In 1938, Jesse M. Griffith and C. R. Cline purchased the Wakeman Funeral Home on Manatee Avenue in Bradenton, Florida. They changed the name of the firm to Griffith-Cline Funeral Home and began serving the residents of Manatee and Sarasota counties with care, compassion, and dignified service. In 1945, the funeral home suffered a devastating fire, which began in an automotive section of the facility. Thankfully no one was injured, although the funeral home suffered extensive damage. The funeral home was rebuilt and business continued to grow. Shortly thereafter, it was evident that a much larger and more modern facility was needed in order to serve client families with the attention to detail and service that remain a hallmark of Griffith-Cline to this day. The partners purchased property adjacent to their business and began construction of a purpose-built, state-of-the-art funeral home.
Upon his discharge from the U. S. Navy following service in World War II, Jesse Griffith’s son, O. M. "Buster" Griffith joined the firm. He attended Eccles Mortuary School in Philadelphia, PA and became a licensed embalmer/funeral director. When Mr. Cline became seriously ill, Buster purchased his interests in the firm and became business partner with his father. The partnership flourished with Buster assuming the day to day running of the firm when his father developed brain cancer in the early 1950s. Full ownership of the business passed to Buster when his father died in the late 1950s.
In the meantime, the firm rapidly outgrew the newly-built facility. The original Wakeman building was moved and became a private residence. Thus began a series of renovations and expansion of the funeral home, culminating in its latest renovation in 2004.
In 1960, Griffith-Cline was the first funeral firm in Manatee county to install its own crematory. We continue to operate our own on-site crematory to this day.
Ken Griffith, Buster’s son joined the firm in 1967 and is now its owner/president. So, seventy-five years after the firm’s founding and now under the ownership of the third generation of the Griffith family, Griffith-Cline Funeral and Cremation Services remains a trusted name in funeral service for Manatee and Sarasota county families.
Jesse Griffith once remarked that the core of his firm’s business philosophy was service. That remains our philosophy to this day. We thank all those families who over the years have placed their trust in Griffith-Cline Funeral and Cremation Services and pledge ourselves to upholding the values first established by Jesse Griffith and C. R. Cline in 1938.