Our Valued Staff

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.

  • John M. Sytsema

    John M. Sytsema, Owner - Funeral Director- 45 years with Sytsema's

    John is a life-long resident of the Muskegon area and a third-generation funeral director. He graduated from Western Michigan Christian High School, and then, in 1972, graduated from Wayne State University - Department of Mortuary Science. Following graduation and licensure, John served with the U.S. Army Reserve for 6 years. He and his wife, Sue ('nee Vanderlaan), are members of Allen Avenue Christian Reformed Church. They have three sons, Scott (Rebecca), Todd (Nancy) and Craig (Jen) Sytsema, who are all active in the operation of the funeral homes. John feels truly blessed to work with his family and friends in a profession dedicated to serving others, during their time of need.

  • Scott J. Sytsema

    Scott J. Sytsema, Owner - Funeral Director - 18 years with Sytsema's

    Scott is proud to be a fourth-generation funeral director. He graduated from Western Michigan Christian High School, received a Bachelor of Business degree from Calvin College in 1998 before graduating from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1999. He and his wife Rebecca (nee, Poel) live in Norton Shores with their children, Zoe, Sydney and Owen. They attend Allen Ave. Christian Reformed Church. Scott is proud to be associated with a family firm that offers unequaled excellence to the families they serve.

  • Todd A. Sytsema

    Todd A. Sytsema, Owner - Funeral Director & CCO- 14 years with Sytsema's

    Todd has worked as a fourth-generation funeral director since graduating from Worsham College in 2003. In 1998, he graduated from Western Michigan Christian High School. He also has received a Bachelors degree in Business Management. Todd spent 7 great years as a firefighter with Norton Shores Fire Department while going to school. Todd and his wife, Nancy, (nee, Westgate) and their sons, Drew and Ryan, and daughter, Greta, are members of Covenant Life Church in Grand Haven. He became a Certified Crematory Operator in 2015. Todd’s goal is developing his career as a funeral director and serving families with the respect they deserve in their time of need.

  • Craig A. Sytsema

    Craig A. Sytsema, Owner - Funeral Director & CCO - 12 years with Sytsema's

    Craig graduated from Western Michigan Christian High School in 2001 and attended Baker College before graduating from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2005. Together with his brothers, Craig runs The VanZantwick Chapel and The Spring Lake Chapel. He and his wife, Jennifer (nee, Meyers), live in Spring Lake with their daughters: Madelyn, Emma, and Lyla and are members of Spring Lake Christian Reformed Church. Together they enjoy spending time with their families, traveling, and being outdoors. Craig became a Certified Crematory Operator in 2015. Craig is proud to serve families in the Muskegon and Tri-Cities area as a fourth-generation funeral director.

  • Robert W. Sytsema

    Robert W. Sytsema, Funeral Director & CCO- 10 years back with Sytsema's

    Bob graduated from Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science and became a third-generation funeral director in 1970. He also spent a number of years with Norton Shores Fire Department prior to retiring as Deputy Chief in 2007 and returning to full time funeral service work. Bob’s been a member of Disaster Mortuary Operations Response Team (DMORT), a federal team designed to assist local Medical Examiners with mass casualty disasters. He became a Certified Crematory Operator in 2015, and now works part time at Sytsema Cremation Services. Bob and his wife, Mary (nee Heethuis) are life residents of the Muskegon area, are members of Bethany Christian Reformed Church and are parents of four (their son, Paul, died in 2012) and grandparents of seven.

  • Robert J. Vanderlaan

    Robert J. Vanderlaan, Funeral Director - 38 years with Sytsema's

    Bob is a life-long resident of Muskegon. After graduating from Western Michigan Christian High School, he attended Calvin College for 2 years, transferred to Wayne State University and graduated from the Department of Mortuary Science in 1979. He became a licensed funeral director in 1979, and has spent his entire career at Sytsema Funeral Homes, Inc.

    He values his work, his fellow employees, and the families he serves. Bob is a member of Allen Avenue Christian Reformed Church, is active at Muskegon Christian School and Western Michigan Christian High School, enjoys fishing and being outdoors. He and his wife, Susan (Schlukebir) have 4 children, Evan (April), Laura (Aaron) Ridings, Courtney and Elliott (Larissa).

  • Scott R. Vanderlaan

    Scott R. Vanderlaan, Funeral Director - 23 years with Sytsema's

    Scott is a 1990 graduate of Mona Shores High School. Following high school, Scott attended Muskegon Community College, and then transferred to Wayne State University's Department of Mortuary Science. In 1993, he received his license to practice Mortuary Science in the State of Michigan. Scott has been working with Sytsema Funeral Homes, Inc. since 1988, over 20 years of which Scott has been a licensed funeral director.

    Scott lives in Roosevelt Park with his wife, Jill, and 2 children, Erika and Ethan. Scott loves to golf, enjoys snowboarding, and also loves to travel.

  • Daniel L. Achterhoff

    Daniel L. Achterhoff, Funeral Director/Advance Planning Counselor - 13 years with Sytsema's

    Dan is a lifelong Muskegon area resident. He graduated from Mona Shores High School, attended Muskegon Community College, and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1978. He became a licensed funeral Director in 1980. Dan is a member of Covenant Community Church where he has served as an elder, deacon, and chairperson of the former Barney Maffett’s Coffee Shop. He has also served for the past 10 years as chairperson for the Covenant Church Auction for Missions. Dan has helped the past 17 years on the Muskegon Area Crop Hunger Walk Committee. He served his community as 50th President of the Greater Muskegon Jaycees, as well as spending more than a dozen summers at Heritage Landing as venue director for Muskegon Summer Celebration (1994-2006). Dan spent 15 years serving on the Bethany Housing Ministry Board and has also been a part of the Old Newsies/Goodfellows effort for the past 33 years. Dan enjoys traveling, music, photography, and long walks with his wife Bonnie. They also enjoy their children, Jacob (Beth), Simon (September), Caleb (Cindy), Beth and Aaron; and now their first grandson, Rylan!

  • Jason T. DeWall

    Jason T. DeWall, Funeral Director & CCO- 14 years with Sytsema's

    Jason graduated from Western Michigan Christian High School in 1998, received a Bachelor of Business degree from Baker College in 2002 and an Associate of Applied Science degree from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2003. Jason has been employed as a licensed funeral director at Sytsema Funeral Homes, Inc. since 2003, and he became a Certified Crematory Operator in 2015

    He lives in Spring Lake with his wife Meghan (nee, Marquoit) and their sons, Luke and Grant. They are members of Covenant Life Church. Jason enjoys skiing, biking, camping and spending time on the water. As he continues his career at Sytsema’s, he looks forward to putting his education and experience to use serving families with dignity and respect.

  • Kenneth R. Gowell

    Kenneth R. Gowell, Funeral Director - 2nd year with Sytsema's

    Ken is a 1973 graduate of Fruitport High School and a lifelong resident of Fruitport. Following high School he attended Muskegon Community College and later transferred to Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science. In 1978 he received his license to practice Mortuary Science in the State of Michigan. He has been an area Funeral Director for over 40 years. Ken has two sons Cameron (Shaina) and Stephen. Ken enjoys vintage motorcycle restoration, antique cars, sports, baking, road trips north and the beach.

  • Jeff M. Jakeway

    Jeff M. Jakeway, Funeral Director - 3 years with Sytsema's

    Jeff grew up in the small lake side town of Bridgman, Michigan. He graduated from Bridgman High School in 2010 and attended Lake Michigan and Southwest Michigan Community Colleges before graduating with an Associate of Applied Science from the Worsham College of Mortuary Sciences in 2013. He is the grandson of former Methodist Minister Rex E. Bean who served at Temple United Methodist Church. Jeff lives in Norton Shores and is excited to start to put down his roots. He takes great pride in serving families at such a difficult time.

  • Dean Meyering

    Dean Meyering, Funeral Director - Partner at The VanZantwick Chapel and Spring Lake Chapel

  • Hannah  Myers

    Hannah Myers, Funeral Director - 2nd year with Sytsema's

  • Dale VanZantwick

    Dale VanZantwick, Funeral Director

  • Si Workman

    Si Workman, Funeral Director

  • Bob  Lake

    Bob Lake, Resident Trainee

  • Chuck Holman

    Chuck Holman, Funeral Assistant & Support Staff

  • Kelly  Zednik

    Kelly Zednik, Family Service Counselor - 6 years with Sytsema's

  • Chad  Davignon

    Chad Davignon, Family Service Counselor - 2nd year with Sytsema's

  • Ginger  Wolffis

    Ginger Wolffis, Grief Counselor - 22 years with Sytsema's

    I have lived in Muskegon all my life. I married my high school sweetheart, Roger Wolffis, over forty years ago. We had four children, three boys and a girl. Two of our children died prematurely. Our baby boy, Bryan James, died just hours after birth and our son, Daniel Scott, was killed in a car crash when he was 18 years old, a college freshman. My Grief Journey is the catalyst for the work that I do with those who are grieving. It has been my privilege to be a co-founder of Camp Anew, a four-day summer camp for children ages 6-14 who have experienced the death of a loved one. I have been blessed to be the grandmother of 8.

  • Joni Hall

    Joni Hall, Administration Staff - 1st year with Sytsema's

  • Bonnie B. Hendrick

    Bonnie B. Hendrick, Administrative Staff - 13 years with Sytsema's

  • Stacy  Karish

    Stacy Karish, Administrative Staff - 1st year with Sytsema's

  • Tara Klingel

    Tara Klingel, Financial Administrator - 1st year with Sytsema's

  • Jan  Lee

    Jan Lee, Administration Staff - 14 years with Sytsema's

  • Sandy  Matz

    Sandy Matz, Administrative Staff - 9 years with Sytsema's

  • Robin Monger

    Robin Monger, Administrative Staff - The VanZantwick Chapel

  • Gloria J. Shrum

    Gloria J. Shrum, Office Manager - 23 years with Sytsema's

  • Kristy  Sweet

    Kristy Sweet, Administrative Staff and Community Development- 3 years with Sytsema's

  • Linda Workman

    Linda Workman, Funeral Assistant - The Spring Lake Chapel

  • Jennifer Sytsema

    Jennifer Sytsema, Office Manager & CCO - The VanZantwick Chapel and The Spring Lake Chapel

  • Susan B. Sytsema

    Susan B. Sytsema, Administrative Staff

  • Mike  Ferrier

    Mike Ferrier, Facilities Manager

  • Tim  Annema

    Tim Annema, Support Staff

  • Shane  Arkels

    Shane Arkels, Support Staff

  • Joanne Bishop

    Joanne Bishop, Support Staff

  • Jim  Boes

    Jim Boes, Support Staff

  • Nancy Bylsma

    Nancy Bylsma, Support Staff

  • Mark Christenson

    Mark Christenson, Support Staff & Marker Specialist

  • Jeffrey Dunn

    Jeffrey Dunn, Support Staff

  • Sandy Ferrier

    Sandy Ferrier, Support Staff

  • Robin Garrison

    Robin Garrison, Support Staff

  • Kevin  Holman

    Kevin Holman, Support Staff

  • Jim Koster

    Jim Koster, Support Staff

  • Laura Lohman

    Laura Lohman, Support Staff

  • Jan Orlop

    Jan Orlop, Support Staff

  • Dorothy Raha

    Dorothy Raha, Support Staff

  • Gary  Ream

    Gary Ream, Support Staff

  • Jim Schuitman

    Jim Schuitman, Support Staff

  • Erika Van Yorx

    Erika Van Yorx, Support Staff

  • Patty Warner

    Patty Warner, Support Staff

  • Ruth Webster

    Ruth Webster, Support Staff