feet, well enough for third place. He lives near Evinston, has a girlfriend that works at Nationwide, two brothers, a mother that recently moved to Gainesville, and a miniature schnauzer named Zzippy.“The reason I accepted the position at Milam Funeral Home was because of the manner in which they treat client families. Here there are no sales commissions, no high-pressure sales teams or tactics. We offer 100% refund ability on all our prepaid arrangements, and do not use double contracting or withhold a percentage of the funds when the client needs to cancel. All arrangements are made by licensed professionals, and we don’t plaster our logo on people’s obituaries. We employ a tiny advertising budget, and the vast majority of our clients come to us through referrals. When you can operate like that, you know you’re doing all the little things just right. It really is about service to the family, and being grateful for their trust.”
J.A. “Buddy” Leaptrot
Buddy has been in the funeral service business for over 25 years, following his first career in the financial services industry. Buddy is a graduate of North Marion High School in Sparr, Florida and St. Petersburg College where he earned his degree in Funeral Services. Buddy was born and raised in Ocala where he worked for Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services for many years before he moved to Chiefland, Florida with his wife Pam and two children, where he opened a new funeral home for Hiers-Baxley and operated it for almost 18 years. He joined the Kiwanis Club of Chiefland, serving twice as President and was active in the Chamber of Commerce. Buddy enjoys doing Stained Glass projects, watching old movies of the 60’s and 70’s. Buddy enjoys spending time with his family. He came to Milam Funeral Home in November 2015 and settled into Milam’s and the Gainesville Community with ease. Buddy enjoys spending time with his family and his four chihuahua’s better known as the “ Doll Squad “. His approach to serving families is to treat them the way he wants to be treated. The Golden Rule !! He is honored to serve the communities of Alachua, Gilchrist and Levy Counties.
Donna moved to Gainesville in 2002 after having worked for a funeral home in Canton, Ohio as office manager. She started with Milam Funeral Home as office manager, and when she was ordained as an interfaith minister in 2004, and was trained in grief counseling, she became the Aftercare/Grief Counselor for the funeral home, conducting grief support groups, and private counseling sessions with family members whose loved one had died.
As an ordained interfaith minister, she is available to officiate at funeral and memorial services and has served many families since 2004. She is also a Family Services Counselor, assisting with filing life insurance policies, and in making prearrangements. Donna has made Gainesville her home and outside of her career, she most enjoys being grandmother to her two grandsons in Florida and her granddaughter in New York.
Erma, has training in cosmetology and in real estate. After retiring from North Florida Hospital Beauty Shop she found retirement was not for her and she met the folks at Milam Funeral Home and joined the team. She loves helping others and cooking and she collects cut glass and old small oil cans. She’s been married for 57 years and has two sons and six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
I am a lifelong resident of Gainesville, Florida. I graduated from Gainesville High School and attended Santa Fe College. I have been employed with Milam Funeral Home since 2008. I am a member of the Gator Exchange Club. My strong Christian faith helps me daily.
James moved to Florida from Columbia, North Carolina. He was the manager of Columbia Auto and Pawn Shop and owned a Jewelry factory.
Kelley Simmons Keller
I am a lifelong resident of Archer, Florida and graduate of Newberry High School. I currently am attending Santa Fe College to pursue my mortuary science degree. I have been married to my husband, Wayne for 18 years and we have two children, Ethan (14) and Bethany (11).
I became interested in working in the funeral industry after working in Vital Statistics at the Alachua County Health Department for 10 years. I began working with Milam in January of 2013. I love working with the families and trying to make a difficult time a little easier.