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.

Our History

Our History

Watson-Yates funeral home has a long standing tradition in the Seaford area since 1820, making it possibly the oldest established funeral home in the State of Delaware and one  still in business.  Originally known as “The House of Watson”, the funeral home began in the Seaford area in 1820 by Paynter Watson. As the firm grew the need for a new location was foreseen and in 1858 operations were moved into  the current location of 609 East King Street.  Through the years the business continued under the direction of several Watson heirs, beginning with Henry H. Watson (son of Paynter), his son Medford L. Watson, Sr.; then his two sons, Medford L. Watson, Jr. (Paynter) and Pasher Watson, then business associate and licensed funeral director Gary Yates. 

Top left- Henry Watson     Top Right-Medford L. Watson Sr.
Bottom left - Paynter Watson  Bottom right- Pasher Watson

Our Valued Staff

  • S. Keith  Parsell

    S. Keith Parsell, Sole Owner and CEO

    Keith is a native Sussex Countian, having been raised in Dagsboro with maternal roots beginning in the town of Blades, then Smyrna, Delaware. He is a graduate of Wesley College in Dover, Delaware and the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science and is licensed to practice in the States of Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. He also holds an insurance license in the State of Delaware for preneed funeral arrangements.

    Keith resides in Lewes with his wife Alison and has three children: Christina, Johnathan and Andrew; three granddaughters, one grandson and two step children, Amanda and Steven. He is a member of Bethel United Methodist Church in Lewes where he sings in the choir and serves as substitute organist; is a life member of the Citizens Hose Company, Smyrna, Delaware and a member of the Citizens Hose Company Fireman's Band where he plays the trumpet.

    He is an honorary member and past president of the Lewes Volunteer Fire Department; member and past president of the Delaware State Funeral Director's Association; member of the Delmarva Funeral Service Assn.; member of the National Funeral Director's Assn. where he has served on the Budget Committee for two years; member of the Cremation Society of North America; former member of the Board of Directors of Delaware Hospice for over twenty years; member of the Georgetown and Bridgeville Historical Societies; and former member and treasurer of Rehoboth Beach Kiwanis Club, served as a Beebe Ambassador and is currently a member of the the Beebe Medical Foundation Board. Most recently he was appointed by Delaware Governor Jack Markell to a second three year term on the Board of Funeral Services for the State of Delaware where he currently serves as President of the Board.

    He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, hunting and a game of golf here and there.

  • Alison  Parsell

    Alison Parsell, Chief Operating Officer

    Alison, Keith's wife, joined the staff in 2003. She is a native Delawarean, raised in Dover; graduated from Caesar Rodney School District and the Peninsula General Hospital School of Radiologic Technology. She relocated to Lewes in 1980.

    Alison holds an insurance license in the State of Delaware for preneed funeral arrangements.

    Alison has two children: Stephen Jones and Amanda Boyer; is a member of Bethel United Methodist Church in Lewes where she is a past member of the choir, music librarian, Administrative Board Secretary, and Sunday School Assistant.

    She is a former member of the Board of Director's and former assistant treasurer of the Lewes Historical Society and curator of the Doctor's Office Museum. Also, she is a former member of the Sussex County Medical Society Auxiliary where she assisted in the production of many fund raising local fashion shows.

  • Andrew Parsell

    Andrew Parsell, Licensed Delaware Funeral Director, Vice President

    Andrew Parsell is the son of the owner, Keith Parsell. He is a graduate of Cape Henlopen High School and the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. In 2010 he became a Delaware Licensed Funeral Director, after completing his resident internship with the firm. He now serves as a director on staff and is Vice President for the funeral home. He is a member of St. Jude The Apostle Catholic Church, Lewes, DE and the Lewes Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. He is an avid golfer, fisherman and hunter and was elected President of the Delaware Funeral Directors Association for the 2014-2015 year term.

  • Johnathan  Parsell

    Johnathan Parsell, Chief Financial Officer

    Johnathan, son of owner Keith Parsell, grew up in the family business, learning many aspects of the funeral industry. He currently oversees the financial operations of the company and assists with general management.

    His previous experience includes working in financial services as a Registered Representative for some of the largest and most well-known mutual fund and financial advising companies.

    He holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Marketing and Operations Management from the University of Delaware and a Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship and Innovation from Drexel University.

    Johnathan has served as a Director on the Cadbury Foundation Board of Directors and is a former member of the Lewes Volunteer Fire Department. In his spare time, Johnathan enjoys exploring new cities and cuisines with his wife and spending time outside with his Australian Labradoodle, Cannoli.

  • Brian J.  Clymer

    Brian J. Clymer, Licensed Delaware & Maryland Funeral Director

    Brian joined the firm in September 2013 as a licensed funeral director. A graduate of Old Mill Senior High School in Millersville, MD, Brian then attended the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science graduating with an Associate’s Degree in Specialized Business in Mortuary Science in 1997. Prior to joining the firm, he had served the Annapolis area for the past 15 years.

    Brian lives in Bridgeville, DE with his wife, Kimberley and their 3 West Highland White Terriers, Skipper, Sterling and Archer. Brian is a member of the Masons and enjoys attending local sporting events, NASCAR and life on the Chesapeake Bay and at the beach.

  • David T.  Bradley

    David T. Bradley, Licensed Delaware & Pennsylvania Funeral Director

    David is a licensed funeral director who joined our firm in July 2014 and is licensed to practice in the states of Delaware and Pennsylvania. He also holds an insurance license in the State of Delaware for Pre-Need Funeral Arrangements. Originally from Western New York, David proudly served in the U.S. Navy. He is a graduate of Central Pennsylvania Business School where he also served as the Director of Enrollment. David then graduated from Northampton Community College with an Associate Degree in Applied Science in Funeral Service Education and worked as a licensed Funeral Director in Lebanon, PA.

    He and his wife, Carolyn, are the parents of Megan, Ben and Hope Bradley. He enjoys surf fishing and kayaking in the ocean and bays as well as volunteering with Operation SEAs the Day, Warrior Family Beach Week in Bethany Beach.

  • Laura  Ward

    Laura Ward, Licensed Delaware Funeral Director

    Laura Ward joined the company in April 2015. She was born and raised in Lewes and currently resides here with her husband, Jason, and their Shih Tzu, Buddy. She graduated from St. Thomas More Academy in 2008.

    She received her Associates Degree in Applied Science in Funeral Services at Des Moines Area Community College in 2019. She completed her internship and became a licensed director and embalmer in the beginning of 2021. Laura is driven by her passion to care for families in the community.

    Laura attends Solid Ground Church in Lewes. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, going to the beach, and watching her beloved Philadelphia sports teams, especially the Phillies and the Eagles.

  • Amanda  Mark

    Amanda Mark, Licensed Delaware & Maryland Funeral Director

    Amanda Mark is a licensed Funeral Director who joined our firm in October 2022 and is licensed to practice in the states of Delaware and Maryland. Amanda grew up in Cecil County, MD, graduated from Perryville High School, and has lived in Delaware County, PA and New Castle County, DE. She has worked various customer service positions, including 12 years with Comcast before returning to school at Delaware Technical Community College and later graduating from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. Amanda has worked in funeral service for 6 years.

    Amanda, her husband and pets have relocated to Sussex County. In her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends.

  • Mike R. Frock

    Mike R. Frock, Aftercare Coordinator

    Mike is a Pennsylvania and Delaware licensed Funeral Director and joined the firm in 2022.

    He is a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in Police Administration. This education served him well as an Investigator in the US Air Force. Mike is a graduate of the Community College of Baltimore County Mortuary Science program. He is recognized as a Certified Professional in Funeral Planning from Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company, and Dr. Alan Wolfelt’s Center for Loss & Life Transitions, Fort Collins, CO. He also holds an insurance license in the State of Delaware for Pre-Need Funeral Arrangements. In his 20 plus years as a funeral director, he has advised thousands of families in creating meaningful and healing funerals.

    Mike and his wife, Holly, live in Millsboro, DE with their two “Scottish Terrorists.” Mike enjoys time at the beach and on the golf course, where he says, “A good day is finding more balls than I lose.”

  • Scott Burdette

    Scott Burdette, NFDA Certified Pre-planning Counselor & Delaware Licensed Life Insurance Producer

    Scott Burdette joined the firm in April 2011. He is a Delaware Licensed Insurance Agent and has also been certified by the National Funeral Directors Association as a Pre-planning Consultant.

    Scott was born and raised in Maryland and moved to Rehoboth Beach in 2002. For 33 years he worked in the food industry holding various positions as Clerks and Department Managers with Giant Food to being a Sales Representative, Retail Sales Manager, Accountant Manager and Business Manager with Acosta Sales & Marketing.

    In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his spouse, friends and family. He also enjoys time with his rescue dog Casper, working around his home and spending time on the beach.

  • Beverly  King

    Beverly King, Bookkeeper

    Beverly joined our firm in March 2011 as a Bookkeeper. Prior to joining us, she worked 23 years for several local accounting firms as an Administrative Assistant and then as Office Manager. Beverly is a local who graduated from Cape Henlopen High School in 1988, and she holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration/Accounting and and a BA in Business Administration/Human Resource Management.

    Beverly enjoys spending time with her fiancé, daughter Morgan, family and friends. She also enjoys going to the beach, boating, crabbing, traveling, watching movies and playing with her lab and her kitties.

  • Amy Matarese

    Amy Matarese, Office Assistant

    Amy joined the company in May 2016. Born and raised in the Wilmington and Hockessin areas, Amy relocated to Lewes in 2014. She graduated from St. Mark’s High School in Wilmington and attended Wesley College in Dover and DE Technical and Community College in Wilmington.

    Amy enjoys spending time at the beach with family and friends; especially her son, Steven and daughter, Sydney.

  • Alexandra DiLoretto

    Alexandra DiLoretto, Office Assistant

    Alexandra joined the firm in October 2020 as an Office Assistant. She was born in Romania and immigrated to the United States in 2014. She has studied Foreign Languages (English, French) and got her Master’s degree in Translation Studies in 2013.

    Alexandra lives in Millsboro, DE, with her husband, and their dog Abbie. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, traveling, and reading.

  • Shawn  Harris

    Shawn Harris, Office Assistant

    Shawn was born in Bridgeton, NJ and attended Cumberland Regional High School and Cumberland County College. She and her husband John, relocated to Millsboro from southern New Jersey in July of 2019. (She and John) They have a combined total of 5 children and 8 grandchildren in New Jersey, Ohio, and Illinois. She enjoys cooking, is a self-proclaimed foodie, an avid reader and she and John enjoy traveling and share a love of 70’s music. Shawn enjoys outdoor activities of every sort, especially hiking, kayaking and beach combing wherever they travel.

  • Lisa Cammy

    Lisa Cammy, Pre-Need Office Assistant

    Lisa joined the firm in October 2019 as a Pre-Need Office Assistant. She has over 30 years of experience in Human Resource Management and Administration in the biotechnology and health and fitness industries.

    Lisa and her husband, Mark, moved to Sussex County in 2014 from Monroe, New Jersey and have two daughters. They enjoy the beach, camping, spending time with their family and friends and spoiling their dogs.

  • Vicki  Haws

    Vicki Haws, Receptionist

    Vicki Haws joined the company in May 2017. Prior to relocating to the Rehoboth/Lewes area in the spring of 2017, Vicki was a life-long resident of Lancaster Ccounty, PA.

    A graduate of Cocalico High School in Denver, PA, she has experience working in the legal, medical and title insurance fields.

    Vicki and her husband, Carl, enjoy time spent with friends, road trips, biking, cooking, and spoiling their Goldendoodle, Harley.

  • John  Hazzard

    John Hazzard, Funeral Director Assistant & NFDA Certified Crematory Operator

    John Hazzard joined the firm on a full time basis in May 2013 as a Funeral Director's Assistant. He originally began with the firm in March as a Funeral Home Associate and was certified as a crematory operator in November 2016. He was previously employed by the Rehoboth Beach Fire Company as an EMT and Fire Fighter since 2007.

    Born in Key West, Florida, John has lived full time in DE since 1997. He enjoys going to the beach with his wife and children, fishing and watching Flyers games.

  • Paul  Becker

    Paul Becker, Media Systems Coordinator & Funeral Home Associate

    Paul joined the firm in January 2011. He has been a resident of Lewes the majority of his life. He graduated from St. Thomas More Academy in 2002 and received a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Finance from the University of Delaware in 2006. He worked in the AmeriCorps after college.

    Paul is a member of St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church in Lewes, DE. He keeps active by playing tennis, soccer and golf.

  • William  Brittingham

    William Brittingham, Funeral Home Associate

    Bill Brittingham II has been a local resident of the Lewes/ Rehoboth area his entire life. Son of Bill & Mollie Brittingham and Barb Brittingham, Bill’s Family has resided in Lewes for generations. The Brittingham’s of Lewes, Delaware owned and operated the Lewes Dairy on Pilot Town Road. Bill is also a relative of Edson Lodge, formerly of the Atkins-Lodge Funeral Home. He is a graduate of Cape Henlopen High School Class of 2006. Bill has worked in the hospitality industry for the last decade. He joined the Parsell Funeral Family as a Removal Technician in October of 2021.

    Bill, his wife Jacey and their dog, Lady May, live outside of Lewes and enjoy live music and the outdoors.

  • Victoria Miller

    Victoria Miller, Funeral Home Associate

    Victoria joined the company in March 2022 as a Funeral Home Associate. Born and raised in the New Castle area, she relocated to Millsboro in 2021. She graduated from Delcastle Technical High School in Wilmington and attended Delaware Technical Community College. Victoria has worked in the funeral industry since 2018 and is currently attending the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science so she can become a licensed funeral director.

    Victoria enjoys spending time with friends and family and can often be found cheering on her beloved Baltimore Ravens.

  • David R. dos Santos

    David R. dos Santos, Funeral Home Associate

    David joined our staff in March 2022, he was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He is a graduate of Hunter College of the City University of New York with a bachelor’s degree in Media Studies. For the past nine years, David has been employed in higher education.

    David lives in Lewes, DE with his wife, Danielle and their dog, Cleo. In his spare time, he enjoys home improvement projects and spending time at the beach.

  • Thomas J . Bishop

    Thomas J . Bishop, Pet Crematory Manager & CANA Certified Crematory Operator

    TJ joined the firm in 2012. He is a graduate of Annapolis Sr. High School and then continued on to the “Maryland College of Art and Design” to pursue his love of art. Before residing in Lewes in 2004, TJ frequently visited the area to help assist his family with the rental of their Delaware beach house. Now a permanent resident, TJ enjoys boating and fishing, with his wife and 3 children, and going to the beach with family and friends.

  • Briten Clews

    Briten Clews, Pet Crematory Specialist

    Briten joined the firm in November 2020 as a Pet Crematory Specialist. She was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Delaware in 1997. She graduated from Cape Henlopen High School in 1999 and went on to earn a degree in Animal Science from Delaware Technical Community College. Briten has worked in the Pet Industry for more than 20 years as a Veterinary Technician and Technician Manager.

    Briten and her husband Michael, have two children and two beloved dogs. She enjoys spending time with her family, sports, fishing and baking.

  • Hope  Bradley

    Hope Bradley, Office Assistant

    Hope joined the firm in 2018. She was born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania and relocated to Milton, Delaware in 2014. She graduated from Cape Henlopen High School in 2016 and attends college at Delaware Technical Community College.

    Hope enjoys spending time with her son, hanging out with family and friends, and going to the beach.

  • Dan  Doody

    Dan Doody, Funeral Home Associate, Building & Grounds Supervisor

    Dan joined the funeral home staff in 2009 as a funeral home associate and in 2010 became supervisor of building and grounds for the Clarksville, Hardesty-Bridgeville and Dodd-Carey-Georgetown chapels. He enjoys the challenges of repair and maintenance work and takes pride in the appearance of each Parsell facility.

    Dan and his wife Linda moved to the Delaware shore full time in 2009. Prior to joining the firm, Dan retired as a supervisor from a utility in upstate N.Y in 2007. He held various managerial positions in his 37 year career. Dan also worked part-time for eight years as a funeral home associate in Rochester, NY. They have three sons and enjoy their six grand children. In his spare time, Dan enjoys boating and fishing. He attends Mary Mother of Peace Catholic Church in Millsboro.

  • Bill  Nennstiehl

    Bill Nennstiehl, Funeral Home Associate

    Bill Nennstiehl joined the staff in April 2012. He is a graduate of Rehoboth High School, served four years in the Navy and retired from the construction business.

    He and his wife, Laura Anne, reside in Bridgeville, where they enjoy their Arabian horses and are actively involved with their granddaughters.

    Bill is a member of the Bridgeville Historical Society, Apple-Scrapple Festival and Bridgeville Lions Club.

  • Danny Rohls

    Danny Rohls, Funeral Home Associate

    Dan Rohls joined the firm in December 2012. He was born in Maryland and raised in Virginia. Danny now resides in Sussex County, DE. For the past 14 years he has been employed in the transportation industry.

    In his spare time, Danny enjoys spending time with his family and friends, hunting, fishing and playing golf.

  • Mike Yost

    Mike Yost, Funeral Home Associate

    Mike Yost joined the firm in August 2011. Mike is a native Delawarean who grew up in Felton. He is a 2001 graduate of Lake Forest High School and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Delaware in 2005. Mike is currently employed by the State of Delaware as an Environmental Scientist.

    In his spare time, Mike enjoys the outdoors and spending time on the beach with his wife.

  • Randy  Brittingham

    Randy Brittingham, Funeral Home Associate

    Randy joined our firm in August 2014 as a funeral home associate. He is a native Sussex Countian, born and raised in Dagsboro, DE. After being honorably discharged from his service time in the U.S. Air Force, he spent 30 plus years in construction and property management business. He has also volunteered at the Hospital for the Mentally Challenged in Stockley, DE. During his spare time, he enjoys remodeling homes and traveling with his husband.

  • Tim Kay

    Tim Kay, Funeral Home Associate

    Tim joined our staff in June 2016 as a Funeral Home Associate. He was born and raised in Philadelphia then resided in Springfield, PA before moving permanently to the Long Neck area. Tim received his BS Ed. from Lock Haven University, PA and his MS Ed. from the College of New Jersey. He taught elementary school in Philadelphia, moved on to the Philadelphia Inquirer, and then owned his own business before retiring in 2014.

    Tim and his wife, Renee, have four sons and three grandchildren. He enjoys boating, fishing and playing golf.

  • Gregg  Pommerenk

    Gregg Pommerenk, Funeral Home Associate

    Gregg joined our firm in March 2021. He was born and raised in Staten Island, New York. Gregg recently relocated with his family to Lewes in January 2021. He is retired after 26 years with the New York City Transit Authority. After retirement Gregg worked part time for local funeral homes in Staten Island until he relocated.

    Gregg and his wife Theresa have two daughters and one granddaughter. He enjoys watching sports, boating and spending time with his family.

  • Dale Adams

    Dale Adams, Funeral Home Associate

    Dale joined the staff in 2021 as a Funeral Home Associate. With his degree in Construction technology, he spent 40 plus years owning his own construction and cabinet making business. Dale lived most of his life in Chester County, Pennsylvania, before retiring to Lewes with his wife in 2019. In his spare time, he enjoys going to the beach, fishing, home improvements and playing guitar.

  • John Harris

    John Harris, Funeral Home Associate

    John Harris joined the company in March 2021. Prior to relocating to the Long Neck area in the Summer of 2019, John was a life-long resident of Salem and Cumberland Counties in NJ.

    He is a graduate of Pennsville Memorial High School in Pennsville, NJ and West Chester State College in West Chester, PA. Prior to retiring and moving to Delaware, John worked at the Salem & Hope Creek Generating Stations for 31 years in various capacities including Information Technology, Radiation Protection, and Emergency Preparedness.

    He and his wife Shawn attend Bethel United Methodist Church. In their spare time they enjoy the beach, time spent with friends and family, music, travel, kayaking, cooking, motorcycle riding and discovering all things new in and around Delmarva.

  • David  Mandelbaum

    David Mandelbaum, Funeral Home Associate

    David joined our staff in April 2022. He relocated to Lewes in 2017 from northern New Jersey after spending the first three decades of his life in Brooklyn, New York. He is a retired CPA and spent most of his career as a forensic accountant in the advertising and insurance industries.

    David and his wife, Mary, have three children and two grandchildren. He loves being outdoors, riding bicycles and motorcycles, spending time on our beautiful beaches, and loving life in southern Delaware.

  • Sharon  Hawk

    Sharon Hawk, Funeral Hostess

    Sharon Hawk has been a Funeral Hostess on staff since 2005, primarily in our Hardesty Chapel, Bridgeville. She and her husband Charles are life-long residents of the Bridgeville area. Sharon is a member of St. Mary's Episcopal Church where she is very active with the various church committees.

  • Denise Romano

    Denise Romano, Funeral Hostess

    Denise joined our family in August 2016. She was raised in Philadelphia, PA, and graduated from Lincoln High School. Later, she and her husband, Michael, relocated to Georgetown, where they raised their 2 sons in the Georgetown area. Denise’s background as a former certified CNA enables her to utilize her vast experience and compassion helping geriatric patients.

    In her spare time, Denise enjoys decorating her house, playing with her 5 cats and helping others.