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 is married to Carol and has two grown daughters.

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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.

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Deanna Sexton 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. 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 is married to Carol and has two grown daughters.

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.

Deanna Sexton

Funeral Assistant
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