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.
Our Valued Staff
John Chasca, Owner/President
John Chasca has been owner/president of McPherson Funeral Service since 1977. He is a previous member of the Rotary Club and Knights of Columbus and the past President of the British Columbia Funeral Service Association. Presently, he sits as a director on the board of the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) and is also the current past president of CANA and also serves as the President of the Society of Independent Funeral Director's of British Columbia.
The last decade has seen many changes in the funeral profession. Large corporations, some from the outside Canada, have purchased many family owned funeral businesses and changed the way they operate. Please be assured, McPherson Funeral Services is still family owned and operated. Since 1911 the professional services we provide in Cranbrook, Kimberley, and the Columbia Valley, as well as surrounding communities, have expanded significantly. At every stage of our growth we have built a reputation base on providing families with genuine caring and responsive service, and for having the best men and women on our staff the profession has to offer. We are grateful that in 90 years of service, McPherson Funeral Service has the experience unparalleled acceptance by families as their funeral home of choice, and we’re responding by reconfirming our commitment to you.
Born in McLennan Alberta, John has over 30 years in all aspects of funeral Service.
Gordon Murphy, Funeral Director
Gordon Murphy has been with McPherson Funeral Service since he arrived in Cranbrook back in 1981. A funeral director since 1969, Gordon was born and raised in Saint John, New Brunswick. Gordon received his Alberta Funeral director’s license in 1980 and then relocated to Cranbrook in June of 1981. Since then, he has become a valuable part of the community, and was named Cranbrook’s Citizen of the Year for 2001. His involvement in the community over the years has included work with the Compassionate Friends, Cranbrook Hospice Society, the Canadian Cancer Society, the PARTY program. Most of all, Gordon enjoys working with families at the funeral home.
Brian Taylor, Funeral Director
Brian is from Fredericton, New Brunswick. He attended Fredericton High School and graduated in 1968. Brian enjoys serving families throughout the East Kootenays and helping families in their time of need. He also enjoys and playing darts when the opportunity arises and is a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Brian has been with the firm for 27 years.
Sharla MacKay, Funeral Director
Sharla MacKay was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta. After graduating from High School she took some time to travel the world and experience many different cultures. Her travels took her to over 65 countries worldwide and all seven continents. Since completing her many journeys, Sharla has now settled among the beautiful mountains of Cranbrook, British Columbia. Being raised in a family of funeral professionals, she has been around the industry her entire life. Sharla is a graduate of the Western School of Funeral Service and has been with McPherson Funeral Service since 2003.
Murray Forbes, Funeral Director
Murray was born in Scotland and moved to BC just prior to his 1st birthday. Murray grew up in Nanaimo, BC where he began his career in funeral service on a part time basis in 1982, commensurating to full time in 1987. He completed his apprenticeship in 1992 while working in Whitehorse, Yukon. While he very much enjoyed the unique life experiences that the Yukon and Northern BC offered, Murray took a placement in Grand Forks, BC where he fell in love with the culture of the Kootenays – a place where he longed to return to. Murray has had extensive experience in various aspects of funeral service, including working with the BC Coroner Service and crematorium operations, and is once again glad to be back in the Kootenays since joining the McPherson team in 2014.
Murray and his wife Marilyn have 4 children and 2 grandchildren. They are big supporters of Junior Hockey and the Arts. He is a past Chairman of Boundary Community Hospice.
Murray enjoys working with families during their time of need, and encourages funeral/memorial pre-planning.
Dane Chasca, Funeral Director
Dane was born in Calgary, Alberta. He lived in Ontario during his formative years, returning to Cranbrook in the summer months to help out at the family owned funeral home. Dane has been encompassed by the funeral industry his whole life. In 2013, after graduation from high school, Dane moved to Cranbrook and joined his father John and his sister Sharla full time at McPherson’s. Dane graduated from The Canadian College of Funeral Service in 2015, as a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer. Dane and his family are dedicated to providing excellent service to the families McPherson Funeral Service serves every day.
Val Charbonneau, Administrator
Val was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. She moved to Cranbrook in 2007 and joined the McPherson team in February 2008. She enjoys working with the McPherson staff and finds it a rewarding experience to work with the families they serve. She enjoys exploring the outdoors and is thrilled with the opportunities that abound in the areas within the Columbia Valley, East and West Kootenay region, and the Elk Valley.
Daryl and Barb Houser, Pre-Planning Counselors
Daryl and Barb Houser are representatives for Canada Purple Shield / FamilySide, a company that has been helping people pre-fund their final arrangements for over 75 years. The McPherson Funeral Home chose Purple shield to be our pre-need provider and Barb and Daryl have joined us as our pre-arrangement counsellors.