Our Staff


Our staff is comprised of dedicated and licensed professionals with the experience to answer all your questions regarding our services. Please feel free to contact any of our staff members at any time.

Bernard S. Phillip II

Bernard S. Phillip II

Visionary/President, Licensed Embalmer

Bernard S. Phillip II, Co-Founder and President of Phillip & Sons The Funeral Directors, Inc., Bernard was born and raised in Gainesville, FL. He is a graduate of Gainesville High School and Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service, where he earned an A.S. Degree in Mortuary Science. Bernard has over 20 active years in the death-care industry. He has a distinguished work history and has served alongside some of the world's greatest morticians.

Bernard is the father of 6 wonderful children; Jada, Lexington, Bernard, Christopher, Brooke, & Logan.  From as far back as he can remember Bernard Phillips’s life has been immersed in end of life rituals. Mr. Phillips started frequenting funerals at the age of 7, crediting Chestnut Funeral Home in Gainesville, Florida with his humble beginnings. He is equally comfortable in either realm, celebrating both life and death with a trademark style, equanimity and sincerity. Mr. Phillip lives by a few quotes but one would be; success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is a natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.


Donna L. Smith

Donna L. Smith

Representative, Future PreNeed Counselor & Chief Executive Officer

Donna Smith is a long time resident of Gainesville, Florida where she was born and raised. She graduated from Gainesville High School in 1990, and from Santa Fe College in 1999. She has also attended Kaplan University with a Bachelor of Science in Paralegal Studies & family law, and is currently a student at St. Petersburg College of Funeral Services. She joined Phillip & Sons The Funeral Directors, Inc. July 2018 and has a profound passion to serve families, and provide outstanding customer service to all whom she comes in contact with. She possesses plenty of knowledge and background experience related to customer service skills and serving others. Donna is the Head Director & Owner of A to Z Professional Childcare Academy, LLC. In Donna’s spare time she enjoys children, family and worshiping the Lord.


Robin L. Crawford

Robin L. Crawford

Chief Financial Officer

Robin L. Crawford is the Chief Financial Officer of Phillip & Sons The Funeral Directors, Inc. Born in Gainesville, Florida, Robin served many years in Corporate America holding several positions of increasing responsibility in domestic and international finance. She is a licensed realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Network Realty (Berkshire FNR) and a board member of Bethlehem Methodist Episcopal Cemetery Restoration Organization. 

Robin graduated from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics, she also obtained an MBA from Mercer University.  

Robin has recently relocated back to Florida. She enjoys traveling, the beaches and fine dining. 


Dontae Brown

Director of Operations

Dontae Brown is native of Gainesville, Florida with strong family roots in Archer, FL. He is the Director of Operations of Phillip & Sons, The Funeral Directors Inc., overseeing the mortuary’s daily operations. He is a graduate of Gainesville High School and attended Santa Fe College. He has worked for the City of Gainesville for 10 years. At the age of 18, he developed an interest in the funeral industry. His future goals include becoming a licensed funeral director and embalmer.

Dontae’s commitment to serving is rooted in the desire to ensure that the family’s last act of celebrating their loved one’s life goes beyond what they envisioned by going the extra mile. He understands that they only get one opportunity to do so. This is why he serves. In his downtime,

Dontae enjoys traveling, shopping, and most importantly helping others.


Ralph Vierling

Ralph Vierling

Licensed Funeral Director, Preneed Sales Agent

Ralph Vierling has over 30 years’ experience working in the funeral industry.

Ralph has an associate degree in distributive education from Vincennes University, BS degree in Marketing from Indiana University, and an associate degree in Funeral Directing from St. Petersburg College.

Ralph is the past president of Rotary, past president of the United Way, past board member of the Salvation Army, past board member of the Chamber of Commerce, Past President of University of Florida Boosters Club, member of the Lions Club.

Ralph is a Viet Nam era veteran, served in the US Air Force, member of the American Legion, Life time member of the Disabled America Veterans, Life time member of the University of Florida Alumni Association..

Ralph is an avid golfer, fisherman, traveler and an avid Gator sports fan.

Ralph has been a resident of Alachua County for the past twenty five years.


Jeremy Taylor

Jeremy Taylor

Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

Jeremy Taylor is a native of Melbourne, Florida and a current resident of Jacksonville, Florida where he serves as Licensed Funeral Director and Trade embalmer

Mr. Taylor received his bachelor’s degree from Warner University in business management and human resource management. He received his A.S. Degree in mortuary science from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service. Jeremy has over 12 years of experience in the funeral industry and his love for funeral service and embalming continues to grow on a daily basis.

Jeremy has a deep love for his family and is also has been a  follower of Christ, all of his life. He also shares a deep love for people and serving in any capacity that he can.


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