History & Staff
We are very proud of our dedicated history in each community we serve, and promise that we will continue our service based on dedication, compassion, and trust for generations to come.
The Parker Funeral Home originated in the 1870s as the Ray Funeral Home. David Ray operated the funeral home and was later joined by his daughter Flora Ray Parker. She continued the operation of the business and was joined by her son, John Parker.
The Kohl Funeral Home was originally the McCarthy Funeral Home, which was purchased by Edward Kohl in 1942. Edward and his wife, Gertrude operated the funeral home and were joined by their son, James Kohl. His sons, Steve Kohl and John Kohl, have continued to operate the funeral home.
Brothers, Steve and John Kohl currently own operate Parker Kohl Funeral Home, McRaith Funeral Home, and Arnoldt-McRaith Funeral Home. They, along with their dedicated staff, work together to provide service beyond the expectations of every family they serve. Each funeral home has its own individual history that we would like to share with you. Please click on each facility below to learn about the generations of service that have been provided.
Our Valued Staff
Steve Kohl, Funeral Director/Owner
Steve has been a licensed mortician since 1987. He is a partner of the Kohl & McRaith Funeral Homes with his brother, John Kohl. Steve was raised in Faribault and graduated from Bethlehem Academy High School. He then graduated from the University of Minnesota Mortuary Science Program and started his career in funeral service in 1987 in Owatonna, MN. In 1990 he returned to Faribault and the Parker Kohl Funeral Home. Steve and his wife, Gail have two children and reside in Faribault. He is actively involved in his church, the Faribault Sertoma Club, the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and the Faribault Knights of Columbus.
John Kohl, Funeral Director/Owner
John has been a licensed mortician since 1993. He is a partner of the Kohl & McRaith Funeral Homes with his brother, Steve Kohl. John was raised in Faribault and graduated from Bethlehem Academy High School and St. John's University. He then graduated from the University of Minnesota Mortuary Science Program and started his career in funeral service in 1993 at Parker Kohl Funeral Home. John and his wife, Kris have three children and reside in Faribault. He is actively involved with his church, his children's school, and is a member of the Faribault Lions Club and Faribault Knights of Columbus.
James Kohl, Funeral Director
James Kohl was raised in Faribault and graduated from Bethlehem Academy High School and the University of Minnesota Department of Mortuary Science. He served in the U. S. Army for three years with the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, NC. He joined his father, Edward Kohl, and began his funeral service career in Faribault in 1965. In 1978, he merged his business interest with the Parker Funeral Home and since that time the firm has been known as the Parker Kohl Funeral Home. He and his wife, Kay, have four children and ten grandchildren. He continues active with the firm in a consulting capacity.
Jesse Starkson, Funeral Director
Jesse is a 2007 graduate of Faribault Senior High School and a 2010 graduate of the Program of Mortuary Science at the University of Minnesota. While attending the program, Jesse was the President of the Mortuary Science Student Association and was also the recipient of the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association Past President Scholarship. He originally began working with us in 2003 and continues to show his dedication to those we serve. In June of 2013, Jesse and his wife Katie (Monahan) originally from Waseca, relocated to our Waseca and Janesville funeral homes. They currently reside in Waseca where they enjoy being active in both the Waseca and Janesville communities. Jesse is a member of the Waseca Lions Club, the Waseca Arts Council, the Knights of Columbus Council in Waseca, the University of Minnesota Program of Mortuary Science Board of Directors, and along with his wife, is a member of the Church of the Sacred Heart in Waseca.
Lauren Combellick, Intern Funeral Director
Lauren grew up in Hancock, Minnesota and graduated from Hancock High School in 2011. She went to Minnesota State University Moorhead for a year before transferring to the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. She graduated from the Program of Mortuary Science with her Bachelor of Science Degree in May 2014. She has been working as an intern with us since June. Lauren and her husband, Colter, currently reside in Janesville.
Jim Ferch, Funeral Director's Assistant
Jim Ferch, a lifelong Waseca native and has worked along with the staff as a Funeral Director’s Assistant for the past several years in Waseca, Janesville and Faribault locations. Jim is married to his wife Becky and have 2 son’s Nic & Sam. Jim is a 1981 graduate of Waseca High School and Graduate of South Central College in Sales and Marketing/Public Relations in North Mankato. Jim and Becky live in Waseca and Becky teaches school at Hartley Elementary. They are active members in the community in many different ways, as members of Grace Lutheran Church in Waseca, they enjoy mentoring, teaching, and other activities with the youth groups at Grace. Jim enjoys coaching, being an Adult youth mentor on mission trips, playing trumpet, bike riding, hunting, snow skiing and attending all of the different activities that their son’s Nic and Sam are involved in and traveling.
Jackie Peters, Funeral Director's Assistant
Jackie Peters, a lifelong Waseca native, works with our staff as a Funeral Director’s Assistant at our Waseca and Janesville locations. Jackie is married to Jurgen Peters and resides on their family farm south of Waseca. She graduated from Sacred Heart Catholic School, and along with Jurgen, are currently members of the Church of the Sacred Heart where she is active in many different ways. Outside of working, Jackie enjoys judging open-class flowers, fruits, and vegetables at various county fairs in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa, volunteering at Some Time Away in Waseca as a senior advocate, helping with home healthcare, and many other ways of volunteering throughout our community.
Jay Dulas, Funeral Director's Assistant
Steve Bauer, Funeral Director's Assistant
Jerry Duchene, Funeral Director's Assistant
Katie Starkson, Office Assistant
Deanna Bauer, Office Assistant