Izabela Van Tassel, Owner and Manager
N.J. Lic. #4924Izabela 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 and Seton Hall University with Master Degree/Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. Timothy graduated Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with Bachelor Degree in Aerospace Engineering and is pursing Master Degree in Aerospace Management at University of Alabama. I was a Trustee for Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center, a Vice President of Bloomfield Safety Council. I am member of The Glen Ridge Rotary Club and 15 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, Director, Founder - Children's Grief Services, LLC
Angie Koeneker, MS, CCLSCertified 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: https://includemetoonj.org/ *unlicensed and not qualified to make funeral arrangements, embalm or conduct funeral.
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.
Nicole Hernandez, Office Assistant*
Nicole graduated from Rutgers University with a BSN degree and with a Master Degree/Pediatric 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, Pallbearer*
Timothy graduated Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with Bachelor of Science of Aeronautical Engineering and is pursuing Master Degree in Aerospace Management at University of Alabama . 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*, Holistic Psychotherapist and Grief Counselor
"Heart-Centered Healing" Ph. 973-868-4713Jennifer 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.