Staff

We are proud of our highly qualified staff who provide the service that our communities need and expect. All of our Funeral Directors are licensed and experienced in all aspects of funeral and cremation services. 


 

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Ann S. Groff Owner & Licensed Funeral Director
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Kara C. Groff President & Licensed Funeral Director
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Kurt M. Kresser Manager / Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer
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James M. Recker Manager / Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer / Certified Celebrant
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Lisa M. Recker Advance Planning Director / Licensed Funeral Director / Certified Preplanning Consultant
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E. Annie Birli Office Manager
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Kathleen E. Phillips Funeral Director Apprentice
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Pastor Wally Gilbert Funeral Director Apprentice
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Carol A. Zieigler Remembrance Center Store Manager
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Sherry L. Bolton Remembrance Center Sales Associate
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Jacquelyn R. Williams Pet Care Specialist and Staff Associate
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Tara L. Villarreal Cemetery Administrator
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Tiffany A. Dauch Cemetery Sales Advisor
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Geoffrey A. Cleveland Cemetery Grounds Manager
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J. Allen Jenkins Crematory Operator and Cemetery Grounds Crew
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William C. LaCourse Cemetery Grounds Crew
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Lori A. Roth Legacy Center Event Hostess
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Norma J. Scally Greeter
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Mary Ann Hutchins Greeter
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Marqueta L. Reedy Greeter
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Rev. Richard L. Babcock Staff Associate
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Richard J. Krafty Staff Associate
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Leon J. Groff In Loving Memory

Ann S. Groff

Owner & Licensed Funeral Director
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Ann Groff, licensed funeral director, operates The Remembrance Center & Gift Gallery, which is a gift store that offers unique gifts and tributes for any occasion.  Ann graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic High School and the University of Dayton.  She obtained her funeral directors license in 1989.

Ann is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sandusky, Plum Brook Country Club, Sandusky Yacht Club, National Funeral Directors Association, Ohio Funeral Directors Association, and the Firelands Funeral Directors Association.  Ann resides in Sandusky with her husband, Leon, and their son, Ashton.  They also have two daughters, Kelly and Kara.

 

Kara C. Groff

President & Licensed Funeral Director
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Kara C. Groff, third generation funeral director, is the Executive Director at Groff Funeral Homes and Crematory and Meadow Green Memorial Park, and the owner of Groff Pet Loss Services. She is a 2003 graduate of St. Mary’s High School in Sandusky. Kara received a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from Xavier University in 2006 and a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in management from John Carroll University in 2011.  She received her Funeral Director's license in 2013.

She is a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sandusky, Sandusky Rotary Club, Plum Brook Country Club, Ohio Cemetery Association, National Funeral Directors Association, Pet Loss Professional Alliance, and has servied on the Board of Directors for the Sandusky State Theatre.  She is the recipient of the Volunteer Center's Women of Excellence Award. Kara resides in Sandusky with her children, Macie and Drew.

Kurt M. Kresser

Manager / Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer
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Kurt M. Kresser, funeral director and embalmer, serves as the Manger of the Groff Funeral Home in Sandusky.  Kurt is a highly valued member of the Groff team.  He began working for Groff Funeral Homes in May of 1990.  Kurt coordinates the day to day operations at our Sandusky location, and is highly skilled in the art of embalming and cosmetology.  Kurt graduated in 1985 from St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Sandusky.  He received his Bachelor of Mortuary Science Degree from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in 1994.

He is a member of Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Sandusky, the Sandusky Lions Club, Sandusky Yacht Club, Sandusky Elks Lodge, Knights of Columbus, National Funeral Directors Association, Ohio Funeral Directors Association, and The Firelands Funeral Directors Association.  Kurt resides in Sandusky and enjoys being outdoors, biking in Downtown Sandusky, and spending time on Lake Erie.

James M. Recker

Manager / Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer / Certified Celebrant
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At the age of 14, Jim began working at a funeral home and has been involved with the profession since.  As a licensed Funeral Director, he takes great pride and truly appreciates assisting families that have lost a loved one, finding it very rewarding to serve others; listening and going out of the way to exceed the expectations of every family. Jim and his wife Lisa make their home in Catawba Island Twp along with their two children. As a family they spend a lot of time outdoors and on the water. Cherishing time spent with family and close friends. Jim has been a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer for 20 plus years. He attended St. Meinrad Seminary and is a graduate of the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.

Lisa M. Recker

Advance Planning Director / Licensed Funeral Director / Certified Preplanning Consultant
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Lisa M. Recker is a Licensed Funeral Director, Certified Preplanning Consultant, Licensed Insurance Agent, Certified Celebrant and the Advance Planning Director for Groff Funeral Homes and Crematory.  She operates the advance funeral planning department, assists families in aftercare follow up and is an excellent resource for any other services requested by our families.

Lisa was born and raised in Elmore, OH and graduated from Woodmore High School in 1990.  She completed her Child Life internship at the Medical College of Ohio and graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in Family Services with a focus in Child Life and Development in 1995.  Lisa worked for several years as a Children’s Services Caseworker for the Department of Human Services.  She became a licensed insurance agent in December of 1999, while working on completing her funeral director apprenticeship.  She became a licensed funeral director in April of 2003.  Lisa worked as an Advance Planning Advisor for a family-owned funeral home in Port Clinton from 1999-2003 and as our Advance Planning Director in Sandusky from 2003-2010 before taking her experience to Homesteaders Life Company and working as a Sr. Account Executive from 2010-2021. In 2014, Lisa was awarded the nationally recognized Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC) designation by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA).  The CPC certification program is considered the standard of excellence in funeral service for individuals who help families plan funerals in advance.  We are pleased that Lisa has returned to Groff Funeral Home and Crematory and will be serving as our director of advance funeral planning.

Lisa is a member of the Lions Club, Port Clinton Yacht Club and a member of the Ohio Funeral Directors Association (OFDA).  She is married to her husband, Jim, who is also a funeral director at Groff Funeral Homes and Crematory.  They have two children, Madeline & Michael, and reside in Catawba Island, OH.

E. Annie Birli

Office Manager
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Elizabeth "Annie" Birli is the office manager and began working for Groff Funeral Homes and Crematory in August 2013. Annie is often the first person families speak to, and her pleasant phone greeting and warm personality assures that the staff at Groff is here to help.  Annie is a 2002 graduate of St. Mary's Central Catholic High School and received her bachelors degree of Health and Human Services in Criminal Justice from BGSU in 2007. She resides in Sandusky, and enjoys spending time with her friends and family, especially her nieces and nephews. 

Kathleen E. Phillips

Funeral Director Apprentice
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Kathleen E. Phillips is a staff associate at Groff Fueral Homes & Crematory.  She is a 2010 graduate of St. Mary's High School in Sandusky.  Kathleen then furthered her education and received a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice from Heidelberg University in 2014.  She began her funeral director apprenticeship in April 2021.

Kathleen resides in Sandusky with her Australian Cattle Dog, Bodhi.

Pastor Wally Gilbert

Funeral Director Apprentice
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Wally Gilbert is the former Pastor of NorthPointe Baptist Church in Sandusky.  He has been a part of the cemetery maintenance crew and worked as a staff associate at our funeral homes since 2012.  Wally began his funeral director apprenticeship in April of 2021.

Carol A. Zieigler

Remembrance Center Store Manager
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Carol A. Ziegler is the store manager at The Remembrance Center and Gift Gallery.  Carol was born and raised in Sandusky.  She is a 1969 graduate of St. Mary's High School.  After marrying her husband, they moved to Huron to raise their family.  She and Wally have a son, Andrew, and a daughter, Elizabeth.  When the kids left the nest they purchased a condo and moved back to Sandusky.

Carol began working at The Remembrance Center in 2001 at its inception.  She oversees the daily operations of the store and always privdes customers with an amazing shopping experience along with her fellow worker, Sherry Bolton.

Sherry L. Bolton

Remembrance Center Sales Associate
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Sherry Bolton enjoyes working with customers as a sales associate at The Remembrance Center and Gift Gallery.  She and her husband, Bill. have been in the Sandusky area since 2000.  She worked at Curves as a fitness before joining Carol Ziegler at The Remembrance Center in 2014.  

Sherry enjoys spending time with her two childrens and five grandchildren in Louisiana and Illinois whenever possible.

Jacquelyn R. Williams

Pet Care Specialist and Staff Associate
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Jacquelyn R. Williams joined our team in Janaury 2020 and works as a Pet Care Specialist at Groff Pet Loss Services, as well as an administrative assistant for our cemetery grounds crew at Meadow Green Memorial Park.  In addition, she shares her talents by assisting part time at Groff Funeral Homes and Crematory as a staff associate. She is a 1994 graduate of Elyria West High School, and attended LCJVS in Wellington, OH her senior year for Administrative Services.   She went to LCCC in 1996 to become a certified dental assistant, and worked in the dental field for 22 years. 
 
Jacquelyn has always had a passion for the funeral industry, and her caring personality is a light for the families she serves.  She is an excellent fit for our pet division as her empathy and compassion for pets and their owners runs deep.  Jackie has had pets her whole life, from cats and dogs, to bird and turtles. She currently resides in Huron with her 12 year old maltese/shihtzu dog, Ms. BabyGirl. If she's not at work, you can guarantee they are spending their quality time together!  

Tara L. Villarreal

Cemetery Administrator
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Tara L. Villarreal became the Cemetery Administrator of Meadow Green Memorial Park in August 2021.  She is a 2001 graduate of Norwalk Catholic St. Paul High School.  She received her Bachelor degree in Criminal Justice Studies from Kent State University in 2005 and a Masters of Business Administration in 2013.  Tara is also a certified speaker, trainer and coach with the John Maxwell Team and aspires to obtain a Funeral Director's License soon.
 
Tara is a leader and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Sandusky.  She is also an auxiliary member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Post #711 in Norwalk. She serves on the Polucy Council for CACEHR Head Start and serves the kinship and foster care community on the Parent Advisory Committee in Huron County.  Tara resides in Norwalk with her four children and three dogs.

Tiffany A. Dauch

Cemetery Sales Advisor
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Tiffany A. Dauch joined the Meadow Green Memorial Park team in August 2021.  She assists families with selecting their burial locations and designing memorial markers and headstones.  Tiffany graduated from St. Mary's Central Catholic High School in 2010 and attended The Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati.  She obtained her Assocaites Degree in Early Childhood Education and made the Dean's List.  Tiffany is a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church and The Sandusky Yacht Club.  She enjoys summers with her family, especially fishing on Lake Erie with her boys.  Tiffany resides in Sandusky with her husband, Joe, three sons, Trae, Lake and Hank, two dogs and their chickens.

Geoffrey A. Cleveland

Cemetery Grounds Manager
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Geoffrey Cleveland is the Meadow Green Memorial Park Cemetery Grounds Manager.  He is a 1998 graduate of Huron High School and attended Bowling Green State University where he studied sociology and communications.  He is also a Certified Peer Recovery Supporter.  He began working for Meadow Green Memorial Park Cemetery in 2018 and became the grounds manager in 2021.
 
He is an active member of the Artisans Recovery Community Center and the recovery community.  He resides in Milan. 

J. Allen Jenkins

Crematory Operator and Cemetery Grounds Crew
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Allen Jenkins is a Certified Crematory Operator and part of the Meadow Green Memorial Park Cemetery Grounds Crew.  He has been with the company since 2011 and can be seen working at the funeral home, or with the cemetery grounds maintenance crew.  He is a 1981 Sandusky High School graduate.  He retired from Public Service.
 
He is a member of the American Legion.  He has 3 children and 2 grandchildren, and resides with his wife Kristin in Sandusky.

William C. LaCourse

Cemetery Grounds Crew
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Bill LaCourse joined the Meadow Green Memorial Park Maintenance Crew in 2019.  He has had over 30 years of experience in cemetery groundskeeping and forestry.  Bill graduated from Sandusky High School in 1975 and is a Hocking Tech Certified Arborist.  He has been affiliated with the Masonic Lodge for over 40 years.  When not at work, he enjoys downhill skiing and antique cars.  Bill resides in Sandusky.

Lori A. Roth

Legacy Center Event Hostess
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Lori A. Roth is an event hostess and has been working with families to coordinate events of all occasions at The Legacy Center since October 2016.

Norma J. Scally

Greeter
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Norma J. Scally has been a greeter at our Sandusky Chapel since June 1998.

Mary Ann Hutchins

Greeter
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Mary Ann Hutchins has been a greeter at our Sandusky Chapel since August of 1995.

Marqueta L. Reedy

Greeter
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Marqueta L. Reedy has been at a greeter at our Milan Chapel since January 2014.

Rev. Richard L. Babcock

Staff Associate
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Rev. Richard "Ric" L. Babcock has been a staff associate at our funeral homes since January 2017.

Richard J. Krafty

Staff Associate
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Richard J. Krafty is a Staff Associate with Groff Funeral Homes.  He serves at the discretion of the Funeral Directors and Office Staff.  He was born in Sandusky, OH and graduated from St. Mary Central Catholic High School class of 1994.  He went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and an Associate’s Degree in Law Enforcement from the University of Toledo in 1998.  
 
Richard is also a 1999 graduate of the Sandusky Police Academy and the NASA Federal Security/Police Bridge Course in 2019.
He worked 25 years in Law Enforcement serving Cedar Point, Sandusky, Huron, Bay View and NASA.  He was also employed by Erie County Juvenile Court in probation and corrections.  He lives in Huron, OH with his two children Nicholas and Megan. 
 
Richard enjoys island life, boating and classic cars.  When he is not working you may see him out driving “Midge” his 1970 MG Midget.  He is an avid fan of Cedar Point, downtown Sandusky, and being with his family and closest friends.

Leon J. Groff

In Loving Memory
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In loving memory of Leon J. Groff, our former President and CEO, who passed away unexpectedly on April 14, 2020.  Leon was a second generation funeral director and embalmer, and dedicated his life to serving the Sandusky, Huron, Milan and surrdounging communities thorughout his 47 year career. 

Leon was a lifelong resident of Sandusky. He graduated from the St. Mary’s Catholic High School and Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.

He began working at Groff Funeral Home in 1972, and developed Meadow Green Memorial Park Cemetery in 1988. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sandusky, Plum Brook Country Club, Sandusky Yacht Club, National Funeral Directors Association, past president of Ohio Funeral Directors Association, the Firelands Funeral Directors Association, Knights of Columbus, Sandusky Elks and Exchange Club. Leon resided in Sandusky with his wife, Ann, and their son, Ashton.  They also have two daughters, Kelly and Kara.