Volusia funeral home staff helps families navigate difficulties of death during COVID-19

'You can trust them,' customer says of Unity Funeral Home staff

DeLAND, Fla. – Employees at one Volusia County business are helping people through one of the hardest parts of their lives while making a difference in the community.

Staff members at Unity Funeral Home in DeLand are helping people navigate the new way of saying goodbye to their loved ones in the age of COVID-19.

“It’s a tough time for everybody right now,” licensed funeral director Angela Dallas-Johnson said.

[ROOTED IN CENTRAL FLORIDA: Black Business Spotlight | BLACK BUSINESS DIRECTORY: Submit your Black-owned business listing]

While serving families, they’re also making sure loved ones know that despite funeral capacities being limited now and more livestreams replacing in-person services, the pandemic wont stop their generosity, although it’s been a difficult time for their business, too.

“We let them know that we’re here for you, and we’re going to do the best that we can,” licensed funeral director Dawn-Johnson Myles said. “We’re hurting just like you’re hurting, and to see other people hurting, and know that we can’t comfort them the way that we usually would with a hug or a pat on the back like we usually would.”

Cathy Williams raved about the generosity of the staff at Unity Funeral Home. She buried her father, grandfather and so many others, she said, thanks to the family-operated business, and she appreciates how they’re helping so many other families during these tough times.

“They’re just a helping organization,” Williams said. “You can trust them. They will guide you when you don’t know what to do.”

The faces behind the family-run business go beyond planning funerals. They’re also known for hosting events for kids and mentoring them.

“The message that we’re giving them is, we don’t want them to come meet us too early, because of the decisions they’ve made,” Johnson-Myles said.

They teach kids to make good decisions and they guide misguided youth.

[READ MORE: Melbourne caregivers bring joy to seniors, community at adult daycare facility]

“Even though we are in the death care business, we are into speaking life into people also, and we want to let them know they are loved and they are somebody. My granddaddy always told us that,” Johnson-Myles said.

Johnson-Myles said her family also taught her to stand up for what they believe in and they have, taking part in recent Black Lives Matters protests throughout Volusia County.

Learn more about the family-run funeral home here.

Throughout the month of August and beyond News 6 and will highlight some of the Black-owned businesses in Central Florida and the impact they are making in the community. Learn more at

About the Author: