Suminski Family Funeral Homes Inc, is fully family owned and operated. The tradition of serving families' funeral needs began when John I Suminski established John I Suminski Sons Funeral Home on Brady Street. It has been passed down from parents to children for over 100 years. The third generation of the Suminski’s, Edward, Ronald and Patricia currently operate the business.
There are two funeral home locations, one conveniently located on the East Side of Milwaukee, WI, near Brady Street, Prospect & Farwell Avenues. The second funeral home is located in the Bay View neighborhood on Kinnickinnic Ave on Milwaukee's South Side.
Over the years in an effort to better serve their families and the community around them, the Suminski Family established a working relationship with other existing independently family owned funeral homes. Their efforts to continue a tradition of service their families had become accustomed to, resulted in the Suminskis’ acquiring the Niemann Funeral Home, Weiss Funeral Home, and Voth & Anderson Funeral Home when the owners decided to retire.
Suminski Family Funeral Homes pledge to make a difference in our community by sharing ourselves and our resources to celebrate life. Today we do this by incorporating new technologies in our funeral homes in order to honor and preserve the life story of everyone we serve. Each life story, along with photographs and memories, becomes a family treasure and is handed down from generation to generation.
We know that faith, hope, and love are transmitted from one generation to the next in the cherished recollections of the life that was lived. Every life has a story, and we believe that every story is important. The stories of life, after all, are what knit together the realities of past and future and teach us what we are made of.
Ed SuminskiOwner & Funeral Director
“Helping families in their time of need and making a difference in their lives.” That’s what Ed Suminski dreamed about as young man growing up in Milwaukee. Now he lives his dream and helps countless families and their friends when they have lost someone they loved. Maybe Ed has helped you at one time or another.
Ed’s openness and willingness to share are fundamental parts of who he is. You will know this the first time you meet him. He’s sincere, and eager to listen. You quickly see, too, that he shares his time and experience in way that is comfortable and useful.
As a young man, Ed had the best mentor in the world—his father. Growing up above the funeral home, along with six brothers and sisters, allowed Ed to see and to feel and to overhear all that goes on in a funeral home. The work, the talking, the tears, the laughter did not go unnoticed by young Ed.
Ed attended St. Hedwig, Pio Nono High School, and graduated from St. John’s Cathedral High School in downtown Milwaukee. He was big in sports, playing varsity football, basketball and baseball. Plus he served on the student council and was vice-president of his senior class. That’s along with doing some hunting now and then and helping his dad maintain his rental properties. Ed earned a degree in liberal arts from Concordia College and his degree in funeral service from Milwaukee Area Technical College.
Upon graduation from college Ed thought he would be entering the family business but quickly found out there was no room for another paid funeral director. So he went to work for A.C. Spark Plug in Oak Creek where they manufactured catalytic converters for General Motors Corp. During that time he helped his father and uncle in the family operation.
Ed and his brother, Ron, began managing the Funeral Home in 1984 upon their father's retirement. Ed and Ron both held their jobs in the factory splitting the coverage of the funeral home. Ron worked days, Ed worked nights and they covered the funeral home in their off hours. They began to work with the former owners of the current locations in the mid 80's providing support help for them with preparation of the deceased. In January 1990 Ed’s dream was fulfilled as he became solely dependant upon th Funeral Home for his livelyhood. It was in 1994 that they aquired the two locations they currently operate.
Ed and his wife, Marsha, have three children and a grandson and a granddaughter. Their oldest son, Aaron, and his wife, April, live in Milwaukee with their son, Tyler, and daughter, Morgan. Jaclyn and her husband, Daniel, also live in Milwaukee. Ed and Marsha’s youngest son, Timothy, is at home but will be heading off to college soon.
Ed enjoys spending spare time with his family and helping at church. He serves on the board and is in charge of the Hospitality Department at Parkway Apostolic Church in Oak Creek. He also has fun following Timothy’s basketball and baseball teams.
Ed believes when families call a funeral home they expect a genuine, knowledgeable, caring individual who will listen, provide information and direction to help in the caring for their needs at the time of their loss. He cares about what they are feeling and experiencing and wants them to know he is willing to share; to share his experiences with loss, the experiences of other people and their loss, along with his own time and other resources he knows are helpful.
Every life is special and every life has a story. Ed knows that sharing people’s stories and preserving memories are important to do at the end of life. Stories and memories are the fabric of life after all, the very thing that connects us one to another.
Ron SuminskiOwner & Funeral Director
There is a common theme running through Ron Suminskis’ life, whether former days of playing basketball, his work in a labor union, or helping people through grief at the funeral home, Ron believes you should treat and interact with others just as you would want to be treated; in a manner nothing short of excellence.
Like his six siblings Ron was raised in the heart of the Brady St. neighborhood on the east side of Milwaukee. Another thing he shared with his family was witnessing the operation of the family funeral home, it was in this setting that he learned the value of hard work and helping those in need at a time of loss. Like many young people he didn’t understand the importance of a funeral and saying good bye to a loved one until he started adding years to his life.
Ron attended grade school at St. Hedwig now closed, but the church remains in it’s current version as a merged parish, Three Holy Women Parish, and he and his family are current members there. Ron loved team sports as a kid, especially basketball. He graduated from St. Francis Jordon boys school in 1968 and the school closed the following year; Ron insists there was no connection to the two events.
After high school Ron received an Associate of Arts Degree from Concordia College, while there he continued his love for sports by playing basketball for the college and participating in a variety of intramural sports. He went on and completed his degree for mortuary science from the Milwaukee Area Technical College in the 1970’s.
Ron worked in manufacturing for 20 years but over that time he and his brother Ed continued to help his father in the family funeral home and in 1984 they acquired the business although they continued their day jobs. In manufacturing Ron became very active in the union and eventually served as president of the local, adding to his resume of helping people. In 2008 Ron retired from his manufacturing job and now devotes his work time completely to the funeral home.
Ron and his wife Mary life in Shorewood, Wisconsin where they have raised their three daughters. He cherishes his time with family and friends and enjoys traveling, finding new restaurants and going to the theatre. When there is time he also likes to hike especially in our nations’ national parks. These activities give him balance in his life and keep him energized to serve the client families at Suminski Family funeral home.
Pat SuminskiOwner & Office Administrator
In this day of high mobility, people moving from job to job and community to community, it is often heard that people long to return to their roots. Then there are people like Pat Suminski, the oldest of a large Polish family of seven, she was born and raised above the original Suminski Funeral Home on Brady St. Life has taken her full circle and she lives now at that same location.
The neighborhood on Brady St. was the center of her life growing up watching her father Edward J., and her uncle John P. helping the families of the Brady St. neighborhood through their time of loss. It was only natural that eventually she would join her brothers Ed and Ron as partner in the funeral business, but that is getting ahead of the story.
As a young girl Pat attended St. Hedwig Catholic grade school, Holy Angels Academy, now known as Divine Savior / Holy Angels High School. In her youth she was active in sports playing volleyball and softball, and helping around the family home.
Pat started working at the age of 16, probably a result of witnessing her parents’ work ethic around the funeral home. Her early entry into the work force didn’t prevent her from going on with her education though, gathering a BA degree from the University of Wisconsin / Milwaukee, a Certificate in Computer Science at Alverno College and MBA coursework at Cardinal Stritch College.
Pat’s work career includes being a retail store manager for Pill & Puff, a health and beauty aids store. She managed Alverno’s student micro-computer lab and was later promoted to Director of Administrative Computing. During that time, she also taught computer office applications for Telesis - Alverno’s Community Outreach Programs. “In her spare time” she supported her father and brothers at the funeral home doing paper work, cleaning and bookkeeping. She was in the background but still supporting families in a time of loss. In 1994 she became a partner with her brothers and in 1996 she joined the funeral home work force full time.
Her desire to work in the funeral home stems from the desire to guide families through the initial steps of grief helping them to honor and say goodbye to their family members as only one from their neighborhood can do; making sure the life stories of her neighbors are preserved for the next generations.
Pats’ interest in the neighborhood doesn’t end with the funeral home; after all she lives there too. She moved into the flat behind the one her mother raised her six siblings and her in when she was in college, and was proud to be able to still be there to care for both of them until their deaths.
Pat loves the Brady Street Area and the surrounding neighborhoods. She serves as trustee for Three Holy Women Catholic Parish. She is on the Board of Directors for the Brady Street Area Association and the Brady Street Business Improvement District. You can find her working in the garden, volunteering for neighborhood association and church events, or enjoying a cup of coffee at one of Brady Streets coffee shops and sharing neighborhood history. After all these years she still is fascinated as she takes long walks. She loves to brag to folks that she can step outside her door and in 10 minutes be on the shores of Lake Michigan or the Milwaukee River, or be in the middle of a vibrant historic neighborhood or ever-changing downtown Milwaukee and its museums.
Michelle LampingFuneral Director
When Michelle is not at the funeral home helping families of the East side coping with the loss of a family member, you may find her at home reading or enjoying music, or just spending time with her husband and cat.
Michelle grew up in western Wisconsin on the shores of the Mississippi River alongside her two siblings. Maybe that is why Michelle landed in Milwaukee it has two things in common with her home town, it’s in Wisconsin and on the water.
Michelle studied at UW-Lacrosse and University of Wisconsin at Madison obtaining her undergraduate degree before attending Milwaukee Area Technical College for her mortuary science training. Michelle started working for Suminski Family Funeral Homes while still in mortuary school.
Michelle knows that families expect her to provide them with compassionate guidance when a death occurs, and to help share the memory of their loved one.
Russell EbbingerService Assistant
When Russell was a senior in high school he wrote a paper on being a funeral director. Maybe it's happenstance, maybe it was the interview he did then with the funeral director, but something has brought him full circle so-to-speak. Now, in his retirement years, Russ works in a funeral home.
It was in the graceful, rolling hills of Wisconsin farmland that Russell grew up. In North Cape, WI, nine miles east of Waterford. His father ran a farm there. It was beautiful country and a great place for young Russ to enjoy some of his favorite things, like fishing, hunting, and swimming.
Russell went to grade school in North Cape and to high school in nearby Waterford. From high school he went on to trade school and studied electronics. This education in technology and engineering served him well and led him to a wonderful 32-year career at General Electric. You've probably had an x-ray at some point in your life. Well, Russ worked in GE's Medical Division building those x-ray machines.
When Russ retired he received some good advice. "It's better to be busy and not lay around!" Funeral service was something he'd always wanted to do, ever since he wrote that paper in high school. As luck would have it, one day Edward Suminski offered Russ an opportunity to work at Suminski Family Funeral Homes--and he jumped at the chance.
Russ fits in perfectly in the funeral home, helping people with directions, answering their questions during visitations and funerals, and giving assistance wherever and whenever he can. His own personal mission is to help families and friends in any possible way to ease the grieving of their loved one. Russ says, too, that he never realized all that being a funeral director involved before he began working at Suminski Family Funeral Homes. It's about the details, he says, endless details that need to be attended to.
Russell has noticed, too, that the way Suminski's write people's life stories and put them into print and film has a good affect upon families--meaning they get a chance to remember things they have forgotten about their loved ones. He has seen first-hand that sharing the life story with other family members and friends is healing, because it helps them keep the memories of their loved ones alive.
Russell lives in Milwaukee with his wife, Marge. He likes spending his free time reading, hunting, and fishing. Look for him next time you're at the funeral home. You will enjoy meeting him.
Anne MeredithPre-Need Specialist
Growing up in the funeral business has certainly given me the ability to discuss the topic of funeral planning. At a young age, I quickly understood the unique family to family relationship with our Racine community, which set the stage for me. I knew that people were my business and passion. After completing high school as a foreign exchange student in Denmark, I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s Degree in Scandinavian Studies and Studio Arts.
In keeping with my sense of adventure and background my early career was in the travel industry, where I lived abroad for ten years as a tour social coordinator. I lived in the Mediterranean, particularly Corfu, Greece for four years and then moved to the Caribbean. I enjoyed island living in Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda and Mexico ….as well as hosted cruise ships. A constant thread throughout my career was my innate ability to deal with people of all cultures, religions and different backgrounds.
Family matters beckoned my return to Racine. In this next phase of my career I held various executive sales and marketing positions in fine printing paper and direct mail marketing advertising sales. These jobs honed in on my skill to determine needs assessment, which in essence helped me to determine best product solution.
My career came full circle when I joined my family- owned and operated funeral firm, Maresh-Meredith & Acklam in 2005, where I developed an ongoing successful pre-need program. Returning to my family roots, combined with successfully living in many diverse cultures and holding consultative sales marketing positions uniquely prepared me to listen and understand each individual, their needs, to personalize and select the funeral of their choice and budget and make their wishes known for their celebration of life. I was happy to be able to extend my services to the families of the Milwaukee family-owned and operated funeral firm, Suminski Family Funeral Homes in 2014. It is my honor as rest of the Meredith and Suminski families to help, educate and serve our wonderful communities.