Our staff's commitment to you

Our staff is committed to providing support, compassion, information, and direction as needed to all members of our community, their families, and friends who are dealing with loss and grief.

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Mark A. Thomas, CCO Owner/Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer/Certified Crematory Operator

Mark was born and raised in Galesburg, the son of Gary and Karen. He is the third generation of his family to live in Galesburg. After graduating from Galesburg High School, he attended Carl Sandburg College and graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Mortuary Science and Funeral Service in 1994. Mark received his BA from Western Illinois University in 2007. He worked at Beck Memorial Home in Bloomington for 3 ½ years prior to moving back to Galesburg in 1998 when he started working at Watson Funeral Home. He was elected Knox County Coroner in 2004, a position he still holds. In late 2009 he and his wife Tricia purchased Watson Funeral Home from John and Peg. 

 

Mark and his wife Tricia have two sons Andrew and Luke. 

 

He is active in many community service organizations, a member and past president of the Galesburg Hospitals Ambulance Service Board of Directors, is a past president of the Galesburg Area Crimestoppers, past Parish Council member at Corpus Christi Church, and is on the St. Joseph’s Cemetery Association Board. He is a noon Lion's Club member and past president. He graduated from Leadership Greater Galesburg in 2005. Mark is a past board member of the Discovery Depot Board of Directors and has been active in helping coach his sons baseball and basketball teams. Mark is also a board member of the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the Salvation Army.  Mark serves on the regional child death review team and the Western Illinois Fatality Review Team as well as being an appointed member of the Illlinois State Fatality Review Team.  He and his wife are very active in the community.

 

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Tricia J. Thomas, CCO Owner/Accountant/Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer/Certified Crematory Operator

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Tiffany Dowell, CCO Licensed Funeral Director/ Embalmer/Certified Crematory Operator

Tiffany comes from Abingdon, Illinois. She graduated from the Carl Sandburg Mortuary Science Program in 2009. After graduating mortuary school, Tiffany completed an apprenticeship with Hamilton’s Funeral Home in Des Moines, Iowa and then served as an apprentice for Mark and Tricia here at Watson-Thomas Funeral Home in 2011. After taking a few years off to spend with her family, Tiffany joined the staff of Watson-Thomas in March of 2015 as a funeral director and also serves as a Deputy Coroner for the Knox County. 

 

Tiffany and her husband, Mathew, have three children; Bryce, Bronson, and Serenity. 

 

Tiffany is a member of the Abingdon Kiwanis Club where she is serving as Vice-President for the 2015-2016 year, and is also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Harry E. Wiles Post 381. In her spare time, Tiffany loves to read, watch her children participate in sports, and spend time with her family at their cabin on the Mississippi River.

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Brad Collier Cremation Specialist, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

Brad works as our cremation specialist, as he is in charge of all aspects of both our human and pet crematories, and is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and Western Illinois University in Macomb. Brad has served as President of the district association of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association and has been involved in the Galesburg community by working with the Knox County United Way and the former Multiple Handicapped Summer Camp program. He is married to Carol and has two grown daughters.

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Jackie Jennings Family Service Specialist

Jackie is a native of Galesburg and graduated Knoxville HS and Carl Sandburg College.  A few years after completing the nursing program at CSC, Jackie and her son Cody moved to Texas where she worked as a RN mostly in Ambulatory Surgery Centers.  Jackie has been a nurse for over 23 years.  In 2016 she left her nursing career to give a year of service as a missionary for a shelter home for pregnant and parenting women in Phoenix, AZ.  She has now returned to her hometown to be close to her mother.  Jackie is looking forward to joining the team at Watson-Thomas Funeral Home where she can continue to use her sense compassion and empathy to help others.

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Rick Sexton Funeral Assistant

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Pastor Darrell Grimm Funeral Assistant

Mark A. Thomas, CCO

Owner/Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer/Certified Crematory Operator
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Mark was born and raised in Galesburg, the son of Gary and Karen. He is the third generation of his family to live in Galesburg. After graduating from Galesburg High School, he attended Carl Sandburg College and graduated from Southern Illinois University School of Mortuary Science and Funeral Service in 1994. Mark received his BA from Western Illinois University in 2007. He worked at Beck Memorial Home in Bloomington for 3 ½ years prior to moving back to Galesburg in 1998 when he started working at Watson Funeral Home. He was elected Knox County Coroner in 2004, a position he still holds. In late 2009 he and his wife Tricia purchased Watson Funeral Home from John and Peg. 

 

Mark and his wife Tricia have two sons Andrew and Luke. 

 

He is active in many community service organizations, a member and past president of the Galesburg Hospitals Ambulance Service Board of Directors, is a past president of the Galesburg Area Crimestoppers, past Parish Council member at Corpus Christi Church, and is on the St. Joseph’s Cemetery Association Board. He is a noon Lion's Club member and past president. He graduated from Leadership Greater Galesburg in 2005. Mark is a past board member of the Discovery Depot Board of Directors and has been active in helping coach his sons baseball and basketball teams. Mark is also a board member of the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce and the Salvation Army.  Mark serves on the regional child death review team and the Western Illinois Fatality Review Team as well as being an appointed member of the Illlinois State Fatality Review Team.  He and his wife are very active in the community.

 

Tricia J. Thomas, CCO

Owner/Accountant/Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer/Certified Crematory Operator
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Tiffany Dowell, CCO

Licensed Funeral Director/ Embalmer/Certified Crematory Operator
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Tiffany comes from Abingdon, Illinois. She graduated from the Carl Sandburg Mortuary Science Program in 2009. After graduating mortuary school, Tiffany completed an apprenticeship with Hamilton’s Funeral Home in Des Moines, Iowa and then served as an apprentice for Mark and Tricia here at Watson-Thomas Funeral Home in 2011. After taking a few years off to spend with her family, Tiffany joined the staff of Watson-Thomas in March of 2015 as a funeral director and also serves as a Deputy Coroner for the Knox County. 

 

Tiffany and her husband, Mathew, have three children; Bryce, Bronson, and Serenity. 

 

Tiffany is a member of the Abingdon Kiwanis Club where she is serving as Vice-President for the 2015-2016 year, and is also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Harry E. Wiles Post 381. In her spare time, Tiffany loves to read, watch her children participate in sports, and spend time with her family at their cabin on the Mississippi River.

Brad Collier

Cremation Specialist, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer
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Brad works as our cremation specialist, as he is in charge of all aspects of both our human and pet crematories, and is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and Western Illinois University in Macomb. Brad has served as President of the district association of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association and has been involved in the Galesburg community by working with the Knox County United Way and the former Multiple Handicapped Summer Camp program. He is married to Carol and has two grown daughters.

Jackie Jennings

Family Service Specialist
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Jackie is a native of Galesburg and graduated Knoxville HS and Carl Sandburg College.  A few years after completing the nursing program at CSC, Jackie and her son Cody moved to Texas where she worked as a RN mostly in Ambulatory Surgery Centers.  Jackie has been a nurse for over 23 years.  In 2016 she left her nursing career to give a year of service as a missionary for a shelter home for pregnant and parenting women in Phoenix, AZ.  She has now returned to her hometown to be close to her mother.  Jackie is looking forward to joining the team at Watson-Thomas Funeral Home where she can continue to use her sense compassion and empathy to help others.

Rick Sexton

Funeral Assistant
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Pastor Darrell Grimm

Funeral Assistant
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