George Menke – Founder and Funeral Director
George, an Arizona native and lifelong West Valley resident and graduate of Glendale High School, founded the funeral home in 1977. He attended Phoenix College in Phoenix Arizona and subsequently graduated from the California College of Mortuary Science in Los Angeles, California in 1963. Following graduation, George became instrumental in the funeral profession, serving on the Arizona Board of Funeral Directors & Embalmers and holding membership in the many professional associations. His community efforts include Associate Membership of Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge #32, member of the Critical Incident Review Board for Arizona Department of Public Safety, Charter Member of the Lakeview Rotary Club – Sun City and the Sunrise Lions Club – Glendale, past board member of the Glendale Boys & Girls Clubs and Northwest Valley Chamber of Commerce.
He continues to serve the community on a daily basis, as well as provide counsel and support to our staff.
Peder Strand – Licensed Funeral Director
Peder has been serving families in their time of need since 1993. Peder received his degree in mortuary science from Vincennes University after graduating from the University of North Dakota. He has been a funeral director with Menke Funeral & Cremation Center since 2000. Peder states, “The ultimate compliment is for those families we have served in the past to call upon us again when the need arises.”
Peder is a native of Montana. He is a current resident of Avondale. He is married to his wife Kathy, who happens to be our administrative assistant, has 2 children and 3 dogs. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Sun City Del Sol, enjoys fitness, reading, and is an avid aquarist.
Robert Zimmerman – Licensed Funeral Director
Robert “Rob” began his career in funeral service while in high school in 1977. Rob graduated from the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service after graduating from New Mexico State University. Rob has served as a licensed funeral director with Menke Funeral & Cremation Center since 2006. Rob is passionate about serving the families of this community.
Rob was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is a current resident of Goodyear, AZ. He is married to his wife Libby and has 3 sons. Rob is a member of Desert Springs Community Church and is a past member and president of Kiwanis International. Rob enjoys golf and is an avid fan of ASU, the Cardinals, and Diamondbacks.
Duane Pascoff – Licensed Funeral Director
Duane started in funeral service since 1971. Duane received his associates degree from Indiana College of Mortuary Science. He has been a funeral director with Menke Funeral & Cremation Center since 2014. Duane was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana and Married to Pamela Sue.
Kathy Strand – Administrative Assistant
Kathy started her career in funeral service as the administrative assistant at Menke Funeral & Cremation Center in 1984. With her many years of knowledge and experience in serving the families of Menke Funeral & Cremation Center, she has learned there is only one way to serve families in their time of need: the right way the first time.
Kathy is a lifelong West Valley resident and currently resides in Avondale with her husband Peder and their 3 dogs, Skrappy, Brewster, and Tina. They also have 2 adult children. Kathy is a member of the Women of the Moose and enjoys reading and relaxing with her husband and dogs.
Delores Dunnigan – Advanced Planning Counselor
Delores has served families in the cemetery and funeral profession since 1992. She has been a part of the Menke Funeral & Cremation Center staff since 2000, serving as a cemetery broker, bookkeeper, and most recently an advanced planning counselor.
Delores moved to Arizona from Kentucky. She is a member of the local Moose Lodge.
Patrick Connelly – Support Staff Member
Pat has been serving the community of Sun City as a member of the Menke Funeral & Cremation Center staff since 2005. Pat enjoys helping the families we serve through his invaluable assistance to the funeral director staff.
A native of South Dakota, Pat has been a resident of Sun City since 2005. Pat and his wife, Ellie, have 2 boys, Ryan and Aaron. He is a graduate of Rapid City South Dakota High School and attended VO Tech College in Billings, Montana. Pat is a member of the Community Church of Joy and participates in the choir, enjoys pickle ball, golf, ping pong, riding motorcycles, dancing, and singing.
Gary L. Harrison – Advanced Planning Counselor
Gary recently joined the staff of Menke Funeral & Cremation Center to work with families in their advanced planning needs. His background includes life insurance counseling and advanced planning. Gary is a graduate of Ottawa, Kansas University.
Gary has been a resident of the West Valley since 1998. He and his wife, Carol, live in Surprise. Gary has 2 sons, Sean and Kevin. In Gary’s spare time he enjoys a good BBQ, traveling, most all sports, and is a season ticket holder of the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team.