Cress Funeral Home



Let’s Meet Our Staff

Not all families are alike.  If they were, they might request a standardized funeral service.  The truth is that families are not at all alike…and that’s why the experience of our staff is helping families in all walks of life is so vitally important.  Every member of our staff has been selected for their specific fitness to the high standards that the Cress Family has maintained for over 137 years.  We have been enriched and blessed with a caring and compassionate staff that truly are involved in our communities and want to make a difference in people’s lives.

W. Robert (Bob) Cress Company Founder and Funeral Director †In Memory
William (Bill) R. Cress Funeral Director
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I like to call Stoughton my home.  It was in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin where I graduated from high school in 1969 and lettered in football at Sun prairie High school.  In 1973, I received my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in Psychology.  The following year, in 1974 I graduated from the Southern Illinois University Mortuary School.  In 1975 I became a licensed funeral director.  Two years later, I was promoted to Vice President.  I currently serve as President of Cress Funeral Service. In 1979 I married Sherry Georgi. I am very proud of my wife and our family which includes three sons – Rob, Matthew and Patrick.  I can tell you that nothing means more to us than our health.  My wife Sherry is a cancer survivor and we are blessed to have each day with the ones we love.  Sherry is a very active and vibrant member of the Stoughton Relay for Life.I am a member of the Stoughton Lions Club, Christ Lutheran Church in Stoughton, Zor Shrine and the State of Wisconsin Crematory Council.  I enjoy my family foremost and in no particular order of importance – photography, computers and traveling the globe.

I have spent my entire career serving the families of Southern Wisconsin with care and compassion.  I never take any passing lightly.  This is why I became a funeral director.  To care for families in their time of need.  That’s what really a funeral director is all about – helping people in our community through a difficult time.  This job is never easy.  Each experience has taught me a new lesson and I believe has gained me the true meaning of a helping hand.

At Cress Funeral Service, I hope you find the best quality of service available at a fair price.  I also hope you know that because each family is unique, we want to help tell your “story”.  At Cress Funeral Service, our focus is “personalizing” your remembrance, not just having a funeral.

Carey Cress-FoseDirector of Business Administration
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Thank you for visiting Cress Funeral Service. As a member of the Cress family and leadership team, I want to make myself available to visit with you at your convenience for any need you may have. Please, feel welcomed to contact me at

Since my start in 1982 as an intern in public accounting, I have also worked in manufacturing, productivity consulting and non-profit organizations fine-tuning my operational perspective, constraint management practices and leadership skills, while building a caring and robust business culture. I bring this broad knowledge base along with compassion and respect to my work in the funeral business alongside other family members and a deeply committed group of staff members.

My husband, Mike Fose and children, Carter and Whitney have lived in Middleton since 1998. As a family, we love to explore the Wisconsin waterways, romp in the fields with our dog, Ritz, and traverse the slippery slopes of the Rocky Mountains.

The opportunity to work with our family operated funeral, cremation and reception business has been wonderful. It is very fulfilling to be side-by-side with family and staff members who are passionate about extending care to the communities we live in. In addition, it is especially significant to be a part of my father’s dream and to be contributing to his legacy of service.

Dan Fose Director of Public Relations
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I was born in Madison and grew up primarily in Sun Prairie with my parents, four brothers and one sister, graduating from Sun Prairie High School in 1976.  During my high school years, I enjoyed practically every sport. You could always find an excuse to be outdoors playing a pick-up game with your friends. I particularly enjoyed playing hockey, football and baseball in high school.

After high school, I stayed close to home attending the University of Wisconsin here in Madison. I earned my Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Accounting in 1980 and received my CPA certification shortly thereafter.

I married Mary Cress in 1982 and together we have raised three wonderful children.  I might add that all three have helped with the family business handling regular chores like lawn mowing, planting flowers and computer data entry.  You can say, it has been a family affair.

From 1981-1986 I enjoyed working as a CPA,  primarily with Smith and Gesteland, CPA’s.  In 1986, I joined Cress Funeral and Cremation Service as Vice President and Treasurer. Through my work at Cress, I have learned much more than I ever did in college.

I am a member of the Madison West Towne-Middleton Rotary Club, Blackhawk Church, and Zor Shrine as well as several other community based organizations.  In my free time you will find me snow skiing, playing soccer, enjoying a good book or any activity that involves my family.

It is a privilege and honor to be part of the Cress family.  Both Bob and Bill Cress are men filled with integrity and the desire to help serve each family with compassion during their time of loss.  I have been blessed with the gifts of encouragement, service, love and compassion.  My hope is that we will be an encouragement to each and every family that we serve with the opportunity to touch their lives with love and compassion.

Scott Kundinger Director of Operations & Funeral Director
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With a family background in funeral service, Scott took immediate interest in providing care to families in the death of their loved one. He has been with Cress since 1999. Scott graduated from Milwaukee Area Technical College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mortuary Science in 1996. In his “off time” he enjoys a good round of golf, hunting and spending time with his wife and three children. Scott also enjoys watching Wisconsin Badger and Green Bay Packer football games. Scott takes great pride in establishing a strong bond with the families he serves. He has helped implement a Veterans service package honoring those that have served our country. Scott is a Regional Representative of the Funeral Service and Cremation Alliance of Wisconsin (FSCA), which has allowed him to learn more about funeral service and develop his professional strengths. As Operations Manager, Scott oversees the daily operations of all eight Cress locations. Feel free to contact Scott regarding any questions or concerns you may have and how the Cress Family can help serve you better.

nicole-gensler-2016Nicole Gensler Managing C.A.R.E. Specialist and Funeral Director
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Nicole Gensler is a Licensed Funeral Director, Managing C.A.R.E. Specialist and CANA
Certified Crematory Operator at Cress Funeral & Cremation Service. She obtained her
Associates Degree in Mortuary Science from Milwaukee Area Technical College and became a
Wisconsin Licensed Funeral Director in 2010. She has also been a Wisconsin Licensed
Cosmetologist since 2003.

Nicole’s untiring devotion and dedication to the highest standards of embalming and post
mortem reconstructive surgical care has been evident throughout her career. She attended the
Fountain National Academy of Professional Embalming Skills Seminars in Springfield, Missouri
in 2014 and 2016. She also attended the National Funeral Directors Association National
Convention in 2017 where she continued to advance her embalming skills and techniques under
the guidance of industry experts. Nicole strongly believes in sharing her knowledge to ensure the
Cress C.A.R.E team maintains the highest standards necessary to provide quality professional
care for the families served.

Nicole’s passion for viewing and visitation of the body after death comes from enduring loss at a
young age and being blessed with strong family values. She is dedicated to assisting and
directing families during this critical time in life when a death occurs and grief becomes a reality.
Her goal is to provide all families the choice to have an open casket viewing which is an
important and powerful psychological benefit for the grieving family and friends. She focuses on
giving families a peaceful, respectful and lasting memory when viewing their loved one for the
final time.

Nicole relishes time spent with family, outdoor activities, music, yoga and being on the open
road whether driving her classic convertible or her Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Yvonne M. Slonaker, CFuE, CCrE, CCManaging Funeral Director, Certified Cremation Executive and Certified Celebrant
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Yvonne M. Slonaker is a managing funeral director with Cress Funeral & Cremation Service of the Madison area. Yvonne is proud to be part of the Cress Family team. The Cress Family has given her the opportunity to serve families with a personal touch, gentle approach and while still being able to provide a memorable service to families at their greatest time of need.

She is a native of Lake City, Minnesota and a graduate from Lake City High School. After attending the University of River Falls, Slonaker received an associate degree in Mortuary Science at Milwaukee Area Technical College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 2016, Yvonne completed four years of course work to graduate from ICCFA University and in 2017 completed their Master’s Program. Following graduation, she was welcomed to join the educational staff as a professor at the University.

She is a certified celebrant, who helps tell a loved one’s journey in life, one story at a time. Yvonne is also a certified crematory administrator, counselor and operator. She presents to local organizations and peers in her profession within her community to educate them about the death care profession.

Yvonne is a member of Funeral Service and Cremation Alliance of Wisconsin (FSCA), National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) and International Cemetery, Cremation Funeral Association (ICCFA).

She is on the ICCFA Sales and Marketing Committee,the ICCFA Woman of Leadership Committee, a mentor for ICCFA to be resource for individuals within our profession and is a published funeral director.

When Yvonne is not in the office, she enjoys being a mom to her teenage daughter Morgan, being the proud spectator at all her sporting events, baking, finishing one of the many craft projects that her mind is ready to replicate, dreaming of her next vacation and most of all spending time with her dear family and friends.

Please feel free to reach out to Yvonne at any time, via her email at or the office at 608-249-6666, if she can assist you in any way in regards to details pertaining to preneed, at need, after care and most importantly, how the Cress Family can help serve you.

2015 Michelson, CChristine MickelsonManaging Funeral Director and Certified Cremation Specialist
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Christine is originally from Hartland/Oconomowoc area. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts from UW-Oshkosh, she realized her true passion was to pursue a career in funeral service. She was fortunate to be given the opportunity to serve her apprentice at Krause Funeral Home in Milwaukee. After graduating from Milwaukee Area Technical College with an Associate’s Degree in Mortuary Science, she received her Wisconsin funeral licensure in 2008. She has been a proud member of the Cress team since May of 2014.

When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family including her husband, Justin, their spunky daughter, Penelope and new born son, Chance. She is honored to be a part of the Madison community and looks forward further serving her surrounding community.

Harvey Winn Managing Funeral Director
Jeff OlsonManaging Funeral Director, Certified Celebrant and Monument Design Specialist
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I was born and raised in Brodhead WI and graduated from Brodhead High School in 1983. I was a specialty food salesman for 17 years, until with the love and support of my wife I returned to school, graduating from MATC-West Allis in 2006 with an Associates Degree in Funeral Service. I live in Brodhead, and have been married to my wife Stacey for 20 years, and have three children, Caitlyn, Brianne and Brendan. I like to spend time with my family, and working on home improvement projects. I enjoy assisting families in their time of need, and am pleased to be part of the Cress organization.

Jessica Pharo Managing Funeral Director, Monument Specialist
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Jessica was born in Madison and graduated from McFarland High School. She attended Milwaukee Area Technical College and received her Associate’s Degree in Funeral Service. Jessica has been devoted to helping the families of Cress Funeral & Cremation Service since 1998. She is active in the community as the Director for Leadership Stoughton, Board Member of Stoughton Hospital Foundation, active with the McFarland Chamber of Commerce and Verona PTO. When not at work, Jessica enjoys spending time with her family, especially her husband and three sons.

BJ ChrislerAdvance Planning Specialist
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Growing up on a dairy farm in Sauk Prairie, Wisconsin, BJ learned at a young age the joys and discomforts of agricultural life. When he wasn’t helping on the farm, BJ could usually be found in the family flower shop assisting his mother with design, delivery, and welcoming clients. BJ attended UW-Madison, pursuing a degree in Community and Environmental Sociology and Business Administration. After experiencing making funeral plans after his father passed away in 2016, BJ began to research what his family could have done differently to be better prepared. After learning more about the preplanning process, he decided to leave his job as an Assistant Director with UW-Madison Housing and begin assisting families on a daily basis. In his free time, BJ can be found riding his Harley Davidson, boating with family on Lake Wisconsin, bartending at Smoky’s Club or hosting gatherings at his home. BJ’s goal at the funeral home is simply to educate families and provide peace of mind knowing that there are no doubts as to what services have been chosen.
Caralyn StellflueAdministrative Assistant
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Caralyn is has worked in funeral service for over 7 years in both Rhinelander and here in Madison. Along with caring and dedicated co-workers, she looks forward to continuing to serve grieving families at such a critical time in their lives. She finds helping people through this difficult period to be truly rewarding and is honored to be part of the Cress team.

Caralyn is a graduate of UW-Madison. She and her husband, John, reside in Sun Prairie with their two daughters, Carissa and Katelyn. Spontaneous family adventures are her favorite part of life, but she also enjoys reading, quilting, gardening, and boating. All members of the Stellflue family are devoted fans of the Badgers and Packers.

Daniel Plitzuweit Funeral Director
danp@cressfuneralservice.comView Biography

I have been a licensed Wisconsin funeral director and embalmer since January 1999, and a licensed insurance agent for burial agreements since April 2003.

I was raised in Watertown, and currently live in Lake Mills with my wife, Rebecca and 3 daughters.

When I am away from work, I enjoy spending time with my family and riding my motorcycle.

I am proud to work at Cress, and have the opportunity to help families in the greater Dane County area.

Darrin KolkaAdvance Planning Specialist
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I was born and raised in Wild Rose, WI. I then moved to the Fox Valley area to attend Fox Valley Technical College and received my Associate’s Degree in Marketing in 1997. After marrying my wife Melissa in 2000, we moved to Sun Prairie in 2001 and have been living in the Madison area ever since. I enjoys bicycling and volleyball in the summer months and snowboarding in the winter months. I am also the head coach for Middleton High School boys and girls snowboard teams.I am happy to be working for the best company in all of Dane county. I love helping families plan for the future and teaching them how advance planning is the right move for everyone to make. I look forward to working with you and your family.

Debbie OlsonAdministrative Assistant
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I was born in Texas, grew up in Colorado, and have lived most of my adult life in Wisconsin. I currently reside in Madison and I am the proud mother of two beautiful grown daughters, Ashley and Kelly. I am an animal lover and enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I believe that my own personal experience with the loss of my husband will help me assist in providing the kindness and compassion to others that was given to me and my family by Cress. I am very pleased to have joined the Cress Team.

StaffPick-CorrectElena P. Kostecke-Sengstock C.A.R.E. Specialist & Funeral Director
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A Wisconsin native, Elena attended UW-Madison, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology in 2009, followed by MATC-Milwaukee for her Associate’s Degree in Mortuary Science in 2012. In 2013, she joined the Cress family as an apprentice in 2013, and received her Funeral Director’s License the following year; she is also a CANA Certified Crematory Operator. She is proud to be a member of the C.A.R.E. Team and takes great pride in her work. Elena lives in Madison with her husband, Peter, and their cats. When not at work, she enjoys traveling, fitness, and food.

Ginger WinnFuneral Assistant
Heather Holy Advance Planning Specialist
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I was born in Madison WI, and grew up in a small town not too far away, Village of Mt. Horeb. Now I am live with my family just outside of Lodi on Lake Wisconsin where we take advantage of our short Wisconsin summers on the lake with many boating trips and outings. During the winter, I tend to stay warm with a good movie or I travel! When it comes to travel, anywhere it’s sunny and warm is fine by me!

I am honored to be a member of the Cress Family. It’s been an absolute pleasure working with and serving our families. I see so much value to planning in advance and I have seen many sighs of relief from this gift.

When you are ready to ask a few questions, I look forward to being able to help you and your family.

jennifer-heimdahlJennifer HeimdahlFuneral Director and Monument Design Specialist
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Jennifer Heimdahl has been a licensed funeral director for eleven years and has been a part of the Cress Family since 2007. She was born and raised in Trempealeau and Blair, Wisconsin. She attended the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse and transferred to Minneapolis, graduating in 2002 from the University of Minnesota’s Mortuary Science Program. She is a member of the McFarland American Legion Auxiliary. “It’s a natural curiosity to wonder how someone decides to choose this career; for me, losing loved ones at a young age gave me perspective that funerals are tributes and a valuable part of the grieving process. That understanding inspired me to pursue a career offering that help and support to families through their times of tragedy and loss.”

Jim MuellerFuneral Assistant
Lisa BronkFuneral Director and Certified Cremation Specialist
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Lisa graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996, with a B.S. in mortuary science. She previously was a licensed funeral director in California before she obtained her funeral director’s license in Wisconsin in 2001. Lisa resides in Sun Prairie with her husband and two children. She is a member of St. Albert Catholic Church. Lisa enjoys her profession because of the families she meets and the stories they share about their loved ones.
Lon SlonakerFuneral Director and Monument Design Specialist
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I was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI, graduating from Wisconsin Lutheran High School in 1992. I attended a semester at Wisconsin Lutheran College before transferring to Milwaukee Area Technical College where I received my Associate’s Degree in Mortuary Science in 1997. I received my Funeral Director’s License in 1998. In October of 1998, I moved to DeForest. I have two daughters, Kelsey and Morgan and a grandson, Kaiden.I have been serving families in the De Forest area as a Funeral Director since 1998, and I continue to serve the community at Cress Funeral Home in Sun Prairie and Madison.

I am a member of the DeForest Lions Club, I served on the board of Adult Child Discipleship at Eastside Lutheran School, and I’m currently on the board at the Colonial Club in Sun Prairie.

In my off time, I enjoy spending time with my two daughters and grandson, watching Morgan play basketball, running and reading.

Samantha Raucci Funeral Director & Certified Cremation Specialist
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Samantha comes to us from the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She was born and raised in Barrington, Il and she has been working in the funeral industry since 2016. She attended the University of Missouri- Columbia and received her Associate’s degree from Harper College in Palatine, Il in 2011. She graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in March 2018 with honors as a member of the Pi Sigma Eta fraternity. In 2017, Samantha took a hiatus from her schooling to work at the Walt Disney World resort in Orlando, Florida as part of the Disney College Program. She moved to Wisconsin shortly after and began working as an apprentice. Samantha earned her funeral director’s license on February 19th, 2019. Still new to the Madison area, she enjoys discovering new places to eat and fun things to do with her boyfriend, Eddie. Although she is from Chicago, she does enjoy the occasional Madison Mallards game. A former pastry chef, she loves baking and decorating cakes and is a volunteer for the Icing Smiles organization. When Samantha is not working, she is usually planning her next trip to Walt Disney World, hanging out with her family, or reading books about powerful women like herself.

renee-gray-2016Renee Gray Administrative Assistant
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I live in McFarland and am the mother of four children, Cassie, Luke, Alyssa and Michael. Not long after my husband passed away, I began working at HospiceCare, Inc. and really grew to love supporting people during their time of loss. I am very excited to be working at Cress where I am able to provide support to our clients, as well as the incredible staff. I feel that my personal and professional experience with loss will help me provide the kindness and compassion that people deserve at this time. Outside of work, I enjoy doing anything with my family!

Roger Head Facilities & Grounds Coordinator
Scott Harter Facilities & Grounds Coordinator
Walter Kubly Funeral Director

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