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.

Our History



Having  a passion for her work and a desire to be closer to family, Stephanie Deiters acted upon the opportunity to provide the community of Washington with a better funeral service option. Her dream of funeral home ownership became a reality with the opening of the 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.

Community involvement is a very important aspect of our funeral home, and Stephanie has a personal connection with veterans, and illustrates her commitment with service by initiating the Annual Veterans Day Program in Washington and supporting the construction of the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. through the proceeds from the Veterans Day 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, 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.  Professional Memberships also include the Illinois Funeral Directors Association and Selected Independent Funeral Homes.

We realize the importance of giving back to the communities that have embraced the funeral home since the beginning, and want you to know that we're here to help when you need us.





Our Valued Staff

Stephanie Deiters

Stephanie Deiters

Stephanie Deiters - Funeral Director and Owner
Growing up in Washington, lIlinois, Stephanie is a graduate of Washington Community High School and Southern Illinois University. After working as a funeral director/embalmer in East Peoria and Peoria for several years, and teaching at the Carl Sandburg Mortuary Science Program in Galesburg, IL, Stephanie was blessed with the opportunity to build her own funeral home in 1999.
With additions of a second location and a facility dedicated to cremation, the business was expanded. Deiters Pet Services and Pet Crematory was also added in 2008, where hundred of families continue to entrust their non-human family members to her care each year.
In 2017, Stephanie decided to focus on the needs of her core business and values, by selling the East Peoria funeral home facility. Today, she is focused on providing the best funeral service care in the central Illinois area.
Stephanie is a member of several organizations, both professional and personal. She is most proud of her recent accomplishments on the Illinois Funeral Directors Association Board, where she served for 6 years, including serving as the President in 2015-16. She is also a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and the Carl Sandburg Mortuary Science Program Advisory Board. She attends both St. Patrick Church in Washington and Sacred Heart Church in Peoria.
A mom of 5 amazing children, ranging in age from 11-22, she also enjoys travel, golf, baking, gardening, cheering on the Green Bay Packers, reading, and spending time with friends.
What Matters to You, Matters to Her!


Madison Fox

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, and is an active member of the District 8 Funeral Directors Association. She and her husband Patrick reside in Washington and are expecting their first baby in November. She enjoys camping, traveling, and reading.


Randy  Beard

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

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

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

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

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

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.


Jerry and Ronna James

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

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

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

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.


Pat Fox

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 1968 GTO and C3 Corvette or traveling with his wife. He is looking forward to becoming a dad for the first time in November.


Otter Deiters

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

Nacho Deiters, Therapy Dog

In Loving Memory
2008-2013

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.