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Our Humble Beginnings

The roots of Worth Cremation Services can be traced all the way back to the Morin Monument
Company established in 1981 by Daniel and Colette Worth, and the Watts Funeral Service established by Bill and Margaret Watts in 1983.

The Worth Family

Soon after arriving in North Central Florida in the early 1980s, Daniel and Colette Worth
realized that the people in their newly adopted state would benefit from a dignified alternative to traditional funeral homes whenever they experienced the loss of a loved one. Daniel had worked in funeral services in South Florida and in Georgia, and was associated with the death-care  profession in north-central Florida at that time.

A few years later the Worths became acquainted with the late William Watts and his wife Margaret, who shared similar concerns for their neighbors in Putnam County, and who had recently opened “Watts Funeral Home” in San Mateo. After working for a few years as colleagues with Bill and Margaret, Daniel and Colette opened ‘Daniel Worth Direct Cremation’ in Gainesville in 1987. This new cremation service was formed with the assistance and urging of Bill and Margaret Watts.

While Daniel Worth Direct Cremation received an overwhelmingly positive response upon its
establishment, Daniel started struggling with his health and the Worth family had to retire. However, given the popularity of the cremation service and the need for it in the community, someone had to take over and keep serving the people.

The Worth family decided to sell the estate to the Watts family, trusting the Watts to fulfill the needs and expectations of the community. The Watts renamed Daniel Worth Direct Cremation as the Worth Cremation Service of Florida, and have been serving the community ever since.

The Watts Family

In 1982, Bill and Margaret Watts arrived in Florida from northwest Georgia with their young son, Jamie. Bill was 29 years old, Margaret was 26 and Jamie had just turned 4. At that time, the Watts family had very little; their only possessions included a small camper trailer, an old van, the clothes on their backs, a microwave oven, and $40.00 dollars in cash.

Bill had worked at a north Georgia funeral home as a funeral director since 1978 and moved to
San Mateo, Florida, after the death of his uncle. He felt that his aunt did not receive the care she deserved at the time of her husband’s passing. Bill knew there had to be a better way, and had a dream of establishing a funeral home that cared about people and treated them right.

However, he also realized that his dream was a costly one, and to establish a funeral home he would have to make a huge investment. The Watts family was barely making ends meet and did not have the finances to pursue their dream. It is a good thing that Bill wasn’t a quitter.

To save money for the funeral home, he traded the microwave oven and the $40.00 for some produce and a peanut cooker, and the Watts began to sell vegetables and fruit on the side of the road. The money they made from this venture was put in their savings so that they could afford to turn their dream into a reality.

Bill and Margaret envisioned a funeral home that would provide exceptional customer service with high attention to detail, yet ensuring affordable prices for everyone. In December of 1983, the dream became a reality.

Bill acquired a small building on highway 17 in San Mateo, and Watts Funeral Service came into being. In the following year, Bill and Margaret served just 33 families, but God blessed the Watts family and within one year, they were able to move from the small building of only 800 sq feet to the current location of over 8000 sq ft.

At their new location their business began to grow rapidly, and the residents of Putnam County finally gained access to a funeral service provider that truly cared. The exceptional service and the affordable prices were well received by the community. Due to these qualities, the funeral home began to grow; at the same time, cremation started becoming increasingly popular and in 1988, the Watts family installed the first crematory in the county.

Having an in-house crematory allowed the Watts family to oversee the cremation process and to maintain the promise that was made, “To care for your loved one as if they were a member of our own family.”

As cremation became a common practice, and more and more families acquired the services
of the crematory, it became necessary to install another one. The second crematory at Watts Funeral Home was installed in 1995.

Bill also purchased a new piece of property in 1996, and installed a pet crematory call ‘Cherished Pets by Watts.’ This new property was located north of Watts Funeral Home. Bill, being a pet lover himself, considered pets part of the family and felt they deserved the same care we would show a beloved family member.

In 1998, Bill and Margaret purchased a small family-owned cremation company located in  Gainesville, Florida. The owner, Daniel Worth was facing health issues, and the Worth family was looking for someone suitable to take over.

When Mr. Worth approached Bill about purchasing his company he stated,

“I can no longer serve families because of my health; however, I still want them to receive the very best care possible. Other than myself, I can think of no one other than you who could provide that level of care, Bill.”

The transition between the two families went smoothly and to this day the families remain friends.

As the years passed, Bill's health began to decline and Bill began to oversee less of the day-to-day operations of the funeral home. When Bill passed away in March of 2005, Jamie began to assist Margaret in the daily operations of the funeral home.

The Dream Lives On

Worth Cremation Service of Florida continues to serve hundreds of families each year throught North Florida. Our client list includes Doctors, Hospice Nurses, Law Enforcement, Clergy, University of Florida Professors and countless others who would trust the care of their loved one to none other than the Watts Family.

The Watts Family has maintained and improve the quality of service being provided at the crematorium, and has stayed true to the values and vision they share with the Worth family. To this day, we are the community’s preferred cremation service provider, and provide the highest quality service for extremely affordable prices.