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P.O. BOX 129


Milton "Mickey" Paulk, James F. "Mr. Jimmy" Paulk, & Tommy Giddens in 1949

Since 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, farm, 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.

In 1922, 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.

All four 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.

Mr. Jimmy 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 in 1979.

In 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 and their staff: Donnie Ashley, Anna Brown, Jim Clark, Myron Harper, Helon Love, Anja Mathis, Linda McKenney, Valeta Stone, Dusty Wilkinson, and Caron Wynn.

“Our Family serving your Family for over a century”