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Our Staff

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

Eric E. O'Leary

Owner & Funeral Coordinator / Business Manager

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 nearly three 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 fulfill a lifelong goal of having his own funeral home business.  

Eric lives in Norwalk with his son, Conor.  He is a former member of the Norwalk Easter Library Foundation and current member of Norwalk Chamber of Commerce, where he served on the board from 2014-2018; the Norwalk Lion's Club; St. John Catholic Church, where he plays the string bass with St. John's Choir; and the Knights of Columbus (St. John Council as a third degree and serving as a Past-Grand Knight and as a fourth degree with Pope John Paul II Council).  

Telephone: 1-515-981-0700


William Cannon

Funeral Director & Embalmer

William Cannon is a native of the Des Moines, Iowa area and is our licensed funeral director.  He will guide families from the initial phone call, through the arrangement process and services.  

Jennifer Wittstock

Jennifer Wittstock

Flower Design Specialist & Wedding Consultant

Jennifer is one of our floral designers at O'Leary's Flowers for Every Occasion & Gift Shop. - located adjacent to the funeral home with a separate entrance.

Jennifer is available to consult for Wedding, Funeral, and Special Occasion flower arrangements.  She very detailed and attentive to the customer and their wishes.

The flower shop is open  Monday ~ Friday 9AM to 4PM; and weekends by appointment only.

Call us at (515) 981-0700 or visit our website to place your order.  In addition to deliveries in Norwalk; we also delivery to Indianola and Des Moines Metro Areas for a nominal delivery charge.

Flowers for Weddings - Funerals - Birthdays - Anniversaries - Special Occasions - Just Because - Hospital Deliveries - School Functions - Dances - and much more!

Telephone: 1-515-981-0700


Michelle Bussanmas

Michelle Bussanmas

Floral Designer / Funeral Director's Assistant

Michelle Bussanmas joined the staff at O'Leary Celebration of Life Center in August 2021.  Michelle worked at Lakewood Elementary School in Norwalk for many years as a para-pro.  In addition to working at the flower shop and funeral home Michelle enjoys teaching swim lessons through an adaptive swim program she created for special need children.  Michelle works as a life guard at the Waukee YMCA and is one of a handful of people selected to coach/life guard for the National Special Olympics to be held in Florida during the summer of 2022.

Amanda Purscell

Advertising and Promotions Director

Amanda joined O'Leary Celebration of Life Services in 2019 as an administrative assistant.  After a year hiatus she rejoined our business helping in the flower shop as well as promoting the business through advertising and on-line services such as Facebook.

Luwanda Pittman

Facility Manager / Funeral Director's Assistant

Luwanda Pittman has recently joined the staff at O'Leary Funeral Services and Flowers for Every Occasion.  Lulu as she is often referred to by friends and family moved here in July 2021 from Phoenix, Arizona.  She has a daughter Aaliyah that will begin preschool soon.

Michael Richardson

Michael Richardson

Funeral Director's Assistant

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. 

Jeanne A. Yordi

Jeanne A. Yordi

O'Leary's Certified Life Celebrant

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 former Warren County Supervisor, Dean Yordi, and together they have four children and thirteen grandchildren. 

Mary Torkelson

Mary Torkelson

Pianist & Vocalist

Mary Torkelson has been sharing her musical talents of singing and playing piano for many years.  She began playing in her family dance band with her Dad and brothers at an early age & has continued sharing her music through many facets, including sing-alongs at nursing homes, choir director and pianist for services at her church (First Lutheran) in Gilmore City, Iowa and many weddings & funerals.  Her musical talents have brought much comfort to many grieving families and she is honored to sing & play traditional hymns for your loved ones’ funeral service.

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