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

The Gooding family has a long legacy of service to the families in and around the Suwannee River Valley. It all started in 1928 when Mike and Eva Gooding opened Gooding Funeral Home. In 1949 Dick and Nancy took over and kept the business in the family, then in 1961 Dick’s son Pat Gooding and his wife Carol took the business over and ran it till 1983. Pat sold the business to a corporation in 1983 which ran it, until they decided to close the old Gooding Funeral Home down.

After Pat sold the old Gooding Funeral Home to an out of town corporation, Rick realized that the families of the Greater Suwannee River Valley were not being served in the traditions that they were accustomed to; so he along with his wife Janet decided to open a new funeral home, to continue the family’s legacy of service to the Greater Suwannee River Valley and in 2001 the Rick Gooding Funeral Home opened in Cross City. This funeral home was a newly remodeled 12,000 square foot facility that has two visitation rooms and a chapel that can seat up to 300 people.

In 2003 seeing the trend of families deciding the option of cremation increasing in Florida, Rick decided to build an onsite crematory to better serve the needs of the families we serve. Rick Gooding Funeral Homes is still one of the few funeral providers in the area that offers complete funeral and cremation services with the peace of mind that comes from having its own in house crematory.

In 2015 seeing an opportunity to expand and better serve the people in the Greater Suwannee Valley area Rick purchased the old Hires Baxley Funeral Home in Chiefland and renamed it Rick Gooding Funeral Home Chiefland. This location is conveniently located on Highway 19 in Chiefland, has a visitation area and a chapel that will seat up to 150 people.

Rick and Janet look forward to many more years of extending the family’s legacy of service to this area of Florida, and will always strive to look for ways to better serve the people of this area. Rick hopes that the people in and around the Greater Suwannee Valley will always have a family owned and operated funeral home to choose from and hopes that those families will let our legacy of service help them “Remember the Legacy” of their loved one.

Our Valued Staff

  • Rick & Janet Gooding

    Rick & Janet Gooding, Owners

    Rick has was born and raised in Cross City to Pat and Carol Gooding, and is the fourth generation to serve the area as a funeral director. Janet was born in Saint Petersburg to Harvey and Joyce Veiner but has lived in the Dixie County area for over 48 years. Rick is a member of the 1976 class at Dixie County High School and graduated from Gupton Jones Mortuary College where he received his degree in funeral science. Janet is a member of the 1969 class at St. Petersburg High School and graduated from Santa Fe College with a degree in accounting. Over the years Rick has been a member of several civic organizations in the area, is a former Councilman for the Town of Cross City, and they are both members of the Cross City Church of God. Rick and Janet have been married since 1989 and have four children Beverly Goodman, Thomas McQueen, David McQueen, and Jillian Gooding, and also have several grandchildren. Rick and Janet both enjoy doing outside activities in their spare time like biking and boating, and they are both proud to be continuing the tradition of the Gooding family’s legacy of service to the people in and around the greater Suwannee River Valley.

  • Otis G. Evans

    Otis G. Evans, Funeral Director in Charge Chiefland Chapel

    Otis was born in 1948 in near Melvin, AL to the late Otis and Bernice Evans, but grew up in Cross City before moving to High Springs, FL. Otis is a graduate of the 1966 class from Dixie County High School and the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science in Louisville, KY. Otis worked with Pat Gooding at the old Gooding Funeral Home in the 60’s and eventually opened Evans Funeral Home in High Springs, which he owned for several years. Over the years Otis has worked at different funeral homes in Alachua and Levy Counties, but is glad to be back with the family he began his funeral career with. Otis is a Past Master of High Springs Lodge #137 Free and Accepted Masons, Past Patron of Santa Fe Chapter 105 Order of the Eastern Star, member of Micanopy Lodge #29 Free and Accepted Masons, member of the Ocala Valley of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, member of Morocco Shrine Temple, a former Commissioner of the City of High Springs, and a member of Hardeetown Baptist Church in Chiefland. In his spare time Otis enjoys fishing, hunting, and golfing. Otis has been married to his wife Martha E. Evans since 1973, has two sons Christopher Glen Evans and Jason P. Evans, and a granddaughter Joana P. Evans.

  • Jason P. Evans

    Jason P. Evans, Funeral Director

    Jason was born in High Springs to Otis and Martha Evans, and lived there most of his life before moving to Cross City. Jason is a member of the 1999 class from Santa Fe High School in Alachua, FL and the 2004 class from Saint Petersburg College in St. Petersburg, FL where he received his degree in Funeral Science. Jason has been a staff member, funeral director, and manager at several funeral homes in Alachua, Columbia, and Levy Counties, and is proud to be working in an area where his family is from and some still live in. Jason is a Past Master of High Springs Lodge #137 Free and Accepted Masons in High Springs, a member of Shamrock Lodge # 268 Free and Accepted Masons in Cross City, Past President of the Gainesville and Lake City Shrine Clubs, has been a member of several other Masonic Organizations over the years, has spent a good deal of time raising money for the Shriners Hospitals for Children and other charities, was Commissioner for the City of High Springs, and was a member of the North Central Florida Planning Council. In his spare time Jason enjoys fishing and spending time with his daughter Joana P. Evans. Jason’s middle name is Patrick, and he was given that name in honor of Pat Gooding. He is excited about working with the Goodings that his family has had such a long history with.

  • Richard A. Coffelt Jr.

    Richard A. Coffelt Jr., Funeral Director

    Richard was born in Marion, IN in 1945 to Georgia and Richard Coffelt, but has spent most of his life in Indiana and Florida before moving to Cross City. Richard is a member of the 1963 class of the Marion High School in Indiana and graduated from Miami-Dade Community College in 1974. Richard has worked at several different funeral homes in Florida and Indiana over the years, including the old Gooding Funeral Home here in Cross City. Richard is a member of Lakeland Lodge # 91 Free and Accepted Masons in Lakeland, FL, Shamrock Lodge # 268 Free and Accepted Masons in Cross City, Murat Shrine Temple, the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, and attends the First United Methodist Church in Cross City. In his spare time, Richard enjoys hunting, fishing, and taxidermy. Richard is married to Karen S. Coffelt and has three children Kimberly Hodge, Jeffrey Coffelt, and Cassandra Coffelt.

  • Denise Siegler

    Denise Siegler, Administrative Assistant

    Denise was born in Redbank, NJ to Marie Dvorak and the late Oldrich “Sonny” Dvorak, but spent most of her life in the Naples, FL area before moving to Old Town. Denise is a member of the 1979 class at Barron Collier High School in Naples. Over the years Denise has been an administrative assistant at several real estate and construction companies. In her spare time Denise enjoys making different crafts, especially in the stained glass, scrimshaw, and aluminum / metal art areas. Denise has been married to her husband Scott since 1998, has two children Kyle Martindale and William “Billy” Umlauf, her stepchildren Crystal Siegler, Joshua Siegler, Kellie Siegler, and Dusty Siegler, and eight grandchildren.

  • Clayton  Locklear

    Clayton Locklear, Funeral Associate

    Clay was born in 1969 in DeLand, FL to Buddy Locklear and the late Helen Locklear, but has spent most of his life in the Dixie County area. Clay is a graduate of the 1988 class at Dixie County High School. Clay served in the United States Air Force from 1989-1999 serving a remote assignment in Alaska, and a temporary duty assignment in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm. Clay is a member of the Dixie County Band Boosters, a member of Shamrock Lodge # 268 Free and Accepted Masons in Cross City, a former Councilman for the Town of Cross City, and attends Lydia Baptist Church. In his spare time Clay enjoys hunting and spending time with his family. Clay has been married to his wife Elizabeth Locklear since 1991 and has three children Rebecca Locklear, Joshua Locklear, and Jeremy Locklear.

  • Anthony Wattenbarger

    Anthony Wattenbarger, Cemetery Maintenance Supervisor

    Anthony was born in Brooksville, FL to Richard and Margaret Wattenbarger, where he spent most of his life prior to moving to Cross City. Anthony is a graduate of Springstead High School in Brooksville. Prior to working with Rick Gooding Funeral Homes Anthony worked for several years for Spring Hill Memorial Gardens. In his spare time Anthony enjoys woodworking and working on and riding motorcycles. Anthony has one son Richard Wattenbarger.

  • Anthony Casen

    Anthony Casen, Cemetery Maintenance Associate

    Anthony was born in 1981 in Okeechobee, FL to Deloris Johnson and James Tyson, where he spent most of his life prior to moving to Cross City. Anthony is a graduate of Okeechobee High School. Anthony enjoys fishing, watching football, and camping in his spare time. Anthony is married to Stacy McDowell and has three children Dee Carter, Donavan Newsome, and David McDowell.