top banner

Staff

Serving Dane County since 1922

Four generations of family, along with an excellent staff, Gunderson Funeral Home proudly serves your family with the same personal care and dedication that has been passed down from generation to generation. Since 1922, Gunderson Funeral Home has been Dane County’s longest serving single family funeral home. With seven convenient locations throughout south central Wisconsin, Gunderson Funeral Home has orchestrated compassionate, individualized life celebrations and funeral services in our communities.

Gunderson Funeral Home - Wisconsin

 

photo
PETER GUNDERSON President and Licensed Funeral Director

photo
MIKE SMITS General Manager and Licensed Funeral Director

Mike is originally from Antigo, Wisconsin, graduating from Antigo High School in 1981. He has worked in  funeral service since 1983. Mike graduated from the funeral service program at Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1985, and has been part of the Gunderson Funeral Home since 1987.

Mike and his wife, Cindy, along with their three daughters, have made McFarland their home since 1988. He is very involved in the McFarland community, serving on the McFarland Education Foundation Board of Directors,  is a member of the McFarland Optimists Club, and a former member of McFarland Basketball Boosters  Board of Directors and Christ the King Catholic Church where he had served as an usher, Eucharistic Minister, and a religious education committee member and instructor. In addition, Mike has also been active in Stoughton; having served on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, including two terms as president and the Stoughton Area Community Foundation Board of Directors.

In his free time, Mike enjoys spending time with his family,  running, golf, and Badgers football and basketball.

photo
TANYA (DUPOR) RUEF Office Manager

Tanya grew up in McFarland graduating from McFarland High School in 2006. Tanya has been working with Gunderson Funeral Home since May 2008. She is the fourth member of the Dupor family to work at Gunderson Funeral Home.

Tanya and her husband, Mike, reside in Sun Prairie with their dog, Memphis and two cats. During their free time, they love spending the summer weekends at the family camper in Milton and going to the movies. Tanya also enjoys running in local 5k races with her grandfather (who sadly she has yet to beat), attempting beginner's quilting projects, gardening, and golfing with her family and friends.

photo
DAN DEDERICH Manager and Licensed Funeral Director

Dan was raised in the Sauk Prairie area, and currently resides in Waunakee with his wife and two children. After earning his degree in mortuary science in 1982, Dan worked for the Winn Funeral Home in Waunakee, and later Slettten McKee Hanson Funeral Home in LaCrosse before joining Gunderson Funeral Home in 1990. He is a member of the Middleton Optimist Club and is involved with both the Middleton and Cross Plains Chambers of Commerce.

Dan says that trying to help people through the most challenging moment of their lives with the loss of a loved one and being able to make that difficult situation memorable and positive are what compel him to be a compassionate funeral director.

photo
STEPHANIE VONBEHREN Manager and Licensed Funeral Director

Stephanie is formerly of North Freedom, Wisconsin. She graduated from Baraboo High School in 1990 Stephanie continued her education at the UW-Baraboo/Sauk County campus, focusing her career on being a registered nurse.  Her career took a different direction after she experienced the loss of a close family member. The positive experience at a terrible time was made possible through her hometown funeral director. Stephanie went on to graduate from Milwaukee Area Technical College with an associate degree in mortuary science, and began working at Gunderson Funeral Home in 1998. Stephanie currently resides in DeForest with her husband, David, and their children, Jordan and Taylor.

On the beautiful, Wisconsin winter days, you can find Stephanie downhill skiing. When all the wonderful snow has melted away, Stephanie enjoys biking and hiking in the state parks.

photo
MARTHA PATON Administrative Manager

Martha was born and raised in Stoughton, Wisconsin.  She is passionate about helping the families that Gunderson Funeral Home serves during a very difficult time. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, walking and hiking with her two Catahoula Leopard Dog rescues, time spent 4-wheeling and snowmobiling up north and trying new recipes.

photo
JIM DUPOR Retired Funeral Director Emeritus

Jim graduated from Madison LaFollette High School in 1981. He later attended and graduated from Madison Area Technical College with a degree in mortuary science. Jim joined Gunderson Funeral home as an apprentice, and has now been a licensed funeral director since 1986. Jim and his family have resided in McFarland since 1988.

photo
CARLY ALM Licensed Funeral Director

Carly was born and raised in Vernon Hills, IL. She graduated from Illinois State University in 2016, with her bachelor's degree in psychology. She then graduated from Worsham Mortuary School of Science in September of 2017. While attending school she worked at Lauterburg and Oehler Funeral Home in Arlington Heights, IL. Carly chose to move to Madison and work at Gunderson Funeral Home for the opportunity to grow and learn in the industry. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, hiking, running, reading, doing puzzles, and spending time with her family and friends. 

photo
BRADY GOSKA Licensed Funeral Director

Brady was born and raised in Wisconsin Rapids, and graduated from Lincoln High School in 2012. He served his funeral director apprenticeship at Ritchay Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids. Brady attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science and graduated in March of 2017. He then moved to Medford, where he became a licensed funeral director at Hemer Funeral Home. In his spare time he enjoys everything sports related, the outdoors and playing with his dog, Rookie. 

photo
DALE HOLZHUTER Licensed Funeral Director

Dale was born and raised on a farm near Deerfield, Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Madison East High School, UW-Whitewater and Milwaukee Mortuary School. Dale served his apprenticeship with Gunderson Funeral Home in 1959 and became a licensed funeral director in 1964. For over 20 years, Dale co-owned funeral homes in Stoughton, McFarland and Deerfield, Wisconsin.  He has been with Gunderson Funeral Home since 2001.

Dale is married to the former Marian Christenson of Stoughton.  He and Marian enjoy all sports, but especially Wisconsin football and basketball.

photo
JEFF SUTTON Licensed Funeral Director

Jeff Sutton was born in Taylorville, Illinois and spent most of his childhood in Oswego, Illinois.  He graduated from Oswego High School in 1982.  After graduation he worked in the manufacturing industry until 2003, and at that time decided to change careers and became a Funeral Director.  Jeff recently worked for Camacho-Ellestad Funeral Home in Mount Horeb and was hired after Gunderson Funeral & Cremation Care acquired the funeral home.  He truly loves the Gunderson family.  Jeff enjoys riding his Harley, snowmobiling and the St. Louis Cardinals.

photo
JOHN JACOBSEN Licensed Funeral Director

Having grown up in a Lutheran Minister’s family, John lived in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  A graduate of Portage Sr. High, Dana College and Worsham College of Mortuary Science,  John has been a Funeral Director in Madison since 2005.  In his first career, John worked for over 20 years  in community based services for persons with disabilities both in Nebraska and Wisconsin.  John and Lois are active in their church’s music ministry and are active volunteers with The Road Home in Madison. They enjoy Door County, kayaking in the UP with close friends, Devil’s Lake, and all things Wisconsin.  Having raised twin sons, they now live with Molly the Jack Russell and Libby the cat.

photo
MYKAL JENSEN Licensed Funeral Director

Mykal was born in Southern Oregon, but moved around quite a bit during her formative years. She spent most of her youth living in Pinedale, Wyoming and Gallup, New Mexico. These places exposed her to a diversity of cultures and people. She attended University of New Mexico where she studied Psychology. After a career change from a veterinary assistant, she came to the Midwest via Chicago and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2016. Upon graduation, she quickly found a home in the beautiful city of Madison where she is an avid equestrian, bike rider, and all around adventure seeker. She enjoys attending church at Blackhawk and enjoying the many parks and lakes in the area. Mykal has found her calling in funeral service and enthusiastically greets every family with warmth and compassion to assist with what can be the most difficult time of their lives. 

photo
KAITLYNN LENOIR Licensed Funeral Director

Kaitlynn was born in Elgin, Illinois and raised in Rockford, Illinois.  She graduated from Guilford High School in Rockford.  After high school she attended Rockford University and earned a degree in Biology.  In 2016, she graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science.  Kaitlynn worked for Sundberg Funeral Home in Rockford, Illinois.  She decided to come to work for Gunderson Funeral Homes because she felt it would allow her the best experience possible while learning every aspect of the funeral business.

In her spare time, Kaitlynn enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

photo
JAMES "JIM" RAGLAND Licensed Funeral Director

Jim was born and raised in West Milwaukee and graduated from Nathan Hale High School in 1999. He is a 2017 graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science. While attending Worsham College he was given the opportunity to become part of the Gunderson Funeral Home family. Jim served his funeral service apprenticeship in Brookfield, WI where he worked for three years.  He and his wife Beth have been married since 2010, and they have two mini dachshunds, Dixie and Bentley. Jim enjoys fishing, going for long rides, exploring new areas, spending time with family and he loves the outdoors.

photo
MICHELLE RINEHART Licensed Funeral Director

Michelle was born and raised in Madison, and currently resides in her childhood home with her daughter, Samantha. She graduated from Madison East High School and went on to attend UW-Richland Center, majoring in sports medicine.  After her freshman year of college, Michelle’s grandfather died, which changed her career path. Michelle graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1993, with an associate degree in mortuary science. She worked for Ward Funeral Home in Edgerton/Evansville for two and a half years, and for Joyce Ryan Funeral Home before settling in at Gunderson Funeral Home in February of 1996.

Michelle enjoys playing volleyball, watching men’s college basketball and watching her daughter’s sporting events. She is also active with her church, St. Bernard Catholic Church, the Women’s Group and is very involved with Girl Scouts.

photo
LESLIE TODD Licensed Funeral Director

Leslie Todd was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin.  She graduated from Rock Valley Community College in Rockford, Illinois in 2008, and Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2011.  Before becoming a funeral director, Leslie was a Pharmacy Technician.  She served her funeral director apprenticeship in Madison and most recently worked in the Milwaukee area.  Leslie joined our team at Gunderson Funeral Home for the opportunity to come back home and work with a dedicated team of people who truly care about the families that we serve in the Madison area and its surrounding communities.  In her spare time, Leslie enjoys weekends up in the north woods, photography and spending time with her family and friends.

photo
DANIELLE VAYRE Licensed Funeral Director

Danielle grew up in Michigan and is number 9 of 10 siblings. After high school, she moved to Arizona and received a bachelor of science degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. Danielle moved to Madison from Mexico City, Mexico after raising her 3 children.   She is bilingual and received her associate’s degree in Mortuary Science at MATC, Milwaukee. Her passions include cooking, family night dinners, and traveling with family and friends. Danielle is also active in softball and bowling leagues, and an American Legion Auxiliary Member in McFarland.

 

 

photo
RACHEL WARTES Licensed Funeral Director

A recent Wisconsin transplant.  Rachel came to Madison by way of Chicago where she attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science.  Originally from Colorado, Rachel received her Bachelor’s Degree in 2010 from Metropolitan State University of Denver where she studied Sociology and Psychology.  She is an avid runner and enjoys hiking, biking and camping in her free time.  Rachel is thrilled to join the Gunderson team and call Madison home.

photo
KASEY WILSON Licensed Funeral Director

Kasey grew up in Necedah, Wisconsin.  She is married with two girls, age 3 years and 3 months, who keep her very busy.  Kasey enjoys spending time with family, especially outdoors; going on picnics, trips to the zoo, spending time boating, fishing, and going to the beach and water parks.  She takes pride in listening to people and being able to help them through the toughest time in their life.  Kasey is honored to guide families through the process and be there for them every step of the way.

photo
RICHARD "RIC" VANDERHOEF Certified Pre-Planning Consultant

A life long Madison East Side/Cottage Grove resident, Ric came to Gunderson’s in the early 90's.  Beginning as a pre-need specialist,  Ric obtained The CPC (Certified Pre-Planning Consultant) designation from the National Funeral Directors Association with in a few years.  In his spare time Ric enjoys time with his family and fishing, while always having a home project underway.  

photo
KRIS NOLDEN Accountant

Kris grew up in the Town of Middleton, where she and her husband, Lance, raised two wonderful daughters and continue to live today.  She graduated from Middleton High School and went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree from UW–Madison.  Kris started her career in the family owned construction business, working for her dad and uncle.  After many years in construction she went on to work for a software development company, and later in the broadcast industry.  

After working for nearly five years for a large corporation she was interested in getting back into a family owned business.  When the opportunity presented itself with Gunderson Funeral Home she was excited to make a change and have the chance to work for a company with a long reputation of quality service. 

When she’s not working she loves visiting her girls, going to the lake, cheering on the Badgers, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

photo
NICOLE PERRIN Accountant

Nicole Perrin has been with the Gunderson Funeral Home since 1998. She is originally from Wauwatosa. Nicole graduated from Edgewood College with her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. In her free time, Nicole enjoys reading, crafts and spending time with family & friends.

photo
DEDE SIMON-KESSENICH Billing Specialist

DeDe was raised in Martinsville, Wisconsin and graduated from Middleton High School and has lived in the Middleton area since 1976 with her husband, Dennis. Together they proudly raised three daughters. DeDe loves any activity that involves her family, enjoys traveling and attending sporting events.

When I came to Gunderson Funeral Home I knew it would be a perfect fit for me. To work with a group of people that are compassionate for the staff that works with them, and to see firsthand that each family Gunderson Funeral Home works with is handled with the upmost respect and provided with everything needed to get them through this devasting time.

DeDe comes to us with an extensive background in insurance, billing and customer service and is enjoying putting her experience to work here at Gunderson Funeral Home.

photo
SARA PATON BARKENHAGEN Stoughton Administrative Assistant

Sara was born and raised in Stoughton.  For more than 30 years, her career has been as an administrative assistant in education.  Ready for a change, she was fortunate to be hired in a position where she is able to continue to interact with and help families. In her spare time, her favorite hobby is staying home.  Sara currently lives in Deerfield with her husband, Dennis Barkenhagen. She has three grown children, Luke Natvig; his wife Amanda; and their children, Sylas Natvig and Joe and Kendal Coleman all of Marshall, Peter Natvig of Stoughton, and Carly Natvig of Seattle, Washington.

photo
BETTY DAUCK Administrative Assistant

After working for Gunderson Funeral Home for over 10 years, Betty thought that it was her time to retire. She soon realized how much she missed greeting the public and helping families in difficult times and returned working part time at the Gunderson West location.

photo
KIRSTEN GUNDERSON Administrative Assistant

Kirsten grew up in Middleton, graduating from Middleton High School in 2012. She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Biology. Upon graduation in December 2014, Kirsten looks forward to medical school and pursuing her career in the medical field. Kirsten is passionate about helping others and is involved with a number of organizations on the UW campus. She enjoys volunteering with Agrace HospiceCare and coaching with the Middleton girls’ varsity soccer team. In her spare time, Kirsten enjoys hiking, horseback riding, playing soccer and spending time with family.

 

photo
LAUREN GUNDERSON Administrative Assistant

Lauren grew up in Middleton, graduating from Middleton High School in 2008.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Consumer Affairs along with a Certificate in Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012, while competing as a student-athlete on the women's soccer team.  Upon graduation, Lauren moved to London, England to work for more than a year before returning home to become involved in the family business.  In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time outdoors, playing soccer, traveling, and baking.

 

photo
LISA KREBS Administrative Assistant

Lisa was born in Minnesota and currently lives in Sun Prairie. She recently received her associate’s degree in Business Management at Madison Area Technical College. Previous to being hired at Gunderson Funeral Home, Lisa worked at UW Hospital for 5 ½ years. She is thrilled to be able to work in a position where she is able to utilize her skills and knowledge, along with remaining in an environment where care and compassion is a big part of the job. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys cooking, reading, working out and spending time with her cat, boyfriend, friends and family.

photo
JANELLE LAFROMBOIS Fitchburg Administrative Assistant

Janelle grew up in Brooklyn, WI and graduated from Oregon High School in 1987.  She continued her education graduating from MATC in 1990 with an Associate’s Degree in Dietetics and from the UW-Madison in 1999 with a B.S. in Rehabilitation Psychology.  Before joining Gunderson, Janelle worked for 24 years at the Edgerton Care Center serving the residents as a Dietetic Technician Registered.  She is married to Dan and they reside in Stoughton with their 2 children, Zach and Brynn.  Janelle loves spending time with her family and friends.

photo
JOAN LAUFENBERG Middleton Office Manager

Joan has been with the Gunderson Funeral Home since 1999, working in the Middleton location in a support role for the funeral directors. She says that customer service, care and compassion are important to her, and working at Gunderson Funeral Home gives her the opportunity to use these skills, along with family core values, to help families in their time of need.

photo
PATTY SEILER Lodi Office Manager and Funeral Assistant

Patty started working for Gunderson Funeral Home in March of 2012 after retiring from the Veterans Administration Hospital with almost 35 years of service. She works as a family service assistant and adminstrative assistant to the funeral director.

Patty is a life-long resident of Lodi and has two children, Becky and Garret. She loves spending time with her family, especially her grandson, Ty. Patty can be seen everyday in Lodi being walked by her two German Shepherds, Chubbs and Dixie.

photo
DEBBIE STUDT Administrative Assistant

Debbie was born and raised in Monroe, WI. She moved to Madison in 2000 and spent most of her career in the building business. After losing her father to cancer in 1999, Debbie realized what comfort it was to have HospiceCare walk her and her family through the end stages of his life. It was shortly thereafter that she became an inpatient Hospice volunteer and most recently a vigil volunteer. It was through her volunteering that lead her to a position with Gunderson Funeral  Home. Debbie is proud to be part of a team who is dedicated to compassionately serving families in need with integrity and respect. Each day her life is touched by someone else’s sadness.  Debbie feels the deepest experiences of life are impacted by those around us that guide us through them.  She truly believes pain does not always have to be private. 

photo
KAREN THOMPSON Administrative Assistant

Karen is a lifelong resident of the Madison area. She graduated from La Follette High School and attended MATC in Madison.  Karen has a wonderful daughter, Kaitlin, and a beautiful granddaughter, Chesney, who is also Karen's baking assistant!  She loves being a mom and grandma and thinks it’s the most wonderful experience! Karen is an avid fan of the Badgers, Packers and Brewers, but has a fondness for Badger Basketball.

Since the age of 16, Karen has worked in the service industry, wearing many hats over the years. She had always wanted to work in the funeral industry, drawn to it by personal loss and grief.   Karen strives to serve and help families through their difficult time by assisting them in having a loving and memorable experience.

 “I find my position very rewarding. It is an honor to be a part of the Gunderson Funeral Home family”.

photo
ALYSSA HALVERSON Funeral Director Apprentice

Alyssa was born and raised in Stoughton, Wisconsin.  She graduated from Stoughton High School in 2014.  Alyssa enjoys hot weather, spending time with family and friends, and her dog, Lacy. 

photo
KEVIN YOUNG Service Associate

Kevin Young is a native of Beloit, and has been involved in funeral service for the past seven years. He graduated from Beloit Memorial High School, and then attended Blackhawk Technical College and UW Rock County. Kevin chose to be a part of the Gunderson Funeral Home team because he appreciates the compassion and care shown to the families Gunderson serves. In his free time, Kevin enjoys paintballing and playing music.

photo
MACHAELA HUBER Funeral Director Apprentice

Machaela Huber was born in Ellsworth, Maine and mainly grew up in Delaware, where she graduated from high school in 2013.  Machaela then went on to receive her associate’s degree in Human Services from Delaware Tech. 

After graduation she decided it was time for a change and decided to leave the East Coast.  Machaela then took the opportunity to attend Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Illinois.  She graduated in 2017, and decided to stay in the Midwest to advance her funeral profession.  Machaela is honored to work with such a great organization, and is happy to now call Madison “home”.  In her spare time she enjoys traveling out east to see her family, long road trips and spending time with her dog.

photo
SAMANTHA RINEHART Funeral Director Apprentice

Samantha is a 2009 graduate of Madison East High School. After high school she went to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she earned her bachelor’s degree in social work. Despite being in her 20’s, Samantha enjoys reading, crocheting, and playing bingo in her free time. She also enjoys playing volleyball and going on motorcycle rides

photo
SAMANTHA RAUCCI Funeral Director Apprentice

Samantha Raucci was born and raised in Barrington, Illinois and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in March, 2018.  While in school she worked for Morizzo Funeral Home in Hoffman Estates , Illinois and Willow Funeral Home in Algonquin, Illinois.  Samantha is a Funeral Director Apprentice, who chose to work at Gunderson because “it’s a large organization with a small company feel”.  She also appreciates the emphasis on creating meaningful and personalized services, and the emphasis on attention to detail we give to all of our families that we serve.  When Samantha is not working, she enjoys baking and cake decorating, collecting Disney pins, attending concerts, singing karaoke, and teaching herself the ukulele.  She also volunteers with Icing Smiles (an organization that bakes birthday cakes for terminally ill children). 

photo
SYDNEY HOUGHTALIN Funeral Director Apprentice

Sydney Houghtalin was born and raised in Battle Creek, Michigan.  She graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2017.  Sydney worked at Sax-Tiedemann Funeral Home as a student director while attending mortuary school.  She decided to join Gunderson Funeral Home because of the “welcoming and amazing staff”.  Sydney enjoys music, movies, concerts, sporting events, road trips and spending time with family, friends, her boyfriend, Austin and her black lab, Benelli. 

photo
JACK ALBRECHTSON Funeral Service Associate

Jack is originally from Richland Center, WI and moved to Madison to attend UW–Madison after graduating from high school in 1968. He has remained in Madison and enjoys living on the near west side with his wife, Pat and their dog, Keeley. They have two children that live outside the state. After obtaining a degree in nursing and business, Jack has enjoyed his diverse career opportunities from being an RN, working for over 20 years with three different associations and being a small business owner.

He has participated in several additional avocations including EMS and officiating high school and college sports for over thirty years. His other pleasures in life evolve around Badger sports, traveling, biking, working with wood and anytime spent at the cabin with family, friends and the family dog.

Jack joined the Gunderson staff in 2014 and has found his career at Gunderson’s his most fulfilling. Being a part of an outstanding staff and assisting families through a difficult process is very rewarding.

photo
DEAN "DON" DENSON Funeral Service Associate

Don is a lifelong resident of Middleton. After working in the concrete business for 45 years, he retired in 1997. Don joined Gunderson Funeral Home in 2005, and says that he enjoys working with people and helping families in any way that he can.

photo
JAMES "JIM" GREEN Funeral Service Associate

Jim, a lifelong Madisonian, resides in Fitchburg with his wife, Suzanne.  They have an adult daughter that also lives in the area.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, Jim has owned and operated three different businesses in the consumer products industry.  In his retirement he continues to participate in various sporting activities, in addition to being a fan of all major sports.

Jim takes great pride in being a part of the Gunderson team; a group of caring professionals dedicated to addressing the needs of families in difficult times.

photo
HERBERT GUNDLACH Retired Funeral Service Associate

In memoriam.

photo
MATT GUNDERSON Funeral Service Associate

photo
JOE KELLERMAN Funeral Service Associate

Joe is originally from Watertown , Wisconsin . He attended St. Lawrence Seminary, Watertown High School and earned a graphic arts degree from Madison College . Before joining Gunderson Funeral Home, he worked 49 years at Webcrafters Printing Company as an IT manager.

Before moving to Madison , Joe and his wife, Joan, lived in McFarland where they raised four children.  Joe is a member of Christ the King Catholic Church in McFarland were he served on the finance committee, was a member of the Men’s Club, taught religious education and volunteered at Luke House. He was on the board of directors of the Madison Jaycees, was the charter president of the McFarland Jaycees, and was the past presidents of the McFarland Music Boosters and the Blackhawk Home Owners Association.  He delivered meals for Meals on Wheels for many years and served as a volunteer for United Way.

In his free time Joe enjoys spending time with his 10 grandchildren, watching their sporting events, music performances and drama productions.  He is an avid Badger basketball fan, a Packer fan and a Brewers fan.

Joe feels very fortunate to work with a team of dedicated caring individuals committed to helping families at a very difficult time in their lives.

photo
BOB KLEINSCHMIDT Funeral Service Associate

Bob grew up in Wauwatosa and moved to Middleton in 1997.  He retired in 2014 after more than 30 years in the financial service industry.  Bob missed the personal contact with clients and so jumped at the chance to be of service at Gunderson Funeral Homes.  He has been married to Becky for 37 years and has raised two sons. He also has two grandsons to be proud of.

When Bob is not helping families at Gundersons, he enjoys spending time with family, watching University of Wisconsin and Green Bay sports, flying RC airplanes, and working on genealogy.

photo
RICHARD "DICK" RINEHART Funeral Service Associate

Dick moved to Madison after graduating high school in 1965.  He and his wife, Jan, have been married for over 40 years. Together they have a daughter, Michelle, and a granddaughter, Samantha. Dick spent 36 years with the Madison Police Department, retiring in 2001. He worked as a cadet officer, police officer, sergeant and lieutenant. Dick had the opportunity to work a patrol beat, work in communications, special operations, and served as a district lieutenant for both the Central and North Police Districts. During his years as a lieutenant, he also coordinated the field training of all police recruit officers.

Dick has been a member of the Knights of Columbus since 1997. He has served two terms as grand knight of Council 9082.  Dick has also served as faithful navigator for Bishop O’Connor 4th Degree Assembly 1200, and recently served three years as district deputy for the five Madison Knights of Columbus Councils. He is a past president of the Board of Directors for the ATTIC Correctional Facility on Madison’s east side, and is a former big brother with Big Brother Big Sisters of Dane County. Dick is a current member of Saint Bernard Catholic Church and is active in numerous parish ministries and events. He has been a staff member since 2001, serving as the director of volunteers.

Dick finds his work at Gunderson Funeral Home very rewarding. He says that he has found several similarities to his career in police work, allowing him to continue to offer help, compassion and comfort to individuals and families during a difficult time.

photo
ZANE TORGRUDE Funeral Service Associate

Zane Torgrude was in the Financial Services industry for over 30 years as a trainer, Regional V.P. and Financial Planner.  He most currently was a Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor with BMO Harris Financial Advisors and retired March 31, 2016.  

Prior to the Financial Services industry, Zane served for 11 years as a Lutheran pastor and specialized in human services as a speaker, counselor, manager, and fund raiser.

Zane earned his B.A. from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1966 and obtained a Masters in Theology from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN in 1970.  Zane also achieved his Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designations from the American College in Bryn Mare, Pennsylvania in 1988. 

Zane is married to Susan and is the proud parent of two daughters and has five grandchildren.  One of his grandsons, Noah, was born with Down Syndrome.  It is because of Noah that Zane, serving as Board President, led a group to bring a GiGis Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center to Madison, WI which opened in May 2016.

Zane is now honored to be part of the team at Gunderson Funeral Homes where he assists in providing a culture where families and individuals can celebrate the life of a lost loved one.

photo
TOM ULLSVIK Funeral Service Associate

Growing-up on Madison's Eastside, Tom worked at his family's Scandinavian market while attending East High School and UW-Madison. A Viet Nam vet, Tom returned to Madison and a banking career lasting 40 years. Long-time members of Bethel Lutheran Church, Tom and his wife Sue live in Middleton where they raised a son and two daughters and now are delighted to have seven grandchildren, all in this area. Tom joined Gunderson Funeral Homes in September of 2011 and has been honored to serve many families, some of which he has known for decades.

photo
GREG DAHMEN Retired Funeral Service Associate

Greg has been with Gunderson Funeral Home since 1990. After working in the retail management field for his entire career, Greg says that he was happy to use his customer services skills in such an rewarding way. “Meeting and assisting the many wonderful families has been a privilege and I look forward to continuing to be there in their time of need.”

photo
JIM STOKER Certified Crematory Specialist

Jim grew up in Monona Wisconsin.  He was an auto mechanic for 32 years and then worked at Highland Memory Gardens for 8 years prior to joining Gunderson.  His work as a mechanic built in him a very strong work ethic and a positive mental attitude.  Jim and his wife, Leanne love to take their boat out onto Lake Mendota and let the world go by.  He enjoys the outdoors; hunting and fishing, and watching his grandkids do anything.  

photo
PAUL SELBO Certified Crematory Specialist and Funeral Service Associate

Paul has been with Gunderson Funeral Home since 2003. He is a graduate of Stoughton High School and UW-LaCrosse. Paul is a member of Stoughton Village Players, the Honorary “S” Club, Christ Lutheran Church, Stoughton Festival Choir and the Stoughton Hall of fame Committee.

Paul and his wife, Sue, have two sons, Dan and Tom. He enjoys running, golf, motorcycling, theater and small town festivals.

photo
KEN BERG Vital Statistics Coordinator

Ken is from LaCrosse, Wisconsin. He is a 1960 graduate of La Crosse Central High School. Ken served on active duty in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1963. He graduated from Madison Business College in 1966. Ken enjoys fishing, card playing, and is a fan of the Packers and the Badgers. He is a member of McFarland Lutheran Church. Ken and his wife, Jane have three children and six grandchildren.

Ken has served as the vital statistics coordinator at Gunderson Funeral Home since 1998. He says, “It is a honor to work with great staff that share the same feelings in serving families, to work together towards a common goal.”

photo
JOY GUNDERSON Hair Designer

Joy Gunderson was born and raised in Madison.  She currently resides in Stoughton with her husband Jeff and their two boys, Zander and Skyler.  As a hair designer, Joy owned and operated her own business for over 20 years, mainly within Monona.  She takes pride in her job and receives a real sense of satisfaction; whether it's working on her own clients, or those at the Gunderson Funeral Home.

photo
RICK FRY Facility Maintenance

Rick Fry was born in Boscobel and raised in Madison, graduating from Madison East High School.  He worked as a Union Cement Mason for over 20 years, and worked for the family business, Fry Concrete Construction and Maintenance for the past eight.  He joined our Facility Maintenance Department in 2018.  Rick enjoys fishing with his wife and grandkids, and building and racing stock cars with his two sons.

photo
CLARENCE "BOB" BYRNE Facility Maintenance

Bob Byrne farmed all his life, until 2002.  He is now retired from farming and currently takes care of the lawn work and flowers at Gunderson Funeral Home.  He also enjoys traveling.

photo
JOHN SIMON Retired Facility Maintenance

John was raised in Martinsville and comes from a family of seven sisters and four brothers. He graduated from Middleton High School and then started working for Feiner Furniture. He worked for Feiner for 38 years, learning numerous skills that includes, but not limited to, furniture repair, floor coving installation and repair and general maintence. He joined Gunderson Funeral Home in March of 2012

John lives in Cross Plains with his wife Katie. Together they raised three children, that were very active in sports. Lots of time was spent at the ball fields! For many years John coached and for the past five years he has been the business manager for the Cross Plains Home Talent Baseball Team.

PETER GUNDERSON

President and Licensed Funeral Director
photo

MIKE SMITS

General Manager and Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Mike is originally from Antigo, Wisconsin, graduating from Antigo High School in 1981. He has worked in  funeral service since 1983. Mike graduated from the funeral service program at Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1985, and has been part of the Gunderson Funeral Home since 1987.

Mike and his wife, Cindy, along with their three daughters, have made McFarland their home since 1988. He is very involved in the McFarland community, serving on the McFarland Education Foundation Board of Directors,  is a member of the McFarland Optimists Club, and a former member of McFarland Basketball Boosters  Board of Directors and Christ the King Catholic Church where he had served as an usher, Eucharistic Minister, and a religious education committee member and instructor. In addition, Mike has also been active in Stoughton; having served on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, including two terms as president and the Stoughton Area Community Foundation Board of Directors.

In his free time, Mike enjoys spending time with his family,  running, golf, and Badgers football and basketball.

TANYA (DUPOR) RUEF

Office Manager
photo

Tanya grew up in McFarland graduating from McFarland High School in 2006. Tanya has been working with Gunderson Funeral Home since May 2008. She is the fourth member of the Dupor family to work at Gunderson Funeral Home.

Tanya and her husband, Mike, reside in Sun Prairie with their dog, Memphis and two cats. During their free time, they love spending the summer weekends at the family camper in Milton and going to the movies. Tanya also enjoys running in local 5k races with her grandfather (who sadly she has yet to beat), attempting beginner's quilting projects, gardening, and golfing with her family and friends.

DAN DEDERICH

Manager and Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Dan was raised in the Sauk Prairie area, and currently resides in Waunakee with his wife and two children. After earning his degree in mortuary science in 1982, Dan worked for the Winn Funeral Home in Waunakee, and later Slettten McKee Hanson Funeral Home in LaCrosse before joining Gunderson Funeral Home in 1990. He is a member of the Middleton Optimist Club and is involved with both the Middleton and Cross Plains Chambers of Commerce.

Dan says that trying to help people through the most challenging moment of their lives with the loss of a loved one and being able to make that difficult situation memorable and positive are what compel him to be a compassionate funeral director.

STEPHANIE VONBEHREN

Manager and Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Stephanie is formerly of North Freedom, Wisconsin. She graduated from Baraboo High School in 1990 Stephanie continued her education at the UW-Baraboo/Sauk County campus, focusing her career on being a registered nurse.  Her career took a different direction after she experienced the loss of a close family member. The positive experience at a terrible time was made possible through her hometown funeral director. Stephanie went on to graduate from Milwaukee Area Technical College with an associate degree in mortuary science, and began working at Gunderson Funeral Home in 1998. Stephanie currently resides in DeForest with her husband, David, and their children, Jordan and Taylor.

On the beautiful, Wisconsin winter days, you can find Stephanie downhill skiing. When all the wonderful snow has melted away, Stephanie enjoys biking and hiking in the state parks.

MARTHA PATON

Administrative Manager
photo

Martha was born and raised in Stoughton, Wisconsin.  She is passionate about helping the families that Gunderson Funeral Home serves during a very difficult time. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, walking and hiking with her two Catahoula Leopard Dog rescues, time spent 4-wheeling and snowmobiling up north and trying new recipes.

JIM DUPOR

Retired Funeral Director Emeritus
photo

Jim graduated from Madison LaFollette High School in 1981. He later attended and graduated from Madison Area Technical College with a degree in mortuary science. Jim joined Gunderson Funeral home as an apprentice, and has now been a licensed funeral director since 1986. Jim and his family have resided in McFarland since 1988.

CARLY ALM

Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Carly was born and raised in Vernon Hills, IL. She graduated from Illinois State University in 2016, with her bachelor's degree in psychology. She then graduated from Worsham Mortuary School of Science in September of 2017. While attending school she worked at Lauterburg and Oehler Funeral Home in Arlington Heights, IL. Carly chose to move to Madison and work at Gunderson Funeral Home for the opportunity to grow and learn in the industry. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, hiking, running, reading, doing puzzles, and spending time with her family and friends. 

BRADY GOSKA

Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Brady was born and raised in Wisconsin Rapids, and graduated from Lincoln High School in 2012. He served his funeral director apprenticeship at Ritchay Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids. Brady attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science and graduated in March of 2017. He then moved to Medford, where he became a licensed funeral director at Hemer Funeral Home. In his spare time he enjoys everything sports related, the outdoors and playing with his dog, Rookie. 

DALE HOLZHUTER

Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Dale was born and raised on a farm near Deerfield, Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Madison East High School, UW-Whitewater and Milwaukee Mortuary School. Dale served his apprenticeship with Gunderson Funeral Home in 1959 and became a licensed funeral director in 1964. For over 20 years, Dale co-owned funeral homes in Stoughton, McFarland and Deerfield, Wisconsin.  He has been with Gunderson Funeral Home since 2001.

Dale is married to the former Marian Christenson of Stoughton.  He and Marian enjoy all sports, but especially Wisconsin football and basketball.

JEFF SUTTON

Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Jeff Sutton was born in Taylorville, Illinois and spent most of his childhood in Oswego, Illinois.  He graduated from Oswego High School in 1982.  After graduation he worked in the manufacturing industry until 2003, and at that time decided to change careers and became a Funeral Director.  Jeff recently worked for Camacho-Ellestad Funeral Home in Mount Horeb and was hired after Gunderson Funeral & Cremation Care acquired the funeral home.  He truly loves the Gunderson family.  Jeff enjoys riding his Harley, snowmobiling and the St. Louis Cardinals.

JOHN JACOBSEN

Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Having grown up in a Lutheran Minister’s family, John lived in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  A graduate of Portage Sr. High, Dana College and Worsham College of Mortuary Science,  John has been a Funeral Director in Madison since 2005.  In his first career, John worked for over 20 years  in community based services for persons with disabilities both in Nebraska and Wisconsin.  John and Lois are active in their church’s music ministry and are active volunteers with The Road Home in Madison. They enjoy Door County, kayaking in the UP with close friends, Devil’s Lake, and all things Wisconsin.  Having raised twin sons, they now live with Molly the Jack Russell and Libby the cat.

MYKAL JENSEN

Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Mykal was born in Southern Oregon, but moved around quite a bit during her formative years. She spent most of her youth living in Pinedale, Wyoming and Gallup, New Mexico. These places exposed her to a diversity of cultures and people. She attended University of New Mexico where she studied Psychology. After a career change from a veterinary assistant, she came to the Midwest via Chicago and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2016. Upon graduation, she quickly found a home in the beautiful city of Madison where she is an avid equestrian, bike rider, and all around adventure seeker. She enjoys attending church at Blackhawk and enjoying the many parks and lakes in the area. Mykal has found her calling in funeral service and enthusiastically greets every family with warmth and compassion to assist with what can be the most difficult time of their lives. 

KAITLYNN LENOIR

Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Kaitlynn was born in Elgin, Illinois and raised in Rockford, Illinois.  She graduated from Guilford High School in Rockford.  After high school she attended Rockford University and earned a degree in Biology.  In 2016, she graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science.  Kaitlynn worked for Sundberg Funeral Home in Rockford, Illinois.  She decided to come to work for Gunderson Funeral Homes because she felt it would allow her the best experience possible while learning every aspect of the funeral business.

In her spare time, Kaitlynn enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

JAMES "JIM" RAGLAND

Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Jim was born and raised in West Milwaukee and graduated from Nathan Hale High School in 1999. He is a 2017 graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science. While attending Worsham College he was given the opportunity to become part of the Gunderson Funeral Home family. Jim served his funeral service apprenticeship in Brookfield, WI where he worked for three years.  He and his wife Beth have been married since 2010, and they have two mini dachshunds, Dixie and Bentley. Jim enjoys fishing, going for long rides, exploring new areas, spending time with family and he loves the outdoors.

MICHELLE RINEHART

Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Michelle was born and raised in Madison, and currently resides in her childhood home with her daughter, Samantha. She graduated from Madison East High School and went on to attend UW-Richland Center, majoring in sports medicine.  After her freshman year of college, Michelle’s grandfather died, which changed her career path. Michelle graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1993, with an associate degree in mortuary science. She worked for Ward Funeral Home in Edgerton/Evansville for two and a half years, and for Joyce Ryan Funeral Home before settling in at Gunderson Funeral Home in February of 1996.

Michelle enjoys playing volleyball, watching men’s college basketball and watching her daughter’s sporting events. She is also active with her church, St. Bernard Catholic Church, the Women’s Group and is very involved with Girl Scouts.

LESLIE TODD

Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Leslie Todd was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin.  She graduated from Rock Valley Community College in Rockford, Illinois in 2008, and Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2011.  Before becoming a funeral director, Leslie was a Pharmacy Technician.  She served her funeral director apprenticeship in Madison and most recently worked in the Milwaukee area.  Leslie joined our team at Gunderson Funeral Home for the opportunity to come back home and work with a dedicated team of people who truly care about the families that we serve in the Madison area and its surrounding communities.  In her spare time, Leslie enjoys weekends up in the north woods, photography and spending time with her family and friends.

DANIELLE VAYRE

Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Danielle grew up in Michigan and is number 9 of 10 siblings. After high school, she moved to Arizona and received a bachelor of science degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. Danielle moved to Madison from Mexico City, Mexico after raising her 3 children.   She is bilingual and received her associate’s degree in Mortuary Science at MATC, Milwaukee. Her passions include cooking, family night dinners, and traveling with family and friends. Danielle is also active in softball and bowling leagues, and an American Legion Auxiliary Member in McFarland.

 

 

RACHEL WARTES

Licensed Funeral Director
photo

A recent Wisconsin transplant.  Rachel came to Madison by way of Chicago where she attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science.  Originally from Colorado, Rachel received her Bachelor’s Degree in 2010 from Metropolitan State University of Denver where she studied Sociology and Psychology.  She is an avid runner and enjoys hiking, biking and camping in her free time.  Rachel is thrilled to join the Gunderson team and call Madison home.

KASEY WILSON

Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Kasey grew up in Necedah, Wisconsin.  She is married with two girls, age 3 years and 3 months, who keep her very busy.  Kasey enjoys spending time with family, especially outdoors; going on picnics, trips to the zoo, spending time boating, fishing, and going to the beach and water parks.  She takes pride in listening to people and being able to help them through the toughest time in their life.  Kasey is honored to guide families through the process and be there for them every step of the way.

RICHARD "RIC" VANDERHOEF

Certified Pre-Planning Consultant
photo

A life long Madison East Side/Cottage Grove resident, Ric came to Gunderson’s in the early 90's.  Beginning as a pre-need specialist,  Ric obtained The CPC (Certified Pre-Planning Consultant) designation from the National Funeral Directors Association with in a few years.  In his spare time Ric enjoys time with his family and fishing, while always having a home project underway.  

KRIS NOLDEN

Accountant
photo

Kris grew up in the Town of Middleton, where she and her husband, Lance, raised two wonderful daughters and continue to live today.  She graduated from Middleton High School and went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree from UW–Madison.  Kris started her career in the family owned construction business, working for her dad and uncle.  After many years in construction she went on to work for a software development company, and later in the broadcast industry.  

After working for nearly five years for a large corporation she was interested in getting back into a family owned business.  When the opportunity presented itself with Gunderson Funeral Home she was excited to make a change and have the chance to work for a company with a long reputation of quality service. 

When she’s not working she loves visiting her girls, going to the lake, cheering on the Badgers, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

NICOLE PERRIN

Accountant
photo

Nicole Perrin has been with the Gunderson Funeral Home since 1998. She is originally from Wauwatosa. Nicole graduated from Edgewood College with her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. In her free time, Nicole enjoys reading, crafts and spending time with family & friends.

DEDE SIMON-KESSENICH

Billing Specialist
photo

DeDe was raised in Martinsville, Wisconsin and graduated from Middleton High School and has lived in the Middleton area since 1976 with her husband, Dennis. Together they proudly raised three daughters. DeDe loves any activity that involves her family, enjoys traveling and attending sporting events.

When I came to Gunderson Funeral Home I knew it would be a perfect fit for me. To work with a group of people that are compassionate for the staff that works with them, and to see firsthand that each family Gunderson Funeral Home works with is handled with the upmost respect and provided with everything needed to get them through this devasting time.

DeDe comes to us with an extensive background in insurance, billing and customer service and is enjoying putting her experience to work here at Gunderson Funeral Home.

SARA PATON BARKENHAGEN

Stoughton Administrative Assistant
photo

Sara was born and raised in Stoughton.  For more than 30 years, her career has been as an administrative assistant in education.  Ready for a change, she was fortunate to be hired in a position where she is able to continue to interact with and help families. In her spare time, her favorite hobby is staying home.  Sara currently lives in Deerfield with her husband, Dennis Barkenhagen. She has three grown children, Luke Natvig; his wife Amanda; and their children, Sylas Natvig and Joe and Kendal Coleman all of Marshall, Peter Natvig of Stoughton, and Carly Natvig of Seattle, Washington.

BETTY DAUCK

Administrative Assistant
photo

After working for Gunderson Funeral Home for over 10 years, Betty thought that it was her time to retire. She soon realized how much she missed greeting the public and helping families in difficult times and returned working part time at the Gunderson West location.

KIRSTEN GUNDERSON

Administrative Assistant
photo

Kirsten grew up in Middleton, graduating from Middleton High School in 2012. She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Biology. Upon graduation in December 2014, Kirsten looks forward to medical school and pursuing her career in the medical field. Kirsten is passionate about helping others and is involved with a number of organizations on the UW campus. She enjoys volunteering with Agrace HospiceCare and coaching with the Middleton girls’ varsity soccer team. In her spare time, Kirsten enjoys hiking, horseback riding, playing soccer and spending time with family.

 

LAUREN GUNDERSON

Administrative Assistant
photo

Lauren grew up in Middleton, graduating from Middleton High School in 2008.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Consumer Affairs along with a Certificate in Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012, while competing as a student-athlete on the women's soccer team.  Upon graduation, Lauren moved to London, England to work for more than a year before returning home to become involved in the family business.  In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time outdoors, playing soccer, traveling, and baking.

 

LISA KREBS

Administrative Assistant
photo

Lisa was born in Minnesota and currently lives in Sun Prairie. She recently received her associate’s degree in Business Management at Madison Area Technical College. Previous to being hired at Gunderson Funeral Home, Lisa worked at UW Hospital for 5 ½ years. She is thrilled to be able to work in a position where she is able to utilize her skills and knowledge, along with remaining in an environment where care and compassion is a big part of the job. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys cooking, reading, working out and spending time with her cat, boyfriend, friends and family.

JANELLE LAFROMBOIS

Fitchburg Administrative Assistant
photo

Janelle grew up in Brooklyn, WI and graduated from Oregon High School in 1987.  She continued her education graduating from MATC in 1990 with an Associate’s Degree in Dietetics and from the UW-Madison in 1999 with a B.S. in Rehabilitation Psychology.  Before joining Gunderson, Janelle worked for 24 years at the Edgerton Care Center serving the residents as a Dietetic Technician Registered.  She is married to Dan and they reside in Stoughton with their 2 children, Zach and Brynn.  Janelle loves spending time with her family and friends.

JOAN LAUFENBERG

Middleton Office Manager
photo

Joan has been with the Gunderson Funeral Home since 1999, working in the Middleton location in a support role for the funeral directors. She says that customer service, care and compassion are important to her, and working at Gunderson Funeral Home gives her the opportunity to use these skills, along with family core values, to help families in their time of need.

PATTY SEILER

Lodi Office Manager and Funeral Assistant
photo

Patty started working for Gunderson Funeral Home in March of 2012 after retiring from the Veterans Administration Hospital with almost 35 years of service. She works as a family service assistant and adminstrative assistant to the funeral director.

Patty is a life-long resident of Lodi and has two children, Becky and Garret. She loves spending time with her family, especially her grandson, Ty. Patty can be seen everyday in Lodi being walked by her two German Shepherds, Chubbs and Dixie.

DEBBIE STUDT

Administrative Assistant
photo

Debbie was born and raised in Monroe, WI. She moved to Madison in 2000 and spent most of her career in the building business. After losing her father to cancer in 1999, Debbie realized what comfort it was to have HospiceCare walk her and her family through the end stages of his life. It was shortly thereafter that she became an inpatient Hospice volunteer and most recently a vigil volunteer. It was through her volunteering that lead her to a position with Gunderson Funeral  Home. Debbie is proud to be part of a team who is dedicated to compassionately serving families in need with integrity and respect. Each day her life is touched by someone else’s sadness.  Debbie feels the deepest experiences of life are impacted by those around us that guide us through them.  She truly believes pain does not always have to be private. 

KAREN THOMPSON

Administrative Assistant
photo

Karen is a lifelong resident of the Madison area. She graduated from La Follette High School and attended MATC in Madison.  Karen has a wonderful daughter, Kaitlin, and a beautiful granddaughter, Chesney, who is also Karen's baking assistant!  She loves being a mom and grandma and thinks it’s the most wonderful experience! Karen is an avid fan of the Badgers, Packers and Brewers, but has a fondness for Badger Basketball.

Since the age of 16, Karen has worked in the service industry, wearing many hats over the years. She had always wanted to work in the funeral industry, drawn to it by personal loss and grief.   Karen strives to serve and help families through their difficult time by assisting them in having a loving and memorable experience.

 “I find my position very rewarding. It is an honor to be a part of the Gunderson Funeral Home family”.

ALYSSA HALVERSON

Funeral Director Apprentice
photo

Alyssa was born and raised in Stoughton, Wisconsin.  She graduated from Stoughton High School in 2014.  Alyssa enjoys hot weather, spending time with family and friends, and her dog, Lacy. 

KEVIN YOUNG

Service Associate
photo

Kevin Young is a native of Beloit, and has been involved in funeral service for the past seven years. He graduated from Beloit Memorial High School, and then attended Blackhawk Technical College and UW Rock County. Kevin chose to be a part of the Gunderson Funeral Home team because he appreciates the compassion and care shown to the families Gunderson serves. In his free time, Kevin enjoys paintballing and playing music.

MACHAELA HUBER

Funeral Director Apprentice
photo

Machaela Huber was born in Ellsworth, Maine and mainly grew up in Delaware, where she graduated from high school in 2013.  Machaela then went on to receive her associate’s degree in Human Services from Delaware Tech. 

After graduation she decided it was time for a change and decided to leave the East Coast.  Machaela then took the opportunity to attend Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Illinois.  She graduated in 2017, and decided to stay in the Midwest to advance her funeral profession.  Machaela is honored to work with such a great organization, and is happy to now call Madison “home”.  In her spare time she enjoys traveling out east to see her family, long road trips and spending time with her dog.

SAMANTHA RINEHART

Funeral Director Apprentice
photo

Samantha is a 2009 graduate of Madison East High School. After high school she went to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where she earned her bachelor’s degree in social work. Despite being in her 20’s, Samantha enjoys reading, crocheting, and playing bingo in her free time. She also enjoys playing volleyball and going on motorcycle rides

SAMANTHA RAUCCI

Funeral Director Apprentice
photo

Samantha Raucci was born and raised in Barrington, Illinois and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in March, 2018.  While in school she worked for Morizzo Funeral Home in Hoffman Estates , Illinois and Willow Funeral Home in Algonquin, Illinois.  Samantha is a Funeral Director Apprentice, who chose to work at Gunderson because “it’s a large organization with a small company feel”.  She also appreciates the emphasis on creating meaningful and personalized services, and the emphasis on attention to detail we give to all of our families that we serve.  When Samantha is not working, she enjoys baking and cake decorating, collecting Disney pins, attending concerts, singing karaoke, and teaching herself the ukulele.  She also volunteers with Icing Smiles (an organization that bakes birthday cakes for terminally ill children). 

SYDNEY HOUGHTALIN

Funeral Director Apprentice
photo

Sydney Houghtalin was born and raised in Battle Creek, Michigan.  She graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2017.  Sydney worked at Sax-Tiedemann Funeral Home as a student director while attending mortuary school.  She decided to join Gunderson Funeral Home because of the “welcoming and amazing staff”.  Sydney enjoys music, movies, concerts, sporting events, road trips and spending time with family, friends, her boyfriend, Austin and her black lab, Benelli. 

JACK ALBRECHTSON

Funeral Service Associate
photo

Jack is originally from Richland Center, WI and moved to Madison to attend UW–Madison after graduating from high school in 1968. He has remained in Madison and enjoys living on the near west side with his wife, Pat and their dog, Keeley. They have two children that live outside the state. After obtaining a degree in nursing and business, Jack has enjoyed his diverse career opportunities from being an RN, working for over 20 years with three different associations and being a small business owner.

He has participated in several additional avocations including EMS and officiating high school and college sports for over thirty years. His other pleasures in life evolve around Badger sports, traveling, biking, working with wood and anytime spent at the cabin with family, friends and the family dog.

Jack joined the Gunderson staff in 2014 and has found his career at Gunderson’s his most fulfilling. Being a part of an outstanding staff and assisting families through a difficult process is very rewarding.

DEAN "DON" DENSON

Funeral Service Associate
photo

Don is a lifelong resident of Middleton. After working in the concrete business for 45 years, he retired in 1997. Don joined Gunderson Funeral Home in 2005, and says that he enjoys working with people and helping families in any way that he can.

JAMES "JIM" GREEN

Funeral Service Associate
photo

Jim, a lifelong Madisonian, resides in Fitchburg with his wife, Suzanne.  They have an adult daughter that also lives in the area.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater, Jim has owned and operated three different businesses in the consumer products industry.  In his retirement he continues to participate in various sporting activities, in addition to being a fan of all major sports.

Jim takes great pride in being a part of the Gunderson team; a group of caring professionals dedicated to addressing the needs of families in difficult times.

HERBERT GUNDLACH

Retired Funeral Service Associate
photo

In memoriam.

MATT GUNDERSON

Funeral Service Associate
photo

JOE KELLERMAN

Funeral Service Associate
photo

Joe is originally from Watertown , Wisconsin . He attended St. Lawrence Seminary, Watertown High School and earned a graphic arts degree from Madison College . Before joining Gunderson Funeral Home, he worked 49 years at Webcrafters Printing Company as an IT manager.

Before moving to Madison , Joe and his wife, Joan, lived in McFarland where they raised four children.  Joe is a member of Christ the King Catholic Church in McFarland were he served on the finance committee, was a member of the Men’s Club, taught religious education and volunteered at Luke House. He was on the board of directors of the Madison Jaycees, was the charter president of the McFarland Jaycees, and was the past presidents of the McFarland Music Boosters and the Blackhawk Home Owners Association.  He delivered meals for Meals on Wheels for many years and served as a volunteer for United Way.

In his free time Joe enjoys spending time with his 10 grandchildren, watching their sporting events, music performances and drama productions.  He is an avid Badger basketball fan, a Packer fan and a Brewers fan.

Joe feels very fortunate to work with a team of dedicated caring individuals committed to helping families at a very difficult time in their lives.

BOB KLEINSCHMIDT

Funeral Service Associate
photo

Bob grew up in Wauwatosa and moved to Middleton in 1997.  He retired in 2014 after more than 30 years in the financial service industry.  Bob missed the personal contact with clients and so jumped at the chance to be of service at Gunderson Funeral Homes.  He has been married to Becky for 37 years and has raised two sons. He also has two grandsons to be proud of.

When Bob is not helping families at Gundersons, he enjoys spending time with family, watching University of Wisconsin and Green Bay sports, flying RC airplanes, and working on genealogy.

RICHARD "DICK" RINEHART

Funeral Service Associate
photo

Dick moved to Madison after graduating high school in 1965.  He and his wife, Jan, have been married for over 40 years. Together they have a daughter, Michelle, and a granddaughter, Samantha. Dick spent 36 years with the Madison Police Department, retiring in 2001. He worked as a cadet officer, police officer, sergeant and lieutenant. Dick had the opportunity to work a patrol beat, work in communications, special operations, and served as a district lieutenant for both the Central and North Police Districts. During his years as a lieutenant, he also coordinated the field training of all police recruit officers.

Dick has been a member of the Knights of Columbus since 1997. He has served two terms as grand knight of Council 9082.  Dick has also served as faithful navigator for Bishop O’Connor 4th Degree Assembly 1200, and recently served three years as district deputy for the five Madison Knights of Columbus Councils. He is a past president of the Board of Directors for the ATTIC Correctional Facility on Madison’s east side, and is a former big brother with Big Brother Big Sisters of Dane County. Dick is a current member of Saint Bernard Catholic Church and is active in numerous parish ministries and events. He has been a staff member since 2001, serving as the director of volunteers.

Dick finds his work at Gunderson Funeral Home very rewarding. He says that he has found several similarities to his career in police work, allowing him to continue to offer help, compassion and comfort to individuals and families during a difficult time.

ZANE TORGRUDE

Funeral Service Associate
photo

Zane Torgrude was in the Financial Services industry for over 30 years as a trainer, Regional V.P. and Financial Planner.  He most currently was a Vice President and Senior Financial Advisor with BMO Harris Financial Advisors and retired March 31, 2016.  

Prior to the Financial Services industry, Zane served for 11 years as a Lutheran pastor and specialized in human services as a speaker, counselor, manager, and fund raiser.

Zane earned his B.A. from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1966 and obtained a Masters in Theology from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN in 1970.  Zane also achieved his Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designations from the American College in Bryn Mare, Pennsylvania in 1988. 

Zane is married to Susan and is the proud parent of two daughters and has five grandchildren.  One of his grandsons, Noah, was born with Down Syndrome.  It is because of Noah that Zane, serving as Board President, led a group to bring a GiGis Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Center to Madison, WI which opened in May 2016.

Zane is now honored to be part of the team at Gunderson Funeral Homes where he assists in providing a culture where families and individuals can celebrate the life of a lost loved one.

TOM ULLSVIK

Funeral Service Associate
photo

Growing-up on Madison's Eastside, Tom worked at his family's Scandinavian market while attending East High School and UW-Madison. A Viet Nam vet, Tom returned to Madison and a banking career lasting 40 years. Long-time members of Bethel Lutheran Church, Tom and his wife Sue live in Middleton where they raised a son and two daughters and now are delighted to have seven grandchildren, all in this area. Tom joined Gunderson Funeral Homes in September of 2011 and has been honored to serve many families, some of which he has known for decades.

GREG DAHMEN

Retired Funeral Service Associate
photo

Greg has been with Gunderson Funeral Home since 1990. After working in the retail management field for his entire career, Greg says that he was happy to use his customer services skills in such an rewarding way. “Meeting and assisting the many wonderful families has been a privilege and I look forward to continuing to be there in their time of need.”

JIM STOKER

Certified Crematory Specialist
photo

Jim grew up in Monona Wisconsin.  He was an auto mechanic for 32 years and then worked at Highland Memory Gardens for 8 years prior to joining Gunderson.  His work as a mechanic built in him a very strong work ethic and a positive mental attitude.  Jim and his wife, Leanne love to take their boat out onto Lake Mendota and let the world go by.  He enjoys the outdoors; hunting and fishing, and watching his grandkids do anything.  

PAUL SELBO

Certified Crematory Specialist and Funeral Service Associate
photo

Paul has been with Gunderson Funeral Home since 2003. He is a graduate of Stoughton High School and UW-LaCrosse. Paul is a member of Stoughton Village Players, the Honorary “S” Club, Christ Lutheran Church, Stoughton Festival Choir and the Stoughton Hall of fame Committee.

Paul and his wife, Sue, have two sons, Dan and Tom. He enjoys running, golf, motorcycling, theater and small town festivals.

KEN BERG

Vital Statistics Coordinator
photo

Ken is from LaCrosse, Wisconsin. He is a 1960 graduate of La Crosse Central High School. Ken served on active duty in the U.S. Navy from 1961 to 1963. He graduated from Madison Business College in 1966. Ken enjoys fishing, card playing, and is a fan of the Packers and the Badgers. He is a member of McFarland Lutheran Church. Ken and his wife, Jane have three children and six grandchildren.

Ken has served as the vital statistics coordinator at Gunderson Funeral Home since 1998. He says, “It is a honor to work with great staff that share the same feelings in serving families, to work together towards a common goal.”

JOY GUNDERSON

Hair Designer
photo

Joy Gunderson was born and raised in Madison.  She currently resides in Stoughton with her husband Jeff and their two boys, Zander and Skyler.  As a hair designer, Joy owned and operated her own business for over 20 years, mainly within Monona.  She takes pride in her job and receives a real sense of satisfaction; whether it's working on her own clients, or those at the Gunderson Funeral Home.

RICK FRY

Facility Maintenance
photo

Rick Fry was born in Boscobel and raised in Madison, graduating from Madison East High School.  He worked as a Union Cement Mason for over 20 years, and worked for the family business, Fry Concrete Construction and Maintenance for the past eight.  He joined our Facility Maintenance Department in 2018.  Rick enjoys fishing with his wife and grandkids, and building and racing stock cars with his two sons.

CLARENCE "BOB" BYRNE

Facility Maintenance
photo

Bob Byrne farmed all his life, until 2002.  He is now retired from farming and currently takes care of the lawn work and flowers at Gunderson Funeral Home.  He also enjoys traveling.

JOHN SIMON

Retired Facility Maintenance
photo

John was raised in Martinsville and comes from a family of seven sisters and four brothers. He graduated from Middleton High School and then started working for Feiner Furniture. He worked for Feiner for 38 years, learning numerous skills that includes, but not limited to, furniture repair, floor coving installation and repair and general maintence. He joined Gunderson Funeral Home in March of 2012

John lives in Cross Plains with his wife Katie. Together they raised three children, that were very active in sports. Lots of time was spent at the ball fields! For many years John coached and for the past five years he has been the business manager for the Cross Plains Home Talent Baseball Team.