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. 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, member and past President of the Galesburg Hospitals Ambulance Service Board of Directors, is a member and past president of the Galesburg Area Crimestoppers, past Parish Council member at Corpus Christi Church, is on the St. Joseph’s Cemetery Association Board, and a member and past president of the Galesburg Noon Lion's Club, as well as being on the Board of Directors of the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce.  Mark also serves on the Central Illinois Child Death Review Team and is serving as President of the West Central Illinois Adult Fatality Review Team. He also serves on the State Board of the FRT. Mark sits on the board of directors for the Mortuary Science Program at Carl Sandburg College. 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 son’s baseball and basketball teams.

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

Tricia was born and raised in Carthage, IL. After graduating from Carthage High School, she attended Illinois College and graduated from Western Illinois University in 1991, with a degree in Accounting. Upon moving to the Quad Cities, she worked for Knox-Larson Funeral Home in Rock Island and Milan for 9 years. She attended Mortuary School at Carl Sandburg College and received her Associates degree in 2000. She moved to Galesburg in 2000. In late 2009, she and Mark purchased Watson Funeral Home from John and Peg Watson. At that time, she was working as a Controller; she joined the staff of Watson Thomas Funeral Home in January, 2014.

Tricia and Mark have two sons Andrew and Luke.  They are members of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

Tricia stays very active being involved in her children’s activities. She is a member and treasurer for Galesburg Athletic Booster Club. She serves on the board of directors for Walk for Baby Feet and is active in their events. She is an Administrative Official for YMCA swim and an active volunteer for the Knox County Krocs Swim Team. She enjoys cheering on her sons during baseball, basketball, swim, track and cross country.

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Brad Collier, CCO Certified Crematory Operator/Licensed Funeral Director/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 has two grown daughters.

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Katelyn Carrigan Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer

Katelyn graduated with high honors from Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois in May of 2018 with an Associate Degree in Mortuary Science. During her time at Sandburg, she served as President of the mortuary science fraternity, Sigma Phi Sigma, from 2017 to 2018 and also obtained her crematory operator certification.
 
She grew up in the Knoxville area, and currently resides there. She enjoys creating art, reading, researching genealogy, and spending time with her family, friends, and pets. Katelyn is of the Catholic faith, and is also is a proud member of the National Funeral Director’s Association, Illinois Funeral Director’s Association, and the Lucretia Leffingwell Chapter of the D.A.R.

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Haley Price Apprentice Funeral Director/Embalmer

Haley was born and raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated early from Galesburg High School and continued on in school at Carl Sandburg College in 2018. While in school, Haley joined the team here at Watson Thomas Funeral Home in February, 2019. She graduated from Sandburg with an Associates Degree in Mortuary Science in 2020. Haley will complete her apprenticeship here at Watson Thomas Funeral Home in 2021.

She enjoys cooking, being outdoors, and spending time with her family and friends. 

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Brandi Hughes Family Service Specialist

Brandi Hughes grew up in central Illinois, graduating from Monmouth/Roseville High School. She is a registered Illinois and Iowa Life Insurance Producer. She shares 3 children, Kendall, Braylyn and Camila, whom she thinks the world of, with her fiance Tyler. She works hard to develop relationships with anyone she meets, and succeeds in her position as our Family Service Specialist. She really enjoys helping people, especially when it comes to planning events.  In her spare time she enjoys hunting for antiques, going camping with her family, and doing anything active.

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Rick Sexton Funeral Assistant

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Pastor Darrell Grimm Funeral Assistant

Darrell Grimm has been the pastor of Colonial Baptist Church in Galesburg since 2009. Darrell began working at Watson-Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory in 2011. Pastor Grimm has the heart to serve others and enjoys helping people in their time of need. Having personally been through the loss of his own son, Darrell understands first hand the grief that goes along with such a loss. He and his wife Sandy have been married for 34 years and have 3 children.

Mark A. Thomas, CCO

Owner/Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer/Certified Crematory Operator
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Mark was born and raised in Galesburg. 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, member and past President of the Galesburg Hospitals Ambulance Service Board of Directors, is a member and past president of the Galesburg Area Crimestoppers, past Parish Council member at Corpus Christi Church, is on the St. Joseph’s Cemetery Association Board, and a member and past president of the Galesburg Noon Lion's Club, as well as being on the Board of Directors of the Galesburg Area Chamber of Commerce.  Mark also serves on the Central Illinois Child Death Review Team and is serving as President of the West Central Illinois Adult Fatality Review Team. He also serves on the State Board of the FRT. Mark sits on the board of directors for the Mortuary Science Program at Carl Sandburg College. 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 son’s baseball and basketball teams.

Tricia J. Thomas, CCO

Owner/Accountant/Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer/Certified Crematory Operator
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Tricia was born and raised in Carthage, IL. After graduating from Carthage High School, she attended Illinois College and graduated from Western Illinois University in 1991, with a degree in Accounting. Upon moving to the Quad Cities, she worked for Knox-Larson Funeral Home in Rock Island and Milan for 9 years. She attended Mortuary School at Carl Sandburg College and received her Associates degree in 2000. She moved to Galesburg in 2000. In late 2009, she and Mark purchased Watson Funeral Home from John and Peg Watson. At that time, she was working as a Controller; she joined the staff of Watson Thomas Funeral Home in January, 2014.

Tricia and Mark have two sons Andrew and Luke.  They are members of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.

Tricia stays very active being involved in her children’s activities. She is a member and treasurer for Galesburg Athletic Booster Club. She serves on the board of directors for Walk for Baby Feet and is active in their events. She is an Administrative Official for YMCA swim and an active volunteer for the Knox County Krocs Swim Team. She enjoys cheering on her sons during baseball, basketball, swim, track and cross country.

Brad Collier, CCO

Certified Crematory Operator/Licensed Funeral Director/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 has two grown daughters.

Katelyn Carrigan

Licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer
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Katelyn graduated with high honors from Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, Illinois in May of 2018 with an Associate Degree in Mortuary Science. During her time at Sandburg, she served as President of the mortuary science fraternity, Sigma Phi Sigma, from 2017 to 2018 and also obtained her crematory operator certification.
 
She grew up in the Knoxville area, and currently resides there. She enjoys creating art, reading, researching genealogy, and spending time with her family, friends, and pets. Katelyn is of the Catholic faith, and is also is a proud member of the National Funeral Director’s Association, Illinois Funeral Director’s Association, and the Lucretia Leffingwell Chapter of the D.A.R.

Haley Price

Apprentice Funeral Director/Embalmer
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Haley was born and raised in Galesburg, Illinois. She graduated early from Galesburg High School and continued on in school at Carl Sandburg College in 2018. While in school, Haley joined the team here at Watson Thomas Funeral Home in February, 2019. She graduated from Sandburg with an Associates Degree in Mortuary Science in 2020. Haley will complete her apprenticeship here at Watson Thomas Funeral Home in 2021.

She enjoys cooking, being outdoors, and spending time with her family and friends. 

Brandi Hughes

Family Service Specialist
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Brandi Hughes grew up in central Illinois, graduating from Monmouth/Roseville High School. She is a registered Illinois and Iowa Life Insurance Producer. She shares 3 children, Kendall, Braylyn and Camila, whom she thinks the world of, with her fiance Tyler. She works hard to develop relationships with anyone she meets, and succeeds in her position as our Family Service Specialist. She really enjoys helping people, especially when it comes to planning events.  In her spare time she enjoys hunting for antiques, going camping with her family, and doing anything active.

Rick Sexton

Funeral Assistant
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Pastor Darrell Grimm

Funeral Assistant
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Darrell Grimm has been the pastor of Colonial Baptist Church in Galesburg since 2009. Darrell began working at Watson-Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory in 2011. Pastor Grimm has the heart to serve others and enjoys helping people in their time of need. Having personally been through the loss of his own son, Darrell understands first hand the grief that goes along with such a loss. He and his wife Sandy have been married for 34 years and have 3 children.