Our Staff's Commitment to You.
Staff members of Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory are caring and experienced professionals who understand that each family is unique and has personal requests and traditions. These requests and traditions are of utmost importance to our staff of licensed funeral directors.
Tom Fitzgerald is a 3rd generation funeral director and owner of Fitzgerald Funeral Home. A lifelong resident of Rockford, Tom began working in his family funeral home at the age of 16. Tom graduated from Boylan Catholic High School in 1969 and attended Loras College from 1969 to 1971. In 1973, Tom graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science and started his career as a funeral director that has spanned five decades at Fitzgerald Funeral Home. In January of 1974, Tom married the love of his life, Maureen Boland of Freeport. They are proud parents of three children and the very proud grandparents of three grandsons, Aidan, Austen and Avery Fitzgerald.Tom attended the Life Appreciation Course in 1981 and has received many awards during his time as owner of Fitzgerald Funeral Home including the Pursuit of Excellence Award, The Boylan Alumni of the Year award in 2008, the Secretary of State Jesse White Award for Organ Donations and Runner Up for Funeral Director of the Year 2011 in The American Funeral Director's Magazine to name a few. Tom enjoys boating, is an avid reader, a student of politics and is currently serving on the board for the Rockford Catholic Diocese. Tom can be reached at 815-226-2273.
Patrick Fitzgerald, CFSP
Vice President/Manager, Funeral Director, Embalmer, Certified Funeral Service Practitioner
Being a 4th generation family member in the funeral business, Patrick has dedicated his life to Fitzgerald Funeral Home. Growing up in the industry, Patrick has witnessed the dedication and continual changes required in order to better incorporate family into the funeral process. In May 2012, Patrick received his certification as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner from the Academy of Funeral Service Practices. This academy believes that personal as well as professional development, together, combine to insure a better funeral service professional. Patrick's "family first" ideals are also reflected in his own family with his wife, Julie and their three young sons, Aidan, Austen and Avery. He enjoys spending time with his family, being with his friends, and enjoying the outdoors. Patrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 815-226-2273.
Erika M. Freund has been a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer since 1999, coming to Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory in 2002. She began her career in funeral service at the young age of 16 helping at her local funeral home in Marengo, IL and Crystal Lake, IL. She followed her passion for funeral service and attended Southern Illinois University, Carbondale where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Mortuary Science and Funeral Service. Erika is currently the Manager and Care Center Supervisor at Fitzgerald Funeral Home. She and her husband Jason, live in Belvidere, IL with their three children. Erika likes to stay busy with her kids activities that include piano lessons at Studio 3, guitar and bass lessons with Mark Reed and swimming with the YMCA Belvidere Barracuda's. Erika enjoys the challenges of being a funeral director and embalmer and is happy when she can share her skills learned from experience with her co-workers or other funeral directors. Erika's personal motto is "Prepare today for the demands of tomorrow." You can reach Erika M. Freund at 815-226-2273 or e-mail her at: Erikaf@fitzgeraldfuneralhome.com
Stacey K. Bonacorsi
Daily Operations/Admin. Assistant
Stacey K. Bonacorsi is a native of the Cherry Valley/Rockford area. Stacey graduated from Boylan Catholic High School and later went on to attend Rock Valley College. Stacey has been a part of the Fitzgerald Funeral Home family since 2003 and she enjoys meeting all of our families and assisting them to make their services special while adding that personalized touch. In her spare time, Stacey loves spending time with her family, especially with her husband, Chad and daughter, Isabella. Stacey can be reached at our Mulford Chapel, 815-226-2273.
Melinda Hagerman is a licensed funeral director and embalmer and has been with Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory in Rockford since 1986. She attended Central Missouri State University and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science. She started the first bereavement after-care program through funeral homes in northern Illinois 20 years ago and has facilitated numerous support groups. She has spoken both locally and nationally on grief and bereavement and does many presentations and in-services to civic organizations, church groups, schools, support groups and medical staffs. She considers it a privilege to be able to spend time with families at this important and difficult time as they begin their journey following the death of someone important in their lives. She has been active in numerous community organizations and boards for many years and was especially honored to be the recipient of the Crusader Clinic "Spirit of Caring" Award and to be named one of the top 5 finalist as "Rockford Woman of the Year". Melinda is available as a resource person to educate and speak on funeral service and funeral pre-planning - she can be reached at 815-226-2273 or at email@example.com
Fred G. Muehlfelder
Fred G. Muehlfelder has been a resident of Rockford since 1971 and a licensed funeral director since 1972. He was born in Chicago, Illinois and has spent the majority of his life in the Illinois and Wisconsin area. Fred is an active member of Our Saviors Lutheran Church and has served on almost all of the church committees throughout the years since he moved to Rockford. Fred is also active in many business and not-for-profit organizations, including being the former President and board member of the 7th Street Business Association from 1974-2000. Fred has also served as a President and board member of Lifescape Community Services and Community Kitchen from 1988-present, President and board member of Illinois Growth Enterprises from 2001-2014, a Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) from 1994-present and is an active member of the Rockford chapter of the United States Sail and Power Squadron since 1990. Fred also helped found the Northern Illinois Eye Bank, a division of Michigan Eye Bank and Transplantation Center. During his free time, Fred enjoys spending time with his wife, Lois, boating down the Mississippi river and enjoys relaxing or traveling with his wife, their 6 children, his 9 grandchildren and numerous friends. Fred can be reached at 815-226-2273 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tara Taylor joined Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory in January of 2011 and is a graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science. A native of Winnebago, Tara graduated from Winnebago High School and went on to graduate from Northern Illinois University with a BA in Sociology. Having a great interest in helping families is what brought Tara into funeral service. Tara has been a member of Junior League of Rockford since 2013. Tara works at our Mulford Chapel and can be reached at 815-226-2273 or by email at email@example.com.
Shawn P. Cremer
Shawn P. Cremer has been a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer since 1999. A native of Rockford, Shawn graduated from Rockford East High School and went on to graduate from Rock Valley College. A graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science. Shawn started working for Fitzgerald Funeral Home in 1994. Shawn enjoys being involved in community events, most recently he has done some community theater. Throughout the years Shawn has given several lectures for the Illinois Funeral Directors Association. Shawn feels honored and blessed to be able to serve families.
Shawn can be reached at our Mulford Chapel, 815-226-2273.
Ashley, a native to Chicago, relocated to the Rockford area the summer of 2015. She graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.A. in Sociology. During that time, she began to work in a funeral home in Chicago, where her love for helping people began to grow. She attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science and graduated in 2014. She continues her passion for serving people here in Rockford. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her two dogs and is an avid horseback rider.
Ashley can be reached at our Mulford Chapel, at 815-226-2273.
Aaron M. Kerr
Aaron M. Kerr is a lifelong resident of Rockford. He is a 2011 graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science and a second generation family member in funeral service in the Rockford area. Aaron is currently a member of the Chicago Celtic Pipeband, and travels in the U.S. and Canada for band competitions. He also serves as duty piper to the Rockford Police Department and the Northern Illinois Multi Jurisdictional Honor Guard. Aaron and his wife Katie were married at the Second First Congregational Church in 2014, and they have two boys; Keiran and Ronan. Aaron loves to spend his free time with his family and enjoys hunting, fishing, and camping.
Aaron can be reached at our Mulford Chapel, 815-226-2273.
Merrill is a lifelong resident of Rockford since 1942. Merrill attended St. Stanislaus and St. James schools and graduated from East High School. Merrill was first interested in the funeral business at the age of 19 when he researched the activities of a funeral director at the local library. Merrill's hopes for going to mortuary school were put on hold while he served in the U.S. Navy at the age of 20. Merrill served as a cook on the destroyer USS Borie for 2 years. Returning to Rockford, Merrill served many years in the food industry when he met his loving wife in August of 1988. In 1996, Merrill's father passed away and it was at the time he decided to fulfill his dream of becoming a Funeral Director. Merrill graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2001. Merrill has been with Fitzgerald Funeral Home since September 2005 and enjoys his free time with his wife, three children and three grandchildren. Merrill can be reached at 815-226-2273.
Greg Johnson joined the Fitzgerald Funeral Home staff in April 2014. He was influenced early in his life in choosing funeral service as a career by a caring funeral director in his community. He grew up on his family farm in Ohio, Illinois where he assisted with all aspects of farming. Greg graduated from Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg in 2007. He is an avid Chicago Blackhawks fan and loves to go fishing in his spare time.
Greg can be reached at our Mulford Chapel, 815-226-2273.
Pam has worked at Fitzgerald Funeral Home since November of 2000 and is currently the bookkeeper. Previous to coming to the Fitzgerald Funeral Home she worked as an Area Manager for L'Eggs, a division of the Hanes Corporation. Just prior to coming to Fitzgerald Funeral Home she and her husband owned and operated a coffee and donut shop for 18 years. The common theme in her work life has been customer service. As a company, we are always striving to make each service a personal reflection, remembrance and celebration of the life of the deceased. Pam is a member of the Evangelical Free Church of Mt. Morris. In her free time, Pam enjoys walking, traveling and watching any athletic event. Pam can be reached at 815-226-2273 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Advanced Planning Consultant
Pat was born and raised in Rockford, graduating from Boylan High School in 1969, attending Rock Valley College and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. As the Director of Customer Service for three national companies, Pat focused priorities on customer satisfaction. That commitment to excellence always increased market share and profitability for those companies.
Pat is married to Cindy, who has worked her entire career as Pediatrics Intensive Care Nurse. After almost 30 years away from Rockford, they decided to return. They have two children, who also graduated from Boylan and are now attending college. Their daughter is studying Speech Pathology and their son is studying Criminal Justice. They are proud members of St. Bridget parish
Mary Pat Muzzarelli
Administrative Assistant/Advanced Planning Consultant
Mary Pat lives in Rockford with her husband Mike and daughter Sophie. She is an active member of the Cathedral of St. Peter, contributing her time and talent to the Arts & Environment committee and St. Anne Society. Mary Pat is also a member of the Catholic Women’s League and volunteers at Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford. In her free time she can be found in her garden, reading a book, cooking or repurposing old furniture.
Mary Pat Muzzarelli can be reached at our Mulford Chapel, 815-226-2273.
Delinda Grindle, LCSW
Director of Grief Counseling
Director of Grief Counseling at kp Counseling, Delinda Grindle, LCSW along with Fitzgerald Funeral Home, has developed a caring and sensitive program to assist those who have lost a loved one. She helps you in your journey through grief and loss and provides opportunities to begin the process of embracing the uniqueness of your grief. In doing so, Delinda will assist you in finding a new meaning and purpose in life and living in a world that has now changed.
Since experiencing the death of a close family member or friend can be overwhelming, Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory provides one-on-one grief counseling - an important part of your total care. We also provide options for you to share your experiences with others through educational seminars, workshops and area support group programs.
Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory welcomes the opportunity to visit with you or any family members who are interested in learning more about our Grief Counseling Program. For information please call our office (815) 226-2273.
Funeral Director Apprentice
Dan joined the Fitzgerald Funeral Home staff in 2015. He is a lifelong resident of Rockford. Graduated from Guilford High School and Rock Valley College, he also attended NIU. Dan enjoys working with families and helping them in their time of need. He loves the outdoors and spending time with his wife, Wendy and 2 daughters, Stephanie and Brianna. Dan can be reached at our Mulford Chapel, 815-226-2273
Brian O’Kelley is a lifelong resident of north central Illinois, moving to Rockford in 1997. He is a graduate of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL and has 21 years of experience working in senior housing doing marketing and sales and holds an Illinois Nursing Home Administrators license. Brian and his wife Michele have been married for 8 years and have 2 cats, Meeko and Cali. In his spare time he enjoys kayaking and fishing for smallmouth bass in the Rockford area and salmon/steelhead in the Sheboygan WI area.
Brian can be reached at our Mulford Chapel, 815-226-2273.