History and Staff

A funeral, or memorial service, should provide family members and loved ones with the chance to reflect, remember, and celebrate a life well-lived. Our goal is to create exceptional services and experiences that fulfill the wishes of your loved one. Our experienced Funeral Directors provide guidance on the crucial first steps toward healing.

A History of Caring

With Washington State having one of the highest cremation rates in the US at 61.16%*, it did not make sense to have large elaborate facilities and vehicles that few families use, yet every family must pay for. Instead, it made more sense to utilize a low-overhead yet professional building, allocate resources more efficiently, and utilize new technologies (such as the internet) to reduce expenses. Through these simple cost reductions, Edwards Memorial is able to offer substantial savings to families without compromising quality of service.

* Source: Center for Health Statistics, WA State Dept. of Health, 03/2005

Our Staff’s Dedication to Respectful Care

A funeral, or memorial service, should provide family members and loved ones with the chance to reflect, remember, and celebrate a life well-lived. At Edwards Memorial, our goal is to create exceptional services and experiences that fulfill the wishes of your loved one. Our experienced Funeral Directors provide guidance on the crucial first steps toward healing.

John Lawrence
Location Leader

John was born and raised in Tacoma and takes great pride in serving the families of his lifelong community. His calm and caring nature help him guide the families he serves through the most difficult of times. He enjoys helping families celebrate the lives of their loved ones in both traditional and innovative ways.

John has been working with Edwards Memorial since 2011. He studied computer science at Willamette University in Salem, OR where he graduated with honors. He has always had a calling to help others and worked for several years as a football coach and academic tutor before starting his career in the funeral industry. 

John and his wife Ginell are the proud parents to three sons. In his free time he loves playing games with his boys and all things sports especially football, boxing and wrestling. 

Catherine Simonds
Funeral Director

Catherine is a Lakewood native. She graduated from Clover Park High School and left Washington soon after to attend Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI studying Culinary Arts, Food Service and Hotel Management. After a quick four years, she came home to be close to her family.  After working for the hotel industry for a decade, life changes gave Catherine the chance to work for Edwards Memorial. She fell in love with helping people again and felt the funeral industry as her true professional calling. She enjoys working with all religions and specializes in sending loved ones back to their homes worldwide.

In her free time, Catherine enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering for cat rescues, cooking, baking, home improvement projects, and singing karaoke.

Jaime Hohmann
Funeral Director/Administrative Assistant/Pre-Planning Specialist

Jaime is a Funeral Director, Administrative Assistant and preplanning specialist. She has been with Edwards Memorial since 2008. She takes pride in providing exceptional care to families in their time of need and forming bonds with people by serving them with compassion and empathy. Jaime has a passion for helping families to celebrate the lives of their loved ones. To be that person to guide and comfort those who are grieving, is one of the purest and most amazing gifts you could ever receive.

Jaime is from Aberdeen, WA where she was a certified nursing assistant for many years. Jaime lives with her husband and son in the Puyallup area. As a family they enjoy hunting, camping, hiking, clam digging and everything beautiful Washington state has to offer.

Melissa Maeyama
Funeral Director Intern

Melissa grew up in Southern California and received her bachelors in Paramedic Science from Marymount University in Washington DC. After working in emergency medicine as a Nationally Registered Paramedic, she joined Edwards in 2016.  She enjoys helping families celebrate their loved ones in creative, unique ways and takes pride in serving families with compassion and friendliness.

In her free time she enjoys spending time with her dog, studying low tide marine life and caring for her collection of indoor plants.

Jake Leonetti
Funeral Director Intern

Jake was born and raised in Oregon and has always enjoyed everything the Northwest has to offer. After high school, he obtained his bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University. He began teaching in Port Angeles, WA at Peninsula College with the Upward Bound program; enabling high school seniors to succeed in college, whose families haven’t had the opportunity to attend college. After moving to Tacoma, he began working at Edwards Memorial in 2016. Jake found a passion for being able to assist families through some of the most difficult times of their lives. Approaching every family as if they were a part of his own, Jake ensures that every family’s needs are heard and handled with respect.

In his free time, Jake enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, woodworking, tabletop gaming, and traveling.

Jennifer "Jenny" Catalano
Funeral Director Intern

Jenny, a native Bostonian, traveled cross-country in 2017 to explore new possibilities in the Pacific Northwest, and has brought along with her a refreshing and multifaceted talent.  She graduated with Honors from the Funeral Institute of the Northeast and set off to learn as much as she could about all aspects of care for those who are experiencing the loss of a loved one.  She has worked at both large and small funeral homes on both coasts and has incorporated the best of each into her approach, creating a warm and open experience for any family she assists.  She joins the Edwards Memorial family with nearly five years of industry experience, and she intends to continue using her drive and dedication to provide families with compassionate care for many more years to come. 

Jenny believes the most important part of funeral service is listening to the needs of the grieving and using the insights they glean from that receptiveness to help families tailor every facet of their memorialization of those who have passed on.  

She spends her free time reading, writing, and studying art, film, and music. She loves to draw and paint, and especially enjoys creating one-of-a-kind portraits.

Anna Cammon
Funeral Director Intern

Anna was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Growing up in a small town and being raised by volunteer firefighters instilled a strong sense of community and a desire to help from an early age. After graduating with a degree in psychology from the University of Washington, Tacoma, she turned her caring nature into a career in funeral services.

In her free time she enjoys reading, spending time in nature, and photography.

Thalia Nugent
Funeral Director Intern

Thalia was born and raised in Tacoma Washington and has a background in Theatrical Arts and Sewing. She's has always had an interest in helping families and is pursuing a career in the Funeral Industry.

In her free time she enjoys sewing, cooking, and exploring all of what the world has to offer.

Sarah Bruce
Administrative Assistant

Originally from Texas, Sarah moved up to Washington not long after graduating from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. She has always strived to help others especially during difficult times and it is this passion that led her into the funeral industry. Sarah has been able to help grieving families by communicating with doctors and navigating government procedures to file death certificates while at the same time being a calming and kind presence both on the phone and in person. Sarah loves to spend any spare time with her fiancé and their two dogs.

Thomas Hughes
Funeral Director/Embalmer

Tom was born and raised on the border of Idaho and Montana. After graduating from the University of Idaho with various degrees, he settled in mortuary science and graduated from San Francisco Mortuary College in 1987. He holds licenses in embalming and funeral directing in Washington, Montana and Oregon.

Elizabeth Coyle
Funeral Director/Embalmer

Elizabeth was born in Oregon and grew up in the St. Louis metro area, receiving a degree in Mortuary Science in 2013. She has worked in many different aspects within the scope the funeral Industry. Elizabeth is passionate, driven, and empathetic. She strives to create personalize services to celebrate loved ones lives and ensure that every family is treated with respect and dignity that they deserve.

In her free time she reads, writes, plays tabletop rpgs, Larping, hikes and travels.

Jack "Ryan" Turner
Crematory Operator

Ryan has been the crematory operator and removal technician with Edwards Memorial since August 2008. He appreciates being able to help those who are in need through his care and compassion in the industry.