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Our Staff

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Our staff is comprised of dedicated and licensed professionals with the experience to answer all your questions regarding our services. Please feel free to contact any of our staff members at any time.

Brandon H. Cruz

Brandon H. Cruz

Owner / Funeral Director

Brandon graduated from Penn High School in 1991 and earned his degree in Funeral Science from Vincennes University in 1995. Following his required internship in Indianapolis, he returned to serve Osceola, Mishawaka, and the surrounding community in 1996. 

In March of 2015, he left a corporate owned Funeral Home to join the staff at Zimmerman-Inman Funeral Home in Osceola to begin to fulfill his lifelong dream of ownership. Finally, in March of 2017, that dream became a reality. He and his wife Jody purchased Zimmerman-Inman Funeral Home and Have renamed it Cruz Family Funeral Home and Cremation Service. 

Brandon continues to serve his hometown with the same level of commitment, dignity, and respect families have becomes familiar with over the past 20 years. 

In 2002, Brandon and Jody were approached by Goethals and Wells owners, Chris and Marcia Wells to continue the family-owned legacy that began in 1926, as they sought retirement. The funeral home is now known as Wells and Cruz Family Funeral Home and Cremation Care. 

Brandon, his wife Jody, and their daughter Chloe reside in Mishawaka and are active in their community. 

In his spare time, he enjoys riding his motorcycle, watching football (especially Notre Dame and the Indianapolis Colts), and watching his daughter Chloe compete with her horse "Chyna" in barrel racing events throughout the Midwest. He and Jody are also faithful attendees of EPIC Church in Mishawaka. 

Telephone: 1-574-255-1519

Email: 


Jody L. Cruz

Jody L. Cruz

Owner

Jody was born in Elkhart and is a graduate of Memorial (now Elkhart) High School. She and Brandon were married in 2001 and have a daughter, Chloe. 

In her spare time, Jody enjoys riding with her husband Brandon on their motorcycle, watching Chloe compete in barrel racing and other events, and is a faithful member of EPIC Church in Mishawaka. 

Telephone: 1-574-255-1519

Email: 


Merv Miller

Merv Miller

Licensed Funeral Director

Mervin Miller is a 1991 graduate of Fairfield High School. He has lived in the area all of his life. In 2019, he received his degree in Mortuary Science from DMACC in Iowa. 

He is married to Fran Miller and has two daughters, Miranda and Sierra. He loves helping families through a very difficult time and honoring their loved one. 

Merv feels that being in this profession is his mission field. In his spare time, he enjoys camping, bonfires, hiking, fishing, and hanging with family and friends. 

Telephone: 1-574-255-1519

Email: 


Michael Weaver

Michael Weaver

Funeral Director

Michael has been serving families in funeral homes since 2015 in the Michiana area. After obtaining a Bachelor's degree in music and theater at MVNU in Ohio, he graduated from Ivy Tech Mortuary Science in 2017. 

He is an active member of First Baptist Church in Elkhart and a lifetime fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes and Cincinnati Bengals. He and his wife are foster parents and active in the community. Michael was born and raised in Columbus, OH, and now lives in Elkhart with his wife, 4 kids, and 3 doodle-dogs. 

Telephone: 1-614-599-3492

Email: 


Susan Taylor

Susan Taylor

Advanced Planning Specialist

Susan started as an Advanced Planning Specialist in 2007 helping families in the Michiana area with preplanning and assisting families with care after a death. Educating the community and helping families make informed decisions is key to her success. Providing seminars, workshops and speaking engagements in the communities she serves. 

During her sales career, she was awarded the Dennis G. Kerschwen Persistency Award in 2015. Serving the community as a member of Kiwanis International since 2014 and a member of Lakeville United Methodist Church. A graduate of Otsego High School and Kalamazoo Valley Community College graduate, she grew up in Southwestern Michigan. Susan and her husband Todd married in 1992 and have 2 daughters, Allyson and Emilee. She enjoys traveling and spending time with family. 

Telephone: 1-574-298-2762

Email: 


Penny Lambdin

Penny Lambdin

Office Administrator

Penny Lambdin joined our staff in 2023 as an office administrator. 

She has lived in Elkhart her entire life. She graduated from Elkhart Memorial High School and from IUSB with a degree in Elementary Education. 

She married her high school sweetheart, Mike Lambdin, in 2011. Together they have a daughter name Avia and a son named Logan. 

In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family, reading, and watching the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Telephone: 1-574-255-1519

Email: 


Chris Martin

Chris Martin

Funeral Assistant

Chris Martin joined our staff as a Funeral Assistant shortly after Cruz Family Funeral Home opened their doors in 2017. He brings a wealth of knowledge to our staff from his former part-time experience at a Funeral Home in Tiffin, Ohio. You may see Chris assisting with funeral services during the morning hours and also assists the staff when the passing of a loved one occurs by bringing them into our care during the overnight hours. 

Chris is a graduate of Wynford High School in Bucyrus, Ohio and is employed full time with AT&T as a service technician. He and his wife April have 4 children; Shelbi, Kyle, Emma, and Sadie, and they attend Michiana Community Church in Granger where Chris serves faithfully as the Worship Pastor. 

In his spare time, Chris loves spending time with his family, and rooting for the Ohio State Buckeyes and Dallas Cowboys. 


Philip Strimbu

Philip Strimbu

Funeral Assistant

Meet Philip, a 22-year-old professional with a diverse background and unwavering ambition. With past roles as an Elkhart County Corrections Sheriff Deputy and armed officer at Elkhart General Hospital, Philip has cultivated a foundation in security and public service. 

Since October 2022, he has also embraced the funeral home industry, bringing compassion to families during difficult times. Looking ahead, Philip is dedicated to pursuing a lasting career in law enforcement while further developing his expertise in the funeral home sector. 


Ashley Zimmerman

Ashley Zimmerman

Funeral Assistant

Ashley was born and raised in Elkhart, Indiana. She graduated from Elkhart Central High School in 2002 and then from Butler University in 2006, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcasting and Journalism. 

She started her career in the funeral home industry in 2011. 

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, bowling on a Friday night league and attends Granger Community Elkhart Campus, where she volunteers on the Serve team. 


Debbie Brenneman

Debbie Brenneman

Funeral Assistant

Debbie Brenneman joined our staff as a Funeral Assistant in 2020 after leaving a similar position at a local corporate owned Funeral Home. Debbie's smiling face can be seen at the front door during evening visitations. 

She is a graduate of Mishawaka High School and served many years as an Educational Assistant before retiring to part time in 2018. She currently works as a Teacher's Aide at Moran Elementary School in Osceola. 

Debbie has one daughter, Meredith Revard who is married to Rob, and several grand-cats. 

In her spare time, she enjoys lounging by her pool, visiting casinos, and completing DIY projects around her home. She also volunteered with "Indiana Save a Dog" where she fostered several dogs, and currently has two beautiful Goldendoodles. 


Jeri Noens

Jeri Noens

Funeral Assistant

My name is Jeri and I have been working for Cruz Family Funeral Home for a year now. I also work at Complete Family Dentistry and have been Dr. Sheline's assistant for 29 years. My husband Leonard and I have been married 39 years. We have 2 daughters, 2 grandsons, and a Malti-poo named Bailey. I enjoy being with my family and spending time with all of them. My husband is Jody's brother, so they are my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. 


Ann LeVan

Ann LeVan

Funeral Assistant

Ann joined our staff in the spring of 2023. She was born and raised in Mishawaka, attending Penn High School and studying Music Education at Bethel University. Currently, she is also on staff at Epic Church in Mishawaka where she is the Director of Worship and Outreach. 

Ann has been married to Jeremy for over 25 years and they are raising 2 teenagers. In her "spare" time, she loves to hang out with her family and neighbors, read, and travel. The last 25 years have brought travel experiences on 5 continents, and opportunities to invest in her local community and neighborhood. These experiences have helped foster a passion to love and meet people right where they are at. Joining the Cruz Family has been an extension of her heart and passion. 


Sondia Branscomb

Sondia Branscomb

Funeral Assistant

Sondia Branscomb joined our staff in 2020 as a Funeral Assistant. She was born and raised in Elkhart, Indiana. Sondia graduated from Elkhart Memorial High School in 2008. Furthering her career, Ms. Branscomb earned a Funeral Service degree in 2013 from Vincennes University. You may see Sondia's smiling face assisting our staff at visitations and funeral services. 

Currently, she is employed as a behavior specialist for Elkhart Community Schools. Ms. Branscomb has exceptional communication skills with the ability to follow instructions accurately to help make the funeral as stress-free for family and friends of the deceased as possible. Ms. Branscomb has excellent people skills with the ability to interact with the bereaved family in a compassionate and proficient manner. She attends Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church in Elkhart and is active in her community. In her leisure time Ms. Branscomb enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also enjoys shopping, traveling, and watching football (especially New England and Notre Dame). 



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