Caring Staff

Our caring staff is committed to providing support, compassion, information, and direction as needed to all members of our community, their families, and friends who are dealing with loss and grief.

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George Menke Funeral Director and Founder

George, an Arizona native, founded the funeral home in 1977. He continues to provide counsel and support to the staff and families we serve on a daily basis.

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Kelly Browder General Manager

Kelly, an Indiana native, moved to the valley in 2017.  She is a 1991 graduate of John A Gupton College of Mortuary Science in Nashville, Tennessee.  She has been in the profession for the last 27 years serving across various states including Tennessee, Nevada, and Arizona.  She has made it her mission over the years to live the “Golden Rule”.

“You are going through one of the worst times of your life, it is my job to make this portion as easy as possible for you.”

Kelly is a member of the Sun City Host Lions Club and a board member of the Sun Cities 4 Paws Rescue.  She currently lives in Surprise, AZ with her husband David, their daughter, 1 dog, 2 cats, and a rabbit.  She is an avid fan of rodeo and the PBR, and in her spare time she likes to crochet and swim.

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Peder Strand Licensed Funeral Director

Peder has been serving families in the valley since 1990. Peder received his degree in mortuary science from Vincennes University in Indiana after graduating with a BA 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, has been a resident of Arizona for the past 27 years and is a current resident of Avondale. He is married to his wife Kathy, who happens to be our Administrative Assistant, has 2 children and 2 dogs. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Sun City Del Sol and enjoys fitness and reading.

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Robert Zimmerman Licensed Funeral Director

Robert “Rob” began his career in funeral service while in high school, 36 years ago. 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 an active member of Palm Valley Church in Goodyear, AZ, where he and his wife, Libby, have led a Grief-Share ministry for the past several years. Rob enjoys golf and is an avid fan of ASU, the Cardinals and Diamondbacks.

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Duane Pascoff Funeral Director

Duane was born in South Bend, Indiana. A U.S. Navy veteran, he served two tours in the Seabees. He graduated from Indiana College of Mortuary Science in 1978. An Arizona resident since 1994, he joined the staff at Menke Funeral & Cremation Center in December 2014. As the owner of a 1926 Model-T, Duane is a member of the Sun Country Model-T Club and the Vintage Vehicles of Sun City Club. His pets include a dog, 5 cats, 3 birds, and an aquarium. Duane is also a member of the Greater Phoenix Pond Society and his backyard pond includes goldfish, Koi, and a turtle. Duane is married to Pam, a CNRN at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale.

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Robert Mort Family Service Counselor

Originally from Illinois, Bob moved to Ahwatukee, Arizona from Madison, Wisconsin in 2018.  He is a lifetime Chicago Cubs fan with an active lifestyle and enjoys golfing and camping with his family.  With 18 years  of experience in hospitality and event coordinating, Bob has always had a dedication to great customer service.  He now specializes in the process of helping people make informed decisions when preplanning their own funeral arrangements as part of the Menke Funeral & Cremation Center.

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Kathy Strand Administrative Assistant

Kathy started her career in funeral service 34 years ago as the Administrative Assistant at Menke Funeral & Cremation Center. With her many years of knowledge and experience in serving the families of Menke Funeral Home, 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 2 dogs, Skrappy and Brewster. 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.

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Adrianna Leonard Administrative Assistant

Adrianna was born and raised in Avondale, AZ. She has lived in various states and was stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, with her husband, a former sailor of the United States Navy. Some of her hobbies include photography, reading, knitting, hiking, and volunteering. Helping others, spending time with her family and friends, are the things that she loves most. “ Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” -Muhammad Ali

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Pat Connelly Funeral Assistant

Pat has been with Menke Funeral & Cremation Center since 2005. He came to us from Montana with funeral experience already under his belt. Having served in the U.S. Navy, and retiring from his former job as a natural gas employee, he and his wife, Ellie, a local hospice nurse, came to Arizona with retirement on their minds but have been doing everything but retiring. Pat serves our families with dedication and pride and is a valuable asset to our firm.

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Leo Nowicki Funeral Assistant

Leo has been a member of our staff since 2014. Originally from Buffalo, New York, he moved to the Sun City area with his wife Cheryl so they didn’t have to shovel sunshine. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, he had a career in automotive bodywork before retiring here in Arizona. He is now one of our multi-functional funeral assistance and we are glad to have him.

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Delores Dunigan Advanced Planning Counselor

Delores has served families in the cemetery and funeral profession for over 20 years. She has been a part of the Menke Funeral & Cremation Center staff for the past 17 years, 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 and is an avid Diamondbacks baseball fan.

George Menke

Funeral Director and Founder
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George, an Arizona native, founded the funeral home in 1977. He continues to provide counsel and support to the staff and families we serve on a daily basis.

Kelly Browder

General Manager
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Kelly, an Indiana native, moved to the valley in 2017.  She is a 1991 graduate of John A Gupton College of Mortuary Science in Nashville, Tennessee.  She has been in the profession for the last 27 years serving across various states including Tennessee, Nevada, and Arizona.  She has made it her mission over the years to live the “Golden Rule”.

“You are going through one of the worst times of your life, it is my job to make this portion as easy as possible for you.”

Kelly is a member of the Sun City Host Lions Club and a board member of the Sun Cities 4 Paws Rescue.  She currently lives in Surprise, AZ with her husband David, their daughter, 1 dog, 2 cats, and a rabbit.  She is an avid fan of rodeo and the PBR, and in her spare time she likes to crochet and swim.

Peder Strand

Licensed Funeral Director
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Peder has been serving families in the valley since 1990. Peder received his degree in mortuary science from Vincennes University in Indiana after graduating with a BA 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, has been a resident of Arizona for the past 27 years and is a current resident of Avondale. He is married to his wife Kathy, who happens to be our Administrative Assistant, has 2 children and 2 dogs. He is an active member of the Rotary Club of Sun City Del Sol and enjoys fitness and reading.

Robert Zimmerman

Licensed Funeral Director
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Robert “Rob” began his career in funeral service while in high school, 36 years ago. 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 an active member of Palm Valley Church in Goodyear, AZ, where he and his wife, Libby, have led a Grief-Share ministry for the past several years. Rob enjoys golf and is an avid fan of ASU, the Cardinals and Diamondbacks.

Duane Pascoff

Funeral Director
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Duane was born in South Bend, Indiana. A U.S. Navy veteran, he served two tours in the Seabees. He graduated from Indiana College of Mortuary Science in 1978. An Arizona resident since 1994, he joined the staff at Menke Funeral & Cremation Center in December 2014. As the owner of a 1926 Model-T, Duane is a member of the Sun Country Model-T Club and the Vintage Vehicles of Sun City Club. His pets include a dog, 5 cats, 3 birds, and an aquarium. Duane is also a member of the Greater Phoenix Pond Society and his backyard pond includes goldfish, Koi, and a turtle. Duane is married to Pam, a CNRN at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale.

Robert Mort

Family Service Counselor
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Originally from Illinois, Bob moved to Ahwatukee, Arizona from Madison, Wisconsin in 2018.  He is a lifetime Chicago Cubs fan with an active lifestyle and enjoys golfing and camping with his family.  With 18 years  of experience in hospitality and event coordinating, Bob has always had a dedication to great customer service.  He now specializes in the process of helping people make informed decisions when preplanning their own funeral arrangements as part of the Menke Funeral & Cremation Center.

Kathy Strand

Administrative Assistant
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Kathy started her career in funeral service 34 years ago as the Administrative Assistant at Menke Funeral & Cremation Center. With her many years of knowledge and experience in serving the families of Menke Funeral Home, 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 2 dogs, Skrappy and Brewster. 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.

Adrianna Leonard

Administrative Assistant
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Adrianna was born and raised in Avondale, AZ. She has lived in various states and was stationed in Yokosuka, Japan, with her husband, a former sailor of the United States Navy. Some of her hobbies include photography, reading, knitting, hiking, and volunteering. Helping others, spending time with her family and friends, are the things that she loves most. “ Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” -Muhammad Ali

Pat Connelly

Funeral Assistant
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Pat has been with Menke Funeral & Cremation Center since 2005. He came to us from Montana with funeral experience already under his belt. Having served in the U.S. Navy, and retiring from his former job as a natural gas employee, he and his wife, Ellie, a local hospice nurse, came to Arizona with retirement on their minds but have been doing everything but retiring. Pat serves our families with dedication and pride and is a valuable asset to our firm.

Leo Nowicki

Funeral Assistant
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Leo has been a member of our staff since 2014. Originally from Buffalo, New York, he moved to the Sun City area with his wife Cheryl so they didn’t have to shovel sunshine. After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, he had a career in automotive bodywork before retiring here in Arizona. He is now one of our multi-functional funeral assistance and we are glad to have him.

Delores Dunigan

Advanced Planning Counselor
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Delores has served families in the cemetery and funeral profession for over 20 years. She has been a part of the Menke Funeral & Cremation Center staff for the past 17 years, 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 and is an avid Diamondbacks baseball fan.