Bruce Schreffler was born in Kankakee the second of four children in the Schreffler family. Bruce’s youth was filled with the activities common to a young person but he had a strong interest in music and sang in the church youth choir. His love of music would continue into adulthood and his participation in choir moved to the adult choir for a tenure exceeding forty years. Today he shares his enjoyment for classical music with his daughter Amy and on occasion they go into the city to hear the Chicago Symphony.
Bruce’s education included Aroma Park grade school, Kankakee High School class of 61’ and Olivet Nazarene College and finally Worsham College of Mortuary Science. But his real education started at the knee of his father, Bruce recalls always wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps as a funeral director. Of course growing up in a funeral family doesn’t mean you become good at your profession by osmosis. Bruce’s training started with two things, a passion for helping people and the basics—cutting the grass, washing cars, learning the importance of treating every family with undivided attention all under the tutelage of his father. After mortuary school Bruce returned to the funeral home as a director and honed his professional skills. In 1982 at the death of his father Bruce and his wife Susan bought the funeral home from his mother and the next era of care from the Schreffler family started. Today Bruce and Susan work side by side with their two children Sean and Amy, licensed funeral directors in their own right.
Today Bruce is passing on the values of understanding, honesty, fairness and compassion to the third generation of Schreffler care givers. Letting families who have lost a loved one be who they are and allow them time to grieve and say goodbye. Thinking about the death of his own father, Bruce realized the need for their funeral home to provide grief and loss support groups for all the people of the greater Kankakee area.
Even with a full commitment to the funeral home and his professional life, Bruce enjoys being with Susan and dog Grace at the family home in Bourbonnais and finds time to relax playing the piano and organ. He also enjoys traveling and watching sports on TV.
As with everything done at the funeral home Bruce’s goal is to have the Life Story experience help the families he serves move through their grief and come out on the other side healed.
There’s something fundamentally good about being born and raised in a large family and in a caring environment. Susan Schreffler was born in Omaha Nebraska one of nine children in a family of five girls and four boys. Her childhood was consumed with being part of such a large family, and no wonder, with her own family plus many aunts, uncles and cousins there was always a gathering going on or being planned. It was in this large safe place of family that Susan learned by example, from her mother, the Christian values of caring for others that her mother lived by every day. Out of this environment came four registered nurses in the family, including Susan. But that is getting ahead of the story.
Susan moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa at age 15. Her youth was filled with bicycling, baseball and her social life revolved around the youth group at church. From the age of five Susan had a desire to be a registered nurse and the passion never wavered. That meant that following graduation from Council Bluffs High School she would complete nursing training at Nebraska Methodist School of Nursing, Omaha University, Olivet Nazarene University and Kankakee Community College.
In 1968 a different chapter of her life was opened as she married the love of her life Bruce Schreffler, they started their life together moving into the funeral home apartment and her experience in funeral service started that same day.
Susan took her love and passion for nursing to Riverside Medical Center as a new graduate nurse in 1972 and worked there until 1983 when she joined the funeral home staff full time. She would bring the skills of patient care, listening, and compassion to her duties at the funeral home in caring for those experiencing loss in the community.
Susan took the life lessons learned in her large family and shared them with the community of Kankakee. She began the Bereavement Support System in the greater area with development of Grief and Loss Support Groups and Seminars. Never far from her nursing roots she organized a fundraiser between two competing hospitals with thousands of dollars raised going to support a community youth in need of a liver transplant. She has also volunteered as a Sunday school teacher, Youth Group Leader and greeter. She has served numerous community organizations and is current President of the Riverside Medical Center Heart Gala and Board President of Hospice of Kankakee Valley. Always looking for a new challenge Susan is also a Realtor in the area.
Susan resides in Bourbonnais, Illinois with her husband Bruce. She loves to read and it fuels her desire to learn. She enjoys traveling with Bruce and is faithful in exercising.
Nursing schools don’t create nurses and teach them to be caring, they attract caring people and teach them to be a nurse. And so it is with Susan Schreffler and her dreams for the families that use her family funeral home, that they will be served with empathy, compassion and treated like one of her own family members.
When someone dies you not only want direction you want a person who knows the meaning of love and friendship, someone who knows what has been lost at a time of death. That person would be Sean Schreffler, because one of the driving forces in his life are his family and friends, he knows the importance of the human connection and how devastating it is when that connection is forever lost.
As a boy Sean’s life revolved around freestyle biking with his best friend Jeff, the church parking lot, summer camp all were venues for biking. The broken bone count went to four and Sean was considered a frequent flyer in the E.R. Later his attention turned to sports especially football. Sean’s late entry into football as a high school senior made him a less attractive recruit for the colleges, but his passion and his persistence in contacting colleges finally paid off with an opportunity at Olivet Nazarene University. At Olivet Nazarene Sean played defensive end for four years but more importantly made tremendous friendships that are still an important part of his life. Two great influences from his sports days were his coaches, Rich Zinani from Bishop McNamara High School and Mike Conway at Olivet. They extracted the best from Sean and helped in showing him what happens when one uses self discipline, hard work and passion to achieve a goal. The friendships made in high school and with college teammates are still strong today and Sean stays in touch with many throughout the year.
The choice to work in the family business was really easy. Although Sean’s parents were supportive for him to follow any career path, deep down in his heart he knew funeral service was his calling. Watching his father’s dedication to the families served at the funeral home along with his strong work ethic were great influences too, and Sean’s passion for the family business is his way of telling his family thank you for leading by example.
Sean’s youth though was not all work and no play, actually in the early years he helped with the mundane chores of the business, cutting grass and washing cars while he attended Bradley grade school and Bishop McNamara High School. Along with his football accomplishments at Olivet he earned a degree in business.
Today Sean lives in Bourbonnais, IL with his wife Virginia and his children John, Ava and Max. Sean knew Virginia all the way through high school but it wasn’t until after college they connected, there is a controversy about who asked who out, but six months later Sean asked for Virginia to be his wife.
Like many men with a family and business free time is rare, but Sean loves attending the school activities the kids are involved in, keeping up with old friends and following the Chicago Bears and Cubs.
Sean hopes every family leaving Schreffler Funeral Home thinking that they were cared for emotionally just as well as their loved one was memorialized. He feels every service should be as unique as the life that was lived and is willing to create that experience. Not long ago Sean cared for Jason, his best man in his wedding. It was his honor and privilege and like many funeral professionals his heart has become more attuned to loss as he experiences it himself.
Sean sees the family business being part of Life Story Network as a continuing commitment to the families they serve keeping memories alive for those who are left behind.
Being able to “put the shoe on the other foot” says a great deal about David Blank. It means his work is not a job, it’s a passion. It means David is committed to giving superior guidance to every family in every way as they experience the loss of someone they loved. Being attracted to funeral service quite by accident, David liked it right from the first day. He enjoys making things run smoothly for people and taking care of details big and small.
David grew up in Olympia Fields, IL, a unique community with a rich history. It was a wonderful place for a boy to grow up. David excelled in sports—baseball, soccer, and football. He lettered in all three sports in high school and went on to play soccer and baseball for club teams during his college years. David liked the great outdoors, too, especially fishing and camping, learning lessons about both— lessons he is now sharing with his children.
After graduating from Rich Central High School in 1991 David went on to Purdue University and then to Eastern Illinois University. It was when he was home on winter break that a local funeral director who knew him from church needed extra help. David took the opportunity to help out—and the rest is history, as they say. David finished college locally through Prairie State College and Governors State University and then went on to Worsham College of Mortuary Science. After graduation from Mortuary College David served his internship and became a licensed funeral director.
Eventually the funeral home he was with sold to a corporation. David stayed on and managed the firm but working in a corporate structure was limiting to David, limiting in terms of providing the personal service he was used to giving to families. Deciding never to work for a corporately owned funeral home again, David interviewed with Schreffler Family Funeral Homes in May of 2007 and was hired.
David believes every family that calls Schreffler Funeral Homes, “Expects and should receive superior guidance thorough the difficult time they are experiencing. That all aspects of the funeral run smoothly, and that all details big to small be taken care of efficiently and professionally.” David leaves no stone unturned when it comes to making things easier from start to finish for all those involved.
In addition to all the families he serves through Schreffler Funeral Homes, David has a wonderful family of his own. He and his wife, Michele, have two daughters, Randi and Jenna, and two sons, Clayton and Jason. Plus two fun loving black labs, Jax and Sammy. Sometimes it’s a bit of balancing act to do all the things David does professionally and then for his own family, but he does it with ease and enjoyment. He especially loves being involved in his children’s athletic and scholastic events, playing in the yard with them and the dogs, and fishing and camping with the whole family. The life story of the Blank family is full of love, adventure, learning, and togetherness.
David’s desire now is to enhance all the good things Schreffler Funeral Homes already do by providing Life Story Funerals, funerals that focus on the life that was lived, the memories of that life, helping families and friends keep those memories alive.
It seems as though Nancy Wheeler was destined to become a funeral planner. From an early age she took an interest in people; growing up in Bourbonnais with six brothers and three sisters it was hard not to. Nancy attended Maternity BVM Grade school, Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, and would later become licensed as both an insurance provider and a preplanning consultant through the State of Illinois and the National Funeral Directors Association, respectively. Because family was such an important part of Nancy’s early life her interests naturally evolved into the domestic realm. Straight out of high school she was married and started a family, and currently has three daughters.
A precursor to her eventual job as a funeral planner, Nancy began selling funeral accessories out of her home. She sold a wide array of cemetery markers and monuments, and loved the social aspect of her job. She was such a successful and personable saleswoman that in 1999 the local funeral home decided they needed to hire her. Susan Schreffler called her one day and asked her if she would consider joining the funeral home staff. “I realized after meeting with Susan that working in the pre-arrangement department of the funeral home would be a better fit for me, as working with the families doing their final arrangements was something I had given much thought to, and wanted to pursue”, says Nancy.
She currently lives in Herscher, Illinois with her husband, still selling markers and monuments in addition to being the Schreffler Funeral Home Preplanning Consultant. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her children and grandchildren, and of course working at the funeral home as well, where she says she truly loves her job.
Nancy enjoys working with people, and is determined to stand behind her word when a family needs her most. “Families expect me to stand behind my word when their time of need arrives. They also expect superior treatment from myself and my staff, as well as a beautiful and clean facility, quality merchandise, and all else that I had promised them”, she says.
Schreffler Funeral Homes are a part of the Life Story Network, a group of funeral homes that fit in with Nancy’s style perfectly. It brings the most personal touch to their clients, and relishes in sharing with their clients the most intimate details of their lives, and then celebrating them. In Nancy’s opinion, Life Story was the “personal touch” that took Schreffler Funeral Homes over the top.
In addition to prearranging for families, Nancy also meets with families after they’ve had their funeral for grief counseling, advice, and support. She is truly devoted to making her funerals the best experience she can for her families.
Because Chasitie knows how important family is in her own life she is perfectly suited to attend to the needs of other families. She knows the value of personal relationships and the significance of understanding and caring about each other’s feelings, for family and friends alike. When people experience the loss of a loved one it takes a special person to guide them through the process of saying a final goodbye, telling the stories of the life that was lived, and keeping all the memories alive.
Chasitie was born and raised in Kankakee County, a place of great history thanks to the Potawatomi and Iroquois tribes, the Kankakee River, the thriving French settlement of Bourbonnais, and the village of Bradley. Fast forward to 2006 and you have Chasitie Adams graduating from Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, who’s byline is ‘Built on Tradition . . . Preparing for the Future’. And that’s Chasitie personified. She has a wonderful background and a terrific outlook for the future.
After high school Chasitie attended Kankakee Community College and went on to Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, IL. The highly regarded Worsham College was founded in 1911 and is dedicated to educating men and women for the funeral service profession. Chasitie graduated from Worsham in 2011 receiving her Associates Degree in Applied Sciences.
Chasitie lives in Bradley and is a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. She credits her family for her success, for always supporting her in decisions she has made, and for helping her pursue her dreams. Her dad is Ty, mom is Melody, sister is Brittie, and her boxer is Buster! Chasitie loves her work at Schreffler Life Story Funeral Homes. In her spare time she likes to be with her family and friends, take her dog for walks, read, and shop.
Chasitie chose the funeral profession because she has always had an interest in science and she enjoys caring for others. At Schreffler Life Story Funeral Homes she looks forward to helping people honor and remember their their loved ones with stories and memories of lives well lived and by surrounding them with the loving support of family and friends.
Justin chose funeral service as his profession for two outstanding reasons. First, because he wants to make people's lives a little less stressful when dealing with the death of a loved one. And secondly, because he wants to be part of honoring lives well lived though out the community he grew up in. Justin's belief in this vision along with his passion for achieving it will take him far in life by helping countless families and friends keep the life stories and memories of their loved ones alive for generations to come.
Bourbonnais is a vibrant, friendly community known as "The Village of Friendship". Along with restaurants, shopping centers, festivals, community parks, and 18,000 residents, it is home to Olivet Nazarene University and "Summer Home" to the Chicago Bears training camp. This is where Justin grew up, in beautiful Kankakee County, known as a scenic destination just an hour south of Chicago on Interstate 57.
Bradley Bourbonnais Community High School, the home of the Boilermakers, has a slogan that says, "Built on Tradition . . . Preparing for the Future." Committed to teaching creative and critical thinking skills, the school also promotes development of overall health and wellness. Justin played football here and was a wrestler, too. He graduated in 2009. After attending Kankakee Community College for a year he went on to Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, IL.
Justin was a member of Worsham College's Centennial Class, graduating in 2011. He received his Associates Degree in Applied Sciences, graduated with honors, and was a member by invitation of the Mortuary Honors Fraternity. Worsham College is well known as one of the finest educational institutions in the country for the study of mortuary science. Founded in 1911, Worsham celebrated its graduates and one hundred years of educating a legacy of funeral service professionals during the joint convention of the National Funeral Directors Association and the Cremation Association of North America in Chicago in October, 2011.
Justin is the son of Jeff and Trina Bruno, and the brother of Kaylee Bruno. He lives in Bourbonnais and is a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church. He's a sports fanatic, likes to read, and enjoys spending time with friends.
It has been said by Muhammad Ali that champions are made from something they have deep inside them--a desire, a dream, a vision. Justin has a desire, a dream, and a vision to excel in his chosen profession. And at Schreffler Life Story Funeral Homes he will do exactly that. Keeping stories and memories alive is the single best thing occurring anywhere in funeral service today, and Schreffler's are the experts. Justin will do well "Honoring lives well lived though out the community he grew up in."