History & Staff
We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.
James "Jimmy" Moran was born in 1868 in Trevorton,
PA. His family came to Decatur in 1880 when his father went to work for the
Decatur Coal Company. After his father left the coal company and opened a
grocery store, Jimmy worked with him at the store.
In 1893, Jimmy joined the Funeral establishment of Wikoff & Reeve. Early in his career he drove a hearse working his way up to the position of an apprentice embalmer.
In 1891 Mr. Moran purchased the interest of Mr. Reeve and the firm became known as Wikoff & Moran. Upon the retirement of Mr. Wikoff, Mr. Moran purchased the entire business and in 1904 the business became known as J.J. Moran. In 1921, Jimmy took into his business his sons Louis A. and Ambrose C. Moran. At that time the business became known as J. J. Moran & Sons. As a surprise to his sons, Jimmy had the fact announced through the newspapers before he ever told them that they were partners.
In 1924 after saving for 20 years, Mr. Moran realized his dream and built the finest and most sophisticated funeral home in "Downstate Illinois" at the corner of Water and Eldorado.
On March 19, 1926, James "Jimmy" Moran died, but the business continued to serve the needs of the public under the watchful eyes of Louis and Ambrose. In 1929, James J. Moran Jr. joined the firm and became a partner in 1946. After the deaths of Louis A. Moran on July 20, 1948 and Ambrose C. Moran on June 15, 1982, James Jr. became the sole owner of J. J. Moran & Sons.
To better serve our community, ground was broken on our existing facility in April of 1986, a "State of the Art" 13,000 square foot facility (all on one level) situated on 2.6 acres providing five visitation areas, chapel to accommodate over 200 people, casket display room, 6 offices, 2 lounges and ample off street lighted parking.
James Jr. continued to operate the business until declining health forced him to sell the business. J. J. Moran & Sons continued, however, under the ownership of an off site owner/funeral director and a local manager/co-owner. In 1996 David H. Goebel joined the firm as a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He and his wife Karen became partners and manager in 2001 after buying out the original manager/co-owner. In August of 2003 David and Karen became sole owners of the business and to reflect the changing times changed the name to Moran & Goebel Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
2011 brought a new direction for Moran & Goebel Funeral Home and Cremation Services when David & Karen Goebel decided that it was time for a change to better the whole community. Moran & Goebel Funeral Home and Cremation Services merged with Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home, Cemeteries and Cremation Center in Decatur on January 11, 2011. With the escalating costs of doing business the merging of two like minded organizations made sense. This merger allows us to continue to offer the lowest prices on funeral and cremation services in Decatur and Macon County.
Our facilities now include: two funeral homes, two cemeteries, cremation center, mausoleums, columbarium, a monument company, new human and pet crematories and a pet cemetery. We are committed to serving the families who choose to rely on us.
Our caring team of qualified professionals is available at all times to answer your questions and guide you through the process of making funeral arrangements. If you have any questions, please call 217-875-2004 or 217-429-5439.
Our Valued Staff
John Renfro, President
John is the president of Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home, Cemeteries and Cremation Center and Moran and Goebel Funeral Home in Decatur, Illinois. He has been an active licensed funeral director and embalmer in Illinois since 1993, and a licensed Cemetery Manager and Crematory Operator through the State of Illinois.
Born in Decatur, John grew up in Lovington, Illinois, attending Millikin University and Worsham College of Mortuary Science. John served three terms as President of the Illinois Cemetery and Funeral Home Association, and was one of the first funeral directors to be elected as ICFHA President. At the completion of his presidency, the ICFHA presented John with the CEMI award - the highest award given by the organization. John continues to serve on the ICFHA’s Board of Directors, and is also a member and board member of the International Cemetery Cremation and Funeral Association, and a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, Illinois Funeral Directors Association and Cremation Association of North America.
John and his wife Desiree are blessed with four children - three sons and a daughter. They are active in the Decatur community as members of Ss James and Patrick Church, where John serves as a lector and Eucharistic Minister, and is a past member of the church advisory board. He is also a fourth-degree member of the Knights of Columbus in Decatur.
Caring for families is more than a job to John. Offering unique personalized options that allow families to honor their loved ones through ceremonies and memorialization is what drives John every day.
David Goebel, General Manager/Funeral Director
David grew up on a farm in rural central Illinois the fifth of eight children. He began working at an early age on the family farm and as he got older he would accompany his father as he went to help in his uncle’s funeral home in his hometown of Morrisonville.
After graduating high school in 1982 and attending Lincoln Land Community College for two years, he began working full-time on the family farm. At the same time, he began to work part-time at a Funeral Home/Ambulance Service in a neighboring town as an Emergency Medical Technician. During his employment at the Funeral Home/Ambulance Service, he was called on to work visitations, funerals, and assist with other aspects of the funeral business. It was during this time that David’s interest in funeral service re-emerged.
After the death of his father in December of 1987, David enrolled at Worsham College of Mortuary Science and graduated in September of 1989. After his apprenticeship and nearly five years of employment at a funeral home in Springfield, David moved to Decatur to begin his career at J. J. Moran & Sons Funeral Home now Moran & Goebel Funeral Home.
David and his wife Karen (Weaver), a native of Taylorville, IL, live in Mt. Zion and are members of Holy Family Catholic Church. They are the proud parents of four children: Joshua, Kayla, Jessica, and Carson; loving grandparents of Addison, Sophia, Caleb, Emma and Jacey and devoted pet parents to Maggie a Yorkie/Maltese. David is a member of many organizations in the community, has served on numerous boards holding many offices, and has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the state of Illinois since 1989.
Chelsea Wilkerson, Sales Manager
Chelsea Wilkerson joined Graceland Fairlawn in the sales department 2 years ago and is the Sales Manager. When we asked what attracted Chelsea to this field, She said: “I had past experience in banking where I had helped people settle estates at time of death.”
Chelsea enjoys spending time with her family when she is no working. When asked to give the proudest moment in this profession Chelsea said: “My success in this industry last year.”
Kay Lydick, Office Manager
Kay Lydick joined the administrative department 11 years ago and is an Office Manager. Kay was previously in customer service for 20 years. When we asked what attracted Kay to this field, She said: “When I started it was just a job, now I feel different… helping people during this tough time makes me feel like I'm in the right place.”
When asked to give the proudest moment in this profession Kay said: “When my husband passed away earlier this year I was so proud of the people I work with, a great group of people: My friends and family were really impressed.”
Tonya Culp, Office Manager
Mark Harper, Superintendent
Daisy Dowell, Funeral Director
Neomi Pitchford, Funeral Director
Ron Price, Funeral Director
Greg Pike, Funeral Director
Danielle Schleicher, Funeral Director/Embalmer Apprentice
Jo Green, Administrative Associate
Joyce Green joined the administrative department 17 years ago and is an Administrative Associate. She is on the board of directors of ICFHA and on the women's committee at Maranatha Assembly of God. When we asked what attracted Joyce to this field, She said: “Personally going through a bad experience with Graceland Fairlawn.”
Joyce has been married for 20 years with 3 sons and 5 grandchildren. She enjoys reading, baking and spending time with family and friends. She and her husband also show a 1932 street rod every chance they get.
When asked to give the proudest moment in this profession Joyce said: “Making an angry customer happier before they leave. I'm also very proud of my team; Robin, Dena and Chandra- they are the best!”
Chandra Quehl, Administrative Associate
Chandra Quehl joined the administrative department 6 years ago and is an administrative assistant.
Mike Schoneman, Administrative Associate
Michael Schoneman joined the staff 4 years ago and is in funeral detail.
Dena Richmond, Administrative Associate
Dena Richmond joined the administrative department 6 years ago and is an administrative assistant. When we asked what attracted Dena to this field, She said: “I like working with people.”
Robin Keyes, Administrative Associate
Robin Keyes joined the administrative department 10 years ago and is an administrative assistant. She is a member of St. James and Patrick Catholic Church. Robin has been for married for 24 years and has 5 children. When asked to give the proudest moment in this profession Robin said: “Being nominated and winning the Helmsman Award.”
Kayla Summers, Researcher
Edward J. Wells, Staff Associate
Melissa B Stanley, Family Service Supervisor
John Brosam, Family Service Counselor
Chandler Jones, Family Service Counselor
Lauren Herington, Family Service Counselor
Dustin Bradshaw, Family Service Counselor
John Lornson, Family Service Counselor
Shannon Tarter, Community Service Counselor
Shannon Tarter joined Graceland Fairlawn in the sales department 2 years ago and is an Advance Planning Consultant. When we asked what attracted Shannon to this field, She said: “I think it is wise to preplan and I enjoy helping families with it.” Shannon has 3 children and enjoys roller skating.
Stephanie Smith, Family Service Counselor
Donna Hood, Community Service Counselor
Donna Hood joined in the sales department 8 years ago and is a Community Service Advisor. She is a member of car clubs. Donna was previously in the funeral industry for 27 years. Donna has been married for 46 years with 2 sons,1 granddaughter, 1 grandson and twin great-grandchildren and enjoys dancing and babysitting.
When asked to give the proudest moment in this profession Donna said: “To know I have helped someone.”
Steve Seely, Cemetery Caretaker
Stephen Seely, a cemetery caretaker, joined the grounds crew 34 years ago. Stephen is married with 1 daughter and is interested in God, corvettes, and snakes.
Larry McDaniel, Cemetery Caretaker
Larry Dale McDaniel joined Graceland Fairlawn on the grounds crew 6 years ago and is a groundsman. When we asked what attracted Larry Dale to this field, He said: “I found it interesting.” When asked to give the proudest moment in this profession Larry Dale said: “Training the birds then watching them fly at the services.”
Rodney Standley, Cemetery Caretaker
Rodney Standley joined 5 years ago and is a cemetery caretaker.
Rodney was educated for 2 years in trade school and 2 years in college. He was previously a car dealer mechanic and tractor mechanic for 2 years. When we asked what attracted Rodney to this field, He said: “I wanted an occupational environment change.”
Rodney has been married for 40 years with 3 grandsons and 1 Yorkshire terrier.
Drew Campbell, Cemetery Caretaker
Carl Patrick, Cemetery Caretaker
Paul Gentry, Cemetery Caretaker
Lane A. Mosser, Cemetery Caretaker
Rev. Donald Sutton, Funeral Assistant
Donald Sutton joined the staff department 2 years ago and is a staff associate. He is an Associate Pastor at the 2nd Church of God. When we asked what attracted Donald to this field, He said: “The chance to help family's at their lowest time.” Donald has been married for 29 years with 3 wonderful children, Joshua, Elizabeth, and Caleb as well as 6 grandchildren.
Bob Bauer, Funeral Assistant
Robert Bauer joined the staff 7 years ago and is a funeral assistant. He is a member of Kiwanis "Goldenk", St James & Patrick Catholic Church, Association of Professional Baseball Players of America, Illinois Audubon Society, Kwisa Chapter 24, Korea War, AARP and AAA. Robert was previously a salesman for a welding supply company and professional baseball player for 7 years. When we asked what attracted Robert to this field, He said: “Knowing John Renfro and the opportunity to work at his side.”
Robert has been married for 6.5 years.
Trace Wade, Funeral Assistant
Barbara Green, Funeral Assistant
Barbara Green joined 5 years ago and is a funeral assistant. She is a member of First Baptist Church. Barbara was previously in banking. When we asked what attracted Barbara to this field, She said: “Compassion for others.” When asked to give the proudest moment in this profession Barbara said: “When I meet someone, like at the mall, and they say "Hello" or "Thank you", then I am glad I was able to help.”
Laura Singleton, Funeral Assistant
Laura Singleton joined 3 years ago and is a housekeeper. She is a member of Decatur Alumni Association, COTLG #1, NAACP and the Decatur Art Council. Laura has an associates degree in Liberal Arts and was previously at Caterpillar Tractor Co. for 6 years. When we asked what attracted Laura to this field, She said: “I was looking for enjoyable part-time employment.”
When asked to give the proudest moment in this profession Laura said: “Being there to comfort someone during this difficult time and to listen and pray with them when necessary.”
Rev. Larry Turpin, Funeral Assistant
Bruce Logan, Funeral Assistant
Bruce Logan joined the staff 10.5 years ago and is a funeral assistant. He is a member of Decatur Breakfast Sertoma Club, Golden K Club and Decatur Celebration. When we asked what attracted Bruce to this field, He said: “To help people in their time of need, when they need me the most.”
Bruce is married with 1 dog "Oreo" and enjoys helping people in his community, loves working in his yard and flowers and just being out in the country air.
When asked to give the proudest moment in this profession Bruce said: “When I was able to help a friend when his mother passed away and how proud I was of the great job the whole team did with her service.”
Roy D. Abbott, Funeral Assistant
Don Hyland, Funeral Assistant
Donald Hyland joined the staff 15 years ago and is a funeral assistant. He is a 3rd degree Masonic Shriner and a member of the Decatur Shrine Club as well as a member of the I.O.O.F Illinois for over 53 years. When we asked what attracted Donald to this field, He said: “A desire to work with people after retirement.” When asked to give the proudest moment in this profession Donald said: “When I have had the opportunity to help families that I know personally.”
Michael Tapscott, Funeral Assistant
Marsha Leckrone, Funeral Assistant
Marsha Leckrone joined the staff 5 1/2 years ago and is a staff associate. She is a member of AT&T Pioneers Club. Marsha retired from AT&T after 33 years. When we asked what attracted Marsha to this field, She said: “After my husband's death, Mr. Goebel offered me a greeter's job. I am a people person and I love my job. If I can make one person feel better, I'm happy.” Marsha was married for 40 years until her husband’s death, 5 1/2 years ago. She has 2 sons and 3 grandchildren.
When asked to give the proudest moment in this profession Marsha said: “I have had several people tell me they appreciate me being at the visitation and funerals. I am proud of both funeral homes and they please so many people.”
Rev Marshall Hughes, Funeral Assistant
Rev. O. L. Banks, Funeral Assistant
Rev. O.L. Banks joined the staff 5 years ago. Rev. Banks is a minister and assistant pastor at St John MB Church as well as a member of O.W.B.D.A. When we asked what attracted Rev. Banks to this field, He said: “I like to help and assist families, the loss of a loved one is trying.” O.L. is married with 7 children and enjoys reading, teaching and sharing the Gospel of Christ.
When asked to give the proudest moment in this profession Rev. Banks said: “Being a part of each families life that I serve.”
Jack Dougherty, Funeral Assistant
Rev. Elgin Hawthorne Jr.
Elgin Hawthorne Jr. joined the staff of Moran & Goebel 6 months ago and is the Pastor of Community Church of God.
John Comerford, In Loving Memory
John was born August 19, 1939 and passed away on Sunday, March 30, 2014. John worked as a Funeral Assistant for Moran & Goebel and Graceland Fairlawn for seven years.
Wes Gardner, In Loving Memory
In Loving Memory
September 19, 1925-September 12, 2010
Six Years of Distinguished Service