John F. Dowdle
John was born in Battle Creek, number four of six, to John F. and Mary Louise (Smith) Dowdle. He graduated from St. Philip Catholic Central, received his Bachelors in Business Administration from Western Michigan University and his Mortuary Science Degree from Wayne State University.
He began his career with Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care in 1972. John has been involved in many local civic and fraternal organizations and is a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church. He enjoys working outdoors in his yard, electrical and mechanical work and more than anything spending time with his wife, Debbie, children, Cory (Kori) Dowdle, Bart (Janelle) Dowdle and Adam Dowdle, and six grandchildren; Jackson, Jagger, Emma, Vada, Cooper, and Rosabelle. John has been a lifelong Detroit Tiger and Lion fan and also cheers on Michigan State. John currently serves as president of Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care
Deonne joined the company upon graduating from Lakeview High School and Michigan State University. Go Green! She joined the family owned business in 1976. She is currently the Secretary-Treasurer of the company. In addition to administrative duties, her primary focus is with their Preneed Division. She has her Resident Life Insurance License through the State of Michigan allowing her to offer the families they serve an option to prepay with funeral home associated insurance. Funding is also available through escrow funding with MFDA (Michigan Funeral Directors Association) of which the funeral home is a member of.
Deonne has two grown daughters, Stacey Smith now living in New York City & Jessica (Darriel) Alsobrooks of Battle Creek, MI. Deonne is a proud grandmother of two granddaughters, Nora & Maya Alsobrooks.
Deonne has been involved with several local committees in the Battle Creek community. She was a former board member at the Battle Creek Community Foundation is currently on its Governance Committee. She is also a member of Chapel Hill United Methodist Church.
Jonathon A. Barnes
Jonathon was born and raised in Battle Creek, graduating from Lakeview High School with the Class of 1995. In 1998, Jonathon graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, Illinois. Receiving his mortuary license in 1999, Jonathon remained in the Greater Chicago area until joining our staff in June of 2003.
Jonathon is a member of the Woodland Church of Battle Creek. He has an active music ministry that allows him to travel to various area churches, believing the vocal gift God gave him should be used to tell others about God.
Jonathon and his wife, Allison(Buck), live in Battle Creek with their two young boys, Thomas and Joseph.
A true sports enthusiast, Jonathon is a Chicago Bears, St. Louis Cardinals, Michigan State University and Detroit Tigers & Red Wings fan! His true passions in life are his wife and children, and spending as much time with family as he possibly can.
Jonathon benefited greatly from the Shrine Hospital for Children in Chicago, Illinois. He therefore has a great passion for helping others in need and is very active in Community Service. Jonathon is an Imperial Ambassador for the Shrine of North America, Past-President of the Cereal City Lions Club, a Past-Master of Battle Creek Lodge #12 F&AM, member of the Battle Creek Shrine Club, Chief Ambassador of the Saladin Shrine Temple in Grand Rapids and a member of many other Masonic Organizations. He is also a Past-Commander and currently the 1st Vice-Commander of the Sons of the American Legion Squadron #298 where he also served on the Make-A-Wish committee for many years, and is also a member of the American Legion Riders, Post 298 . A true advocate for our military, veterans, and first responders, Jonathon is the current secretary of the Calhoun County Red White & Blue Foundation.
Ross M. Schimmel
Ross was born July 6, 1948, in Battle Creek, Michigan, the son of Clyde B. and Arlene E. (Best) Schimmel. He is a 1966 graduate of Battle Creek Central High School and served with the USNR, as a corpsman with a tour of duty in Vietnam with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines. He was Honorably Discharged from Active Duty in 1970.
He attended two years at Kellogg Community College, one year of apprenticeship at Farley, Estes and Schimmel Funeral Home, and one year at Wayne State University with a Certificate of Mortuary Science in 1975. He had three additional years of college at Michigan State University.
On December 31, 1995, Ross married Nanc C. (Drake) Wellever at the First Congregational Church in Battle Creek. He is currently the manager for the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care, Augusta Chapel, and lives in Climax with his wife.
Ross and Nanc have six grown children, Matthew R. (Jacqueline) Schimmel of Comstock; Ryan D. Wellever of Battle Creek; Megan N. (Ryan) Callahan of Kalamazoo; Sara A. (Sebastien) Bellin of Tervuren, Belgium; Emily D. (Fred Harris) Schimmel of Battle Creek; and Rory M. (Kendra) Wellever of Plymouth, MI, and nine grandchildren.
Charles H. “Charlie” Johnson
Charlie has been a licensed funeral director since 1977, serving families in the communities of St. Joseph, Dowagiac, Lansing, Battle Creek, Richland and Augusta, MI. He joined our staff on February 8, 2005. He attended the University of Kentucky and graduated from Western Michigan University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree. Then, Charlie graduated in 1976 with an Associate Degree in Mortuary Science from the Indiana College of Mortuary Science of Indianapolis, IN, and received his 40 year Funeral Director’s license from the State of Michigan in 2017.
He is a Past President of Rotary; a Past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus and a Past President of the Board of Directors for Cass County (MI) Hospice. An avid golfer and sometime fisherman, Charlie is also a Die-Hard Chicago Cubs Fan (AND all Chicago Teams!); THE University of Michigan Fan and THE U – University of Miami, Florida Fan. He and his wife, Cindy live at Sherman Lake in Augusta, MI, along with their puppy, Gritz (a Catahula leopard rescue). They are members of St. Ann Catholic Church of Augusta and he is a member of the Gull Lake Area Rotary Club of Richland, MI. Also, they have two children; Erik L. Johnson of Chicago, (Wrigleyville) IL and Kelsey L. (Mike) McEntee of Farmington Hills, MI, and two grandsons, Andrew Charles and Connor Michael McEntee.
Andrew J. Emerson
Andy began his time in the funeral service industry in 2002, serving families in Lansing while completing his apprenticeship. Since then, he has also worked in Chicago, Cadillac, and Battle Creek. He attended Lansing Community College and earned an Associate’s Degree from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, IL., graduating in March of 2008. He joined our staff in October of 2008.
Andy has three beautiful girls, Hunter, Ryleigh, and Ashton. He married his wife, Sarah, on July 13, 2019. He is a member of the Battle Creek Kiwanis Club. As an avid sports enthusiast, he roots for all Detroit teams and is a dedicated University of Michigan fan. During the summers, Andy enjoys camping with his family and their two dogs by Lake Michigan, and takes one long trip to the Upper Peninsula each year. They proudly participate in the Mackinac Bridge Walk each Labor Day.
Robert E. “Bob” Hegerberg
Bob was born September l7, 1938 the son of Emil K. & Edna B. (Bitgood) Hegerberg in St. Clair Shores, MI. His parents moved to Bath in 1943 where they both taught as school teachers. Bob graduated from Bath High School in 1957 and served his mortuary apprenticeship at the Estes-Leadley Funeral Home in Lansing. He attended Adrian College and completed his education at Wayne State University, Department of Mortuary Science in 1962.
After working in Lansing, he and his wife Susan moved to Battle Creek in 1963 where he was employed at the Farley Funeral Home. Bob managed the Farley-Kelser Funeral Home in Marshall for several years and returned in 1976 to serve the families in Battle Creek. He is a past member and President of the Battle Creek Jaycees, elected a JCI Senator, member of Maple United Methodist Church where he served on the Church Council as President, 1979 Past President of the United Arts Council and was also fund raising chairman, past president of the local American Heart Association and past member of the State AHA Board of Directors, member and Charter President of the Pennfield Exchange, Battle Creek Lodge #12 F&AM.
Bob married the former Susan Carole Roberts on June 23, 1962 at the Martha Mary Chapel at Green Field Village in Dearborn, who sadly passed away on June 15, 2015. They have two children; Jeff R. (Stacey) Hegerberg of Lake Orion, MI and Sheri L. (Don) Berry of Battle Creek and a grandson, Jack Robert Hegerberg.