Our Team

Our dedicated and supportive team are here to guide you through this difficult journey. We take pride in doing our absolute best to ensure your needs are met. We are here for you.

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John Chasca, Owner / President

John Chasca has been owner/president of McPherson Funeral Services 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. John is also a past president of The Cremation Association of North America (CANA)  and also serves on the board for the Society of Independent Funeral Director's of British Columbia.  John has over 50 years in all aspects of funeral Service.

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Sharla MacKay, Director of Operations

Sharla MacKay was 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. Being raised in a family of funeral professionals, she has been around the profession her entire life. Sharla is a past president of the British Columbia Funeral Association and served on the board for over 10 years.  She also currently service on the Society of Independent Funeral Director of British Columbia.  Sharla has been with McPherson's since 2003.

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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 funeral home. Dane has been encompassed by the funeral profession his whole life. After graduation from high school, Dane moved to Cranbrook and joined his father John and his sister Sharla full time at McPherson’s. Dane loves the community and getting to meet new people. He graduated from The Canadian College of Funeral Service in 2015, as a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer, at that time the youngest licensees in the province. Dane and his family are dedicated to providing excellent service to the families that McPherson Funeral Services serves every day.  Dane has been with McPherson's since 2013.

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Murray Forbes, Funeral Director / embalmer

Murray grew up in Nanaimo, B.C., where he began his career in the funeral profession on a part time basis in 1982. He completed his apprenticeship in Whitehorse, Yukon in 1992, then moved to Grand Forks, B.C., where he served the families of the West Kootenays for many years. Murray and his family later moved to Cranbrook where he joined the McPherson’s team and brought his experience in various aspects of the funeral service, including working with the B.C. Coroner Service, and crematorium operations. Murray and his wife are big supporters of Junior Hockey and the local arts scene in Cranbrook. Murray has been with McPherson’s since 2014.

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Rebecca MacDonald, Funeral Director/ Embalmer

Rebecca was born in Vancouver, BC but has spent much time back and forth between Alberta and British Columbia throughout her life. Prior to starting her career in Funeral Service, she was a professional artist and business owner for twelve years in the small community of Fernie, BC. Rebecca eventually made the move to Calgary to gain her dual license in funeral directing and embalming-receiving her diploma in Funeral Service through Mount Royal University in 2022. She has a nine-year-old son that she considers her largest accomplishment and loves to spend time with friends and family. Rebecca is looking forward to working within the East Kootenays and assisting families in their time of need. She values creating strong, long-lasting relationships with each family she serves. Rebecca has been with McPherson's since 2022.

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Lucas Branstetter, Funeral Director / Embalmer 

Lucas was raised in Portland, Oregon and came to Canada for college in 2002. During his time at college, he met and married his wife. They have been in the Kootenays since 2010 and it has become their home. In 2017, he began working in the funeral profession as a funeral attendant. In 2021 he started his formal training as a Funeral Director and Embalmer and graduated in the Fall of 2023 from the Canadian College of Funeral Services.  Lucas is looking forward to serving the community of Cranbrook and the surrounding areas. Lucas has been with McPherson's since 2022.

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Sara Oostyen, Funeral Director / Embalmer Apprentice 

Sara was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and raised in Castlegar, British Columbia. Sara has always had an interest in the funeral profession, but it wasn’t until 2021 that she pursued her dreams and began her journey with McPherson Funeral Services. Sara is eager to become a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer once her post-secondary education is completed in 2024. Sara has a passion for immersing herself in nature and pushing herself with new adventures, including hiking and exploring the beauty British Columbia has to offer and spending time with her husband, Nicholas. Sara has proudly been with McPherson’s since 2021.

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Nicholas Oostyen,  Administrator

Nicholas Oostyen was born and raised in Invermere, British Columbia and moved to Cranbrook with his wife, Sara in 2020. Nick enjoyed many days at the ski hill with his parents and pursued skiing for a good portion of his youth. Now, Nick and his wife Sara enjoy spending time with their pets, exploring British Columbia and being outdoors.

Nicholas has been with McPherson's since 2021.

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Gina Christensen, Administrator

Gina has lived in the Kootenays for the past 22 years. After living in the big city of Toronto, she headed West and never returned! Her passion for the outdoors and nature is why she came and stayed!  Working as an administrative assistant with a financial advisor for 14 years, Gina brings enthusiasm and knowledge to her position here at McPherson Funeral Services. We welcomed Gina to our team in 2022. 

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Joni Janzen, Food Reception Coordinator

Joni was born in White Rock, B.C, but at a very young age moved to Hudson's Hope, B.C. and spent her childhood there. Joni has resided in Cranbrook for the last 23 years with her husband Ron. Together they have two children, and are grandparents to three 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 E.K P.A.R.T.Y Program and E.K 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 team since 2018.

  Janine McNaul, East-Kootenay Pre Planning Specialist

Janine has a genuine interest in assisting families as they experience the loss of a loved one.   She worked with the RCMP Victim Services providing support to those in crisis.  Janine received her Death Doula Certification in 2021; and began volunteering with her local Hospice Society. She is passionate about spreading the message regarding the peace of mind and importance of Advance Care Planning.  Janine was raised in Houston, BC and in 2004 her family moved to Ontario for her husband's work. As her 3 boys grew, they all decided to move back home to BC; and is now proud to call Cranbrook home. She enjoys yoga, hiking, biking, travelling and spending time with family. Janine looks forward to getting more involved in the community and discovering all that the Kootenays have to offer. Janine has been with McPherson’s since March of 2023.

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Gordon Murphy, (Retired) Managing Director

Gordon Murphy has been in the funeral profession since 1969, Gordon was born and raised in Saint John, New Brunswick. He received his New Brunswick Funeral Director’s License, later moving to Alberta and receiving his Funeral Director’s license there. Gordon and his family later moved to Cranbrook where he become a valuable part of the community and was named Cranbrook’s Citizen of the Year in 2001. His involvement in the community over the years has included work with the Compassionate Friends, Cranbrook Hospice Society, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the E.K P.A.R.T.Y program. Most of all, Gordon enjoys working with families at the funeral home. Gordon has been with McPherson’s since 1981.

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Brian Taylor (In Loving Memory) Funeral Director
                                    1950 - 2024

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 past member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. Brian was with McPherson's since 1990.