West Coast Funerals, a South Australian family owned and operated business, was created in 1987 by Ralph and Jennifer Watkins. Our professional dedication to the people we serve remains the commitment of West Coast Funerals.
Situated amidst family-owned farming land at 1123 Flinders Highway, just 15 kilometres from the city of Port Lincoln.
Our facilities includes a residence, a chapel, a crematorium,an office, memorial areas and also an award winning garden.
Jennifer has a special affinity for the West Coast and its people, having grown up on her family’s rural property where West Coast Funerals is situated. In 2006 Jennifer commenced her studies with Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga,, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2010 and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Class 1 in 2012, with her dissertation Beyond Cemeteries: Changing Trends in Australian Funerary Memorialisation from 1975 to 2010. Jennifer was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in 2020, for her thesis Rural Rites: Women’s Experience of Funerals and Remembrance on Lower Eyre Peninsula in the post-1960s era..
Linda Dreckow is our daughter and commenced her working life in nursing and aged care. The attributes gained in those vocations have been invaluable in her role as a Funeral Director, where communication and empathy are amongst the many requisite skills. In addition, Linda’s professional expertise has been enhanced by undertaking further studies. She has obtained qualifications in many facets of funeral directing, mortuary skills and bereavement care. Linda and her husband Cameron – a shearer and farmer – live near us in our rural location.
During his years as Principal Nurse Educator at the Port Lincoln Hospital, Ralph developed bonds with the people of our local area. This led to his founding of West Coast Funerals in 1987. Ralph envisaged vast changes would occur within the funeral industry, with the increasing acceptance of cremation in the 1980s. He established West Coast Funerals’ chapel and crematorium and in response to the public demand, offered civil ceremonies. He continues to enjoy his involvement in the business, having seen many of his earlier plans for the success of West Coast Funerals come to fruition.
Streaky Bay Director
Peter McNicol has a former career background in telecommunications. With his wife Betty, Peter lives at Streaky Bay, where he enjoys his involvement in community affairs. Having worked for us for many years as our Representative in that area, his expertise and empathetic professionalism are highly valued by ourselves, and the people of the West Coast.