History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.  Our Vision is to be the most respected name in the funeral industry and offer services to all families without regard to religious beliefs or economic constraints.

Our History

Our History

Van Tassel Funeral Home is a family owned and operated funeral home at 337 Belleville Avenue, Bloomfield, NJ. We are the oldest funeral home in Bloomfield established in 1883.  We have served the needs of over 20,000 families. We are part of a long standing tradition of being one of the best funeral homes providing unparalleled excellence and quality care throughout Essex County that dates back over 130 years. The Van Tassel Funeral Home continues to serve  Bloomfield, Montclair, Glen Ridge, Newark, Nutley, Belleville and the Oranges including the greater New Jersey and New York areas with the same unmatched reputation for quality care carried out for decades.  We provide caring, personalized and professional services tailored to families of all faiths, beliefs, nationalities and cultures. We approach the loss of a loved one with the utmost dignity and respect.     

Our Valued Staff

  • Izabela  Van Tassel

    Izabela Van Tassel, Owner and Manager

    N.J. Lic. #4924

    Izabela graduated with the highest honors Mercer County Community College, West Windsor, NJ with AAS degree in Funeral Service & Certificate of Proficiency. She received 2011 Award for Academic Excellence in Funeral Service Program Funeral Service Foundation. She was a Scholarship essay contest recipient, NJSFDA scholarship recipient and Bergen County Funeral Director Association scholarship recipient. Izabela also graduated Felician College, Lodi, NJ with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Summa Cum Laude. She is a Member of International Honor Society in Business, Management and Administration, Sigma Beta Delta and Member of NJ Collegiate Business Administration Association Honor Society. She is a Notary Public, holds Bereavement Support Group Facilitator Certificate of Ministry. Izabela is also a Licensed Cosmetologist and Hairdresser. Izabela is also a proud owner of Izabela Funeral Service www.izabela.us

    Why have I chosen funeral service as a career?

    Saying a meaningful "goodbye" is the beginning of the healing process. I understand the value of funerals which allows mourners to remember and honor their loved ones in special ways, give emotional and physical support to one another, provide closure for the bereaved and to help mourners to better cope with grief. Any "good bye" is emotional, but imagine not being able to do that. It will always feel like an "open wound" likely to last a lifetime.

    I believe that a funeral is one of the most important events in our lives because we don't get second chances. It is a day when we eulogize a deceased's entire life in one day. It is a time when we come together to support one another at the saddest time to offer comfort and support. It is a time when we come to realize that our lives will never be the same. I encourage families not to rush, take their time because it is not about getting over it, but it is about the last moments we dedicate to our loved ones. Taking time to plan a funeral is very important because it does matter how we say our good byes.

    I do my best to provide caring, personalized and professional funerals, memorials, cremations, shipping and contemporary services tailored to families of all faiths, cultures and spiritual needs and to approach the loss of a loved one with the utmost dignity and respect.

    For the past decade I have felt the calling to be a Funeral Director but family and business obligations have prevented me from pursuing it. I am amazed at how much it takes to provide an excellent service and spiritual funeral. As a Funeral Director I can apply my prior experience to help those in grief. I strongly believe in personalizing funeral services because I believe that each funeral should be a tribute to the deceased and every funeral is individual. Each of us lives different life and a funeral is the day when we summarize our loved ones entire life in one service. I believe this is my true calling. Completing Bereavement training provided by the Archdiocese of Newark gave me the additional knowledge of how to help those mourning their loss and how to facilitate grief support groups.

    Reading funeral magazines and attending funeral conventions always gives me new insight that I can implement at the funeral home to help families create personalized and spiritual funerals. I find great fulfillment in being a Funeral Director and there are endless possibilities as to how to offer my services and creativity for those in need. Living in the 21 century, we see trends where people do not build relationships with neighbors like they did decades ago and tend to travel to funeral homes even outside of their local community just to feel comfortable. 75% of customers select a funeral home because they know someone working there and they feel comfortable leaving the deceased person "in the right hands." Utilizing my skills and talents, I not only provide my clients with personalized funeral services, but also assist in any grief related issues. Speaking three languages helps me to communicate with those who struggle with English. Being a Licensed Hairdresser and Cosmetologist also helps me in taking care of the deceased.

    On a personal note...
    I am mother of two children; Nicole graduated Rutgers University with a BSN degree, Timothy is pursuing aeronautical degrees at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
    I am a Trustee for Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center, a Vice President of Bloomfield Safety Council, member of The Glen Ridge Rotary Club and 10 years on Parish Nursing Interfaith Program's Board of Directors.

    "Purpose of my life is to be useful, compassionate, to matter and to make a difference"

  • Angie Koeneker

    Angie Koeneker, Director, Founder - Children's Grief Services, LLC

    Angie Koeneker, MS, CCLS
    Certified Child Life Specialist (Ph. 973.437.5812)
    How Child Life Can Help
    In the funeral home setting, a child life specialist assists families with conversations about death and dying, provides developmentally appropriate preparations for children and adolescents on what to expect at a viewing or funeral service, and provides valuable support to children and adolescents through tailored activities to express grief during a visitation or funeral service. Angie has over 15 years of experience working with children and families as a certified child life specialist including at some of the nation’s top hospitals.

    More information:

    *unlicensed and not qualified to make funeral arrangements, embalm or conduct funeral.

  • Zuzanna Ducka-Lubas

    Zuzanna Ducka-Lubas, Soprano Singer

    Zuzanna Ducka, soprano, graduated from The Music Academy of Lodz, Poland in June 2007 with a degree in Vocal Arts. During and after her studies, Zuzanna took part in many opera, musical and concert performances. She was singing in The Philharmonic Choir of Wroclaw Philharmonic, Wroclaw, Poland. As a soloist she has performed with La Tempesta early music ensemble and The Gabrieli Consort and Players. She has performed with many internationally acclaimed conductors as Paul McCreesh, James McMillan, Jacek Kaspszyk and Andrzej Kosendiak. Zuzanna also preformed for education department of Warsaw National Philharmonic in Warsaw, Poland. As a member of „Opera Polska“—Polish Opera Theater, Zuzanna took part in several tournees around Europe, performing on many of the greatest stages in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Her concert experiences include Messiah (Haendel) at Fort Washington Collegiate Church, “Schola Sings Solo” – Schola Cantorum on Hudson soloists program (Mozart, Gounod, Bernstein), Stabat Mater (Pergolesi); Messiah (Handel); Requiem (Faure); Magnificat (Bach); Ein Deutches Requiem (Brahms); Cantata Jauchzett Gott in allen Landen, BVW 51 (Bach), Exultate Jubilate (Mozart,) Christmas Oratorio (Bach); Judas Macchabeus (Handel); Requiem (Verdi); Requiem (Mozart); Messiah (Handel); Stabat Mater (Dvorak),St. Matthew Passion (Bach); Symphony No. 2 (Mahler); Messe pastorale de Noël G-dur, Dixit Dominum, Magnificat (Richter); Jephta (Handel), The Dream of Gerontius (Elgar); The Glagolitic Mass (Janacek); War Requiem (Britten); Seven Last Words from the Cross (MacMillan) and operas like Carmen (Bizet); Nabucco (Verdi); La Traviata (Verdi); Prince Igor (Borodin); Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky) et al. Recently Zuzanna has been working also as solo soprano singer for churches throughout the New Jersey and New York area. For several years she had been working as voice teacher.
    *unlicensed and not qualified to make funeral arrangements, embalm or conduct funeral.

  • Patsey White

    Patsey White, LCSW, NCPsyA

    Patsey White, LCSW, NCPsyA (973) 783-8758
    After receiving her Master’s Degree from Rutgers University, Ms. White went on to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) specializing in Gerontology and Clinical Practice. As a Psychiatric Social Worker for 22 years at Essex County Hospital Center, she provided extensive clinical intervention for a diverse population. During that time, she treated patients with severe conditions such as major depression, bipolar disorders, and psychotic states, as well as those suffering from anxiety and panic syndromes. She received her Certification as a Psychoanalyst from The New Jersey Institute for Training in Psychoanalysis, in Teaneck. As part of that advanced Program, Ms. White underwent rigorous training, including her own personal analysis. Ms. White also has maintained a successful Private Practice for more than 30 years in Montclair, serving her local community with effective and affordable psychotherapy service. As a recognized clinician practicing in Essex County, Ms. White was a Panel member of The Center for Low Cost Psychotherapy for 16 years. She continues to bring an abundance of expertise and commitment to her patients— qualities that have helped make a pivotal difference in many people’s lives
    Aging presents many potential concerns for the individual as well as the family. Health crises may require downsizing, moving in with adult children, or making assisted-living or nursing- home arrangements. Situations like these can create intense stress and helplessness for all involved. Ms. White has the extensive training and keen sensitivity to relate successfully with seniors. Her empathy and support empower individuals to face both the positives and negatives of aging. By shifting gears, many seniors can remain active and productive in their Golden Years.
    Living in today’s world is no easy task. It’s a challenge that can trigger tremendous stress and pain, and is a key factor affecting mental and physical health. Balancing the responsibilities of family life with the demands of the workplace frequently generates confusing emotions and difficult choices.
    In such circumstances, marital relationships are the focus of particular attention. Ms. White encourages the partner to become involved in the process to promote healthy changes. She offers objective input that is mindful of the individual’s potential to utilize fresh approaches to solving problems.
    Meeting with an objective professional who has deep insight into life’s distinct stages can produce long-term solutions to unrecognized obstacles.
    • Help to set limits and boundaries
    • Structure time and modify spending to conform to your needs
    • Do less—so you can do more

    Many people find that reaching out for help can activate their own inner resources, so life can become less stressful and more satisfying.
    • Modify your goals
    • Feel creative and more in charge
    • Take better care of yourself
    • Feel at peace in your heart
    Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your Golden Years.
    It’s time to express your True Inner Self.
    An appointment is just a dial away:
    Patsey White, LCSW, NCPsyA (973) 783-8758
    • If you are 65 or over, your fee is likely reimbursable by Medicare
    • Fee is negotiable. No need to rely solely on health insurance
    • Open to invite adult children of seniors,
    or spouses, to help resolve new crises that affect the whole family
    • Ms. White is specially trained as an in-depth and empathic listener. This
    skill helps generate dynamic solutions that focus on individual needs
    • Comfortable office and quiet surroundings
    • Confidentiality assured
    • Easy parking
    • No waiting in crowded reception rooms
    • Weekend hours available

    *unlicensed and not qualified to make funeral arrangements, embalm or conduct funeral.

  • Nicole Bacza

    Nicole Bacza, Office Assistant*

    Nicole graduated from Rutgers University with a BSN degree and with a Master Degree/Nurse Practitioner at Seton Hall. She is always helping in the office when she is not working at the hospital. She adores children and often helps babysit during the visitation at our playroom.
    *unlicensed and not qualified to make funeral arrangements, embalm or conduct funeral.

  • Timothy Bacza

    Timothy Bacza, Pallbearer*

    Timothy graduated Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with Bachelor of Science of Aeronautical Engineering. On weekends he enjoys being a pallbearer and our funeral director's assistant.
    *unlicensed and not qualified to make funeral arrangements, embalm or conduct funeral.

  • Jennifer L Todd LCSW, ACHT*

    Jennifer L Todd LCSW, ACHT*, Holistic Psychotherapist and Grief Counselor

    "Heart-Centered Healing" Ph. 973-868-4713
    Jennifer is committed to ongoing education in complimentary healing modalities for her clients. She passionately believes that her continued personal growth allows her to be the best instrument to help others. She received a Masters degree in Social Work from Rutgers University in 2001, specializing in children and families. She been in private practice since 2006 and currently has an office in Bloomfield. For over 17 years, she has been providing therapeutic services for individuals, couples, families and groups in a variety of community settings. In 2010, she completed an advanced clinical training program in Heart-Centered Therapies at The Wellness Institute, in Issaquah Washington, and she holds an Advanced Certificate in Clinical Hypnotherapy. In 2013, she completed Reiki I and II training and now also provides Reiki Healing treatments. She continues to further her advanced training through The Wellness Institute in WA. She is also a supervisor and teacher for The Wellness Institute in the NJ/NY metro area, training other therapists in Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy and advanced techniques. www.JenniferLTodd.com
    *unlicensed and not qualified to make funeral arrangements, embalm or conduct funeral.