Karin Schuett President / Licensed Funeral Director Class 1
Karin has worked as a Licensed Funeral Director for the past 14 years after homemaking and raising a family of two – a son and a daughter. A graduate of Humber College in 2006, Karin entered the profession to express her caring, compassion and creativity. She has worked in several locations throughout the GTA in a wide variety of roles serving bereaved families. The many families she has served have experienced her warmth, sensitivity and practicality, as well as her concern for providing satisfying, efficient and appropriate care. This is reiterated with the fact that Circle of Life caters to one family at a time, offering privacy and exclusive care. Now, as Owner / Manager of her own funeral services establishment, Karin offers families the benefits of her experience to provide them with a respectful, dignified and cost-effective service in the changing landscape of funeral services today.
Circle of Life Cremation and Burial Centre Inc. is a member of The Better Business Bureau (BBB). Karin is a member of The Dundas Lawn Bowling Club and the Dundas Rotary Club. She serves on the Board of Directors for Dundas Community Services, the Rotary Lobster and Rib Fest, and Canada Day Pancake Breakfast. Karin is a frequent speaker at various community events, sharing her knowledge about the death care industry.
Miss Emma Comfort Dog/Office Assistant
Emma is our much loved, 5 year old Miniature Schnauzer. She has been with us from the first day we opened our doors, and she is most happy to greet our families and provide comfort and stress relief. Emma loves her work!
Frank Schmidt Business Owner / Office Administrator
Frank is a retiree from the Ontario Public Service, having worked for over 20 years with several Ministries, including the Ministries of Community and Social Services, Health and Long-Term Care, and Attorney General. Prior to that, Frank worked for more than 20 years with the Public Service of Canada and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. As a public servant, Frank worked on many initiatives that modernized and responded to emerging trends in services for people, from employment for special needs persons, to disability support programs, tele-medicine, end-of-life care and pandemic preparedness planning. As Owner / Office Administrator of a funeral services establishment, Frank brings this diversified administrative background in community service, and a commitment to helping people transition during difficult life circumstances to his role.
Gisela Zehmer Funeral Pre-Planner
Gisela comes to our team with a strong background in public relations, community development and social services. Working with families is her passion. Gisela has over 10 years of experience in the funeral industry and is a graduate of Mohawk College and Conestoga College. Gisela has also obtained her Life License in 2012. An avid volunteer, she is a former charter member of Lions International (West), FICS and the task force at Rescued and Restored. She continues to volunteer, and fundraises for many organizations. Gisela has completed the educational and licencing exam requirements through Humber College as a Funeral Pre-Planner.
Carmen Varga was born in Guatemala and came to Canada in 1991. She joined and became a team member at Circle of Life in March, 2019, a year after the loss of her soulmate husband, Steve.
Having a professional background in nursing, Carmen has been in a position of providing diligent care to others. Her extensive traveling experience has given her an understanding of cultural differences and an empathetic approach to those who suffer physically, or emotionally.
Carmen is passionate about every task she undertakes, and is eager to learn, apply, and deliver.
Bev Ann Brown Greeter
Bev Ann understands grief and the grief journey associated with losing a loved one, having lost her spouse in 2013. She knows grief does not progress in an orderly manner. She believes that new beginnings and a new ‘normal’ are available to each of us.
She has an understanding and compassionate heart.
She holds a Masters in Educational Administration from Brock University, a certificate in Personnel Management from Fanshawe College and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Manitoba.
Her life experience with change – 13 moves within Canada and the US; a for profit business owner that operated on the world stage; extensive volunteering with non-profit organizations in the arts, health, education and co-operative extension sectors – gave her confidence, wisdom and experience to take the journey towards new beginnings.
She is passionate about providing service and support to those families who enter Circle of Life.
Isolde “Issi” Schuett Designer
German born Issi immigrated to Canada at the age of 12. Issi has worked for Canada Post for more than 25 years, but art and crafts have always been passions for her. She has explored many different media, recently adding stained glass to her repertoire. Her themes include nature and the spirit, and her one-of-a-kind creations come from the heart, every piece imbued with her kind and caring essence.Circle of Life is proud to feature Issi’s work as part of our Artists’ circle.
Dave Pothier Woodworker
Dave has been a life long woodworker and has built various projects over the years, from remodeling the kitchen and building all of the cabinetry, building a cedar strip kayak, many furniture items, to making full size, double size, and very small keepsake boxes and urns. Inlays have become his specialty at the present time.
He retired after having been employed by the Hamilton Fire Department for 31 years. He and his wife Lynn have been married for 41 years. They have two adult children, Melissa and Chris, and 11 year old Brady. Other interests include playing snooker, ballroom dancing, gardening, beer making and travel.
Unha Hill Designer
Korean born artist Unha Hill first immigrated to Canada in March of 1991. As well as speaking three languages, being the featured artist for the Hamilton Potters Guild in 2013 and holding a Master’s degree in Floral Design, Unha has an extensive background in Ceramic Art that allows her to create unique and beautiful urns for Circle of Life Cremation and Burial Centre. This local artist explores both new and ancient techniques and is constantly changing variations of glazing and staining in order to, as she states, “bring out mystery colours and textures. My pottery is about the elements of nature that I love.” From the abundance of shapes, textures, colours and moving creatures that nature has to offer, she is constantly amazed at how all of these elements can inspire her and give each piece of original art its own unique personality. Circle of Life Cremation and Burial Centre is very proud to have Unha Hill’s artistry showcased in their assortment of urns, pet urns and keepsake urns.
Dr. Dustin Galer Local Historian
Dr. Galer is a professional historian who specializes in helping people capture their life stories so they can be shared with others. Often people are worried they or a loved one will forget their personal or family stories. They'd love to have a history of their lives, but they don't have the time or know how to do it themselves. Sadly, unless these stories are memorialized in a format that is easy to pass along, they can be easily forgotten. Dr. Galer interviews people about their lives or the life of a loved one. He then organizes and edits their stories to produce a compelling audio recording with background music or a beautiful published book people can share with family and friends.
Rebecca Daum Grief and Bereavement Companion
Rebecca Daum, Grief and Bereavement Companion, Thana Doula and Palliative Care PSW, offers a companioning model of support that allows for the authentic expression of each person's unique grief. Rebecca has specialized training from both the U.S. and Canada in Grief and Bereavement Studies and in End of Life Care. Rebecca integrates a mindful and contemplative approach along with her sensitive communication style to create a safe space for trust, respect and relationships to evolve. Rebecca and her colleague Lori Goldblatt, have formed a unique service called Meaningful Passages. Together they offer compassionate support to people moving through their end of life experience, as well as for their families, friends and caregivers. Our broad range of complimentary skills and the generous way we serve allows us to offer a continuity of care that is rare and offers stability, comfort, trust and ease to our clients at times that may be challenging. "
Lori Goldblatt Life-Cycle Celebrant
Lori Goldblatt, Life-Cycle Celebrant, Thana Doula, and Reiki Master, is dedicated to the creation and facilitation of personalized ceremonies that reflect the loss, transitions, rites of passage and celebrations of life. As a facilitator of mindfulness-based modalities, Lori has offered workshops and private sessions for children, youth, and adults for more than 20 years. Her training in Transformative Mindfulness Methods Reiki, Compassionate/Non-Violent Communication, and Emotional Freedom (tapping)Technique are all integrated in the caring work she offers. Lori and her colleague Rebecca Daum, have formed a unique service called Meaningful Passages. Together they offer compassionate support to people moving through their end of life experience, as well as for their families, friends and caregivers. Using her celebrancy training combined with the mindfulness-based tools in her own practise, Lori is honoured to create a safe and loving space for people to be seen, heard, and empowered in whatever life transition they may be experiencing.
Marie Cerantola Organizer
Marie is the owner/operator of Blue Skies Organizer; her second career after recently retiring from McMaster University after 29 years of service. She hails from the Maritimes as evident from her open and honest nature. She credits coming from a large family with her success in dealing with all types of people. Marie brings maturity, respect and discretion in her dealings with clients and families. She breaks down the overwhelming and confusing task of sorting through your loved ones things. She encourages her clients to share their stories and memories; “It’s very healthy and a great way to celebrate your loved ones life”.
Blue Skies Organizer really does “bring calm home” .