Meet our team

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

The Cook Family

Three Generations of Family Caring

Our family has a heritage spanning three generations of helping families navigate their way through grief. To be able to care for people in such a difficult time is a privilege and a calling for us.

Everything we do is geared toward healing as you honor a loved one. We are a full-service funeral and cremation service emphasizing the value of the path toward healing for the living.

  • Ron  Cook II

    Ron Cook II

    Ron grew up not only in a family of funeral directors, but also in our Byron Center Chapel. Today, he continues the Cook tradition, beginning a third generation of leadership and commitment. When Ron realized what funeral service was really all about - Community, Healing, Excellence, Trust, Family - he became incredibly passionate about it.

    Ron attended Grand Valley State University and earned his Mortuary Science degree at Cincinnati School of Mortuary Science. Ron strives daily to incorporate his faith into his work for the benefit of our staff and the families we serve.

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  • Mary  Burdo

    Mary Burdo, General Manager

    Mary understands that helping families heal involves a team of dedicated employees. She enjoys working with a staff that is committed to providing excellent care to both our families and to the community. Mary finds it heartwarming and encouraging to read the many notes of appreciation from our families for the caring attention they received.

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  • Dan  Larson

    Dan Larson, Funeral Director

    As a funeral director, Dan Larson listens to the needs of each family and helps them design a perfect tribute for their loved one. Dan walks with families through every step of the funeral and memorial process. His many years of experience in the funeral profession helps him understand loss and grief as he provides compassionate care and comfort to families during a most difficult time.

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  • Greg  Tessmer

    Greg Tessmer, Funeral Director

    Since choosing funeral service as a career, Greg Tessmer has found unique opportunities to help families uphold their individual traditions and celebrate memories of a loved one. Greg understands the many options available for creating a distinctive service. He is committed to providing families a nurturing and healing atmosphere that begins to help ease the grieving process.

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  • Doug Bandstra

    Doug Bandstra, Funeral Arranger

    Doug’s heart and passion for ministry and people are gifts that help him connect in a deep and meaningful way with families. Doug understands that people come from many different walks of life, and his goal is to plan services in a way that honors each individual family he serves. Living out his faith is important to him, and he is always willing to use that faith to encourage others as they navigate the grief process.

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  • Don Mousseau

    Don Mousseau, Funeral Director

    Don is committed to families as they walk through the funeral planning process. He listens, connects, and relates to families. Don understands creating a meaningful tribute for your loved one is the beginning of the healing process.

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  • Josh  Lackey

    Josh Lackey, Funeral Director

    Josh grew up with a passion for helping people. He is dedicated to walking alongside families as they remember and celebrate their loved one. Josh strives to incorporate his faith in the day-to-day connections with the families he serves.

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  • Jack  Fisher

    Jack Fisher, Funeral Arranger

    Jack Fisher holds the firm belief that every individual is unique. He helps families select the personal touches that capture their loved one's personality. Jack understands how incorporating family traditions into the service allows a family to transform a difficult time into one of comfort and peace.

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  • Joe Tower

    Joe Tower, Funeral Arranger

    The days following the death of a loved one can be overwhelming. Joe is committed to helping families honor their loved one as they gather, reflect and celebrate their life. He understands the value of providing an opportunity for tears, memories and even laughter to help cleanse the pain of loss.

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  • Keith  Taylor

    Keith Taylor, Funeral Arranger

    Keith helps families design a service that reflects their loved one's life in the most personal and memorable way possible. He understands that the death of someone entrusted to our care deserves to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

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  • Melissa  Mitchell

    Melissa Mitchell, Advance Funeral Planning & Aftercare Specialist

    Melissa believes that preparing end of life decisions now is a priceless gift, not to mention great peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones. Preplanning gives you the opportunity to express your wishes and leave a final message that your loved ones will cherish. Melissa keeps the best interests of you and your family as a priority.

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  • Emily  Merritt

    Emily Merritt, Advance Funeral Planning Administrator

    Greeting guests with a warm and inviting smile, a listening ear, and genuine compassion can make all the difference in the world to families as they step into our doors for the first time. Emily acts as a business ambassador for Cook where she provides reception services in addition to her responsibilities as the Advance Funeral Planning Administrator.

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  • Gary  Leyendecker

    Gary Leyendecker, Monument & Marker Specialist

    Gary’s lifetime dedication to serving people with genuine care and integrity encourages healing in the grieving process. Gary comes to Monuments by Cook after nearly 4 decades of serving people with care and friendship as a pastor in 3 different churches. He is committed to helping you create a monument that beautifully reflects the life of your loved one.

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  • Hillene Hofstra

    Hillene Hofstra, Funeral Services Administration & Accounting

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  • Jillian  VanZytveld

    Jillian VanZytveld, Office Manager & Veteran Benefits

    Jillian appreciates the opportunity to serve families during a difficult period, treating every family with dignity, respect, and compassion. She assists our families by securing death certificates, coordinating veteran burial benefits, and providing technical support in the office.

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  • Sharilyn  Van Wyhe

    Sharilyn Van Wyhe, Administrative Staff

    Sharilyn assists the office staff in preparing materials needed for serving our families with excellence. Her social work and education background merge beautifully in this position. She is delighted to be part of a staff that helps provide healing for grieving families.

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  • Justin Aten

    Justin Aten, Administration

    Justin's fun-loving demeanor and coaching ability is evident on the football field, the basketball court and on the Cook Funeral Services Team. He is thankful for the opportunity to help families during challenging times along with remembering the joy they shared with their loved one.

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  • Amber  Kieliszewski

    Amber Kieliszewski, Media Department Manager

    Amber creates life stories and videos that will preserve and allow you to share the wonderful memories of your loved one. She has designed a beautiful selection of options to choose from or she can customize materials to include inspirational messages, special memories and pictures that will leave a lasting impression.

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