July 2022

Page A28 JULY 2022 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on A Order Direct at 1-800-782-8249 Free UPS Ground Shipping www.mccordcasketsandvaults.com www.ChildrenGrieve.org Visit our website to access dedicated resources to support children that are grieving and connect to local support.  Working to ensure no child grieves alone. CHARLOTTE COUNTY,FL— “Customer service is in our family,” says James “Clay” Roberson, licensed funeral director and embalmer at Roberson Funeral Home & Crematory in Port Charlotte, FL. His grandparents Mary and Loy Roberson both worked in the funeral industry at Griffith and Cline Funeral Home in Bradenton, FL. His father, Ken, also worked there in high school and after mortuary college. Ken was a funeral director, ambulance driver, embalmer and personal manager. In 1975, Ken went to Charlotte County, FL. He liked the area, so in 1976, he founded and built the Roberson Schlossberg Funeral Home with his partner, Richard Schlossberg. However, his partner soon decided to sell out his interests in the home, and Ken bought it outright. In 1978, a preneed division was established, and four years later, an on-site crematory was added. Roberson Funeral Home & Crematory became affiliated with Restlawn Memorial Gardens in Port Charlotte in 1986. In 1991, a second location in Punta Gorda was established to serve families in Charlotte County south of the Peace River. Clay joined the family business in 1992. Clay had grown up in the funeral industry. He worked and learned a lot at Brown and Son Funeral Home and Toale Brothers Funeral Home when they lived in Bradenton. The Browns and Toales were family friends and Clay worked on Saturdays and summers when he was growing up. He liked the business and enjoyed helping families. “I liked wearing suits and driving nice cars. I liked taking care of families,” he says. Now he has a son following in his and their grandfather’s footsteps. His son, Hayden, who is 21, is attending classes at St. Petersburg College in the Funeral Service program. Clay has recently worked as a morgue technician/mortuary affairs advisor on a new series based on the book “Bad Monkey.” The new 10-episode drama with the working title “Marcel” is from Emmy Award-nominated writer and executive producer Bill Lawrence (“Ted Lasso”). The series will star Vince Vaughn, from movies like Wedding Crashers, who will also serve as executive producer. Now filming in Miami and the Florida Keys, the series will be produced by Warner Brothers and air on Apple TV. Clay has worked in the film and TV industry in Florida for over 25 years as a featured background actor and funeral advisor. He began as a fashion model for Alexa Mixing the Funeral and Entertainment Industries By Laurie Esposito Harley AskewTokyo discovered him. They signed him to a modeling contract in 1990 allowing him to live and work in Japan for 6 months. Although he was still interested in the entertainment industry, the Gulf War/Desert Storm was happening and things seemed to slow down. That’s when he decided to join the family business. Clay went to mortuary school in Atlanta and got his license in 1993. He attended Gupton Jones College and got his Associate Science Degree. During this time his agent in Atlanta was able to secure him work in the entertainment industry for Sears and Model and Talent Management in Tampa in 1989 and signed with Click Models in Miami Beach, working as a print model for Disney, Walmart, Overton’s Catalog, Publix and Bealls Department Stores. He was living and working in Tampa when Walmart as a print fashion model. After college, he moved to Charlotte County, where he worked in the family funeral home as a funeral director, embalmer and crematory operator. He didn’t give up his interest in the entertainment industry, and in 2010 he became an extra in a movie. His agent in Miami got him several featured, non-speaking roles, one being as a tactical CIA agent on Burn Notice for the USA Network. In addition to Burn Notice, Clay has worked on Six Feet Under, Graceland, DisContinued on page A34 Like @Nomis.Publications Like us on J ame s “ C l a y ” R o b e r s on