History & 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.
Having both a passion for their work and a desire to be closer to family, Gary and Stephanie Deiters acted upon the opportunity to provide the communities of Washington and East Peoria with a better funeral service option. Their dream of funeral home ownership became a reality with the opening of their facility at 2075 Washington Road in Washington in February of 1999. Built on the principals of service, facility, and price, Deiters Funeral Home & Crematory has continued to grow in its service to the community.
After seeing a steady incline in the number of families served from East Peoria, the Deiters built a new facility located at 444 E. Washington Street in East Peoria, intending to offer the same first-class service, facility and competitive pricing found at their Washington facility. This facility was completed, and opened its doors, in May of 2005.
We are proud to offer the only family-owned funeral home in the East Peoria community, and continue to be actively involved in the day-to-day operation of the businesses at both locations. Each enjoys different aspects of the operation, and both care deeply for the families that they have cared for over the years.
Community involvement is a very important aspect of our funeral home, and both Gary and Stephanie have a personal connection with veterans, and illustrate their commitment with service by initiating the Annual Veterans Day Program in Washington, supporting the construction of the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. through the proceeds from the Veterans Day Program, and Chairing the Flags of Washington program
Other funeral home activities include tours of the funeral home for various groups and organizations, Pet Therapy programs, participating in the Red Cross Operation Prom Night, serving as a preceptor to students of Mortuary Science, hosting Companions on a Journey which is a social group for those who have lost a loved one, participating in Chamber of Commerce sponsored events, and many more. We are also a proud participant, and multi-year recipient of the National Funeral Director Association Pursuit of Excellence Eagle Award.
We realize the importance of giving back to the communities that have embraced us since we began, and we want you to know that we're here to help when you need us.
Our Valued Staff
Stephanie Deiters - Funeral Director and Co-Owner
Stephanie is a Washington, IL native and is a graduate of Southern Illinois University. She is currently a member of the Carl Sandburg Mortuary Science Advisory Board and St. Patrick Church in Washington. She also has served as a Illinois Funeral Directors Associations Regional Director, Secretary/Treasurer, Vice-President and Education/Licensure Committee Chairman, President Elect/Convention Committee Chairman, President and is currently serving as the associations Immediate Past President. She is also a member of the National Funeral Directors Association. She enjoys travel, baking, reading, and attending her children; Ally, Elizabeth, Luke, Clare and Isaac's various activities.
Gary Deiters - Funeral Director and Co-Owner
Raised in Beckemeyer, IL, Gary graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science. He is a past member and President of the Rotary Club of Washington, a member of St. Patrick Church in Washington, and serves on the Leisure Acres Advisory Board and the CFL Pre-Need Advisory Board. . He enjoys golfing, cooking,and travel.
Madison Fox, Funeral Director
Madison is a native of Bloomington-Normal and joined the staff of Deiters Funeral Home & Crematory in May 2013. She graduated from Carl Sandburg College’s School of Mortuary Science in 2011. In 2016 she earned the distinction of Certified Funeral Service Practitioner, which acknowledges her commitment to service excellence. Madison is an Ambassador with the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce and is an active member of the District 8 Funeral Directors Association. She and her husband Patrick reside in Washington with their 2 cats and enjoy camping, traveling, and riding their Harley.
Randy Beard, Funeral Director
Randy was born in Peoria to Roger and Patricia Lyman Beard and resided in East Peoria. He attended Illinois Central College and is a graduate of Southern Illinois University. He married his soulmate, Melissa Rentsch, and they have lived in Washington for the last 20 years. They have a son, Brad, daughter, Laci who are currently attending Washington Community High School and pet black Labrador named Maddy.
Randy has been a funeral director in the Peoria area for the last 20 years joining the staff of Deiters Funeral Home in October of 2014. He enjoys spending time with his family, sports and attending his children’s games.
Shari Parker, Administrative Assistant
Shari joined Deiters Funeral Home & Crematory staff in November 2009. Prior to this, she worked for Washington School District 50 for 9 years, most recently in the office at Beverly Manor School. She is a member of Faith Church where she enjoys teaching children's church. Shari and her husband, Kevin, have 2 daughters, Kayla and Courtney.
Kenneth G. and Mary Jo Holford, Funeral Assistants
Before becoming one of the first employees at Deiters Funeral Home & Crematory back in 1999, Ken served as the Superintendent at School District 51 in Washington before he retired in 1998. Ken is member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and has served as a board member for the Washington Fire and Rescue Squad (15 years) and Planning Commission (14 years). He is currently the Township Supervisor, which he has held for 10 years, and is also involved with the Illinois River Valley Council of Governments. He and his wife Mary Jo have 2 children, Jill and Chris, as well as 6 grandchildren.
Ken and Karen Gisleson, Funeral Assistant
Ken, also one of Deiters Funeral Home & Crematory's first employees, was involved in education for 38 years in Washington , retiring as a middle school principal in 1997. He and his wife, Karen, are members of St. Patrick’s Church in Washington. Ken is also a member of the St. Pat’s Knights of Columbus. Ken and Karen have 4 children—Janet, Tom, Marie and Jean, as well as 10 grandchildren.
Bruce and Trisha Fordyce, Funeral Assistant
Bruce started his career with Deiters Funeral Home & Crematory as a funeral assistant before going back to school to become a funeral director. He graduated from the Carl Sandburg College Mortuary Science program in May of 2004. An Air Force veteran, Bruce’s first career had been with Illinois Central College as the Director of Computer Services. He is a member of the First Federated Church in Peoria, the Ivy Club and Arrowhead Country Club. He and his wife, Trish, have 2 daughters, Sarah Blake and Elizabeth Owens and 5 grandchildren.
Earl W. and Carol Lee, Funeral Assistant
Earl has been with us since April of 2005 but prior to this, he was a Kroger Warehouse Supervisor for 30 years and also spent some time with Caterpillar, Inc. He and his wife Carol have been members at St. Patrick Church in Washington for 41 years. Earl is also a 3rd and 4th degree knight with the Knights of Columbus. They have 2 sons, Joseph and Danny, 1 daughter, Jeannie Church, and 4 grandchildren, Matthew, Michael, Brooke and Jaden.
Carol Ann and Doug Ogle, Funeral Assistant
Carol joined the Deiters family in November of 2005. Carol is a member of the First United Methodist Church in East Peoria, and is also a member of the Pimiteoui Hiking Club and is proud to be a Tazewell County Master Gardener. She and her husband Doug (married for 48 years) have one son, Ted Ogle, and 3 grandchildren, Samantha, Natalie, and Abbe.
Jerry and Ronna James, Funeral Assistant
Jerry started with Deiter's Funeral Home and Crematory in February 2012. Prior to that Jerry served with the East Peoria Police Department for 31 years retiring as a sergeant. Jerry and Ronna are active members of First English Lutheran Church in Peoria where they teach high school bible study and are also involved with Heart of Illinois Via de Cristo. Jerry enjoys cooking, fishing, photography and gardening. Jerry and his wife Ronna have been married for more than 36 years and have two sons, Chris and Rob and five grandchildren, Levi, Abagail, Ian, Emma and Claire.
Phil and Kathy Neptun, Funeral Assistant
Phil joined the team at Deiters Funeral Home & Crematory in 2015, retiring after 16 years at the Peoria Park District. He is a lifelong, active member of First English Lutheran Church in Peoria, along with his wife, Kathy. The Neptuns are frequent volunteers in the church and Phil enjoys helping out at the funeral home in any way he can. In his spare time, Phil enjoys fishing, helping his wife in the garden, and staying busy with his grandkids.
Lyle and Barb Neff, Funeral Assistant
In 2015, Lyle became part of the staff at Deiters Funeral Home & Crematory. He retired from Caterpillar, Inc. in 2014 after 41 years of service. He enjoys spending time at the shooting range, meeting new people, as well as hiking, biking and traveling with his wife, Barb. The Neffs live in Germantown Hills and attend Great Oaks Community Church. They have two sons, Zachary in Arizona and Adam in California.
Jim and Susie Dunnan, Funeral Assistants
After 37 years in public education, Jim retired as Superintendent/Principal of Washington High School in June 2014 after serving the district and community for 10 years. He currently serves as a part-time superintendent for Rankin Elementary SD #98, Pekin, IL. Susie was employed as a health/physical/driver education instructor and high school volleyball/basketball/softball/track coach. She formerly worked as the Regional Education Director for the American Heart Association, the Education Coordinator/Instructor for the Peoria Area Emergency Medical Services at OSF, and Director of Development at the U of I College of Medicine in Peoria which involved a fund-raising campaign for the new cancer research center. Susie also serves as a Family Service Advisor, assisting families with advance planning and educating our communities on funeral service. They enjoy spending time outdoors: hunting, fishing, and camping, and serve as Stephen Ministers. They have two children, J.W. (Peoria) and Jessica (Somerset, PA) and two grandchildren.
Roger and Zoe Tate, Maintenance
The “Jack-Of-All-Trades” at Deiters Funeral Home & Crematory, joined the Deiters family in July of 2005 after spending 31 years at Caterpillar, Inc. He and his wife Zoe (also retired from Caterpillar Inc. after 30 years) have been married 25 years and have 1 daughter, Stephanie, 2 grandchildren, Malorie Jo and Alix, and one great-granddaughter, Reese. They reside in Sunnyland with their beloved West Highland Terrier, Brody, and enjoy traveling and riding their Harley-Davidson trike.
Pat Fox, Maintenance
After being part of the Deiters Funeral Home & Crematory family with his wife, Madison, Pat joined the staff in 2016. He is self-employed and enjoys helping with the various facility and vehicle maintenance tasks in his time off from his day job. He grew up in the Peoria area and in his spare time, you can find him restoring his Jeep Wrangler, riding his motorcycle, or traveling with his wife.
Otter Deiters, Resident Therapy Dog
Otter joined the Deiters Funeral Home and Crematory family in November of 2013. He was born in July of 2012 at Leader Dogs for the Blind in Michigan. After his year of puppy raising in an Iowa prison and his Leader Dog evaluation, he was released from the program due to a mild limp. Our family was once again blessed to receive another amazing dog from this program. Otter and Stephanie Deiters completed both the beginner and intermediate training classes at Heartland Dog Training, where he was also awarded with his Good Citizenship Award. He is also a registered Therapy Dog and is a wonderful asset to Deiters Pet Services and Pet Crematory. He also enjoys attending funerals and meeting new people.
Nacho Deiters, Therapy Dog
In Loving Memory
Nacho joined the Deiters Funeral Home and Crematory family in May of 2009. He was born in March of 2008 to two yellow Labrador leader dogs, who both worked for the Leader Dogs for the Blind program. After vigorous training for his first fifteen months, he was deemed with a minor physical issue that caused him an early retirement. Our family was blessed to have had such a beautiful and smart dog join our work and family life. Nacho embraced his role as a grief therapy dog to those who had lost a beloved pet and visited Deiters Pet Services and Pet Crematory.