Our Caring Staff

Trusted experts creating custom goodbyes reflecting love and life.

It is our outstanding people who deliver our exceptional service. We know that each death is difficult, and each is unique. We believe special relationships are to be honored. We know how to take care of all the details well. We all know how to listen.

 

We offer funeral, cremation and burial services. We provide grief and bereavement counseling. We are available all day and night, every day.

 

Our dedication and diligence enable us to continue the over 100 year old tradition of serving each and every family with the utmost quality and care.

Administrative Staff

Funeral Service Associates

Maintenance and Housekeeping

A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors Staff

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Terence B. Desmond, CFSP Licensed Funeral Director and Chairman

"I have spent my life in funeral service because I know that I can make a difference in people's lives at their most difficult hour."

 

For almost 60 years, Terry Desmond has served families as a funeral director. He graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School, the University of Notre Dame and the Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science. As part of his on-going continuing education, Terry is recognized as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP). He is a member of the Advisory Board at the Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science and a past State Director of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association.

 

Terry has always been very active in the community. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Angels' Place (Christian homes for developmentally disabled adults), a former board member of the the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and a former member of the Oakland County Senior Planning Coalition. Other community leadership has included co-founder and former board member of Troy Boys/Girls Club, co-founder of Troy Medi-Go, past vice-president of the Troy Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Kiwanis Club of Troy, past president of the Notre Dame Club of Detroit, former member of the Board of Directors of Marian High School, and past president of the Brother Rice and Marian High School Dads Clubs. Terry is also a past Parish Council president at St. Thomas More and is now an active member of St. Hugo of the Hills, where he and his wife Betty were co-presidents of the St. Hugo Parent Teacher Guild.

 

His community involvement has been recognized by many organizations including the Distinguished Citizen Award for City of Troy in 1982, the Italian Study Group's 2000 Italian-American of the Year, and the Marian High School Volunteer of the Year Award in 2003. Each school he attended has recognized his achievements, including the Award of the Year from the Notre Dame Club of Detroit in 1980, the Alumnus of the Year Award from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 2006 and the 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award from the Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science. Terry and Betty have also received a special recognition for their continuing service to Marian High School and were honored by Guest House with the 2015 Bishop Kevin M. Britt Award in recognition of a significant ministry to the Catholic Church.

 

Raised in St. Benedict Parish (Highland Park), Terry is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area. He and Betty live currently in Bloomfield Township. They have six children, three of whom (Margaret, Kathy and Kevin) are now leading A.J. Desmond & Sons, and 18 grandchildren.

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Kevin B. Desmond, CFSP Licensed Funeral Director, President and General Manager KDesmond@ajdesmond.com

"I work in funeral service to serve our community, and to provide the most meaningful experience for those who are going through a loss."

 

 

Kevin has been with A.J. Desmond & Sons since 2008. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Mortuary Science from Wayne State University in 2009 where he was the class vice president. Kevin also graduated from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business in 2008, majoring in Marketing, and from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 2004. He has completed all the requirements to be recognized as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP). He is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and Michigan Funeral Directors Association. Kevin previously coached youth lacrosse at St. Hugo grade school and U of D Jesuit High School for many years. Kevin sits on the Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciece Board of Visitors and is a member of the Detroit Executive Committee. In 2020, Kevin was named by Crain's Detroit Business as one of their 40 under 40. A member of Holy Name parish, Kevin lives in Birmingham with his wife, Katrina Piligian Desmond, and their three children.

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Kathy Desmond Barr, CFSP Licensed Funeral Director, Vice-President and Treasurer KBarr@ajdesmond.com

Kathy has been with A.J. Desmond & Sons since 1990. She graduated from Marian High School in 1986, the University of Notre Dame in 1990, and the Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science in 1995. She has completed all the requirements to be recognized as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) and The Michigan Institute of Funeral Professionals also designates her as a Certified Michigan Funeral Practitioner. Kathy is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and the Michigan Funeral Directors Association. A parishioner of St. Hugo of the Hills, Kathy serves as an Eucharistic minister. A lifelong area resident, Kathy currently lives in Troy with her husband, Scott Barr, and their children.

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Margaret A. Desmond Director of Human Resources, Technology and Marketing mdesmond@ajdesmond.com

"Accompanying a family through a difficult time and working with wonderful and dedicated colleagues keep me committed and engaged each and every day. It is a privilege to serve others."

 

Margaret joined A.J. Desmond & Sons in 2004. She graduated from Marian High School, she earned a Bachelors of Business Administration and a Masters of Arts in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame. She completed additional graduate studies at Michigan State University. Prior to A.J. Desmond & Sons, Margaret worked in community development and education in Chicago, El Salvador and the Republic of Ireland, as well as at the University of Notre Dame and Michigan State University. A parishioner of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica, she is active at Marian High School.

 

Former residents of Berkley, Margaret and her husband Carlos Nunez-Madrigal now live in Birmingham with their children.

 

Se habla español.

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Gary V. Borg, CFSP Licensed Funeral Director GBorg@ajdesmond.com

Gary started with A.J. Desmond & Sons in 2000 while attending mortuary school at Wayne State University. In 2001 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mortuary Science. Gary is designated a Certified Michigan Funeral Practitioner by the Michigan Institute of Funeral Professionals and nationally as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP). He is also a Certified Funeral Celebrant, helping many families by officiating meaningful ceremonies and bringing a renewed sense of meaning to having a funeral and celebrating a life lived. Gary is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, Michigan Funeral Directors Association, and the Michigan Embalmers Society.

 

Gary started in funeral service in 1992 in Marquette, Michigan, where he was raised. He still loves to go up north and be in the woods. Gary and his family have grown roots in metro Detroit. He is a member of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak. In his free time, Gary enjoys staying active by walking, running, rollerblading, paddle boarding, and playing hockey.

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Sherry Carter, CFSP Licensed Funeral Director, Manager

Sherry joined A.J. Desmond & Sons in 2012 as a funeral service associate. In August 2016, she graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelors of Mortuary Science, and having served her apprenticeship with us, she shortly thereafter became a licensed funeral director in 2016. Sherry lives in Ferndale with her family.

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Kelly Leaman Donahue, CFSP Licensed Funeral Director, Manager KDonahue@ajdesmond.com

Kelly joined A.J. Desmond & Sons in 2015 as a funeral service associate. Already with a bachelors from the University of Michigan, Kelly graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelors of Mortuary Science in 2016. After she served her apprenticeship with us, Kelly became a licensed funeral director in early 2017. She lives in St. Clair Shores with her husband, her daughter and two dogs and enjoys horseback riding in her free time. 

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Michael E. Flannery, CFSP Licensed Funeral Director

Mike has been with A.J. Desmond & Sons since 2001 and in funeral service since 1977. He graduated from Harper Woods Notre Dame High School in 1972, the University of Detroit with a Bachelor of Science in 1976 and the Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science in 1977.

 

As part of his on-going education, Mike has completed all the requirements to be recognized as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) and The Michigan Institute of Funeral Professionals has designates him as a Certified Michigan Funeral Practitioner. Mike is a member of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association, the Michigan Embalmers Association, and serves on the Michigan Funeral Directors Association Disaster Committee. He is the a past president of MFDA District #6. Mike is a returning president of the Bloomfield Hills Rotary Club, where he previously received a Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of his work for the Rotary Foundation. He was born and raised in the Detroit area and has lived many years in Royal Oak with his family. Mike is a member and a Eucharistic Minister of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Catholic Basilica.

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Bryan R. Hajciar Licensed Funeral Director BHajciar@ajdesmond.com

After serving at firms in southeast Michigan and western Michigan for over twenty years, Bryan joined A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors in February 2021. Bryan graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science. NFDA recognizes Bryan as a Certified Cremation Operator. He continues to assist with the Wayne County unclaimed veterans program. Bryan lives in Troy and enjoys golfing and Notre Dame football.   

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Cassandra Hock, CFSP Licensed Funeral Director

Cassandra joined A.J. Desmond & Sons in 2017 as a funeral service associate. Previously earning a bachelors in Human Resources from  Oakland University, Cassandra graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelors of Mortuary Science in 2018. After serving her apprenticeship with us, Cassandra became a licensed funeral director in early 2019. Cassandra practices yoga regularly.

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Kelly Jacek DelCampo Licensed Funeral Director

Kelly joined A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors in 2014. In 2012, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Mortuary Science from Wayne State University and became licensed shortly thereafter. Raised in Canton, Kelly graduated from Plymouth Canton Community Schools. She is a member of the American Embalmers Association. Reading and enjoying the outdoors in her spare time, Kelly currently resides in White Lake with her family.

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Emily Karas, CFSP Licensed Funeral Director EKaras@ajdesmond.com

Emily started at A.J. Desmond & Sons as a student in 2022, served her apprenticeship here and, since February 2023 is a licensed funeral director. She has completed all the requirements to be recognized as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) and is an NFDA Certified Cremation Services Provider. She completed her bachelor’s of mortuary science at Wayne State University in August of 2022. Emily completed her first bachelor’s of applied science with a Spanish minor from Oakland University in 2021. She was a collegiate athlete at both Wayne State University and Oakland University. Emily’s interest in funeral services began when she was in eighth grade and met a funeral director at a “Women in STEM” conference. Emily loves to exercise and read.

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Daniel Kuhn Licensed Funeral Director

Daniel joined A.J. Desmond & Sons in 2021after working for several years in North Carolina. Daniel completed his studies of mortuary science at the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science.  He lives in Livonia with his family.

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William J. Oldani, III, CFSP Licensed Funeral Director, Manager WOldani@ajdesmond.com

Bill has been with A.J. Desmond & Sons since 1995, joining his father Bill on the staff. He graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1995 and from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science in 2004.

 

Bill is recognized as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) and Certified Michigan Funeral Practitioner by The Michigan Institute of Funeral Professionals. He is a member of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association (MFDA) and has previously held position on the MFDA District 6 board. Bill also belongs to the National Funeral Directors Association and the Young Funeral Directors Association. A member of Holy Name Catholic Church, Bill, his wife Rachael and children live in Berkley.

and has previously held positions on the MFDA District 6 board

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Jeanette Oravec Licensed Funeral Director JOravec@ajdesmond.com

Jeanette joined A.J. Desmond & Sons in 2022 as a student. That same year, she graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor's in Mortuary Science. After serving her apprenticeship with us, Jeanette became a licensed funeral director in March. She currently resides in Sterling Heights.

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Tyson Raff Advance Funeral Planner TRaff@ajdesmond.com

Tyson Raff joined A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors in 2023. He is working with families interested in planning funerals well before a death has occurred. Tyson recently moved to Michigan with his family and has settled in the Rochester area.

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Michael Smela Advance Funeral Planner MSmela@ajdesmond.com

Mike joined A.J. Desmond Sons Funeral Director in 2020 and is focused on Advanced Preneed services. A lifelong resident of the area, he previously worked in the insurance industry. 

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Zach Throne Advance Funeral Planner and Director of Community Engagement ZThrone@ajdesmond.com

Zach joined AJ Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors in 2022. He meets with families to pre-plan their wishes and put a plan in place for their loved ones when the time comes. When Zach is not meeting with families, you can find him in and around the community leading our educational seminars at the various senior centers, supporting Oakland SCAN, and participating in the many Troy Chamber of Commerce and Rochester Rotary events. 

Zach lives in Romeo, MI with his wife and three children, and is a member of Rochester Christian Church in Rochester Hills, MI.

 

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Linda Dzbanski, LLMSW, BSW Director of Bereavement Services ldzbanski@ajdesmond.com

Linda joined A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors as our Director of Bereavement Services in 2021. Linda completed her Masters of Social Work studies at Madonna University. She worked for many years at Lutheran Church of the Master in Troy. 

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Paul S. Connell Licensed Funeral Director and Senior Vice President, Retired

"After serving families for over 40 years, I am honored and humbled to professionally guide families through the saddest times of their lives."

 

Paul has been serving families at the Vasu, Rodgers & Connell Chapel of A.J. Desmond & Sons for over 40 years. He graduated from Bloomfield Hills Lahser High School in 1970 and remains active with their alumni association. He graduated from Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science in 1974. Paul has been designated a Certified Michigan Funeral Practitioner by The Michigan Institute of Funeral Professionals. He is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, the Michigan Funeral Directors Association and a past president of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association, District 6. Paul is a long time member of the board of directors, a two-time past president and current president of the Birmingham Lions Club. The Birmingham Lions Club is an annual recipient of the "Top Dog" honors for raising funds for Leader Dogs for the Blind. His dedicated service to Lions Club International was recognized in 2007 when he received their prestigious Melvin Jones Award.

 

Paul is an active member of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church where he serves as an usher and is a past president of the Ushers Club. A lifelong resident of the Birmingham/Bloomfield area, Paul currently lives in Birmingham with his family. 

Terence B. Desmond, CFSP

Licensed Funeral Director and Chairman
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"I have spent my life in funeral service because I know that I can make a difference in people's lives at their most difficult hour."

 

For almost 60 years, Terry Desmond has served families as a funeral director. He graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School, the University of Notre Dame and the Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science. As part of his on-going continuing education, Terry is recognized as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP). He is a member of the Advisory Board at the Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science and a past State Director of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association.

 

Terry has always been very active in the community. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Angels' Place (Christian homes for developmentally disabled adults), a former board member of the the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and a former member of the Oakland County Senior Planning Coalition. Other community leadership has included co-founder and former board member of Troy Boys/Girls Club, co-founder of Troy Medi-Go, past vice-president of the Troy Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Kiwanis Club of Troy, past president of the Notre Dame Club of Detroit, former member of the Board of Directors of Marian High School, and past president of the Brother Rice and Marian High School Dads Clubs. Terry is also a past Parish Council president at St. Thomas More and is now an active member of St. Hugo of the Hills, where he and his wife Betty were co-presidents of the St. Hugo Parent Teacher Guild.

 

His community involvement has been recognized by many organizations including the Distinguished Citizen Award for City of Troy in 1982, the Italian Study Group's 2000 Italian-American of the Year, and the Marian High School Volunteer of the Year Award in 2003. Each school he attended has recognized his achievements, including the Award of the Year from the Notre Dame Club of Detroit in 1980, the Alumnus of the Year Award from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 2006 and the 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award from the Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science. Terry and Betty have also received a special recognition for their continuing service to Marian High School and were honored by Guest House with the 2015 Bishop Kevin M. Britt Award in recognition of a significant ministry to the Catholic Church.

 

Raised in St. Benedict Parish (Highland Park), Terry is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area. He and Betty live currently in Bloomfield Township. They have six children, three of whom (Margaret, Kathy and Kevin) are now leading A.J. Desmond & Sons, and 18 grandchildren.

Kevin B. Desmond, CFSP

Licensed Funeral Director, President and General Manager
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"I work in funeral service to serve our community, and to provide the most meaningful experience for those who are going through a loss."

 

 

Kevin has been with A.J. Desmond & Sons since 2008. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Mortuary Science from Wayne State University in 2009 where he was the class vice president. Kevin also graduated from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business in 2008, majoring in Marketing, and from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 2004. He has completed all the requirements to be recognized as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP). He is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and Michigan Funeral Directors Association. Kevin previously coached youth lacrosse at St. Hugo grade school and U of D Jesuit High School for many years. Kevin sits on the Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciece Board of Visitors and is a member of the Detroit Executive Committee. In 2020, Kevin was named by Crain's Detroit Business as one of their 40 under 40. A member of Holy Name parish, Kevin lives in Birmingham with his wife, Katrina Piligian Desmond, and their three children.

Kathy Desmond Barr, CFSP

Licensed Funeral Director, Vice-President and Treasurer
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Kathy has been with A.J. Desmond & Sons since 1990. She graduated from Marian High School in 1986, the University of Notre Dame in 1990, and the Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science in 1995. She has completed all the requirements to be recognized as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) and The Michigan Institute of Funeral Professionals also designates her as a Certified Michigan Funeral Practitioner. Kathy is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and the Michigan Funeral Directors Association. A parishioner of St. Hugo of the Hills, Kathy serves as an Eucharistic minister. A lifelong area resident, Kathy currently lives in Troy with her husband, Scott Barr, and their children.

Margaret A. Desmond

Director of Human Resources, Technology and Marketing
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"Accompanying a family through a difficult time and working with wonderful and dedicated colleagues keep me committed and engaged each and every day. It is a privilege to serve others."

 

Margaret joined A.J. Desmond & Sons in 2004. She graduated from Marian High School, she earned a Bachelors of Business Administration and a Masters of Arts in International Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame. She completed additional graduate studies at Michigan State University. Prior to A.J. Desmond & Sons, Margaret worked in community development and education in Chicago, El Salvador and the Republic of Ireland, as well as at the University of Notre Dame and Michigan State University. A parishioner of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica, she is active at Marian High School.

 

Former residents of Berkley, Margaret and her husband Carlos Nunez-Madrigal now live in Birmingham with their children.

 

Se habla español.

Gary V. Borg, CFSP

Licensed Funeral Director
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Gary started with A.J. Desmond & Sons in 2000 while attending mortuary school at Wayne State University. In 2001 he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mortuary Science. Gary is designated a Certified Michigan Funeral Practitioner by the Michigan Institute of Funeral Professionals and nationally as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP). He is also a Certified Funeral Celebrant, helping many families by officiating meaningful ceremonies and bringing a renewed sense of meaning to having a funeral and celebrating a life lived. Gary is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, Michigan Funeral Directors Association, and the Michigan Embalmers Society.

 

Gary started in funeral service in 1992 in Marquette, Michigan, where he was raised. He still loves to go up north and be in the woods. Gary and his family have grown roots in metro Detroit. He is a member of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Basilica in Royal Oak. In his free time, Gary enjoys staying active by walking, running, rollerblading, paddle boarding, and playing hockey.

Sherry Carter, CFSP

Licensed Funeral Director, Manager
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Sherry joined A.J. Desmond & Sons in 2012 as a funeral service associate. In August 2016, she graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelors of Mortuary Science, and having served her apprenticeship with us, she shortly thereafter became a licensed funeral director in 2016. Sherry lives in Ferndale with her family.

Kelly Leaman Donahue, CFSP

Licensed Funeral Director, Manager
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Kelly joined A.J. Desmond & Sons in 2015 as a funeral service associate. Already with a bachelors from the University of Michigan, Kelly graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelors of Mortuary Science in 2016. After she served her apprenticeship with us, Kelly became a licensed funeral director in early 2017. She lives in St. Clair Shores with her husband, her daughter and two dogs and enjoys horseback riding in her free time. 

Michael E. Flannery, CFSP

Licensed Funeral Director
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Mike has been with A.J. Desmond & Sons since 2001 and in funeral service since 1977. He graduated from Harper Woods Notre Dame High School in 1972, the University of Detroit with a Bachelor of Science in 1976 and the Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science in 1977.

 

As part of his on-going education, Mike has completed all the requirements to be recognized as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) and The Michigan Institute of Funeral Professionals has designates him as a Certified Michigan Funeral Practitioner. Mike is a member of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association, the Michigan Embalmers Association, and serves on the Michigan Funeral Directors Association Disaster Committee. He is the a past president of MFDA District #6. Mike is a returning president of the Bloomfield Hills Rotary Club, where he previously received a Paul Harris Fellowship in recognition of his work for the Rotary Foundation. He was born and raised in the Detroit area and has lived many years in Royal Oak with his family. Mike is a member and a Eucharistic Minister of the National Shrine of the Little Flower Catholic Basilica.

Bryan R. Hajciar

Licensed Funeral Director
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After serving at firms in southeast Michigan and western Michigan for over twenty years, Bryan joined A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors in February 2021. Bryan graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science. NFDA recognizes Bryan as a Certified Cremation Operator. He continues to assist with the Wayne County unclaimed veterans program. Bryan lives in Troy and enjoys golfing and Notre Dame football.   

Cassandra Hock, CFSP

Licensed Funeral Director
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Cassandra joined A.J. Desmond & Sons in 2017 as a funeral service associate. Previously earning a bachelors in Human Resources from  Oakland University, Cassandra graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelors of Mortuary Science in 2018. After serving her apprenticeship with us, Cassandra became a licensed funeral director in early 2019. Cassandra practices yoga regularly.

Kelly Jacek DelCampo

Licensed Funeral Director
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Kelly joined A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors in 2014. In 2012, she earned a Bachelor's degree in Mortuary Science from Wayne State University and became licensed shortly thereafter. Raised in Canton, Kelly graduated from Plymouth Canton Community Schools. She is a member of the American Embalmers Association. Reading and enjoying the outdoors in her spare time, Kelly currently resides in White Lake with her family.

Emily Karas, CFSP

Licensed Funeral Director
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Emily started at A.J. Desmond & Sons as a student in 2022, served her apprenticeship here and, since February 2023 is a licensed funeral director. She has completed all the requirements to be recognized as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) and is an NFDA Certified Cremation Services Provider. She completed her bachelor’s of mortuary science at Wayne State University in August of 2022. Emily completed her first bachelor’s of applied science with a Spanish minor from Oakland University in 2021. She was a collegiate athlete at both Wayne State University and Oakland University. Emily’s interest in funeral services began when she was in eighth grade and met a funeral director at a “Women in STEM” conference. Emily loves to exercise and read.

Daniel Kuhn

Licensed Funeral Director
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Daniel joined A.J. Desmond & Sons in 2021after working for several years in North Carolina. Daniel completed his studies of mortuary science at the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science.  He lives in Livonia with his family.

William J. Oldani, III, CFSP

Licensed Funeral Director, Manager
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Bill has been with A.J. Desmond & Sons since 1995, joining his father Bill on the staff. He graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1995 and from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science in 2004.

 

Bill is recognized as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) and Certified Michigan Funeral Practitioner by The Michigan Institute of Funeral Professionals. He is a member of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association (MFDA) and has previously held position on the MFDA District 6 board. Bill also belongs to the National Funeral Directors Association and the Young Funeral Directors Association. A member of Holy Name Catholic Church, Bill, his wife Rachael and children live in Berkley.

and has previously held positions on the MFDA District 6 board

Jeanette Oravec

Licensed Funeral Director
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Jeanette joined A.J. Desmond & Sons in 2022 as a student. That same year, she graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor's in Mortuary Science. After serving her apprenticeship with us, Jeanette became a licensed funeral director in March. She currently resides in Sterling Heights.

Tyson Raff

Advance Funeral Planner
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Tyson Raff joined A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors in 2023. He is working with families interested in planning funerals well before a death has occurred. Tyson recently moved to Michigan with his family and has settled in the Rochester area.

Michael Smela

Advance Funeral Planner
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Mike joined A.J. Desmond Sons Funeral Director in 2020 and is focused on Advanced Preneed services. A lifelong resident of the area, he previously worked in the insurance industry. 

Zach Throne

Advance Funeral Planner and Director of Community Engagement
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Zach joined AJ Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors in 2022. He meets with families to pre-plan their wishes and put a plan in place for their loved ones when the time comes. When Zach is not meeting with families, you can find him in and around the community leading our educational seminars at the various senior centers, supporting Oakland SCAN, and participating in the many Troy Chamber of Commerce and Rochester Rotary events. 

Zach lives in Romeo, MI with his wife and three children, and is a member of Rochester Christian Church in Rochester Hills, MI.

 

Linda Dzbanski, LLMSW, BSW

Director of Bereavement Services
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Linda joined A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors as our Director of Bereavement Services in 2021. Linda completed her Masters of Social Work studies at Madonna University. She worked for many years at Lutheran Church of the Master in Troy. 

Paul S. Connell

Licensed Funeral Director and Senior Vice President, Retired
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"After serving families for over 40 years, I am honored and humbled to professionally guide families through the saddest times of their lives."

 

Paul has been serving families at the Vasu, Rodgers & Connell Chapel of A.J. Desmond & Sons for over 40 years. He graduated from Bloomfield Hills Lahser High School in 1970 and remains active with their alumni association. He graduated from Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science in 1974. Paul has been designated a Certified Michigan Funeral Practitioner by The Michigan Institute of Funeral Professionals. He is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, the Michigan Funeral Directors Association and a past president of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association, District 6. Paul is a long time member of the board of directors, a two-time past president and current president of the Birmingham Lions Club. The Birmingham Lions Club is an annual recipient of the "Top Dog" honors for raising funds for Leader Dogs for the Blind. His dedicated service to Lions Club International was recognized in 2007 when he received their prestigious Melvin Jones Award.

 

Paul is an active member of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church where he serves as an usher and is a past president of the Ushers Club. A lifelong resident of the Birmingham/Bloomfield area, Paul currently lives in Birmingham with his family.