Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors, one of the largest family owned and operated funeral firms in the country, traces its origins to the licensure, in 1948, of Edward J. Lynch, Jr. (1924-1992). It was his belief that the most valuable asset of any funeral service firm was the trust and confidence of the community it served.
In the 1970's his sons, Thomas, Patrick and Timothy Lynch and a son-in-law, Michael Howell, joined him in forming Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors. To the funeral homes they operated in Clawson, Milford and Walled Lake in the 1970’s they have added facilities in Plymouth, Oxford, Lapeer and Brighton, bringing to seven the number of family owned and operated facilities.
Meanwhile, a third generation of licensees has joined the various operations: Tim Lynch, Jr. in Walled Lake, Michael Lynch in Brighton, Katie Lynch Capstick in Lapeer, Kevin Lynch in Oxford, Julie Howell Romein in Plymouth and Paddy Lynch in Clawson. In addition to licensed members of the firm, Mary Lynch Howell is the bookkeeper for the Clawson and Milford locations, Julie Lynch Kenrick is office manager in Clawson, Brigid Lynch is a licensed counselor who handles bereavement services in Clawson and Milford.
In 2007, PBS Frontline broadcast The Undertaking- a documentary film based on the book by the same name, written by Thomas Lynch. Filmed at our locations in Milford and Clawson and directed by Karen O'Connor and Miri Navasky, this film focuses on the realities of dying, death and bereavement and the place of the funeral and the funeral director in the continuum of care to families in grief. The Undertaking was broadcast nationally on all Public Television stations in October, 2007, and is used now as a teaching tool in seminaries, universities, medical and mortuary programs across the country. In September of 2008 it won the Emmy Award for Best Documentary in Arts & Culture.
Like his father, who served as President of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association in the late 1970's, Patrick Lynch was president of MFDA in 2003 and 2004. He was the founding chair of the Consumer Protection Committee and under his leadership, the association was successful in seeing landmark preneed funding legislation signed into law by Governor Granholm. Pat served as President of the National Funeral Directors Association in 2010/2011, the largest association of funeral directors in the world, where his leadership helped to shape the future of funeral service. As a family we are committed to the communities we serve and to maintaining the reputation our father established for excellence and honesty in meeting the needs of the bereaved. Now in seven locations, in four counties and our third generation, after more than sixty years, we are locally known and nationally recognized for compassionate care of the living and the dead as we continue to uphold "A Family Tradition of Dignified Service."
Our Staff's Commitment to You.
Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors is the only firm in the nation to have received the highest awards for excellence from The National Funeral Directors Association, The Cremation Association of North America and the International Order of the Golden Rule. We owe this to the personal excellence of the women and men who make up our staff. They represent a rich variety of experiences, interests, professional and educational backgrounds, from senior and emeritus staff, to students and apprentices. Each makes, in his or her own way, an important contribution to the services we provide to families in need and to the communities we serve.
Licensed Funeral Director
Thomas Lynch is the president and senior partner in the firm of Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors in Milford. and Brighton. After graduation from Brother Rice High School in 1966, he attended Oakland University and graduated from Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science and was licensed in 1973, joining the firm founded by his father, Edward J. Lynch, Jr.
When the family purchased the former Richardson-Bird Funeral Homes in Milford and Walled Lake, Tom moved to Milford, in June of 1974, and has served that community since.
A past president of the Milford Chamber of Commerce and Milford Rotary Club, a member of St. Mary's Church and a member of the Michigan Board of Examiners in Mortuary Science, he is also a widely published poet and writer. His book, The Undertaking -- Life Studies from the Dismal Trade won The American Book Award, The Heartland Prize for Nonfiction and was a Finalist for the National Book Award. It is published in eight languages. In addition to eight published books, his work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Christian Century and elsewhere. He lectures with the graduate program in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan and is a frequent presenter to clergy, hospice, funeral service and literary groups around the country. He is married to the artist, Mary Tata, and together they keep homes in Milford and in West Clare, Ireland. His eldest son, Tommy is a professional fly-fishing guide; his middle son, Michael is a funeral director and manages the funeral homes in Brighton and Milford; his youngest son, Sean is a professional musician.
Michael E. Lynch
Licensed Funeral Director
Michael Lynch is vice-president and general manager of Lynch & Sons in Brighton and Milford. He is also the website administrator for LynchFuneralDirectors.com. He grew up next door to the funeral home on Liberty Street. After graduation from Milford High School in 1997 and attending Central Michigan University, Mike graduated from Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science in 2001. He was licensed as a funeral director the same year.
A world traveler and avid photographer, Mike has been all over Europe, South America, Australia and across the USA. He is a member of St. Patrick's Church in Brighton and Church of the Holy Spirit in Highland, belongs to the Brighton Rotary Club and lives in Milford.
Kenneth Michael Kutzli
Licensed Funeral Director
Ken Kutzli joined Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors in 1993 when he served his apprenticeship at the Clawson firm and moved to Milford in 1994 upon graduation from Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science.
A native of Grand Rapids, Ken graduated from Sparta High School in 1991 and attended Grand Rapids Community College before graduating from Wayne State University in 1994. He was licensed as a funeral director in 1995.
Ken serves as resident manager of Lynch & Sons in Milford. He is a member of Church of the Holy Spirit in Highland and was featured in the PBS Frontline documentary, The Undertaking which aired in October, 2007. His interests include music, baseball, biking and travel.
Dana M. McNamara
Licensed Funeral Director
Dana M. (Nowak) McNamara was raised in Highland Township. Following graduation from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she designed a degree curriculum titled, “Perspectives on Death & Dying,” she completed the requirements for licensure as a funeral director at Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science, where she was President of the Class of 2009. She is the recipient of scholarships from The American Board of Funeral Service Education and the International Order of the Golden Rule.
Dana has worked with Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors in Milford since 2002 where she has, in conjunction with Milford Township Library, organized an oral history project called “On the Record.” Additionally, Dana both facilitates and lectures "The Undertaking--Good Death, Good Grief & Good Funerals" workshop series and leads discussion groups on the topics of Green Burials, Home Wakes, Cremation Options and Military Funerals. Dana participated in the inaugural Meet the Mentors program, sponsored by the NFDA, at Harvard University in Boston during the autumn of 2011.
Dana and her husband, Nicholas, live in the city of Brighton and share their home with two Hungarian Vizslas, 'Vinnie' and 'Frankie.' Dana is a member of the Michigan Embalmers Society, the National Funeral Directors Association and a parishioner of St. Patrick Catholic Church of Brighton.
Ashley Moul Kutzli
Licensed Funeral Director
Ashley Moul Kutzli grew up in Mason, Michigan. After graduating from Ferris State University in 2010 with a Bachelors in Biology, Ashley attended Wayne State University, graduated at the top of her Mortuary Science class and was the recipient of the Gordon W. Rose Scholarship. She joined Lynch & Sons in Milford and Brighton May 2011. Ashley became a licensed funeral director and embalmer in March of 2012. In June of 2013, Ashley and Ken were married and together enjoy living in downtown Milford with their two dogs. Ashley loves to train and compete in dog agility and travel to visit family and friends.
Cindy Micoff joined the Lynch & Sons Milford and Brighton staff in June 2014. A resident of Milford for over 20 years, Cindy’s Master’s Degree in Social Work from University of Michigan prepared her well for her work at the funeral home where she loves getting to know people within the community. Cindy has been married to her husband, Dave for over 24 years and together they have five children and four grandchildren. Cindy is an active member of Woodside Bible Church and enjoys living in Milford, baseball, reading and gardening.
A former Milford resident, Jan Schlitters joined the Lynch & Sons staff in Milford/Brighton in 2010. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education, she taught school in the Brighton Area School District prior to accepting a full-time position with the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority as food service director, where she was employed for twenty-five years. In 2009 Jan completed a Masters Degree in Management from Walsh College, and received certification in 2010 as a Professional Public Buyer. She currently serves on the Board of the Michigan Public Purchasing Officer’s Association as President. A TIPs trainer for 14 years, Jan certifies persons to recognize the signs of intoxication and serve alcohol responsibly.
Jan is an active member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Hamburg where she administers the church school and vacation bible school program and serves on many committees within the parish. As a volunteer with The Connection Youth Services of Howell, she provides a home for youth in the community needing shelter and assistance.
Jan is an accomplished creator of chocolate confections, making hand-dipped truffles for bridal showers, weddings, holidays and any occasion.
In her leisure time, Jan enjoys participating in half – marathons, including the Mini-Marathon in Indianapolis, as well as the half marathon event every fall in Detroit. Other interests include golf, cooking, woodworking and scrapbooking, as well as watching her grandsons participate in sports. She currently resides in Hamburg Township with several ‘rescue’ cats.
Karen DeVine joined the Lynch & Sons Milford and Brighton staff in 2013 after 20 years of service with Huron Valley Schools Transportation Department as a special needs Bus Attendant. Karen has resided in Milford since 1972, graduated from Milford High School and raised three daughters. She has been married to Larry for 20 years and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren and traveling, along with her passion of sewing pillowcases for craft shows.
Licensed Funeral Director (1922-2011, R.I.P.)
Wesley Rice was the Senior Emeritus Funeral Director and Chief Embalmer with the Lynch & Sons firm in Milford from 1972 until his death in 2011. After serving as a Navy Corpsmen during World War II, Wes returned home and graduated from Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science and was licensed in 1949. He worked in funeral homes around mid Michigan, including the firm of Estes-Leadley in Holt and Lansing before moving to Milford in 1972. He and his wife, Betty, were longtime and active members of the Milford United Methodist Church and the proud parents of Kurt (Linda) Rice, Kenny Rice, Kathy (Mark) Dudey and the late Dean Rice and have many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Wes was an exemplar of quiet faith, constant care and compassion and was indispensable to the success of Lynch & Sons. After nearly six decades in funeral service, Wes Rice held one of the oldest active licenses in the state. He mentored many young resident trainees who now serve in firms around Michigan. Still reporting to work on a schedule adjusted slightly for semi-retirement, Wes Rice was an inspiration to all of us who were fortunate to call him our colleague.
Funeral Service Assistant (1941-2013, R.I.P)
Norm Garnett joined the Milford firm in 1996 after retirement from General Motors with whom he'd worked for 30 years in the foundry and engine plant. A Vietnam Era Veteran of the US Navy and formerly an avid bowler, Norm and his wife Mary live in White Lake Township.