Paradise Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Milwaukee has acquired Leon L. Williamson Funeral Home in Milwaukee, Paradise Memorial owners Marcel A. Clarke and Dr. Camelia L. Clarke announced.
Leon L. Williamson has owned the Leon L. Williamson Funeral Home for more than 63 years and has retired.
"We are proud to bring Leon L. Williamson into the Paradise Memorial family, combining two legacy Black businesses that are deeply committed to celebrating life within our Milwaukee community," said Camelia Clarke. "The Williamson name is synonymous with high standards, something we will continue to uphold as we help families with their loved ones’ final transitions."
"It is a true honor and privilege for our family business to go to our trusted friends and colleagues, Mr. Clarke and Dr. Clarke. It was a natural choice to make," Leon Williamson and his wife Mary Williamson said. "The Clarke’s expertise, integrity and compassion are unmatched."
Leon Williamson’s father, Lamar, founded the company in 1950 in a converted residence on North 7th Street in Milwaukee. At the time, it was one of the few funeral homes in the city serving African Americans.
In 1960, Lamar Williamson moved the funeral home to its present location at 2157 N. 12th Street. Leon Williamson joined the family business in 1966 and assumed ownership when his father died.
Marcel and Camelia Clarke said they do not plan to change the Leon L. Williamson name.
In 2001, Camelia L. Clarke, John O. Bell, William R. Stark and Ava N. Carter founded Paradise Memorial Funeral Home. Camelia and Marcel Clarke became sole owners in 2016 and changed the name to Paradise Memorial Funeral & Cremation Services.