Meet Our Team

The Cook Family

The Cook Family

Three Generations of Family Caring

Our family has a heritage spanning three generations of helping families navigate their way through grief. To be able to care for people in such a difficult time is a privilege and a calling for us.

Everything we do is geared toward healing as you honor a loved one. We are a full-service funeral and cremation service emphasizing the value of the path toward healing for the living.


Ron Cook

Ron Cook

PRESIDENT

Ron grew up not only in a family of funeral directors, but also in our Byron Center Chapel. Today, he continues the Cook tradition, beginning a third generation of leadership and commitment. When Ron realized what funeral service was really all about - Community, Healing, Excellence, Trust, Family - he became incredibly passionate about it.

Ron attended Grand Valley State University and earned his Mortuary Science degree at Cincinnati School of Mortuary Science. Ron strives daily to incorporate his faith into his work for the benefit of our staff and the families we serve.


Telephone: 1-616-588-5133

Email: ron@cookcares.com


Ron Sr., Fred and Brad Cook

Ron Sr., Fred and Brad Cook

Continuing to Serve

Though now retired, Ron Sr., Fred and Brad continue to provide care and encouragement to families during their time of grief. They enjoy living and serving in our local communities and are still actively involved with families during services. 


Jeanne Shaffer

Jeanne Shaffer

VICE PRESIDENT

Jeanne maintains a close and highly responsive relationship to the day-to-day activities of all the Cook entities. Jeanne appreciates the opportunity to work with a staff that is committed to providing guidance and continuing care to families as they move through their personal grief journey.

Telephone: 1-616-588-5134

Email: jeanne@cookcares.com


Mary Burdo

Mary Burdo

DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RESOURCES

Mary understands that helping families heal involves a team of dedicated employees. She enjoys working with a staff that is committed to providing excellent care to both our families and to the community. Mary finds it heartwarming and encouraging to read the many notes of appreciation from our families for the caring attention they received.

Telephone: 1-616-588-5124

Email: mburdo@cookcares.com


Dan Larson

Dan Larson

FUNERAL DIRECTOR

As a funeral director, Dan Larson listens to the needs of each family and helps them design a perfect tribute for their loved one. Dan walks with families through every step of the funeral and memorial process. His many years of experience in the funeral profession helps him understand loss and grief as he provides compassionate care and comfort to families during a most difficult time.

Telephone: 1-616-588-5152

Email: dan@cookcares.com


Greg Tessmer

Greg Tessmer

FUNERAL DIRECTOR

Since choosing funeral service as a career, Greg Tessmer has found unique opportunities to help families uphold their individual traditions and celebrate memories of a loved one. Greg understands the many options available for creating a distinctive service. He is committed to providing families a nurturing and healing atmosphere that begins to help ease the grieving process.

Telephone: 1-616-588-5150

Email: greg@cookcares.com


Mike Smith

Mike Smith

FUNERAL DIRECTOR

The days following the death of a loved one can be overwhelming. Mike is committed to helping families honor their loved one as they gather, reflect and celebrate their life. He understands the value of providing an opportunity for tears, memories and even laughter to help cleanse the pain of loss. 

Telephone: 1-616-588-5153

Email: mike@cookcares.com


Jack Fisher

Jack Fisher

FUNERAL ARRANGER

Jack Fisher holds the firm belief that every individual is unique. He helps families select the personal touches that capture their loved one's personality. Jack understands how incorporating family traditions into the service allows a family to transform a difficult time into one of comfort and peace.

Telephone: 1-616-588-5128

Email: jack@cookcares.com


Keith Taylor

Keith Taylor

FUNERAL ARRANGER

Keith helps families design a service that reflects their loved one's life in the most personal and memorable way possible. He understands that the death of someone entrusted to our care deserves to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect.

Telephone: 1-616-291-4452

Email: keith2@cookcares.com


Gary Leyendecker

Gary Leyendecker

MONUMENT & MARKER SPECIALIST

Gary Leyendecker comes to Monuments by Cook after nearly 4 decades serving people with care and friendship in 3 different churches.  His lifetime dedication to serving people with genuine care and integrity matches the vision and values that are fundamental to Cook Family Services. Gary is committed to helping you create a selection which beautifully reflects the life lived by your loved one and serves as an encouragement to you in your grieving process.

Telephone: 1-616-588-5200

Email: gary@cookcares.com


Melissa Mitchell

Melissa Mitchell

ADVANCE FUNERAL & AFTERCARE SPECIALIST

Melissa believes in the benefits and peace of mind families can gain by addressing their end of life issues. There is no question - serving a family that has planned ahead makes the final planning phase less complicated for those left responsible. Melissa is specially trained to serve the best interests of you and your family.

Telephone: 1-616-588-5154

Email: mmitchell@cookcares.com


Rachel Norton

Rachel Norton

ADVANCE FUNERAL & AFTERCARE SPECIALIST

Rachel is serving our Byron Center, Caledonia, Wayland and Dorr families. She understands that planning for your funeral in advance is one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give your family. Rachel comes to us with many years of experience serving our community through Bible Study Fellowship. She enjoys helping area families now as part of the Cook team.

Telephone: 1-616-588-5151

Email: rachel@cookcares.com


Emily Merritt

Emily Merritt

ADVANCE FUNERAL PLANNING ADMINISTRATOR

Greeting guests with a warm and inviting smile, a listening ear, and genuine compassion can make all the difference in the world to families as they step into our doors for the first time. Emily acts as a business ambassador for Cook where she provides reception services in addition to her responsibilities as the Advance Funeral Planning Administrator.

Telephone: 1-616-588-5125

Email: emily@cookcares.com


Karen Piper

Karen Piper

OFFICE MANAGER


Telephone: 1-616-588-5121

Email: karen@cookcares.com


Audrey DeHaan

Audrey DeHaan

VETERANS BENEFITS


Telephone: 1-616-588-5123

Email: audrey@cookcares.com


Melanie Ippel

Melanie Ippel

COMMUNITY EVENTS


Telephone: 1-616-534-7619


Amber Kieliszewski

Amber Kieliszewski

MULTIMEDIA SPECIALIST


Telephone: 1-616-588-5131

Email: amber@cookcares.com


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