1914, the people of Paulk Funeral Home have been involved
in the life and customs of Fitzgerald and Ocilla. The funeral
home began as a part of J. L. Paulk's Paulk Company in
Ocilla which encompassed a grocery store, furniture store,
supply and undertaking company. The late James Fletcher
Paulk, a distant relative of J.L. Paulk, began working
in the undertaking part of Paulk Company in 1914, after
returning from undertaking school in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In that same year the Paulk Undertaking Company was formed
with "Mr. Jimmy" at the helm. Four years later
in 1918, he purchased the business. Just like old family
doctors who made house calls, Mr. Jimmy did all his work
in the home. Almost all funerals were in homes or churches.
Mr. Jimmy's wife, Lorena Tyler, played the organ for most
funerals. She used a small fold-up portable pump organ
that was transported for her use.
Mr. Jimmy merged his firm with Sandlin Furniture Company
of Fitzgerald and formed Home furniture and Undertaking
Company. In 1947 the furniture store and undertaking business
were separated and two years later, in 1949, the funeral
home moved to its present location, more commonly known
at the time as the McLaughlin home, at 301 South Main Street.
of Mr. Jimmy's sons grew up working at both funeral homes,
but only one made a life-long career in the family business.
After serving four years in the Merchant Marines, Milton "Mickey" Paulk,
decided to join his father in business. After graduating
from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 1947,
Mickey returned and reopened the Ocilla Branch of the funeral
home, which had been closed during World War II due to
staff shortage. During this time he married Madge Harper
of Lax and through the years she assisted with many funerals.
continued his association with the funeral home until two
months before he died in 1981. Mrs. Paulk continued to
play for funerals until almost six months before she died
1987, Rick and Sandy Bostelman acquired Paulk Funeral Home,
Rick had been associated with the funeral home since 1974.
Their son, Blaine, and his wife, Jennifer, joined them
in 1993 and were associated with the firm until 2005. Mickey Paulk assisted with most funerals until
his death in 1998.
On January 1, 2013, Paulk Funeral Home was purchased from the Bostelman family by Jason and Abby Holt. Jason began working with the Bostelmans in the summer of 2002. Paulk Funeral Home remains a family owned and operated establishment with the same attention to detail set by Mr. Jimmy in 1914. The same family tradition of trust is carried out today by Jason and Abby Holt, Donnie Ashley, Anna Brown, Jim Clark, Myron Harper, Jake Jenkins, Helon Love, Anja Mathis, Linda McKenney, Charles Shelton, Valeta Stone, and Caron Wynn.
“Our Family serving your Family for over a century”