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Ralph Sommerfeld

Ralph has been a resident of Southwest MI, since 1967. He graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1973. Ralph attended Wayne State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (1978), also graduating from the Department of Mortuary Science of Wayne State University (1976).

Ralph is the current Owner-Manager of Sommerfeld Chapel. He came to New Buffalo, in September of 1979, and worked alongside the founder of Smith Funeral Home, Ronald H. Smith, until Ron’s death in 1981. Ralph then became manager of the funeral home, and has proudly served the families of New Buffalo and Harbor Country.

Ralph is a licensed funeral director in both states of Michigan and Indiana. He is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, the Selected Independent Funeral Homes, and the Michigan Embalmers Society. Ralph is also active in local organizations such as, New Buffalo Lions Club (since 1984), a member of the New Buffalo Savings Bank Board of Directors, the Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce, and the New Buffalo Business Association.

Ralph has lived in, and been part of, the Harbor Country community since 1979. He has been married for over 25 years to his wife Heidi (Fandrich); she works in Michigan City at the Lighthouse Mall. Together they have a son Aaron; he is a graduate of New Buffalo High School, and is currently a student at Lake Michigan College, and also works in Michigan City at the Lighthouse Mall.

Tom Starks — Owner

Andy Menchinger — Funeral Director

Andy began his career in funeral service in 1974 while attending Benton Harbor High School. After graduating in 1980 from Indiana College of Mortuary Science in Indianapolis, he joined the Starks’ family business.

Andy is a member of the First Church of God in St. Joseph and is a board member for Hospice at Home. He also is a member the Benton Harbor-Fairplain Lions Club. He enjoys fishing, boating, and camping.

Andy is a lifelong resident of the Twin Cities area and resides in Benton Harbor with his wife Sonya and sons Erik and Aaron.

Jason Storm — Funeral Director

Cameron Ondresky — Funeral Director

Katrina Washburn — Funeral Director

Katrina was born and raised in Dayton, OH, where she graduated from Bellbrook High School in 2004. She went on to attend Wright State University as a Pre-Med/Psychology major. It is there she learned her passion for the funeral service industry. After 3 years at Wright State she applied at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science where she received her Bachelor’s of Mortuary Science in 2009. She is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the states of Michigan and Ohio. In her spare time she enjoys visiting with her friends and family back home as well as meeting new people and enjoying all of St. Joseph and the surrounding areas.

Olivia Starks — Funeral Director

Laura Starks — Funeral Director

Cynthia Layman — Funeral Arranger

Stacey Miller — Funeral Arranger

Nate Wilder — Funeral Arranger

Harry Hull — Funeral Assistant