Members of the staff are caring and experienced professionals who understand that each family is unique and has personal requests and traditions. These requests and traditions are of utmost importance to our professional staff of licensed funeral directors and comfort givers.
Eric E. O'Leary
Owner & Funeral Director
A native of central Iowa, Eric was raised and educated in Newton, Iowa, where he graduated high school and he attended Des Moines Area Community College. In 1996 he earned his Degree in Mortuary Science from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, Illinois.
Following college Eric returned to Newton and completed his funeral director apprenticeship and license requirements under the direction of Harold Reese. During this time he learned compassion for the families served, as well as invaluable funeral home management skills. In the fall of 2000 he continued his career at Ochiltree Funeral Service in Winterset.
In 2002 Eric became a managing-partner at Haley Funeral Directors in Southfield, Michigan. There, he was successful in managing and growing a funeral home business. In the summer of 2009 he started a funeral home contracting business, providing respite care to funeral directors and owners throughout Iowa, Minnesota, and Michigan. He returned to Iowa in 2010 to be near his family and partake in their daily lives.
Eric believes in honoring and celebrating a life well lived. During the last two decades he has provided exceptional funeral service through honesty, integrity, trust and attention to detail. He is here to honor your loved ones lives and has chosen Norwalk as a community to full-fill a life long goal of having his own Funeral Home & Celebration of Life Center. Here family and friends can come together to Remember time spent together, Celebrate a life full of memories, and to Heal the sorrow of their loss.
Eric is a member of the the Norwalk Chamber of Commerce; Norwalk Lion's Club; St. John Catholic Church; St. John's Choir; St. John Apostle Choir; and the Knights of Columbus (St. John Council and Pope John Paul II Council). He volunteers his time by delivering Meals on Wheels in Norwalk and helping with KidSight screenings in Norwalk preschool and kindergarten classes. In addition, Eric plays string bass in the Des Moines Community Orchestra and has played in musical productions at the Des Moines Playhouse and The Bridge.
Jeanne A. Yordi is our in-house Certified Life Celebrant.
Jeanne will help you to celebrate, honor and remember your loved one. The service can be tailored to your individual needs. Jeanne specializes in making the service all "about" your loved one. The service can be secular or non-secular depending on your personal wishes. Jeanne is also available to travel, for instance if burial is out of town.
Jeanne has over 20 years’ experience working with families and older Iowans. She is a certified dementia practitioner and holds certification in public management form Drake University. Jeanne’s experience includes working with Hospice, The Alzheimer’s Association and nursing homes across the state of Iowa.
Jeanne is married to Warren County Supervisor, Dean Yordi, and together they have four children and thirteen grandchildren.
Karen A. Krehlik
Family Service / Pre-Arrangement Adviser
Karen will dedicate herself to assisting families by offering information and assistance on prearrangement services, end of life issues or family caregiver questions and challenges. She will listen to your needs and suggest appropriate resources or help you plan services to Celebrate Your Life. She can also present prepayment plans and options for those who wish to have peace of mind knowing that everything has been financially taken care of.
Karen is also available to present information to your group. Programs are tailored for your unique need and for any size of group.
Karen is a graduate of Drake University with a degree in Psychology and the University of Iowa with a Masters Degree in Social Work. She is a Certified Wellness Coach and Grief Counselor, and in additional to pre-planning offers both individual and group grief counseling sessions at O'Leary Celebration of Life Center.
Mike Richardson was born in Osceola, Iowa, and is a life-long resident of Norwalk. He attended Norwalk Schools through graduation, and then continued his education at Des Moines Area Community College majoring in Police Science.
He began his public safety career in Colfax, Iowa as a police officer and volunteered with the fire department in EMS. He was recruited back to Norwalk as its first full-time Chief of Police and was there for 25 years before retiring from the department. He currently works at the Des Moines International Airport working in airport operations dealing with security and communications.
Mike continues to serve his community by working at Norwalk Fire Department as a medic, and as a reserve officer with the Des Moines Police Department.
Mike is a member of the Norwalk Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Mike will be working at O'Leary Funeral & Cremation Service ~ Celebration of Life Center as a Funeral Director's Assistant & Comfort Giver.
Funeral Director Assistant & Comfort Giver
Jeanette has joined our staff as a Funeral Director's Assistant & Comfort Giver. She is a full-time and head cook for Apple Tree Day Care Center in Des Moines.
Jeannette and her husband, George, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on November 16, 2013. They are long-time Cumming, IA residents. In her free time Jeanette enjoys woodworking.
She has a son, George (wife, Julie) of Winterset; a daughter Mary French (husband, Gary) of Cumming; and grandchildren, Alex and Travis Potzner and Tyler French