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, 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, 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, current President of the Suwannee River Shrine Club in Fanning Springs, 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, was a member of the North Central Florida Planning Council, and attends church at the First Baptist Church of Cross City. 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.
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, 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, 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.