Nicholas O’Hara DipFD, MBIFD, MBIE
Nicholas entered the funeral profession at 15 years old and by the age of 20 had gained diplomas in both Funeral Directing and Embalming. Nicholas started the business, along with his parents in 1974 and right from the beginning he established the ethos that we still adhere to today; an unwavering commitment to high standards and very personal levels of service afforded to every family we support. He believes wholeheartedly in the importance of making every funeral unique and special to the family and their loved one.
Son Anthony now manages the business day to day, however Nicholas remains very hands on, helping out in every department and involved in many of the funerals we undertake.
Nicholas is a keen football fan; he has sponsored local youth football leagues and Wimborne Town FC, where he was also Chairman and a Director for a number of years. Very much part of the Wimborne community, he also enjoys fishing, watching AFC Bournemouth with his son and grandson, cruise holidays and spending time with his family.
Anthony O’Hara DipFD, MBIFD
Anthony joined the family business in 1997. The following year Anthony gained his diploma in Funeral Directing and became a member of the British Institute of Funeral Directing (BIFD).
Anthony is now the Manager of the funeral business and is Head of Funeral Planning. As well as the day to day running he also gives guidance on memorials, looks after the companies social media, advertising and events. In 2014 he was invited to be part of SaifCharter’s working groups and now is the Chair of the Voice of the Funeral Director group and in September 2017 was elected onto the SaifCharter executive as one of just eleven funeral directors representing almost 750 individual independent funeral businesses across the UK.
He has served as the 2013/14 president of the Bournemouth and District Association of Funeral Directors.
The same year that Anthony joined the family business, he also became a father to daughter, Shannon and then again in 2000 to son Connor. Anthony is a huge Liverpool FC fan and an AFC Bournemouth season ticket holder with his son and father. Up to the age of 17 Anthony spent time playing at the Reading FC youth academy.
Anthony’s other passions include running, skiing, mountain biking and playing with his English Bulldog “Buzz”
Chris Antell DipFD
Chris joined the business in 1993 after growing up locally and working on his family farm and then owning his own haulage business. After the loss of his mother, Chris had the calling to change to a career in Funeral Directing and he gained his diploma in 1995. Chris has been a past-president of the Bournemouth Association of Funeral Directors.
Chris also discovered a passion for officiating at funerals where a family do not wish to have a minister and he takes a huge amount of personal care and preparation to make each person’s funeral service as special as possible.
Chris’ wife Bernie retired as donations clerk in 2011. They have 3 children. Chris is a keen follower of Southampton FC and attends church locally.
Philip Evans DipFD
Philip the son of a Church Minister showed a calling to the profession Funeral profession from a very young age and throughout his school life always wanted to become a Funeral Director. His first discussion with a Funeral Director about his ambition was with Nicholas’ father Pat when he visited him at Somerleigh Court, having first spoken to him following a Funeral he had attended.
On leaving school Philip was fortunate enough to start work experience with a Funeral Director, after which he was accepted on a full time basis. Having been trained in the various aspects of the profession he then became a Funeral Director in 1985. Philip has now worked within the funeral profession locally for over 30 years. He gained his diploma in Funeral Directing in 1991.
When we needed an additional Funeral Director to join the business in 2010, Philip’s vast local knowledge and experience made him the obvious choice. He joined the firm in October of that year.
Philip’s main hobbies outside of work include performing with Wimborne Musical Theatre.
Philip is also in charge of the companies IT and telecommunications.
Chris Johnson DipFD
Chris joined our funeral directing team in March 2015. Chris had already gained over six year’s local experience within the industry and gained his diploma in Funeral Directing in 2011. Chris other role within the company is within the HR department.
Chris is a proud dad and he also enjoys playing football for a local Sunday team.
Ian Smith MBIE
Ian’s background was vastly different from his role today having worked in the print trade since school. He joined the company in 2012 as an operative and it soon became clear he had the skills to become an embalmer and spent one day a week for over two years training in London to gain his diploma.
Ian’s main role is as lead embalmer, running the mortuary and theatre and training new staff including Nicholas’ granddaughter Shannon in this field. Ian also provides training to local nursing home staff, trainee nurses and carers in the work he does to improve knowledge and understanding of this important aspect to our work.
Ian’s wife Sally is also a community nurse and they have two sons.
Rory joined the family business in January 2017 after working for many years within the industry starting out in numerous roles before finding his niche as a funeral director. Rory went to School in Wimborne and lives here also and so when the business required a new funeral director his local knowledge and different experiences gained made him a perfect fit.
Rory enjoys keeping fit, travelling and supports Newcastle United FC
Shannon started working with the rest of her family within the business just before her 19th birthday and has already shown a huge passion and skill in embalming. Her hopes are to take her diploma in both funeral directing and embalming in the future and learn all areas of the business from the ground up. She is very proud to work with her grandparents and dad and being part of the continuation of the growth of the company.
Outside of work she enjoys horse riding, skiing, going to the cinema and will admit she loves food
Alongside Jackie working in the main office in Wimborne are; Jackie’s daughter Natalie, and Jackie’s sister Julie.
Natalie joined her parents and brother in late 1997 and left only to become a mum to her children Harley and Hope and then returned now they are both at school. Her main skill is computer design and she has helped create many of the Orders of Service family’s use today, as well as working in the accounts section.
Julie also is in her second spell with the business, having started as the Donations Clerk she left to venture new roles including being bar manager at two local pubs. In 2007 she returned to take over when Natalie left to have children and her main roles are controlling the vast amounts of paperwork needed, from family letters to newspaper announcements, as well as working on the many Orders of Service required.
Working between our two other branches are Teresa, Pauline and Nicky
Teresa has a background in nursing and has taken over the role as Donations Clerk alongside Pauline which runs from our West Moors office. Teresa has been with us since 2008.
Pauline joined in June 2011 but has worked within the funeral industry for many years, her uncle Jim actually helped train Nick when he first entered the profession.
Nicky started in April 2017 and has been known to the family for many years. She took over the role held by Sue Jones who retired after 16 years with us. Nicky has much experience in customer service roles and local knowledge having been in the Verwood area all her life.
Funeral Operatives Team
The operatives team are highly important as they have many roles and often are the unseen members of the company. Their roles including maintaining the funeral fleet, running the workshop, keeping the grounds tidy, support on funerals, bringing deceased’s into our care and being part of the bearer team.
Celso has been with the company for over ten years and took over the role from his uncle. Originally from Madeira has now lived in the UK for 20 years and has a real eye for detail and standard and is the Operatives Manager. Celso was previously a chef so enjoys cooking and is often the lead joke maker.
Mark has worked in the funeral industry for most of his working career and has done many different roles and joined the company in early 2015.
Ian started his funeral career as an operative with the business in 2015. Ian was educated and lives locally with his wife Hannah who is a community nurse and their two daughters. Ian enjoys camping, surfing, playing the guitar and his VW van
Gary too has also worked for many years in the funeral industry and in 2016 joined the family business. Gary is a huge Chelsea fan and also enjoys fishing.
Dave started with the company as a part time driver and when he retired from the Fire service after 25 years at the start of 2017 came into the funeral operatives team. He enjoys keeping fit and recently completed a triathlon.