Wisconsin Casket and Funeral Care Supply Company will serve regional, national clients
MILWAUKEE – Dr. Camelia L. Clarke and her husband Marcel A. Clarke, MBA, opened the Wisconsin Casket and Funeral Care Supply Company, which will source a substantial casket product line and sell a wide array of funeral care supplies, Paradise Memorial Funeral & Cremation Services announced on August 11th . It is the first such Black-owned company in Wisconsin.
The Clarkes are proud that their son, Raja’ee, will help lead the day-to-day operations along with the assistance of their nephew Dae’quon. Headquartered in Menomonee Falls, Wis., the company will serve local, regional and national clients from its 3,500-square-foot warehouse.
The announcement comes one month after the Clarkes assumed ownership of the Leon L. Williamson Funeral Home in Milwaukee upon the retirement of Leon and Mary Williamson, who owned the business for more than 50 years.
“It’s incredibly gratifying as parents and entrepreneurs to operate a business that can preserve generational legacy while contributing to Black capitalism,” Camelia and Marcel said, noting that launching this company in August, which is Black Business Month, is particularly poignant. “We look forward to grooming the next generation of leaders in our family business. Their passion and integrity are evident, and we are confident they will continue our commitment to serving the industry with dignity, respect and compassion.”
The Wisconsin Casket and Funeral Care Supply Company will specialize in high-quality death care products, including caskets, personalized casket panels, urns, operational supplies for funeral homes and prep room supplies for industry partners. Given current supply chain challenges, Marcel said it is important to deliver value to funeral care professionals, which he says they will be able to do by offering this as a business-to-business option.
Said Raja’ee: “We are thrilled to join our family business as the second generation of leaders of a successful Black-owned business. Paradise Memorial has an exceptional reputation, which we will continue to enhance with all we do.”
About Paradise Memorial Funeral & Cremation Services and Dr. Camelia and Marcel Clarke
Paradise Memorial Funeral Home was established in May 2001 under the leadership of Dr. Camelia Clarke, John O. Bell, LFD; William R. Stark; and Ava N. Carter. Camelia and Marcel Clarke became sole owners in 2016. Paradise has community partnerships with churches of all denominations and faiths, fraternities and sororities, Masonic Lodges and Eastern Star Chapters, and for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
Dr. Clarke has substantial expertise in death care, entrepreneurship, strategic management, diversity, inclusion and equity. She has a Doctor of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, an executive MBA from Marquette University, an international business certificate from the University of Antwerp in Belgium, a Bachelor of Science degree from Cardinal Stritch University and a diploma from the Worsham College of Mortuary Science. She has multiple national and international publications and working papers, including on minority-owned entrepreneurial organizations. Dr. Clarke has served on leadership councils and boards and was recently elected to the Board of Directors of Federated Insurance Companies, one of the largest mutual insurance companies in the country. In this role, she helps manage the organization’s nearly $20-plus billion in revenue, assets and premiums.
Marcel Clarke has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern University A&M, a historically Black college, a bachelor’s degree in business management and entrepreneurial studies from Herzing University, an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University and a degree in applied science from the Worsham College of Mortuary Science. Marcel is highly active in the Milwaukee community and has served on numerous boards of directors and community organizations, including the Beckum/Stapleton Little League Board of Directors and the Clarence Parrish Foundation.
To find out more about the Wisconsin Casket and Funeral Care Supply Company or Paradise Memorial Funeral & Cremation Services, call 414-461-8000 or visit paradisememorialfuneralhome.com.