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.
Sharla MacKay, Director of Operations
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jason Meidl, Funeral Director
Jason was born and raised in BC. Jason spent 5 years travelling abroad and settled in Creston, BC where he completed his apprenticeship and graduated from the Canadian College of Funeral Services in 2017. He is passionate about the funeral service and enjoys serving his families at their time of need. Jason and his family have recently moved to Cranbrook and are looking forward to becoming a part of the community.
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.
Joni Janzen, Food Reception Coordinator
Joni was born in White Rock, BC, but at a very young age moved to Hudson's Hope, BC and spent her childhood there. Joni has resided in Cranbrook for the last 23 years with her husband Ron. Together they have 2 children, and are grandparents to 3 grandchildren.
Joni has a Business Administration Diploma and for the past 20 years Joni has been self - employed in the geothermal industry. Prior to the business she worked for 10 years at the EK P.A.R.T.Y Program and EK Brain injury Association in administration duties. Volunteering has been a major part of Joni's life.
During the raising of her children she could be found coaching sports teams in basketball, hockey and fastball, as well as volunteering with Hospice and facilitating grief recovery sessions. Currently Joni is the Kitchen Facility Coordinator at her church and is involved in a monthly program caring for Widow and Widowers in our community. Supporting families and individuals at difficult times is a passion for Joni and she is pleased to be a part of the McPherson's Funeral Services team, in supporting our community and region in her role as Food Reception Coordinator.
Monica Brown, Administrator
Monica was born in Edmonton Alberta, and moved with her family to Cranbrook at an early age. Being raised in the community Monica has seen many changes throughout the years and has enjoyed volunteering with various charity events hosted by the Cranbrook Fire Department. She graduated in 2000 with an A+ Computer Technician Certification & Business Management. Monica has spent many years working in various upper management titles, as well as a home business helping small companies with their accounting/business needs. In her spare time, you will find Monica with her husband/ best friend Jeff, together their passion is travel and they love to find new places and traditions to learn and explore. They also look forward to times when all the 5 grown children are home for a visit. Monica is very excited in her new career path, helping families and individuals in their imminent time of need, and joining this wonderful caring team at McPhersons.
Adam Gauthier, Pre-Planning Counsellor
Adam was born and raised in northern AB. He has been in the East Kootenays with his family since 2015.
Funeral pre-planning is a gift to those you love. He believes strongly in supporting families by making financial arrangements and end of life plans long before a death occurs. Adam travels throughout the region to meet families in Cranbrook, Kimberley, and the Invermere area. He loves meeting with people and helping them discover the significant benefits of funeral pre-planning.
Adam has recently join the McPherson Team as our pre-planning counsellor.
Daryl and Barb Houser, (recently retired) Pre-Planning Counsellors
Daryl and Barb Houser retired from our company in the summer of 2018 as our representatives for Canada Purple Shield / FamilySide, a company that has been helping people pre-fund their final arrangements for over 75 years. McPherson Funeral Service chose Purple shield to be our pre-need provider and Barb and Daryl were a great asset and much respected members of our team for over 13 years. We wish them well - in their much deserved retirement!