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- 46 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 - 19 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- 15 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 - 13 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- 11 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 - 39 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 - 25 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 and Cremation Services since 1988, 25 years of which Scott has been a licensed funeral director.

    Scott lives in Roosevelt Park with his wife, Jill. They have two children, Erika and Ethan. Scott loves to golf, ride his Harley Davidson, and also loves to travel.

  • Daniel L. Achterhoff

    Daniel L. Achterhoff, Funeral Director/Advance Planning Counselor - 14 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 two grandsons, Rylan and Malloy.

  • Jason T. DeWall

    Jason T. DeWall, Funeral Director & CCO- 15 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.

  • Jeff M. Jakeway

    Jeff M. Jakeway, Funeral Director - 4 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 Laketon Township with his wife, Tiara (nee, Strauss) and his three pets. Jeff is a film buff and an avid collector of movie memorabilia. He takes great pride in serving families at such a difficult time.

  • Dean T. Meyering

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

  • Hannah M. Myers

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

    Hannah was raised in the small town of Lisbon, Iowa. She graduated from Lisbon High School in 2012. She then graduated from Upper Iowa University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Mortuary Science before graduating with an Associate of Applied Science from Worsham College of Mortuary Sciences. Hannah made the move to Michigan to serve her apprenticeship at Sytsema Funeral Homes, Inc. She has been a licensed funeral director since 2017 and now lives in Norton Shores.

  • Christopher H. Barnhill

    Christopher H. Barnhill, Funeral Director - 1st year back with Sytsema's

    Chris began his career in funeral service with Sytsema Funeral Homes in 1997 when he graduated from Worsham College. He is married to Kristin and they have 3 sons, Alex, Aaron and Aidon. In 2014, they moved to Texas to serve for a Catholic ministry full time. They returned to their hometown of Muskegon in 2018 where Chris has continued his career with Sytsema Funeral and Cremation Services. They are members of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church.

  • Kenneth R. Gowell

    Kenneth R. Gowell, Funeral Director - Retired

  • Dale VanZantwick

    Dale VanZantwick, Funeral Director

  • Si Workman

    Si Workman, Funeral Director

  • Chuck Holman

    Chuck Holman, Funeral Assistant & Support Staff

  • Kelly  Zednik

    Kelly Zednik, Family Service Counselor - 7 years with Sytsema's

  • Chad  Davignon

    Chad Davignon, Family Service Counselor - 3rd year with Sytsema's

    Chad J Davignon, is a lifelong resident of Muskegon and a graduate of Mona Shores High School. He attended Muskegon Community College, Great Lake Institute of Photography and is licensed with the Department of Insurance and Financial Services of Michigan. Chad has been a Family Service Counselor at Sytsema Funeral Homes, inc. since 2015. He has been married to Kristin (Elema) for 26 years, they have 3 children Mitchell, Kristina and Chase. Chad loves the outdoors, photography, boating and playing golf.

    Most people are overwhelmed and unprepared when they come to the funeral home. Chad helps educate families and help them put an intentional plan in place, to help lessen the burden on their family during a time of emotional upheaval.

  • Ginger  Wolffis

    Ginger Wolffis, Grief Counselor - 23 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.

  • Kristin Davignon

    Kristin Davignon, Administration Staff - 1st year with Sytsema's

    Kristin Davignon, is a lifelong resident of Muskegon and a graduate of Mona Shores High School. She attended Grand Valley State University. She has been an administrative assistant for over 25 years and with Sytsema’s in 2018, She has been married to Chad for 26 years, they have 3 children Mitchell, Kristina and Chase. Kristin loves spending time with her children, boating and traveling. Kristin is honored to serve families in their time of need.

  • Joni Hall

    Joni Hall, Administration Staff - 2 years with Sytsema's

    Joni is a lifelong resident of Muskegon and has worked and served in the administrative field for 30 + years. Joni lives on the Northside of Muskegon with her husband Troy, and they are the very proud parents of Ryan Anne (Spencer) Smith and Colton T. Hall. Joni enjoys spending quality time with Troy, their children, family and friends; camping, traveling, exploring, etc. She has a passion for serving others thru ministries within their church and in the community and particularly enjoys serving on two prayer teams for Family Life’s Weekend to Remember with Troy. Being a part of Team Sytsema and serving families in the surrounding community during such a time of transition; has been an honor for Joni

  • Bonnie B. Hendrick

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

    Bonnie has worked for Sytsema's for 13 years, and is married to Dan Achterhoff. Together they have 5 children and 2 grandsons, Rylan and Malloy.

  • Stacy  Karish

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

    Stacy is a life-long resident of Muskegon. After graduating from Mona Shores High School in 2002, she attended Muskegon Community College for 2 years and transferred to Grand Valley State University for Special Education. She married her husband Chris in 2007 and has two daughters Isabella and Aubrey. She and her family are active members at Unity Reformed Church, where Stacy is also the Director of the Kids Hope USA mentoring program.

  • Tara Klingel

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

    Tara is a lifelong resident of Muskegon. She married her high school sweetheart Mark. They are proud parents of their two children Brook and Blake. Tara enjoys spending quality time with her family, as well as gardening , biking and taking long walks with her husband. Tara joined the Sytsema Team in the fall of 2017 with 13 + years of banking experience.

  • Jan  Lee

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

    Jan began working for the Lee Funeral Home in 1989 and then in 2003 joined the Sytsema family. She is a graduate of Muskegon Business College and Aquinas College. Jan served on the local March of Dimes board for many years and formerly an active participant at Michigan Dunes Montessori School PTO. She and her husband, Dan, are life long residents of Muskegon and together have three daughters and four grandchildren. Jan feels that being part of the funeral business for almost 30 years has brought about a better understanding of how grief can affect people and at the same time encourage lasting friendships.

  • Robin Monger

    Robin Monger, Administrative Staff - The VanZantwick Chapel

  • Kristy  Sweet

    Kristy Sweet, Administrative Staff and Community Development- 4 years with Sytsema's

    Kristy Sweet joined the Sytsema Team in May 2014 after working ten years in Human Resources and Customer Service. The role of Administration and Community Outreach has been a perfect fit for her as she is very personable, empathetic, and outgoing. Kristy has a passion to serve families through what she believes is the most difficult and emotional time in their lives by catering to their needs in a professional and caring manner.

    A lifelong resident of Muskegon, Kristy graduated from Fruitport Community Schools and Baker College of Muskegon. In September 2000, she married Steve and they have three beautiful (and active) girls, Brooke, Tara and Alexa. To say that she doesn’t fit the “mini-van driving, soccer mom” stereotype would be an understatement! Her family is also active members at Unity Reformed Church in Norton Shores, where she volunteers as a GEMS (Girls Everywhere Meeting our Savior) Counselor. Kristy is also involved with her daughter’s school through the Parent Teacher Committee, is co-leader for two Girl Scout Troops, and is a member of Muskegon Rotary Club. She enjoys spending time with her family, going to her parent’s cottage, traveling, and playing beach volleyball. Kristy lives by some words she repeats to her daughters, “Let your smile change the world, but don’t let the world change your smile.”

  • 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

    Jennifer grew up in New Era, Michigan, and is a graduate of Western Michigan Christian High School and Calvin College. She married Craig Sytsema in 2005 and began serving as office manager for The VanZantwick Chapel and The Spring Lake Chapel in 2006. She considers it a great honor to work alongside the incredibly caring team at Sytsema Funeral & Cremation Services in serving West Michigan families during their time of need. She and Craig reside in Spring Lake with their three daughters: Madelyn, Emma, and Lyla.

  • Susan B. Sytsema

    Susan B. Sytsema, Administrative Staff

  • Mike  Ferrier

    Mike Ferrier, Facilities Manager

  • Johnnie Evans

    Johnnie Evans, Maintenance

  • Tim  Annema

    Tim Annema, Support Staff

  • Shane  Arkels

    Shane Arkels, Support Staff

  • Joanne Bishop

    Joanne Bishop, Support Staff

  • Nancy Bylsma

    Nancy Bylsma, Support Staff

  • Mark Christenson

    Mark Christenson, Support Staff & Marker Specialist

  • Eric  Coulon

    Eric Coulon, Support Staff

  • Sandy Ferrier

    Sandy Ferrier, Support Staff

  • Robin Garrison

    Robin Garrison, Support Staff

  • Deb Gowell

    Deb Gowell, Support Staff

  • Kevin  Holman

    Kevin Holman, Support Staff

  • Dale  Horn

    Dale Horn, Support Staff

  • Jan  Koon

    Jan Koon, 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

  • Jim Schuitman

    Jim Schuitman, Support Staff

  • James Sytsema

    James Sytsema, Support Staff

  • Erika Van Yorx

    Erika Van Yorx, Support Staff

  • Patty Warner

    Patty Warner, Support Staff

  • Ruth Webster

    Ruth Webster, Support Staff