Jon Kolssak- Owner, Funeral Director and Embalmer
I believe in people. I believe that every person is uniquely designed in God’s image. I believe that God designed me to serve people by helping them to create a meaningful life celebration that reflects a life well lived. I was born in 1974 to my parents Lou and Carolyn Kolssak. I am the youngest of three boys. I grew up above the funeral home and learned at a very young age to treat others greater than myself. I graduated from Wheeling High School in 1993 and excelled in football, academics and the fine arts such as musicals, jazz band and show choir. I attended Purdue University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and also had a band, Gift Horse that rocked the walls of stages around the Big Ten. I was truly blessed the last semester before graduation, I met a young woman Michelle Wishlinski who stole my heart. Once she graduated from Purdue and I from Worsham College of Mortuary Science we began our married life together. A few years later our family began with Karlynne and then Taylor. We are also pet parents of two dogs Rocky and Mickey. I take great pride in investing myself into the families that I serve to create a funeral experience that touches the heart and celebrates the moments in life that take our breath away.
Carolyn Kolssak- Owner
My father died when I was 10 years old. That was my first close encounter with grief. Questions about life, its purpose and why was my loss so much greater than my peers’ experience disturbed me. I grew up wanting to meet peoples’ needs. At DePaul University, I received a B.A. in Sociology, did some social work after graduation. I met Lou, married him and he suggested I attend Mortuary School. It seemed a perfect fit! With my first hand experience with grief and its effect on my life, and my education, I was ready. Or so I thought. Some needs, like the fear of death itself, could only be met by Someone Who loved me enough to die for me, to take the penalty for all my sins and give me a peace which surpassed all understanding and a promise to live forever in His presence. In 1980 I began my journey of study into the Bible. It has sustained me and He has enabled me to meet the needs of other people in the throes of grief.
Corey A. Johnston- Funeral Director and Embalmer
I was born the second of three boys in the small South Central Illinois town of Mattoon. I began working in funeral service while attending high school. I learned from the start the value of service, professionalism, and a personal touch. After completing my education at Worsham College of Mortuary Science and serving my apprenticeship I found a new and unique family funeral home to plant my roots and grow and serve the surrounding community. I am blessed to have met my lovely wife, Heather, who understands the funeral industry and allows me to step away from our family to serve others in their time of need. We enjoy spoiling our Scottish Terrier, Piper. Most of our free time is spent riding our Harleys, we are active members and I serve as Director of the Lake Shore H.O.G. Chapter. I am also passionate about funeral service education, I currently lecture at professional seminars and mortuary schools on how to become a better embalmer. Although I have moved away from small town America I still hold true to the values of honest hometown family centered service that best fits the needs of every unique and different family I serve.
Abigail "Abby" Yost- Funeral Director and Embalmer
Dean Argiris- Funeral Assistant
I live my life with a passion to serve others. I am consistently looking for ways to improve my community. I am an active member at Saint Peter & Paul Greek Orthodox Church. I am very blessed to share my life with my wife Marian and my children Sam and Alexandra. I am excited to be a part of the Kolssak Team. Their attention to detail and ability to make complicated situations simple are integral to a good funeral experience. It is my goal along with the professional services of Kolssak Funeral Home, to become the leading funeral provider for the Greek Orthodox Community.
"Energy and persistence conquer all things." — Benjamin Franklin
Mary Watson- Custom Art Jeweler
Since 1992, Mary Watson, using the studio name Silver Stone Handcrafted, has been creating significantly beautiful art jewelry and sculpture which she exhibits at fine arts fairs and galleried throughout the United States. Her work has been featured in many publications, books and exhibitions. She has earned numerous national awards including the prestigious Thompson Award (Grand Prize, All Media) for the state of Illinois 2006.
Currently, Ms. Watson is concentrating on the creation of unique and meaningful personal memorials made tangible in the form of jewelry, urn finials and sculpture. Her sense of compassion combined with artistic gifts compel her to create relevant art to help celebrate and individual's life journey and memorialize the spirit of that person after they have passed.
Along with her husband, who is also and artist, she lives, works and plays in a quiet suburb of Chicago. She occasionally enjoys the bustling activities of downtown Chicago as well as the close proximity of the unspoiled natural beauty of Lakes Michigan and Superior and other wonderful areas "Up North".