|Matthew Paul Buxton|
Matthew Paul Buxton remembers when he was a kid sitting in the back pew of his family’s original funeral home. He doesn’t recollect much surrounding the day but does remember his abnormally still body. He happened to be very eager and didn’t want to shutter an eye lid.
Matthew was infatuatedly gazing at his father’s ability to navigate the subtle chaos of a highly charged room. It was at this moment, when his father stepped to the pulpit to announce words of comfort and preach heavenly solace that he realized that he wanted to be a funeral director. This memorable funeral service had inadvertently captured his attention in a way that would spark the beginning of a life-long passion.
Today, his father sits at the back of the chapel listening to his words at the stand.
“It was a very special moment for me when I was able to stand at that same podium,” said Matthew Buxton.
At five-years-old he knew that he wanted to be a funeral director like his father. At the age of nine he helped his family’s business by running flowers, assisting on removals, and aiding in other various tasks. Now, he is the man in charge, running every aspect of the business and expanding its foundation.
Matthew is bringing Buxton Seawinds Funeral Home and Crematory into an age of innovation and creativity by taking what he has learned in the funeral trade and combining it with his natural talent, vibrant foresight, and his ability to take on fruitful endeavors.
Not only the funeral director in charge, Matthew, also enjoys being hands on while funeral directing. He performs most of his own removals, creates video tributes and slide show productions for families, makes glass keepsakes for cremated remains, builds biodegradable urns, designs cemetery monuments and preaches at numerous funeral services. Outside of his profession he is a skilled welder, carpenter, and community member at large.
“Never get a man to do work you can do yourself,” said Matthew, reiterating his grandfather’s words.
“Plus, it makes it more personal when I can do stuff for families directly,” added Matthew.
You might think he is overextended but this is what he has always wanted to do and feels it is his purpose in the world.
“I always wanted to be a funeral director,” said Matthew. “It has been a passion since I was young and I just enjoy doing it.”
Another unique characteristic about Matthew is his nonchalant attire. When people first meet him they notice his casual, laidback ensemble. This is exactly how he wants families to feel when they come into his funeral home. His presentation allows people to feel more at ease. He is making a statement; no rigidness in impression and no sacrificing families’ comfort for traditional garments. By dressing casually he is instilling an unorthodox sense of relief.
“I like to portray myself as exactly who I am and that is no different than anyone else,” said Matthew. “I put my britches on the same way, one leg at a time, and that’s how I like to come across.”
|Paul Madison and Marilyn Ann Buxton|
Paul Madison Buxton, January 12, 1949, and Marilyn Ann Buxton, Aug. 9, 1949, began their funeral ministry in hopes of promoting a new thought, a thought that would alleviate burden and relieve hysteria.
Paul and Marilyn met in high school and have been inseparable ever since. This is also the time when Paul was first introduced to the funeral business. He was very intrigued by the ceremonial undertakings of death, a delicate balancing act of composure and hard-hitting emotion. Ultimately, this early interaction would foster Paul’s fascination of funerals.
Conversely, Paul grew up in a household where attaining a Bachelor’s degree was absolutely necessary. So, after high school Paul and Marilyn enrolled into the University of South Florida at Tampa and eventually became graduates in 1972. Several years after college they worked for Florida State Parole and Probation. However, it wouldn’t be long before the Buxton’s would soon find their calling, which all along was the funeral business.
Foreseeing an opportunity in August of 1980, Paul and Marilyn Buxton began to establish what would eventually become Okeechobee’s most unshakable and ingrained funeral home. This would be a new beginning for the Okeechobee community. It would gain an innovative funeral home, the addition of two head-strong members and, most of all, a funeral ministry that could help relieve the burden of death by giving back much more than closure.
The Buxton’s funeral endeavor started collectively as an enlightened mission.
“It was an opportunity made very clear by God,” said Paul, seeing a prospect that was obviously guided by a divine hand.
There was an opening to buy a dormant funeral home in Okeechobee and the Buxton’s saw an outlet for helping God’s children and re-establishing a high quality and responsible funeral home.
What comes from Buxton Seawinds Funeral Home and Crematory is a magnificent movement. The greatest aspect of the Buxton Seawinds Funeral Home and Crematory is that it is a pro-active facility. Not only is the funeral home guiding, supportive, and dependable but it reaches out to people who want to know more about death. Far too long the Buxton’s had seen the concept of death misconstrued. So, the Buxton’s look towards the community, hoping to develop a more constructive and helpful understanding of life’s natural ending. In doing so, Paul, along with his wife, Marilyn, have put on seminars, orchestrated many events and fundraisers, and have even created and financed many charities and organizations including Hospice of Okeechobee.
This strong sense of conviction to the community, of course, starts in the Buxton’s personal lives. Their devotion to God and mankind has made them and their facility very active in many lives.
“When I say entrenched in the community, I mean I wanted to become a nucleus, that is, so families could come to us on any aspect of dying, death and grief,” said Paul.
Today, Buxton Seawinds Funeral Home and Crematory has reached out its arms to the bereaving, the ailing, the confused and all who pass through its doors. However, in order to heal and console all who were deprived through death, the Buxton’s established much more than a funeral home, they created a powerful, tolerant and very accommodating ministry.
“Buxton Seawinds Funeral Home and Crematory is not a business, it is regarded and handled as a ministry dedicated to serve, to care, and to regard your loved one as a member of our own family,” said an exuberant Paul. To the Buxton’s, this is their lives’ work, God’s work, and as such want to be active participants and a spiritual force when dealing with the loss of a loved one.
Paul’s life has been a continuous journey. He travels extensively throughout the community to speak to all age groups about dieing, death, grief, and counseling.
In trying to transform the current fear of death into acceptance, Paul is symbolically making funerals a celebration of life, not a mourning of death. It is through his funeral home and this motivation to change current misunderstanding of death that he elaborates his own unique concept of coping.
“Grief is an intricate part of life and it should be embraced and not a taboo subject. It is a reality and needs to be talked about. I would like to see my community evolve. I want to see us celebrate a life that was lived, therefore, significant,” said Paul.
What makes a modern day hero; strength, power, knowledge? What about courageousness, leadership, heart and the ability to deal with what most people can never face: Death.
|James W. Young|
James W. Young, fondly known by many as “Jim,” is no ordinary man. Everyday it seems he is up before the alarm clock, waking and embracing the obstacles and events that the day places on his path; for he has found a passion unlike any other. He strives to make everyday special and enjoyable for people that walk through his doors, or at least bearable. He makes every effort for the satisfaction of his customers, under any circumstances, and pushes himself and his 25 employees to make every moment count. Young is a funeral director, founder and owner of a series of funeral homes and, most of all, a man with a mission: to make this world an easier place for us all.
For some people death can not be understood. Its presence grips the very consciousness of our bodies with shock, heartache, and rage. It breaks us down into a melancholy until our bodies are consumed by numbness. Induced by the unreal and fostered by a void, our psyches’ transition into a tolerable state is very hard-pressed. Nonetheless, Young knows this and it is his duty to protect people from any unnecessary hardship. He cannot reverse this cycle but he can help resurrect the life that once was. He has mastered multiple strengths in 30 years of being in the funeral environment. With all his power, Jim does his best to help individuals recreate a loved one in an affectionate final tribute that celebrates their most treasured memories.
“The ability to reestablish that emotional link is crucial for families so that they can reach closure,” said Young. To him, serving the family to the fullest capability is probably one the most rewarding things that he can do to give back. Ultimately, he would like to take grief and pain out of people’s lives even before they reach his facilities but that is usually never the case. Nonetheless, when people do arrive at their most distressed he is at his best and most nurturing.
“It breaks my heart to see people in this situation and it is hard to watch family members and spouses deal with this most sudden and severe transition,” said a heartfelt Young. “So, we help them and support them as if they were one of our own,” he added.
Taking an extra step in the care of a family’s arrangements and services, Young makes a special effort with his facilities. He expects an environment that is warm, inviting, and divine. He wants to let people know that they will be taken care of along with their loved one. This is why his philosophy of “immaculate facility and affordability” is omniscient compared to competitors.
“We are full service facilities, not only do we pride ourselves in our funeral homes but every need is taken care of on the premises, nothing is subcontracted,” said an exuberant Young. “This allows us to control costs and pass on savings to our families.”
Young has dedicated his life to his businesses and expects the best out of them. He has founded and currently operates Seawinds Funeral Home and Crematory in Sebastian, Fla; Davis-Seawinds Funeral Home and Crematory in Melbourne, Fla; and Cox-Gifford Seawinds Funeral Home and Crematory in Vero Beach, Fla. As well, he owns Eagle Monument Cemetery Services and manages Palm Beach National Chapel, a facility conveniently located across from the Veterans Affairs National Cemetery in Lake Worth. Palm Beach National Chapel has recently opened to further reach families in need and is sure to achieve its full potential under his leadership.
His strong will, competitive nature, and very nurturing character not only make him a modern day hero but compel him to make it easier for people who are coping with death of a loved one. Emotionally it is one of the hardest jobs on earth; Young faces it head on each and every day with fervor and tenacity so that families and friends can face it as well.
No one wants be treated as if they are a number in a process. To feel not as a person but a clone package stuck on a conveyor belt. No one ever says, “Treat me as a cold, distant product that can be ushered through with extraordinary monotony.” So why, without any consideration or kindness, are people treated with such disregard in funeral homes?
During a time where our world is deteriorating and hysteria, anguish, anxiety and confusion ravages our bodies we turn to people that we trust. We turn to people that know what they are doing. We turn to people that can be there for us. This confidence that is so desperately needed is usually entrusted with our funeral providers. However, as some mothers would overlook their child’s needs, sadly, we too become victims of negligence, apathy, and ill-will by the very care providers we confide in.