History & Staff
We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.
When we sit down with a family, we have just one goal: to create a fitting, memorable and affordable service for their loved one. Together, we explore the wide variety of services and products available, as well as a wealth of creative ideas and suggestions.
Together, we'll design a memorial or funeral service that suits their needs now, and in the future. Families who come to us know that years from now, they will have deep peace-of-mind because in coming to us, they've done their best to honor their loved one.
At E. James Reese Funeral Home and Crematory, we take great pride in what we do. Our purpose is to:
• Help families make well-planned preparations in their time of need.
• Provide a peaceful and soothing environment where people can gather to honor the life of a loved one.
• Preserve longstanding traditions and customs.
• Offer personalized and affordable services and products. Reach out to the greater community.
We believe that the success of any business requires dedication and professionalism. In our business, in particular, it also requires a great deal of kindness, compassion and attention to detail. You’ll find these qualities in each and every member of our staff E. James Reese Funeral Home and Crematory.
Put your trust in us to make this experience as comfortable and carefree as possible.
Our Valued Staff
John Bunnell, Licensed Funeral Director & Director of Operations
John was born in Bellefonte, PA, but grew up in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Wildlife Management and worked for the State of Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources - Fish and Wildlife Division as a Conservation Aide and Marine Police Officer. He moved to Pinellas County in 1980 and worked for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department as a Deputy until 1985 when he left to help his father run a custom wood door manufacturing company. He graduated from St. Petersburg Junior College in 1995 with an Associate Degree in Funeral Services and in 1997 he passed the Pennsylvania State Board Exam for funeral directors and is currently licensed as a Funeral Director/Embalmer in both states. As a funeral director he has been serving the Tampa/St. Petersburg area for over 17 years. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife Patty and has four adult children and seven grandchildren. He enjoys kayaking, fishing, hunting, and most sports.
Michael Lemos, Chapel Administrator
Michael is a Seattle, Washington native who graduated from Sunnyside High School in 1977. He entered the U. S. Army where he spent ten years as a Combat Engineer traveling and serving his country. Michael has traveled to Thailand, Australia, Panama, Hawaii and has been assigned to several US Military posts here in the United States.
After the military, Michael graduated technical college and became licensed in Computerized Hearing Aid Technology. He traveled to clinics and Audiology practices assisting the hard of hearing with quality of life issues.
Michael moved to Tampa ten years ago where he lives with Kim, his lovely wife of 22 years.
His daughter, Kacie, is studying Engineering at USF and his son, Garrett, is studying Computer Technology at St Petersburg College. Michael has worked in the funeral industry for the last six years and enjoys landscape design in his spare time.
E. James Reese Jr., Licensed Funeral Director / Embalmer
Born at St. Anthony's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Mr. Reese, Jr. is a lifelong resident of Pinellas County. He attended Gulfport Elementary, Tyrone Junior High and Boca Ciega High School, graduating from Dixie Hollins High School in St. Petersburg in 1961. He attended St. Petersburg College and received his Associate of Science Degree in Funeral Service from the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science in Louisville, Kentucky where he graduated Cum Laude in 1966. Mr. Reese, Jr. is an active member of Faith Presbyterian Church in Seminole, the Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, the Egypt Temple Shrine in Tampa and a former member of the Seminole Kiwanis Club. He enjoys classic and antique cars, boating and fishing.
E. James "Jimmy" Reese III, Licensed Funeral Director / Embalmer
Born at Bayfront Hospital in St. Petersburg, Mr. Reese, III is a lifelong resident of Pinellas County. He graduated from Seminole High School in 1988. After attending St. Petersburg College, he attended Gupton Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta, Georgia where he received his Associate Degree in Funeral Service in 1992. Mr. Reese, III then attended St. Joseph's College of Maine where he obtained his Bachelors Degree in Education in 1999 and Masters Degree in Theology in 2004. A Certified Funeral Service Practitioner, Mr. Reese, III was appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to a four year term of office to the Board of Funeral and Cemetery Services. His community involvement includes the Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge, Past President and member of the Rotary Club of Seminole, member of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, member and past Vice Chairman of the Board of the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary, member of the Advisory Board of the Pregnancy Plus Medical Center in St. Petersburg and Staff Officer and Certified Instructor with the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. He is also active with many social and community projects, numerous philanthropic organizations and charities including All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Catholic Charities, Osceola Middle School, Pinellas Park Middle School, Orange Grove Elementary School and Madeira Beach Recreation Soccer Teams.
Niki Hawk, Funeral Director Intern
Niki, a native of St. Petersburg, was born at Bayfront Medical Center. She graduated from Largo High School’s magnet program with honors. Upon her college graduation she went into banking and after four years of sales she discovered she wanted to do something more substantial, something that would make use of her degree, and to be an immeasurable part of the community. She received her Associate in Science from St. Petersburg College in Funeral Services during the spring of 2009.
Funeral Service has also broadened her horizon and she found another sentiment in giving the gift of life. Niki also has a career as a tissue procurement coordinator for UMTB. While she stays completely compassionate and devoted to serving families in Pinellas County; she currently is working towards her bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of South Florida.
Niki now lives in Largo with her dog, Zeke. She is so excited to be a part of the Reese team. In her spare time, Niki loves scuba diving, offshore fishing, attending football games, reading, and spending time with family and friends.