History and Staff
Established in 1936, Highland Memorial Park offers 55 acres of carefully preserved and richly landscaped greenery. It is one of the few, if not only, cemeteries of its size where the entire park is enclosed with a fence.
The manicured grounds are full of majestic oaks and a clear, sparkling natural pond where visitors are invited to relax and spend time with those they loved. Additionally, given its beauty and tranquility, the park’s walking course is a popular spot for fitness walkers.
The cemetery owes a great deal of gratitude to J. Miles Hiers and his vision that funeral homes and cemeteries should not be competitors, but rather work together for the betterment of the community. It was this vision that led Mr. Hiers to purchase the cemetery and make it part of his small family of funeral homes. Additionally, it was his belief that cemeteries should take on a park-like setting to beckon the local community to visit the grounds often as a peaceful escape for an afternoon of reading or walking. It is for this reason that Highland Memorial Park is rightfully proud of the many community events it continues to host each year.
Today, Mr. Hiers’ vision is still alive in the trees and pathways where tranquility and peace of mind come naturally. Take a virtual tour or join us for community events and learn the legacy of Highland Memorial Park.
Our Staff’s Dedication to Respectful Care
A funeral, or memorial service, should provide family members and loved ones with the chance to reflect, remember, and celebrate a life well-lived. At Highland Memorial Park, our goal is to create exceptional services and experiences that fulfill the wishes of your loved one. Our experienced Funeral Directors provide guidance on the crucial first steps toward healing.
Central Florida Market Leader
Michael is a Eustis native. A graduate of Eustis High School, he attended Lake Sumter State College and Graduated from Gupton- Jones College with degree in Mortuary Science.
Michael is the 3rd generation of his family to call Eustis home. While in high school he worked in his grandparent’s furniture store where he learned the importance of hard work and personal responsibility.
Michael has served grieving families as a funeral director for 25 years. He is currently the Director of Operations for Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services where he is responsible for the day to day operations of 5 funeral homes and 1 cemetery from The Villages to Ocala.
Michael was elected to the Eustis City Commission in 2008 where he served for 8 years as a Commissioner, Vice Mayor and Mayor. During his time on the commission he served on the Board of Directors of Lake County EMS and was Chair of the Operations Committee. Michael served 2 terms as president of the Lake County League of Cities and served 4 years on the Board of Directors for The Florida League of Cities.
Michael currently serves on the Alee Academy Advisory Board, The Ed Foundation for Lake County Schools, The Lake Sumter State College Foundation Board, The Lake Eustis Area Chamber Board of Directors and is President of The Lake County Chamber Alliance.
Maria Del Rosario Torres
Advance Planning Advisor
A native of Colombia, Maria Del Rosario Torres has a passion for people. Her bilingual skills help her to reach out in a way that is unique. She appreciates greatly the opportunity to help families, especially those with language barriers. Serving as a Family Care Advisor for more than six years, Maria believes that her experience has taught her to be a strong support to families during the difficult time of loss. Additionally, her educational accomplishments include a Bachelors Degree in Speech Therapy from the University of Colombia as well as certification for Hotel Management.
Maria has been married to Felipe Torres for twenty plus years and together they have a beautiful family. Daughters Vianca, Vanessa and son Alex are their pride and joy. Maria loves to travel to her native country of Colombia whenever she gets the opportunity and she also enjoys volunteering time at the Blessed Trinity Church in Ocala. Maria Torres can be reached by phone at 352-369-1020, toll free at 1-800-371-7307 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advance Planning Advisor
Born in New York and educated in Miami, FL, Marie's life experiences have allowed her the privilege of meeting people from all walks of life. Marie and her immediate family moved to the Marion County area in 1981. It was the family's love for horses and the laid-back, peaceful country-life that drew them to beautiful Ocala. Marie enjoys being a help to others. Her strong desire to "make a difference" is what led Marie to the work in the Funeral and Advance Planning industry. "Whether I am helping a family that has just lost a loved one, or assisting a family with pre-arranging in advance, my hope is that I made a difference in some way" says Marie. Marie Votino can be reached by phone at 352.369.1020, toll free at 1.800.371.7307 or via email at email@example.com