Our dedicated and supportive team are here to guide you through this difficult journey. We take pride in anticipating your needs and strive to do our absolute best to ensure your needs are met. We are here for you.
Our Licensed Funeral Directors
Brian S. Merkle L.F.D.
Manager of North Monroe
President of Merkle Funeral Service, Inc.
Brian S. Merkle is a lifelong Monroe County resident. The son of Larry W. and Marilyn S. (Voss) Merkle he is the oldest of two boys. He married the former Tammy (Haynes) on June 22, 2001 and together they have three children, Olivia, Merin, and Ethan and two dogs, Lola a Certified Therapy Dog and Layla.
Brian is a 1996 Monroe High School graduate, and a 1999 Monroe County Community College graduate. He obtained his bachelor's degree from Wayne State University in Mortuary Science in 2000 whiles serving his practicum at the Anderson Funeral Home in Adrian.
Brian completed Funeral Service Apprenticeship with the Bennett Funeral Homes in Monroe and Erie, and the David C. Brown Funeral Home in Belleville, Michigan. For four years Brian served the residents of Monroe as a Licensed Funeral Director at the Bennett Funeral Homes. He also managed the Erie Facility for three years. For more than two years Brian worked as a Licensed Funeral Director with Ochalek-Stark Funeral Service, Milan and Stark Funeral Service, Ypsilanti.
On July 17, 2007, the Merkle family opened Merkle Funeral Service, North Monroe to better serve the Monroe Community. In 2011, Brian obtained his State of Ohio Embalmers and Funeral Director's dual licenses.
Brian currently serves his community as an Emergency Medical Technician for Monroe Community Ambulance where has been employed since June of 2006. He also is a state certified member of the Monroe County Critical Incident Stress Management Team. For more than fifteen years, Brian has been a member of the Monroe Exchange Club. He is a past President, past blood drive chair, and is active with the GoodFellows Paper Sale.
Brian is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church where he is a past Chair Person of the Day School Commission, Elder, Principals Advisory Committee, and as the Vice-President of Education on Church Council. He currently serves as an usher and on the Endowment Fund Committee, and on the Church Board of Directors.
A state certified firefighter and an Ice Rescue Technician, Brian served from 1997 until 2010 with the Monroe Charter Township Fire Department. He was the past chairperson of the 9-11, Memorial Tower Climb Committee, was appointed as a Trustee and chaired the Board of Review for Monroe Township. He was chosen as the Firefighter of the Year in 2004 by the Monroe Kiwanis Club.
Brian is a former member and Vice-President of the Dundee Business Dynamics and of the Business Network International Chapter I, Monroe.
In 2014, Brian was chosen as a recipient of the prestigious 20 under 40 Award. This Leadership Recognition Program showcases young, dynamic leaders in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan who are under the age of 40. The program recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in their careers and/or in the community.
In April of 2018, Brian was chosen as the Alumnus of the Year for Monroe County Community College. He also serves with the Monroe Aging Consortium as the Vice-President.
In his free time Brian enjoys spending time with his family, running, weight lifting, and playing soccer.
Janice L. Redden L.F.D.
Manager of Dundee
Secretary/ Treasurer of
Merkle Funeral Service, Inc.
Advanced Funeral Planner
Janice joined the Merkle Funeral Service Team in July of 2012 as a Funeral Directors Apprentice. She graduated magna cum laude from Wayne State University in August of 2012 achieving her Bachelor Degree in Mortuary Science. She became a Licensed Funeral Director in the State of Michigan in March of 2013 and then obtained her Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors of Ohio dual license on March 17, 2015 to better serve families.
In 2018, Janice obtained her limited life insurance license through the State of Michigan. She serves Merkle Funeral Service by assisting families with their advanced planning needs. Janice loves to educate our clients with one on one appointments or group seminars to discuss options and the value of advanced planning. She loves being involved in the local community and is an active member of the Dundee Downtown Development Authority, volunteers at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan, and is a volunteer of the Michigan Defense Force. Janice also gives back to her profession as a member of the Wayne State University Advisory Board.
Janice also takes great pride in overseeing the Memorial Division of Merkle Custom Memorials. She appreciates the opportunity to help families design permanent memorials for their loved ones.
Janice had previously spent more than twenty years in the dental profession, graduating from the University of Michigan in 1997 with a Bachelor Degree in Dental Hygiene. She was employed for Dr. Robert Farber of Dearborn for thirteen years, and had previously worked as a Dental Assistant at Concord Dental for seven years.
Janice grew up in the Westland area, where she met her husband of more than twenty years, Jeff Redden. The couple and their two children Elliah and Gavin moved to Monroe County in 2006. Jeff is employed as a Supervisor by Jacobs Technology at Ford Motor Company.
In her free time Janice enjoys spending time with her family and completing home improvement projects. She loves outdoor activities including bike riding and spending time at the beach, and she also enjoys hula.
Kristen S. Orme, L.F.D.
Manager of South Monroe
Kristen Sicora Orme, the youngest of two daughters, grew up in Romulus, Michigan. She graduated from Romulus High School in 1995. She started a family of her own and was a stay at home mother to Sicora and Sianna. Once both of her girls were in school full time, she decided to further her education to earn a college degree. Kristen graduated Summa Cum Laude from Wayne County Community College in 2011. She continued her education at Wayne State University earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Mortuary Science graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2012.
Kristen began her career in funeral service in 2008 at Crane Funeral Home, serving the families of Romulus from 2008 through 2012. She then took a position with Service Corporation International, the nation’s largest funeral provider serving funeral homes throughout the State of Michigan from 2012 until 2018. Kristen took a break from funeral service for almost a year and worked as a bartender/trainer at Black Rock Bar and Grill. Even though she loved her position at Black Rock, she missed her calling as a funeral director and recently join the team at Merkle Funeral Service as a licensed funeral director, being named the Manager of the South Monroe facility.
In her spare time, Kristen loves Harry Potter, the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Lions. She enjoys spending time Up North with her family. Kristen stays busy with her dogs; Shredder and Diesel; cats, Nymphadora and Zelena; and her daughter’s tarantula, Phobia.
Gerard "Gerry" Philips, L.F.D.
Manager of Erie
Gerard “Gerry” Phillips and his wife Karen reside in Grosse Pointe Park and together they have two daughters, Lindsey and Margaret. Gerry is somewhat new to funeral service. His original education and experience focused on accounting, finance, and computer science. He has worked at the Detroit Athletic Club (D.A.C.) as their IT Director since 2004.
In early 2012, after two losses in his family in less than two months’ time, including his twin brother, Gerry began questioning how he could best help others who find themselves in similar circumstances. After helping the funeral home staff with computer problems for a year, he decided to go back to school to obtain his mortuary science license. In 2015, Gerry joined Merkle Funeral Service as a student trainee. He completed his practical experience at a funeral home closer to his home, and graduated from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in April of 2017. Gerry returned to Merkle in July 2017 after receiving his license.
Gerry loves being a funeral director and being there to assist families in every possible way, just as those who helped him several years ago.
In his spare time, Gerry enjoys spending time with his family and friends as well as his dachshund, Marlie.
Michael L. Merkle, L.F.D.
Michael L. Merkle is a lifelong Monroe resident. He attended Monroe High School and graduated with the Class of 2000. He graduated from Monroe County Community College in May of 2007 and then attended Wayne State University obtaining his Bachelor Degree from Wayne State University graduating in August of 2008.
Michael served his Practicum and then later his apprenticeship at the Voran Funeral Homes in Wayne County. He then spent one and a half years with the Uht Funeral Home of Westland as a Licensed Funeral Director.
Michael married the former Penny Doherty on October 20, 2007. They are the proud parents of William Joseph and make their home with, Zeus, a miniature Siberian Husky.
He formerly was a member of the Monroe Charter Township Fire Department as a state certified firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician from July of 2000 through October of 2016. He served in several capacities with the department including Treasurer and President of the Firefighters Association. Michael also chaired the committee for the Monroe County Emergency Invitational Bowling Tournament for several years.
To further his passion of community service, Michael attended the Oakland University Police Academy. He currently uses his skills to serve the City of Monroe as a Public Safety Officer.
In his spare time, Michael enjoys outdoor activities, lifting weights, and he is also an avid soccer player.