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"Here To Help Families Honor the Lives of Those They Love" 

At Joseph Vertin & Sons Funeral Home, we are honored to have earned the trust and confidence placed in us by those we serve. From the time the first phone call is received, throughout the service and beyond, each staff member at our funeral home contributes in an important way.

Joseph Vertin & Sons is proud to have received the Prestigious NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Award for 14 consecutive years.  In addition, Joseph Vertin & Sons was one of eight funeral homes nationwide, to receive the NFDA “Best of the Best” Award in 2010 for their Cherish the Child Project.

We are very proud our staff and the awards that they have received for their excellence in service.

Lance Erhlin

Lance Erhlin

Manager/Licensed Funeral Director in MN and ND

Lance was born in Oakes, North Dakota, where he graduated high school in 2010. He attended North Dakota State University for two years before attending Des Moines Area Community College. Lance graduated with his degree in Mortuary Science in October 2013.

After serving his Funeral Director Apprenticeship in Oakes, Lance worked as a licensed Funeral Director at Spitzer-Miller Funeral home in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He joined Vertin-Munson in October of 2015.

Lance is a member of the Optimist Club in Wahpeton, and in his personal time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, golfing, riding motorcycle, snowboarding, and coaching youth wrestling. 


Simone Simpson

Simone Simpson

Licensed Funeral Director in MN and ND

Simone grew up in Minneapolis, MN, where she graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 2013. She received her degree in mortuary science from the University of Minnesota in May 2019.

For five years, Simone has served as a petroleum Supply Sergeant in the Minnesota Army National Guard. She earned second place in the Minnesota Best Warrior Competition and graduated with honors on the Commandant's List from the Basic Leader Course at Fort Dix, NJ.

Simone also values the experience she gained previously working with children as a preschool teacher and swimming lessons instructor.  During her time as a lifeguard, she received the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office's Commendation Award for saving the life of another on April 7, 2012.

A favorite pastime of Simone's is training and walking her rescue dogs, Razzle and Roshi. She is in the process of becoming certified through Catch Canine Dog Trainers Academy to help others train their dogs in basic obedience.

Simone is thankful for the warm welcome she has received from everyone in Wahpeton/Breckenridge and looks forward to building meaningful connections with the people she serves.


Michael McIlheran

Michael McIlheran

Licensed Funeral Director in MN and ND

Michael McIlheran grew up in Fremont, Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Simpson College, Indianola Iowa.  He also has a Masters of Divinity from the American Lutheran Theological Seminary in Edina, MN.

After serving as a paramedic/fire chief in charge of EMS for 27 years, Mike went to work in the Twin Cities working for a company that transported for 40 funeral homes and for the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office, in addition to serving as a Lutheran pastor in Menahga and Sebeka. 

Eventually, Mike realized all of his life experiences were preparing him for work in the funeral homes.  He graduated with a degree in Mortuary Science from Des Moines Area Community College and served a one-year apprenticeship in Walker, MN and a one-year internship at Glende-Nilson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls.

Michael is married to Myla Worden of Fergus Falls. He has 5 children, 2 step-sons, and 5 grandchildren.  In his spare time, Mike enjoys travel, flying as a private pilot, camping, photography and making candles. 

The defining moment in his life was the loss of his wife, Brenda, age 39.  "That moment taught me the importance of those in the funeral profession and how they can assist families in getting through their loss and moving on to a "new normal."


Whitney Hauschild

Whitney Hauschild

Licensed Funeral Director in ND, SD, and MN

Whitney was born and raised in Hazen, North Dakota. She attended the University of North Dakota, before pursuing her degree in Mortuary Science at Worsham College of Mortuary Science where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Whitney began working with Vertin Family Funeral Homes in May of 2012, first working at Dobmeier Funeral Home in Barnesville, MN, until completion of her apprenticeship. She became a licensed Funeral Director in 2013, and is licensed in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. She has been working part-time at the funeral home since 2013, while caring for her son Dexter.

Whitney and her husband, Jef reside in Breckenridge. Jef is a software engineer at ShoreMaster in Fergus Falls. Whitney enjoys buying and selling vintage treasures as a leisure pursuit; doing cross-stitch embroidery; traveling along with her husband on his business trips; and spending time with family, especially at her parent’s lake cabin. 


Samantha Hughes

Samantha Hughes

Office Manager

Samantha was born in Virginia and grew up in the Mesa/Gilbert, Arizona area, where she graduated from Mesa Preparatory Academy in 2013. After graduating, she moved to North Dakota and attended North Dakota State College of Science for Social Work. Since then she has pursued career opportunities in the helping field, working at Circle of Nations and later in a management position helping patients receive access to dental care. Samantha recently joined Joseph Vertin and Sons Funeral Home where she can assist families in creating personalized tributes for their loved ones

In her personal time, Samantha enjoys spending time with her daughters, Elizabeth and Annistyn, staying active at the gym, reading, painting, and fishing. She is a member of the Breckenridge Rotary Club, which allows her to further her goal of giving back to the community.  


Brenda Klosterman

Brenda Klosterman

Pre-Arrangement Specialist

Brenda was raised in Mooreton, ND, and is the youngest daughter of Wayne and Janice Ward. After graduating from Wahpeton High School in 1986, Brenda attended NDSCS and Moorhead State University for business administration. She has worked in human resource/office administration jobs for the past 30 years. Her last position was at Dow AgriSciences in Breckenridge, where she worked for 19 years. Brenda lives by Mooreton with her husband, Troy, who farms in the area. Together they have two grown daughters, Sydney and Madison, who are both attending college to pursue the nursing profession, and a teenage son, Logan, who attends Wahpeton High School. In her personal time, Brenda enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

Brenda is excited to be a part of the funeral home business and to serve families as a preplanning specialist. She is dedicated to learning about and sharing the many options families have for making funeral arrangements in advance as a gift to their loved ones. 


Colette Barton

Colette Barton

Grief Care Coordinator

In February of 2017, Colette joined Joseph Vertin and Sons Funeral Home as the Grief Care Coordinator.  Colette was drawn to this position partially because of her experience as a Funeral Director’s wife and seeing the need for loved ones to receive support after the funeral is over.  She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Northern State University in Aberdeen, SD. 

Colette married Jason Barton on September 14, 1991.  They were blessed to be the parents of Cindy, Colson, Connor, Jason Paul and Serenity, as well as the grandparents of Lavinia and Shane.  Jason passed away on November 6, 2017, and Colette has continued to raise their family at their home near Wyndmere, ND.

Colette is very committed to her community.  She is a charter member of the Headwaters Lions Club, an active member of the Wyndmere United Methodist Church, and a coordinator for Community Vacation Bible School in Wyndmere.  She supports her children’s activities by volunteering for several school-related committees.  Locally, Colette is on the Board of Directors for the Breckenridge Wahpeton Community Foundation and also serves as the Executive Director for United Way of Richland-Wilkin.  In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and looking at all the great ideas on Pinterest.  


Ann Deal

Ann Deal

Support Staff

Ann began as the Pre-arrangement Advisor at the funeral home in 1997 and continues to assist at services today.  A Breckenridge native, Ann graduated from Breckenridge High School, and from Alexandria Technical College.  She lives in rural Breckenridge with her husband, Dan, who farms in the area.  Together they have three grown daughters, Sally, Carolyn and Alicia.  Ann is the oldest daughter of Marjorie Lommel and the late John Lommel. 

After joining the staff at the funeral home, Ann discovered an important need in assisting families who wish to make their funeral plans in advance.  She is a good listener and provides compassionate care for assisting the families she serves.  Ann holds a license to secure funds in a funeral trust, so families know that money will be there at the time they need it for the funeral.

Ann’s work experience in Breckenridge has included customer service in the banking and insurance industries. She is very dedicated to the families she serves with pre-planning, as well as she is dedicated to serving families at the time of need to ensure that all of their planning goals were met.

Ann is an active member of St. Mary’s Church in Breckenridge, and an honorary member of the Rotary Club. In her personal time, she enjoys spending time with her family and her eight grandchildren.


Jeanne Putnam

Jeanne Putnam

Support Staff

After serving families as the Aftercare Coordinator/Grief Recovery Specialist since February 1999, Jeanne recently transitioned into assisting the funeral directors during visitations and funeral services.  She earned her certification as a Grief Recovery Specialist from the Grief Recovery Institute of California and through the National Institute for Trauma and loss.   Jeanne also holds her certification as a Trauma and Loss Consultant, Trauma Specialist, and as a Pastoral Education Assistant.   

Jeanne has been the Secretary/Pastoral Assistant at St. Gall's Catholic Church, Tintah, MN since 1977.   She has been with St. Francis Riveredge Hospice, now CHI Health at Home, since 1987. Jeanne has also been an active member of the Tintah Fire and Rescue Squad since 1990, serving as their First Responder Training Officer and helping with many fundraisers. 

Jeanne and her husband Jim live near Tintah, where he farms.   They have five grown children and six grandchildren.  In her spare time, Jeanne enjoys working with stained glass, flower gardening and spending time with family.


Mike Belseth

Mike Belseth

Support Staff

Mike Belseth has been a valuable member of the staff since 2015. He graduated from Appleton, MN High School in 1967 and from Mayville State University in 1971. After a successful teaching and coaching career at Breckenridge High School, Mike’s career path shifted to owning his own business as a State Farm Insurance Agent in Breckenridge. He has served as President of the Breckenridge Lutheran Church Council, President of the Breckenridge Lions Club, President of the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Breckenridge City Council.

Now fully retired, Mike and his wife Diane keep busy with traveling and loving their 14 grandchildren. He continues to follow high school, college, and professional sporting events and even remains loyal to the “unforgiving” Twins. Recently Mike was honored as an inductee into the Mayville State Coach’s Hall of Fame. 

Mike and his wife, Diane, have four adult married children. David (Stephanie) and their three children Sophia, Ben, and Jacob; Karen (Aitor) Leniz and their three children, Amaya, Logan, and Lauren; Jen (Jamie) Beyer and their five children, Ethan, Emma, Julia, Allison, and Anna; Scott (Andrea) and their three children, Adella, Micah, and Tommy.


John Flenner

John Flenner

Support Staff

John was a graduate of Wadena High School and received his Bachelor Degree in Education. Most of his teaching career was at the Breckenridge High School, where he also served as Athletic Director for many years. Following his retirement from education, John joined the staff at Joseph Vertin and Sons to assist in funerals and visitations.

John is married to Marlene and they have two adult children.  He is an avid sports fan and enjoys summers at the lake.


Marcia Pederson

Marcia Pederson

Support Staff

Marcia began working with the staff at Joseph Vertin & Sons Funeral Home in 2014.  Born and raised on a farm in Mahnomen, after graduation from high school, Marcia set out to become a nurse.  First as a Licensed Practical Nurse and later returning to college at Northland Community College, Thief River Falls to earn her Registered Nurse Degree. 

Marcia worked as a nurse at St Mary's Hospital in Detroit Lakes and at St. Luke's Hospital (Sanford) in Fargo.  She retired after working at St. Francis Nursing Home for 30 plus years. 

Marcia enjoys gathering with friends and family, traveling, and biking. In retirement, Marcia continues to work as a nurse at Pioneer Senior Memory Cottage in Breckenridge, Minnesota and she volunteers at Bethel Lutheran Church in Wahpeton, where she is a member of the congregation, and she is also a Hospice Volunteer.


Pam Knapper

Pam Knapper

Support Staff

Pam is originally from Moorhead, MN, but has called Breckenridge her home for the past 25 years.   She is married to Marv and they have 2 grown children, Danae and Derek.  In her spare time she enjoys spending time at their cabin on Trowbridge Lake, reading, spending time with family and friends, or volunteering with the American Cancer Society.  Pam was awarded the Hero of Hope award in 2011 from the American Cancer society, and in 2013, was presented the Mark Werre award by the community of Breckenridge/ Wahpeton for her dedication to volunteering and helping others.    She works full time as the Purchasing/Office Manager at Aaseby Industrial Machining in Wahpeton.  Pam joined the JVFH family in 2013 and works part time assisting with visitations and funerals.   She feels privileged to be a part of such a caring staff, and to assist families during their final tribute to their loved ones.


Daryl Knutson

Daryl Knutson

Support Staff

Daryl retired from Interstate Engineering in 2016 after working as an engineering technician out of their Wahpeton office for 20 years. He and his wife, Phyllis, who is also retired, enjoy outdoor plant and flower gardening and keeping up their yard in Wahpeton. They enjoy time with their adult children and attend the events and activities of their grandchildren in West Fargo. Throughout the past several years, they have enjoyed traveling and have gone on several family vacations with their children and grandchildren.  

Daryl became a part-time staff member with Joseph Vertin and Sons Funeral Home in 2018 and assists with funerals and visitations.


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