Rocky Bevis, 74

You could say that Rocky Bevis was destined to be a funeral director. He was born in a small apartment above a funeral home where his father worked in Avon Park, Florida. In 1964, his father relocated the family to Tallahassee and established Bevis Funeral Home. The elder Bevis was proud to be the youngest owner of a funeral home in the state!

Caroline Ray, an Advanced Planning Counselor, nominated her boss for this recognition. She says that Rocky’s “generosity and leadership are inspiring. What he has done and continues to do for the community, specifically the senior population, is unmatched.” Rocky was the longest serving Chair (22 years!) of the Big Bend Hospice Board of Directors. He was instrumental in getting the Big Bend Hospice House built in 1983.

Rocky is the eldest of four and the only sibling to follow in his father’s footsteps. Bevis Funeral Home has been in business for 60 years and counting! He says the best part of his job is “the people you meet and stories you hear as well as the diversity of the people we serve.” He has helped thousands of families during the most difficult times in their life and he understands that it’s a very personal experience for everyone who walks through his door.

From an early age, Rocky was fascinated with U.S. Presidents and history. The library at Bevis Funeral Home is filled with presidential memorabilia. He says that he was intrigued by the changing of the guard from President Eisenhower to President Kennedy. When asked if he has a favorite president, Rocky says “Calvin Coolidge because of his work ethic and he did everything he said he’d do.” He says that Ronald Reagan is his favorite modern-day president.

Rocky says what gets him excited every day is “waking up” and that the secret to positive aging is “a gin and tonic with a twist of lime.” Rocky has a very playful side which is essential when overseeing such a serious business. If he had any advice for younger people, he said “pay more attention in school.” He wished he had done so.

He used to enjoy hunting deer in Waukeenah but these days gardening is more his speed. He would like to build a greenhouse so he can grow his own produce. “There’s nothing better than fresh vegetables!”

Rocky and his wife, Patti, have been married 53 years. They have two grown children, Brewster and Sarah, and six grandchildren. His daughter carries on the Bevis tradition – she’s a funeral director, too.

When asked if he planned to retire soon, he says with a laugh and a glint in his eyes, “When I’m laid out in the chapel room!”