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.
When we sit down with a family, we have just one goal: to create a fitting, memorable and affordable service for their loved one. Together, we explore the wide variety of services and products available, as well as a wealth of creative ideas and suggestions.
Together, we'll design a memorial or funeral service that suits their needs now, and in the future. Families who come to us know that years from now, they will have deep peace-of-mind because in coming to us, they've done their best to honor their loved one.
Palms West Funeral Home and Crematory is family owned and operated. We have created a beautiful environment where friends and loved ones can gather. We bring our families over a century of combined experience in funeral service within Palm Beach County, Florida.
We are a non-denominational facility with dedicated staff specializing in providing a complete service that will be tailored to your religious and financial needs. We are open 7 days a week, from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Evening visitations and services are available upon request.
Our Valued Staff
Wallace Hickman Sr., President
Co-Owner and President of Palms West Funeral Home.
Graduate of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC.
Builder and Developer of Dorsey Funeral Home in Lake Worth, Florida.
Affiliated with The Rotary Club of West Palm Beach, The Palms West Chamber of Commerce, and The American Legion of Royal Palm Beach.
Church Affiliation: First Baptist Church of West Palm Beach, Florida.
Wallace Hickman Jr., Vice President
Co-Owner and Vice President of Palms West Funeral Home.
Graduate of the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL in 1985.
Church Affiliation: St. Juliana's Catholic Church, West Palm Beach, FL.
Julian E. Almeida, Vice President, General Manager
Julian E. Almeida, originally from North Miami, Florida, moved to West Palm Beach in 1972. Attended Miami-Dade Community College to study Funeral services. He received his Funeral Director and Embalmers License in 1974 and has since been serving South Florida communities. One of the original interns who rode ambulance for a funeral home in 1971 and later on in his career voluntered time for S.A.V.E.S. ambulances.
Julian was Past-President of Southside Lions Club, Chancellor Commander Knights of Pythias #203, Past-President Palm Beach County Funeral Directors Association. Vice-President and Founder of Palms West Funeral Home. Julian currently serves as a Board Member of Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Cemetery in Royal Palm Beach.
As a senior spokesman for Funeral Directors in Palm Beach County, Julian has been proud to dedicate his knowledge and experience in serving our local families in one of the few family owned funeral homes in our county.
Judith Stephenson Brookshire, Licensed Funeral Director
Graduate of Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, FL in 1973.
Licensed in the State of Florida since 1973.
First Female Funeral Director in Palm Beach County.
Formally Co-Owner of Mack Stephenson Funeral Home in Lantana, Florida.
Formally Senior Sales Director for Mary Kay Cosmetics.
Affiliated with The Palms West Chamber of Commerce.
Church Affiliations: Victory Baptist Church, West Palm Beach, FL and Palm Beach Lakes Baptist Association.
Michael Angotti, Funeral Director
Michael C. Angotti, originally from New Jersey, moved to Wellington, Florida in 1993 and attended Lynn University in Boca Raton to study Funeral Services. He received his Funeral Directors & Embalmers License in 1996 and has since been serving South Florida communities. Always wanting to do more and help, Mike turned to the Florida Lions Eye Bank & Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, where he became a Certified Eye Enucleator. The eyes, use for research, have brought immeasurable new data in helping to restore sight to the blind. Still wanting to do more, right after 9-11, Michael found D.M.O.R.T. (Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team) and F.E.M.O.R.S. (Florida Emergency Mortuary Operational Response System). These are teams of people from around the nation and state who respond to mass fatality disasters and identify all the victims. D.M.O.R.T. was placed into The Department of Homeland Security, and Michael became one of the founding members. He is also part of the U.S. National Disaster Medical System, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Florida Department of Health. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Mike was one of the first responders and spent numerous weeks in the 3 coastal counties of Mississippi helping the families find, identify, and care for their loved ones that were lost.
In April of 2007, Michael brought all his knowledge and experience to Palms West Funeral Home. Since that time, he has been serving our local families and offers comfort to them in their most inconsolable times. “I have learned from my parents not only the value and importance of quality work, but also ethical standards and the meaning of a family. I take great pride in serving your family and I will treat you as a part of mine”
Tom Bennett, Funeral Director
Tom Bennett was born and raised in Carmel, N.Y. He attended the University Of Syracuse and graduated in 1969. Tom went to Simmons school of mortuary science in Syracuse N.Y. graduating in 1970.
A third generation funeral director, Tom brings more than100 years of collective family experience to Palms West Funeral Home. Currently licensed in Florida, Conneticuit, New York and New Jersey. Tom worked the family business, Adams Funeral Home, until 1983 and moved to Florida working for the local funeral homes in Broward and Palm Beach County for the past 23 years.
Tom is a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, an active member in the Elks lodge and L.O.O.M. and attends St. Mathews Catholic Church in Lake Worth.
“It is always my goal to comfort and care for your family in your time of
need as if you were my own family.”
Kyle Smith, Funeral Director
Kyle Smith, a former owner of E. Earl Smith & Son Funeral Home, is a native Floridian. Born in Lake Worth in 1963, he is the son of the late R. Kent Smith, also born in Lake Worth in 1929, and grandson of E. Earl and Grace Smith.
Kyle is Past-President and 23 year member of the Lake Worth Exchange Club, which, among other things, raises money for college scholarships for students at Lake Worth High School, where the R. Kent Smith Gymnasium stands in memory of Kyle’s father.
Kyle is a skilled embalmer and on occasion, assists other area funeral homes. He is a Certified Eye Enucleator for the Florida Lions Eye Bank and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Miami. The eyes, used for research, have brought immeasurable new data in helping restore sight to the blind.
Kyle attended John A. Gupton College Vanderbilt, Nashville, TN, graduating in 1985. He is married to Theresa and lives in the Acreage.
Heather Altman-Kingwell, Funeral Director
Heather Altman-Kingwell, is a native Floridian. Having lived in the area since 1986, she is a graduate of Wellington High School. She holds her degree in Funeral Services from Miami-Dade College as well as a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Heather currently serves on the Advisory Board to the Funeral Services Department at Miami-Dade College.
Heather is a resident of Wellington, and a member of Temple Beth Torah.
“I am here to bring comfort and clarity to the bereaved, and dignity to those who can no longer do for themselves.”
John Duemig, Pre-Arrangements Director
John Duemig was born and raised in Oceanside, New York, and moved with his family to South Florida in 1989.
John has 15 years experience in the funeral industry and specializes in helping families plan for and finance future funeral needs. Qualified and licensed to provide both annuity and trust financing, John has the unique opportunity to help families prepare regardless of budget, age or medical conditions.
"More families than ever before are making funeral arrangements in advance. This frees the surviving family from making difficult decisions when they are least prepared and very emotional. Pre-planning provides great peace of mind for everyone involved. It can even guarantee the cost at today's prices when funeral expenses are pre-paid, but, to me, the most important reason to pre-plan is the ultimate gift you will be giving to your family!"