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 nine 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, have made McFarland their home since 1988 and is where they raised their three daughters. Mike is very involved in the McFarland community, having served on the McFarland Education Foundation Board of Directors, the McFarland Optimists Club, the 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, the Stoughton Area Community Foundation Board of Directors and Skaalen Retirement Services Board of Directors.

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

.

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
MATTHEW GUNDERSON Operations Manager mgunderson@gundersonfh.com

photo
TANYA (DUPOR) RUEF Office Manager

Tanya grew up in McFarland graduating from McFarland High School in 2006. She has been working with Gunderson Funeral Home since May 2008. Tanya is the fourth member of her family to be part of our team and prides herself in always asking "What would Dad do in this situation?" (He's a retired Gunderson Funeral Home Funeral Director.) When she isn't managing the daily operations of her Gunderson family, she is devoted to embracing her newest role as a first time mom to her one year old daughter, creating and wearing sweaters made with her recently purchased Cricut and seeing all the Marvel comic movies she can with her husband.

photo
MARTHA PATON Administrative Manager

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

photo
KRIS NOLDEN Accounting Manager

Kris grew up in the Town of Middleton, where she and her husband continue to live today.  She graduated from Middleton High School and went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree from UW–Madison.  When the opportunity presented itself with Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Care, she was excited to join a team that has a great reputation of helping families with quality service.  When she's not working she loves visiting her grandbaby, going to the lake, cheering on the Badgers, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

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 GOSKA 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, running, spending time with her family and friends, and playing with her two dogs, Rookie and Buster. Carly is enjoying her newly-wed life with her husband, Brady, in Mount Horeb.

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
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.

photo
PETE LYONS Licensed Funeral Director

Pete was born and raised in Kenosha, WI, and graduated from Mary D. Bradford High School in 1989.  After graduation he attended the UW-Madison and the UW-Parkside before attending and graduating from Milwaukee Area Technical College-West Allis with his Associate Degree in Mortuary Science.  Pete has been a licensed funeral director since 1993, working in Kenosha prior to joining the Gunderson Funeral Home in July of 2019.  Pete and his wife Michelle have been married since 1996 and have two children, daughter Sydney and son Andrew, as well as their pet Sheltie, Piper, and cat, Vader.  In his free time Pete enjoys making wine, brewing beer, and spending time with 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 on the eastside of Madison.  She graduated from Madison East High School in 1988 and went on to attend UW-Richland, majoring in sports medicine.  After her freshman year in college, Michelle’s grandfather passed away and this changed her career path.  She graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1993 with her degree in mortuary science.  Michelle worked for a couple of different funeral homes before settling in at Gunderson’s in February, 1996. 

Michelle enjoys working out, playing volleyball, watching men’s college basketball and volunteering.  She is active at her church, St. Bernard Catholic Church, Madison and is currently the president of the women’s group.

 

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
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 camping, hiking, 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 Wisconsin transplant, Rachel came to Madison by way of Chicago where she attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science. She immediately fell in love with the area and has delighted in making Madison her home. Originally from Colorado, Rachel received her degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she studied Sociology and Psychology. She is an avid runner, loves anything outdoors, and enjoys exploring everything Wisconsin has to offer. Rachel is thrilled to be a part of the Gunderson team and is dedicated to serving her community with honor, dignity and compassion.  

photo
KASEY WILSON Licensed Funeral Director & Pre-Planning Specialist

Kasey grew up in and graduated from Necedah High School in 2004.  She is a 2015 graduate of Des Moines Area Community College with a degree in Mortuary Science. Kasey and her husband Ryan have three children, daughters Amara and Adylyn and son Kohen, who keep them very busy.  Kasey enjoys spending time with family, especially outdoors; going on picnics, trips to the zoo, and going to the beach. Every day is an adventure. She takes pride in listening to people and being able to help them through the toughest time in their life as well as help people plan ahead.  Kasey is honored to guide families 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
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
JOAN LAUFENBERG Billing Specialist

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
MISSY MCCORISON Staff Scheduler

Missy was born and raised in a small town in northern Wisconsin. She graduated from Glidden High School with 17 other kids in her senior class. Missy has worked for CUNA, CUNA Credit Union and Famous Footwear. She has always had a special connection with Gunderson's over the years, so when an opportunity came to work here, it was a natural transition.  Missy enjoys music, concerts and sports, especially the Packers and Badgers.  She is an animal lover, especially dogs and her own dog, Josie.  Missy enjoys being near the water, and spending time outdoors, especially during the fall season.  Her family is very important to her and spending time with them is always a blessing.

photo
SARA PATON BARKENHAGEN Stoughton Administrative Assistant

Sara was born and raised in Stoughton.  For more than 30 years, her career was in education.  Ready for a change, she was fortunate to be hired in a position where she can continue to interact with and help families. In her spare time, her favorite hobbies are babysitting her grandson, Sylas, knitting, reading and golfing.  Sara currently lives in Deerfield with her husband, Dennis. She has three grown children; son, Luke Natvig, his wife Amanda and their children, Sylas Natvig and Joe and Kendal Coleman of Stoughton; son, Peter Natvig of Stoughton; and daughter, Carly Milne and her husband, Grant of Seattle, Washington.

photo
RACHELLE COLLINS-ROHE Mt. Horeb Administrative Assistant

Rachelle Collins-Rohe has lived in the Mt. Horeb area most of her life.  She graduated from Mt. Horeb High School in 1991 and Cardinal Stritch College in 2006.  Rachelle resides in Barneveld just a few miles away from her grandparents’ former dairy farm with her husband, Bill and son, Ben. 

Rachelle came to Gunderson’s with a desire to work for a family-focused company while giving back to the community she grew up in.  She is grateful to be able to use her knowledge of the people and area, and her skills as an administrative assistant to help families at their time of need. 

Rachelle enjoys relaxing with family and neighbors around their campfire and traveling to northern Wisconsin frequently to visit extended family.  She is passionate about animal rescues and enjoys playing piano, gardening, thrifting, and remodeling her home. 

 

photo
BETTY DAUCK Middleton 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
TORRIE KENNEDY Monona Administrative Assistant

Torrie grew up and graduated in Sun Prairie. Through the years, she has served in many different positions, from communications and marketing assistant with Easter Seals, administration assistant at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, to office manager with the Veterinary Medical Association. It is the experiences helping others that she finds most rewarding. Working for a family owned business provides her the opportunity to give her best to families during a very difficult time in their lives.

Torrie, along with her husband, son, Kristopher, dog, Angus and cat, Kash, have made their home in Stoughton. During her spare time, she enjoys boating, discovering new places while riding on the Harley, taking in a concert or two, reading, and volunteering at animal rescues and animal health and wellness groups.

photo
LISA KREBS Monona Administrative Assistant

Lisa was born in Minnesota and currently lives in Marshall with her husband, Ben and son, Grayson. She has been employed with Gunderson Funeral Home since 2014. Previous to being hired at Gunderson, 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, as well as remain in an environment where care and compassion is a big part of the job. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys cooking, working out and spending time with her friends and family.

photo
JANELLE LAFROMBOIS Fitchburg Administrative Assistant

Janelle grew up in Brooklyn and graduated from Oregon High School.  She continued her education graduating from MATC with an associate degree in Dietetics and from the UW-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Psychology.  Before joining Gunderson, Janelle worked for 24 years at the Edgerton Care Center serving the residents as a Dietetic Technician Registered.  Janelle is married and resides in Stoughton with her family and many beloved fur babies. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

photo
BROOKE POWELL Middleton Administrative Assistant

Brooke was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. She graduated from the University of Mount Union in May 2018 with degrees in English Literature and History, and later that year, she decided to move to Madison in search of a new adventure.  When she isn’t painting, reading or practicing calligraphy, she loves to travel and explore new places. Brooke believes that kindness and compassion are the most important traits to have and to share, and she is happy to help others as member of the Gunderson team.

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 Monona Administrative Assistant

Debbie was born and raised in Monroe, WI.  She moved to Madison in 2000 and spent the majority 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.  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 during one of the most difficult times of their lives.  Each day her life is touched by someone else’s sadness.  Debbie enjoys music, nature, watching the Badgers and Packers, volunteering at local VFW’s and traveling and spending time with her friends. 

 

photo
KAREN THOMPSON Middleton Administrative Assistant

Karen was born and raised in Madison.  She has been employed at Gunderson Funeral Home since 2011.  Karen has a daughter, Kaitlin, and a beautiful granddaughter, Chesney.  In her spare time, she enjoys baking, camping and being with family.  She 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
GINNY WHITEHOUSE Administrative Assistant

Ginny was born and raised in Milwaukee, but has lived in Madison for most of her adult life. She is a graduate of the U.W. School of Social Work, and enjoyed a career as a Dane County social worker before retiring in 2015.

After retirement, Ginny started working part time in the obituary department of Capital Newspapers, which led her to her current position with Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Service. She enjoys being part of the Gunderson team, and especially likes assisting families in writing and editing obituaries.

Ginny enjoys getting regular exercise, watching Spongebob Squarepants, and collecting a variety of Spongebob memorabilia.  She volunteers at the Allied Area food pantry once or twice a month, and enjoys traveling when the opportunity arises.

photo
SKYLER GUNDERSON Funeral Director Apprentice

Skyler Gunderson grew up in Stoughton, Wisconsin and graduated from Stoughton High School in 2015. He participated in sports, was a member of the Norwegian Dancers, and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout during school. Following high school he attended the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Here he found a passion for human and animal physiology and anatomy. Skyler is now pursuing a career in funeral business here at Gunderson’s while attending Des Moines Area Community College for Mortuary Science. Skyler enjoys skiing, golfing, scuba diving and hiking in the wilderness. He also loves raising alpacas on the family ranch and spending time with his family, friends, and dogs.

photo
ALYSSA HALVERSON Funeral Director Apprentice

Alyssa was born and raised in Stoughton, Wisconsin graduation from Stoughton Highschool in 2014. She joined Gunderson’s in May of 2017 as an apprentice and plans to attend mortuary school to advance her career in funeral service. She is very thankful to be apart of the Gunderson team. Alyssa is proud of her Norwegian Heritage and being a “Stoughton-ite”, especially participating in Stoughton’s Syttende Mai festivities. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, concerts, and spending time with her family and friends.

 

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
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.  She then went on to receive her associates degree in Human Services from Delaware Tech.  After graduation she decided it was time for a change and left the East Coast to experience new adventures. Machaela was accepted to attend Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Illinois and graduated in 2017. While attending school she realized she wanted to stay in the Midwest and accepted the opportunity to work at Gunderson to advance in the 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 the states, spending time with friends, meeting new people, watching ice hockey, and experiencing all Wisconsin has to offer with her dog and boyfriend, Dan. Machaela is very thankful for her parents and strives every day to make them both proud.

photo
DUSTIN LECY Funeral Director Apprentice

Dustin grew up in Friendship, Wisconsin, graduating Adams-Friendship High School with the Class of 2019. He joined Gunderson Funeral & Cremation Care eager to help and serve families. Before Dustin joined Gundersons, he worked as a front desk agent at a hotel in Wisconsin Dells and then as supervisor at a restaurant in his hometown. He also worked a short period of time at Roseberry’s Funeral Home. On Dustin’s free time, he enjoys playing games, going on adventures, and playing music. He also enjoys hanging out with his friends and family. 

photo
JOE PALOMO Funeral Director Apprentice

I was born and raised in Milwaukee WI and lived my adult life in Racine WI. I currently decided to start a new beginning in Madison WI, working in the funeral industry at Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Care in 2019 after graduating from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2018. Not many of us can say they found what they were meant to do, and I feel like I can honestly say that being a Funeral Director is my calling.

 

I worked at American Airlines for 7 years as a station ground control, then setting my goals to be a Nurse at Aurora Hospital St. Luke’s in Milwaukee in which I dedicated five years of service in ICU. I believe my combined years in customer service and health care has helped me become a team player and a real people person at Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Care. I enjoy meeting and creating a trusting, comfortable relationship with the families I serve.

When I’m not finding comfort in helping our families, I enjoy kayaking, movies and walking my dogs.

 

“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.”

photo
SAMANTHA RINEHART Funeral Director Apprentice

Samantha is a 2009 graduate from Madison East Highschool. After high school, she attended the University of Wisconsin White- Water where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in social work. Samantha is a great addition to the Gunderson team with her entertaining stories, smiling face, and the willingness to help anyone. She is proud to be the third generation of her family working for Gunderson’s. She enjoys volunteering at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, going to Badger men’s basketball games, thrifting, attempting to crochet, and comforting families during one of the most difficult time of their life.

photo
WHITNEY WIERENGA Funeral Director Apprentice

Whitney was born and raised in Waupun, WI - graduating from Central Wisconsin Christian School. Throughout her years growing up, Whitney found ways to use her servant’s heart and passion for helping people in need through a great deal of volunteer work within her school, church and community. 

Whitney knew as a teen that helping families through funeral services was her calling - she found many opportunities to volunteer in several funeral homes, both in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where she attended Minnesota State University in Mankato. Today, Whitney attends Milwaukee Area Technical College, studying in the Funeral Services Program where she plans to graduate in May 2020. 

Since moving to Verona, Whitney has been active in Madison Magnet, a Young Professionals group, where she is able to network, socialize, and give back to the community.  She is also heavily involved in the political scene, even serving as a chairwoman for a couple counties in southeast WI. During election season you may find her door knocking, encouraging citizens to be become part of our state’s political process.  In her free time she enjoys shopping, traveling, spending time with family, and attending events of all kinds.  

Whitney is thrilled to have joined the professional, caring team at Gunderson’s.  She feels blessed to be able to use her God-given gifts and abilities to serve families in their time of need.  Whitney looks forward to engaging even more with the communities that she serves and strives to make a positive difference, both in the greater Madison area and through her work at Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Care.

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
KEN ESSER Funeral Service Associate

Ken Esser was born in Mt. Horeb and raised in the Mt. Horeb and Cross Plains area.  He farmed and worked in the agriculture service equipment industry.  After retirement, Ken worked for Camacho Funeral Home in Mount Horeb for 10+ years which is now Gunderson Camacho Funeral and Cremation Care.  Ken enjoys playing cards, music, woodworking and traveling.

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 (In Memoriam) Funeral Service Associate

In memoriam, Herb served Gunderson Funeral Homes as one of their first funeral director associates for 25 years. He was the face of Gunderson Oregon Funeral Home during that time, compassionately serving the community at visitations and funerals. In addition, Herb was a “Jack of All Trades” helping Gunderson’s as a cremation specialist, mechanic, plumber and anything else they needed. Herb was also known for his musical talent, playing the accordion and serving as an organist for Holy Mother of Consolation Catholic Church for 63 years.

photo
DAVE JEGLUM Funeral Service Associate

Dave was raised on a dairy farm six miles north of Blanchardville.  He graduated from Blanchardville High School and Madison Business College.  Dave worked on the dairy farm until 1962, and the United Parcel Service for 33 years and three months until his retirement.  Upon retirement, he worked part-time for Camacho Funeral Home which was later purchased by Gunderson Camacho Funeral & Cremation Care.  Dave has been a season ticket holder for Badgers football for 45 years, and Badgers basketball for 42 years.  He also enjoys watching the Brewers and Packers, and golfing.  Dave has sung for 517 funerals and 160 weddings in his life.  He also has enjoyed singing in men’s quartets for 35 years.

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 41 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, and working on genealogy.

photo
JOANN MANTEUFEL Funeral Service Associate

Joann Manteufel grew up in Barneveld and is proud to say she still lives there.  She retired in July of 2018 after a 35-year banking career.  She knew she would miss the people, so she reached out to Gunderson’s.  Joann absolutely loves being a Funeral Service Associate with Gunderson’s.  She also loves helping at her church and really enjoys traveling with her husband, David.  

photo
SCOTT MARRESE-WHEELER Funeral Service Associate

Scott was born in Cleves, Ohio, moved to the Youngstown, Ohio area, before moving to Vincennes in southern Indiana.  His father was a Presbyterian minister, so the family moved around several times as he became the pastor of new congregations.  Scott graduated from Vincennes University (1980), Indiana State University (1982) and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (1985).   He is a Presbyterian minister, serving the Oakland-Cambridge Presbyterian Church in Cambridge.  He has also served congregations in Monroe, Marshfield and Madison. Prior to moving to Wisconsin, he served congregations in Illinois and Indiana.  

 

In addition to his pastoral ministry, he is a permanent “substitute” teacher, teaching at both McFarland Indian Mound Middle School and McFarland High School.  The students and staff in McFarland shorten his last name to Mr. M-W and call him “M-Dubs”.  Scott and his wife, Staci, who is the pastor at the Lakeview and Glenwood Moravian Congregations in Madison make their home in McFarland.  They have one child, Sam, who is a sophomore at Lawrence University and a dog named, Shadow.    

 

As a pastor, he has officiated at several funerals at Gunderson.  Scott has appreciated the compassionate care the staff at Gunderson have offered to the families of his congregational members who have died.  The idea of working for Gunderson as a Funeral Service Associate came through another retired teacher who was working in a similar role with another funeral home. It feels like an extension of his ministry.  Scott has appreciated the warm welcome and friendliness of the staff as he begins his work with Gunderson.

 

Scott loves walking and organizing a “Step Challenge” for the staff in the McFarland School District.  He is also an amateur photographer, taking pictures of sunrises and sunsets on his iPhone while walking their dog, Shadow, up Hidden Farm Road in McFarland.  You can visit his Hidden Farm Road Photography page on Facebook.  Scott loves reading, listening to audiobooks, and watching shows like “Stranger Things” or a good movie with his family. 

photo
BILL MCINNES Funeral Service Associate

Bill McInnes was raised in Kenora, Ontario, Canada, otherwise known as “God's country” and the “fishing capitol of the world”.  In December 1991, Bill’s wife, Chris moved to Madison to start her career as a nurse at UW Hospital while Bill stayed in Winnipeg until their kids finished their school year in June 1992.  He spent 15 years in the Bioscience industry in the Madison area and retired from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.  Bill enjoys playing bagpipes and has served many families over the years,  helping them say "so long" to family members and friends.

Bill and Chris  have 3 married children,  two in the area and four super-grandchildren at various stages of being spoiled.  Bill is proud to be a member of the Gunderson team of compassionate professionals.

photo
DENNIS PINE Funeral Service Associate

Dennis Pine was born in Madison and grew up in Black Earth.  He graduated from Wisconsin Heights High School.  After high school he worked various jobs including Patrons Mercantile Coop feed mill, Marshall Erdman & Associates, Black Earth Electric Utility and the Black Earth Fire Department where he had 20 years of service, with the last five years as Fire Chief.  During this time, he became an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).  Dennis also had a lifelong dream come true when he was able to attend the Police Academy.  He continued working at the Utilities while working part-time as a police officer for three different departments; Village of Cross Plains, Village of Black Earth and Village of Mazomanie.  Eventually Dennis became a full-time police officer for the Village of Black Earth and was promoted to Police Chief of Black Earth.  He finished his career as a Police Chief for the Village of Shorewood Hills in Madison and retired in 2017. Upon retirement he became a service associate for Camacho Funeral Home in Mount Horeb, which is now Gunderson Camacho Funeral and Cremation Care.  In his spare time, Dennis enjoys camping, electrical work, woodworking, fishing and spending time with his family and friends.

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 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.

Dick finds his work at Gunderson Funeral Home very rewarding. He says that he has found several similarities to his former career, 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
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
JEFF SHOLTS Certified Crematory Specialist

Jeff Sholts was born in Stoughton and raised with five siblings in Oregon, where he graduated from Oregon High School. He attended MATC and special training at St. Louis University for Death Investigation. Jeff retired from the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office as Chief of Investigations after 18 years of service to Dane, Rock, Brown, Door and Oconto Counties. He enjoys working at Gunderson’s and helping people when they are most in need. During his free time, Jeff enjoys camping.  

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 the Flambeau River and let the world go by.  He enjoys the outdoors; hunting and fishing, and watching his grandkids do anything.  

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, have made McFarland their home since 1988 and is where they raised their three daughters. Mike is very involved in the McFarland community, having served on the McFarland Education Foundation Board of Directors, the McFarland Optimists Club, the 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, the Stoughton Area Community Foundation Board of Directors and Skaalen Retirement Services Board of Directors.

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

.

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.

MATTHEW GUNDERSON

Operations Manager
photo

TANYA (DUPOR) RUEF

Office Manager
photo

Tanya grew up in McFarland graduating from McFarland High School in 2006. She has been working with Gunderson Funeral Home since May 2008. Tanya is the fourth member of her family to be part of our team and prides herself in always asking "What would Dad do in this situation?" (He's a retired Gunderson Funeral Home Funeral Director.) When she isn't managing the daily operations of her Gunderson family, she is devoted to embracing her newest role as a first time mom to her one year old daughter, creating and wearing sweaters made with her recently purchased Cricut and seeing all the Marvel comic movies she can with her husband.

MARTHA PATON

Administrative Manager
photo

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

KRIS NOLDEN

Accounting Manager
photo

Kris grew up in the Town of Middleton, where she and her husband continue to live today.  She graduated from Middleton High School and went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree from UW–Madison.  When the opportunity presented itself with Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Care, she was excited to join a team that has a great reputation of helping families with quality service.  When she's not working she loves visiting her grandbaby, going to the lake, cheering on the Badgers, traveling and spending time with family and friends.

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 GOSKA

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, running, spending time with her family and friends, and playing with her two dogs, Rookie and Buster. Carly is enjoying her newly-wed life with her husband, Brady, in Mount Horeb.

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.

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.

PETE LYONS

Licensed Funeral Director
photo

Pete was born and raised in Kenosha, WI, and graduated from Mary D. Bradford High School in 1989.  After graduation he attended the UW-Madison and the UW-Parkside before attending and graduating from Milwaukee Area Technical College-West Allis with his Associate Degree in Mortuary Science.  Pete has been a licensed funeral director since 1993, working in Kenosha prior to joining the Gunderson Funeral Home in July of 2019.  Pete and his wife Michelle have been married since 1996 and have two children, daughter Sydney and son Andrew, as well as their pet Sheltie, Piper, and cat, Vader.  In his free time Pete enjoys making wine, brewing beer, and spending time with 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 on the eastside of Madison.  She graduated from Madison East High School in 1988 and went on to attend UW-Richland, majoring in sports medicine.  After her freshman year in college, Michelle’s grandfather passed away and this changed her career path.  She graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1993 with her degree in mortuary science.  Michelle worked for a couple of different funeral homes before settling in at Gunderson’s in February, 1996. 

Michelle enjoys working out, playing volleyball, watching men’s college basketball and volunteering.  She is active at her church, St. Bernard Catholic Church, Madison and is currently the president of the women’s group.

 

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.

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 camping, hiking, 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 Wisconsin transplant, Rachel came to Madison by way of Chicago where she attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science. She immediately fell in love with the area and has delighted in making Madison her home. Originally from Colorado, Rachel received her degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she studied Sociology and Psychology. She is an avid runner, loves anything outdoors, and enjoys exploring everything Wisconsin has to offer. Rachel is thrilled to be a part of the Gunderson team and is dedicated to serving her community with honor, dignity and compassion.  

KASEY WILSON

Licensed Funeral Director & Pre-Planning Specialist
photo

Kasey grew up in and graduated from Necedah High School in 2004.  She is a 2015 graduate of Des Moines Area Community College with a degree in Mortuary Science. Kasey and her husband Ryan have three children, daughters Amara and Adylyn and son Kohen, who keep them very busy.  Kasey enjoys spending time with family, especially outdoors; going on picnics, trips to the zoo, and going to the beach. Every day is an adventure. She takes pride in listening to people and being able to help them through the toughest time in their life as well as help people plan ahead.  Kasey is honored to guide families 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.  

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.

JOAN LAUFENBERG

Billing Specialist
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.

MISSY MCCORISON

Staff Scheduler
photo

Missy was born and raised in a small town in northern Wisconsin. She graduated from Glidden High School with 17 other kids in her senior class. Missy has worked for CUNA, CUNA Credit Union and Famous Footwear. She has always had a special connection with Gunderson's over the years, so when an opportunity came to work here, it was a natural transition.  Missy enjoys music, concerts and sports, especially the Packers and Badgers.  She is an animal lover, especially dogs and her own dog, Josie.  Missy enjoys being near the water, and spending time outdoors, especially during the fall season.  Her family is very important to her and spending time with them is always a blessing.

SARA PATON BARKENHAGEN

Stoughton Administrative Assistant
photo

Sara was born and raised in Stoughton.  For more than 30 years, her career was in education.  Ready for a change, she was fortunate to be hired in a position where she can continue to interact with and help families. In her spare time, her favorite hobbies are babysitting her grandson, Sylas, knitting, reading and golfing.  Sara currently lives in Deerfield with her husband, Dennis. She has three grown children; son, Luke Natvig, his wife Amanda and their children, Sylas Natvig and Joe and Kendal Coleman of Stoughton; son, Peter Natvig of Stoughton; and daughter, Carly Milne and her husband, Grant of Seattle, Washington.

RACHELLE COLLINS-ROHE

Mt. Horeb Administrative Assistant
photo

Rachelle Collins-Rohe has lived in the Mt. Horeb area most of her life.  She graduated from Mt. Horeb High School in 1991 and Cardinal Stritch College in 2006.  Rachelle resides in Barneveld just a few miles away from her grandparents’ former dairy farm with her husband, Bill and son, Ben. 

Rachelle came to Gunderson’s with a desire to work for a family-focused company while giving back to the community she grew up in.  She is grateful to be able to use her knowledge of the people and area, and her skills as an administrative assistant to help families at their time of need. 

Rachelle enjoys relaxing with family and neighbors around their campfire and traveling to northern Wisconsin frequently to visit extended family.  She is passionate about animal rescues and enjoys playing piano, gardening, thrifting, and remodeling her home. 

 

BETTY DAUCK

Middleton 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.

 

TORRIE KENNEDY

Monona Administrative Assistant
photo

Torrie grew up and graduated in Sun Prairie. Through the years, she has served in many different positions, from communications and marketing assistant with Easter Seals, administration assistant at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, to office manager with the Veterinary Medical Association. It is the experiences helping others that she finds most rewarding. Working for a family owned business provides her the opportunity to give her best to families during a very difficult time in their lives.

Torrie, along with her husband, son, Kristopher, dog, Angus and cat, Kash, have made their home in Stoughton. During her spare time, she enjoys boating, discovering new places while riding on the Harley, taking in a concert or two, reading, and volunteering at animal rescues and animal health and wellness groups.

LISA KREBS

Monona Administrative Assistant
photo

Lisa was born in Minnesota and currently lives in Marshall with her husband, Ben and son, Grayson. She has been employed with Gunderson Funeral Home since 2014. Previous to being hired at Gunderson, 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, as well as remain in an environment where care and compassion is a big part of the job. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys cooking, working out and spending time with her friends and family.

JANELLE LAFROMBOIS

Fitchburg Administrative Assistant
photo

Janelle grew up in Brooklyn and graduated from Oregon High School.  She continued her education graduating from MATC with an associate degree in Dietetics and from the UW-Madison with a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Psychology.  Before joining Gunderson, Janelle worked for 24 years at the Edgerton Care Center serving the residents as a Dietetic Technician Registered.  Janelle is married and resides in Stoughton with her family and many beloved fur babies. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

BROOKE POWELL

Middleton Administrative Assistant
photo

Brooke was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. She graduated from the University of Mount Union in May 2018 with degrees in English Literature and History, and later that year, she decided to move to Madison in search of a new adventure.  When she isn’t painting, reading or practicing calligraphy, she loves to travel and explore new places. Brooke believes that kindness and compassion are the most important traits to have and to share, and she is happy to help others as member of the Gunderson team.

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

Monona Administrative Assistant
photo

Debbie was born and raised in Monroe, WI.  She moved to Madison in 2000 and spent the majority 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.  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 during one of the most difficult times of their lives.  Each day her life is touched by someone else’s sadness.  Debbie enjoys music, nature, watching the Badgers and Packers, volunteering at local VFW’s and traveling and spending time with her friends. 

 

KAREN THOMPSON

Middleton Administrative Assistant
photo

Karen was born and raised in Madison.  She has been employed at Gunderson Funeral Home since 2011.  Karen has a daughter, Kaitlin, and a beautiful granddaughter, Chesney.  In her spare time, she enjoys baking, camping and being with family.  She 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”.

GINNY WHITEHOUSE

Administrative Assistant
photo

Ginny was born and raised in Milwaukee, but has lived in Madison for most of her adult life. She is a graduate of the U.W. School of Social Work, and enjoyed a career as a Dane County social worker before retiring in 2015.

After retirement, Ginny started working part time in the obituary department of Capital Newspapers, which led her to her current position with Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Service. She enjoys being part of the Gunderson team, and especially likes assisting families in writing and editing obituaries.

Ginny enjoys getting regular exercise, watching Spongebob Squarepants, and collecting a variety of Spongebob memorabilia.  She volunteers at the Allied Area food pantry once or twice a month, and enjoys traveling when the opportunity arises.

SKYLER GUNDERSON

Funeral Director Apprentice
photo

Skyler Gunderson grew up in Stoughton, Wisconsin and graduated from Stoughton High School in 2015. He participated in sports, was a member of the Norwegian Dancers, and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout during school. Following high school he attended the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology. Here he found a passion for human and animal physiology and anatomy. Skyler is now pursuing a career in funeral business here at Gunderson’s while attending Des Moines Area Community College for Mortuary Science. Skyler enjoys skiing, golfing, scuba diving and hiking in the wilderness. He also loves raising alpacas on the family ranch and spending time with his family, friends, and dogs.

ALYSSA HALVERSON

Funeral Director Apprentice
photo

Alyssa was born and raised in Stoughton, Wisconsin graduation from Stoughton Highschool in 2014. She joined Gunderson’s in May of 2017 as an apprentice and plans to attend mortuary school to advance her career in funeral service. She is very thankful to be apart of the Gunderson team. Alyssa is proud of her Norwegian Heritage and being a “Stoughton-ite”, especially participating in Stoughton’s Syttende Mai festivities. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, concerts, and spending time with her family and friends.

 

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. 

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.  She then went on to receive her associates degree in Human Services from Delaware Tech.  After graduation she decided it was time for a change and left the East Coast to experience new adventures. Machaela was accepted to attend Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Illinois and graduated in 2017. While attending school she realized she wanted to stay in the Midwest and accepted the opportunity to work at Gunderson to advance in the 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 the states, spending time with friends, meeting new people, watching ice hockey, and experiencing all Wisconsin has to offer with her dog and boyfriend, Dan. Machaela is very thankful for her parents and strives every day to make them both proud.

DUSTIN LECY

Funeral Director Apprentice
photo

Dustin grew up in Friendship, Wisconsin, graduating Adams-Friendship High School with the Class of 2019. He joined Gunderson Funeral & Cremation Care eager to help and serve families. Before Dustin joined Gundersons, he worked as a front desk agent at a hotel in Wisconsin Dells and then as supervisor at a restaurant in his hometown. He also worked a short period of time at Roseberry’s Funeral Home. On Dustin’s free time, he enjoys playing games, going on adventures, and playing music. He also enjoys hanging out with his friends and family. 

JOE PALOMO

Funeral Director Apprentice
photo

I was born and raised in Milwaukee WI and lived my adult life in Racine WI. I currently decided to start a new beginning in Madison WI, working in the funeral industry at Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Care in 2019 after graduating from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2018. Not many of us can say they found what they were meant to do, and I feel like I can honestly say that being a Funeral Director is my calling.

 

I worked at American Airlines for 7 years as a station ground control, then setting my goals to be a Nurse at Aurora Hospital St. Luke’s in Milwaukee in which I dedicated five years of service in ICU. I believe my combined years in customer service and health care has helped me become a team player and a real people person at Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Care. I enjoy meeting and creating a trusting, comfortable relationship with the families I serve.

When I’m not finding comfort in helping our families, I enjoy kayaking, movies and walking my dogs.

 

“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.”

SAMANTHA RINEHART

Funeral Director Apprentice
photo

Samantha is a 2009 graduate from Madison East Highschool. After high school, she attended the University of Wisconsin White- Water where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in social work. Samantha is a great addition to the Gunderson team with her entertaining stories, smiling face, and the willingness to help anyone. She is proud to be the third generation of her family working for Gunderson’s. She enjoys volunteering at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church, going to Badger men’s basketball games, thrifting, attempting to crochet, and comforting families during one of the most difficult time of their life.

WHITNEY WIERENGA

Funeral Director Apprentice
photo

Whitney was born and raised in Waupun, WI - graduating from Central Wisconsin Christian School. Throughout her years growing up, Whitney found ways to use her servant’s heart and passion for helping people in need through a great deal of volunteer work within her school, church and community. 

Whitney knew as a teen that helping families through funeral services was her calling - she found many opportunities to volunteer in several funeral homes, both in Wisconsin and Minnesota, where she attended Minnesota State University in Mankato. Today, Whitney attends Milwaukee Area Technical College, studying in the Funeral Services Program where she plans to graduate in May 2020. 

Since moving to Verona, Whitney has been active in Madison Magnet, a Young Professionals group, where she is able to network, socialize, and give back to the community.  She is also heavily involved in the political scene, even serving as a chairwoman for a couple counties in southeast WI. During election season you may find her door knocking, encouraging citizens to be become part of our state’s political process.  In her free time she enjoys shopping, traveling, spending time with family, and attending events of all kinds.  

Whitney is thrilled to have joined the professional, caring team at Gunderson’s.  She feels blessed to be able to use her God-given gifts and abilities to serve families in their time of need.  Whitney looks forward to engaging even more with the communities that she serves and strives to make a positive difference, both in the greater Madison area and through her work at Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Care.

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.

KEN ESSER

Funeral Service Associate
photo

Ken Esser was born in Mt. Horeb and raised in the Mt. Horeb and Cross Plains area.  He farmed and worked in the agriculture service equipment industry.  After retirement, Ken worked for Camacho Funeral Home in Mount Horeb for 10+ years which is now Gunderson Camacho Funeral and Cremation Care.  Ken enjoys playing cards, music, woodworking and traveling.

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 (In Memoriam)

Funeral Service Associate
photo

In memoriam, Herb served Gunderson Funeral Homes as one of their first funeral director associates for 25 years. He was the face of Gunderson Oregon Funeral Home during that time, compassionately serving the community at visitations and funerals. In addition, Herb was a “Jack of All Trades” helping Gunderson’s as a cremation specialist, mechanic, plumber and anything else they needed. Herb was also known for his musical talent, playing the accordion and serving as an organist for Holy Mother of Consolation Catholic Church for 63 years.

DAVE JEGLUM

Funeral Service Associate
photo

Dave was raised on a dairy farm six miles north of Blanchardville.  He graduated from Blanchardville High School and Madison Business College.  Dave worked on the dairy farm until 1962, and the United Parcel Service for 33 years and three months until his retirement.  Upon retirement, he worked part-time for Camacho Funeral Home which was later purchased by Gunderson Camacho Funeral & Cremation Care.  Dave has been a season ticket holder for Badgers football for 45 years, and Badgers basketball for 42 years.  He also enjoys watching the Brewers and Packers, and golfing.  Dave has sung for 517 funerals and 160 weddings in his life.  He also has enjoyed singing in men’s quartets for 35 years.

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 41 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, and working on genealogy.

JOANN MANTEUFEL

Funeral Service Associate
photo

Joann Manteufel grew up in Barneveld and is proud to say she still lives there.  She retired in July of 2018 after a 35-year banking career.  She knew she would miss the people, so she reached out to Gunderson’s.  Joann absolutely loves being a Funeral Service Associate with Gunderson’s.  She also loves helping at her church and really enjoys traveling with her husband, David.  

SCOTT MARRESE-WHEELER

Funeral Service Associate
photo

Scott was born in Cleves, Ohio, moved to the Youngstown, Ohio area, before moving to Vincennes in southern Indiana.  His father was a Presbyterian minister, so the family moved around several times as he became the pastor of new congregations.  Scott graduated from Vincennes University (1980), Indiana State University (1982) and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (1985).   He is a Presbyterian minister, serving the Oakland-Cambridge Presbyterian Church in Cambridge.  He has also served congregations in Monroe, Marshfield and Madison. Prior to moving to Wisconsin, he served congregations in Illinois and Indiana.  

 

In addition to his pastoral ministry, he is a permanent “substitute” teacher, teaching at both McFarland Indian Mound Middle School and McFarland High School.  The students and staff in McFarland shorten his last name to Mr. M-W and call him “M-Dubs”.  Scott and his wife, Staci, who is the pastor at the Lakeview and Glenwood Moravian Congregations in Madison make their home in McFarland.  They have one child, Sam, who is a sophomore at Lawrence University and a dog named, Shadow.    

 

As a pastor, he has officiated at several funerals at Gunderson.  Scott has appreciated the compassionate care the staff at Gunderson have offered to the families of his congregational members who have died.  The idea of working for Gunderson as a Funeral Service Associate came through another retired teacher who was working in a similar role with another funeral home. It feels like an extension of his ministry.  Scott has appreciated the warm welcome and friendliness of the staff as he begins his work with Gunderson.

 

Scott loves walking and organizing a “Step Challenge” for the staff in the McFarland School District.  He is also an amateur photographer, taking pictures of sunrises and sunsets on his iPhone while walking their dog, Shadow, up Hidden Farm Road in McFarland.  You can visit his Hidden Farm Road Photography page on Facebook.  Scott loves reading, listening to audiobooks, and watching shows like “Stranger Things” or a good movie with his family. 

BILL MCINNES

Funeral Service Associate
photo

Bill McInnes was raised in Kenora, Ontario, Canada, otherwise known as “God's country” and the “fishing capitol of the world”.  In December 1991, Bill’s wife, Chris moved to Madison to start her career as a nurse at UW Hospital while Bill stayed in Winnipeg until their kids finished their school year in June 1992.  He spent 15 years in the Bioscience industry in the Madison area and retired from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.  Bill enjoys playing bagpipes and has served many families over the years,  helping them say "so long" to family members and friends.

Bill and Chris  have 3 married children,  two in the area and four super-grandchildren at various stages of being spoiled.  Bill is proud to be a member of the Gunderson team of compassionate professionals.

DENNIS PINE

Funeral Service Associate
photo

Dennis Pine was born in Madison and grew up in Black Earth.  He graduated from Wisconsin Heights High School.  After high school he worked various jobs including Patrons Mercantile Coop feed mill, Marshall Erdman & Associates, Black Earth Electric Utility and the Black Earth Fire Department where he had 20 years of service, with the last five years as Fire Chief.  During this time, he became an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).  Dennis also had a lifelong dream come true when he was able to attend the Police Academy.  He continued working at the Utilities while working part-time as a police officer for three different departments; Village of Cross Plains, Village of Black Earth and Village of Mazomanie.  Eventually Dennis became a full-time police officer for the Village of Black Earth and was promoted to Police Chief of Black Earth.  He finished his career as a Police Chief for the Village of Shorewood Hills in Madison and retired in 2017. Upon retirement he became a service associate for Camacho Funeral Home in Mount Horeb, which is now Gunderson Camacho Funeral and Cremation Care.  In his spare time, Dennis enjoys camping, electrical work, woodworking, fishing and spending time with his family and friends.

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 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.

Dick finds his work at Gunderson Funeral Home very rewarding. He says that he has found several similarities to his former career, 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.”

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.

JEFF SHOLTS

Certified Crematory Specialist
photo

Jeff Sholts was born in Stoughton and raised with five siblings in Oregon, where he graduated from Oregon High School. He attended MATC and special training at St. Louis University for Death Investigation. Jeff retired from the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office as Chief of Investigations after 18 years of service to Dane, Rock, Brown, Door and Oconto Counties. He enjoys working at Gunderson’s and helping people when they are most in need. During his free time, Jeff enjoys camping.  

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 the Flambeau River and let the world go by.  He enjoys the outdoors; hunting and fishing, and watching his grandkids do anything.  

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.