Meet Our Staff | Hennessey Funeral Home & Crematory
Hennessey Funeral Home & Crematory - Downtown in Spokane, WA

Meet Our Staff

Our staff provides excellent funeral planning services

We have years of experience caring for families from all walks of life, cultures and faiths. Our unsurpassed staff and our family provide kind, caring, professional service. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession who are dedicated to excellence in service, adhere to the highest funeral industry standards, and have exceptional integrity. We consistently earn phenomenally high customer satisfaction survey results.

Our licensed, professional staff is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call 509-328-2600 anytime. We will even come to you to make arrangements in the comfort of your home.

Prompt, compassionate service is always just a phone call away, where and when you need it.

Melissa Johnson

Melissa Johnson

Managing Partner / Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer

Melissa has been in the funeral profession since 2009.  She graduated from Hamline University in 2006 with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and Forensics.  Shortly after graduation, she moved to Arizona and pursued her education in Mortuary Science, graduating from Mesa Community College's Mortuary Science program in 2010.  Following graduation, Melissa immediately began working at a small funeral firm in Tempe, AZ and has since worked in numerous roles at several funeral home and cemetery locations in both Arizona and Washington.

In 2013, Melissa moved to Washington to be closer to her younger sister and very much enjoyed the last six years in the Seattle area.  During her time in Seattle, Melissa graduated from National University out of La Jolla, CA with  her Master's Degree in Forensic Science in hopes it will continue to aid her in working with families at the funeral home.  She takes great pride in the work of being a funeral director and embalmer as it is a true passion for Melissa in caring for families during their time of need.

In her spare time, Melissa enjoy spending time with her pets.  With her older sister and Mom in Minnesota and her Dad in Oklahoma, Melissa enjoys travelling with her younger sister to visit family across the country.  She enjoys being outdoors, taking walks and hikes and enjoying the nature Washington has to offer.

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Sue Belote

Sue Belote

Office Manager

Sue grew up in a family of ten children with her father in the Air Force, moving the family from California, to Texas and back to Spokane, WA, where her home has been for the last 40 years.  She has an AA Degree from Spokane Community College and went to work at a prominent, local law firm for seven years. Sue stayed home to bond with her son, Taylor, for a year and a half, and then entered the Funeral Industry and never looked back.  She worked at Ball and Dodd Funeral Home serving families for 15 years and then moved to Hennessey Funeral Home, where she has been for the last 15 years.  Sue takes great pride in her role as Office Manager at Hennessey Funeral Home and considers it a privilege helping families during the most sensitive time in their lives.  Sue loves volunteering in the community with her team members from Hennessey Funeral Home and currently sits on the Board of Southside Senior and Community Center as Secretary.   She enjoys walking, scrapbooking, reading, cheering on the Seattle Mariners and Gonzaga Bulldogs, and yearly trips to Las Vegas.  Sue and her husband, Jeff, have one son, Taylor (and his beautiful wife, Amanda) and truly enjoy their three grandchildren, Dahlia, Oliver and Rose.  Her role as Grandma brings her the greatest joy.

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Chuck Wendt

Chuck Wendt

Advanced Planning Manager

Chuck has been serving families and individuals with preparing their funeral or cremation arrangements in advance of need for more than 12 years in the Spokane community. His role is to help facilitate your wishes through listening to your needs, sharing options, and creating the services that are right for you. He has lived in the Spokane area since 1974 when his dad was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Eastern Washington University. Chuck and his wife Vicki have three adult daughters and thoroughly enjoy their role as grandparents.

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L. Dean Lewis

L. Dean Lewis

Licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer

Dean entered funeral service on February 14, 2011.  He is a licensed funeral director & embalmer, and a certified crematory operator.  He also served as a deputy coroner for several years.  He is an active father, participating in many school activities, including acting as a chaperone for his children’s school functions and field trips, and supporting other extracurricular actives like football, volleyball and baseball.  He enjoys spending time with his family in the great outdoors, doing things like fishing, camping, snowboarding, and riding horses.  He is kind and considerate of the needs of a grieving family.  “It is an extraordinary privilege to serve your family.”  

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Dennis Murphy

Dennis Murphy

Licensed Funeral Director

Dennis Murphy was president of another Spokane funeral home from May 1999 until January 7, 2016. He served as a board member on the Washington State Funeral Directors Association and was past president in 2006-2007. Dennis was a National Funeral Directors Association Policy Board Member for the State of Washington and is a past president of The Inland Empire Funeral Directors Association. Dennis was twice awarded Best of the Best for funeral operation in the United States. He initiated Memorial Day events that attracted thousands. He is a Spokane Rotary Club 21 member and currently serves on the House Committee and Endowment committee of the Spokane Club. Dennis is a former Verger at The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.


Randy Brandt

Randy Brandt

Licensed Funeral Director

Randy began working with Hennessey in in 2004.  He pursued and completed the work in receiving his Funeral Director's License and has since stayed with Hennessey as a licensed funeral director ever since. 


Randy is a lifelong resident of Spokane and he graduated from Lewis & Clark High School in 1969 and Gonzaga University in 1974. He began working in the real estate business and maintained brokerages in Washington. He entered law school in 1985, graduating in 1988.  This business experience gave Randy immense management experience and skills, along with extensive interaction with community organizations, all of which have provided him unique insights and understanding of people and behavior.  


Randy has been an attorney for nearly 30 years and has 21 years of judicial experience. Randy worked his way up the judicial ladder and has heard tens of thousands of cases over his judicial career. Before he was a judge, Randy was a small business owner for over 10 years.

 

But beyond his nearly three decades of legal and judicial experience, Randy brings a wealth of life experience and service in our community to the Bench, ranging from Camp Fire Boys and Girls, Exchange Club, Spokane Central Lions Club, Spokane River Association, President Spokane Regional Law Enforcement Museum and Honorary Commander Fairchild Air Force Base.  Randy was given honorary membership in the Fairchild Air Force Base Bar Association. For several years, Randy has served throughout Spokane County as a judge in local high schools DUI Mock Crash program, striving to curb drinking and driving. Randy has been an instructor at Continuing Education training for attorneys.


Taylor Belote

Taylor Belote

Funeral Director Intern

Taylor grew up in Spokane and is a proud alum of John R. Rogers High School. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Music Performance (2010) and his Master of Arts in Teaching (2011), both from Whitworth University. He has been a public school band teacher for 9 years, having spent 8 years as the head middle school/high school Band Director in the Deer Park School District, and he is currently entering his 2nd year as an Elementary Band Specialist for Spokane Public Schools. Taylor can also often be found performing as a working drummer and percussionist around town. He is a regular in musical theater orchestra pits and has played with the Coeur d’ Alene Symphony, various bands, and performs as a solo steel pan artist. Taylor has also performed on his steel pan for Hennessey’s Memorial Day celebrations, Holiday Remembrance service, and other various community events. Taylor is always seeking ways to serve others in his life, and he was introduced as a funeral ambassador through his mother Susan. He is honored to be able to serve families with kindness and respect in their difficult times of loss and he takes great pride in helping them to honor and celebrate the lives of their loved ones. Taylor has been married to his wife, Amanda, for 8 years and adores his 3 young children, Dahlia, Oliver, & Rose. He loves spending time with them on walks and bike rides and watching them grow to find their own talents and interests. 

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Ron Carolus

Ron Carolus

Ambassador

Born in Spokane and raised in Pullman

Graduated from WSU Edward R Murrow School of Communications

Contributing reporter to NPR including 1972 Miami Democratic Convention and Washington Senator Henry Jacksons Presidential campaign

Senior Onsite KJRB news reporter for EXPO 74 

Broadcast news anchor and reporter in Spokane Portland Seattle and winner of numerous Sigma Delta Chi Excellence in Journalism Awards for news documentaries

30+ years in financial services industry with the Principal Financial Group including membership in the industries Million Dollar Roundtable and board member and president of the Spokane Life Underwriters

Nearly a decade as a senior marketing research analyst for Dunkin Donuts New store and expansion development

Ron has two children living and working in Spokane and both his son and daughter are raising his grandchildren


Patrick Riveira

Patrick Riveira

Ambassador



Susan Hennessey

Susan Hennessey

Ambassador

Susie represents the fourth generation to work for Hennessey Funeral Home. She graduated from Gonzaga Prep in 1980 and attended Gonzaga University, Spokane Falls Community College and Spokane Community College. Susie has lived in several places, including Dutch Harbor, Arkansas, Seattle, and Portland, but returned home to Spokane to raise her son Charlie and to be with family and enjoy the perks of Spokane. She loves the four seasons here and enjoys living so close to lakes and winter sports.


Charles Hennessey Coomes

Charles Hennessey Coomes

Ambassador

Charles began working at Hennessey in 2019.  He is grandson to Chuck "Patty" Hennessey and is son to Susie Hennessey.  

Charles assists with funeral services, he helps around the building with maintenance odds and ends.

He currently holds another job with Fedex.  He enjoys motorcycles and working on his car. 

We are proud to have a 5th generation Hennessey still part of this staff.  


Alexis Miller

Alexis Miller

Ambassador

Alexis joined Hennessey in January of 2020 as an ambassador then shortly thereafter moved into the role of an administrative assistant and receptionist.  Alexis was born and raised in Spokane, attending University High School.  She played softball, sang in multiple choirs and enjoyed art classes the most.  Alexis has always felt drawn to serving her community and caring for people and by working at Hennessey, she has found a rewarding way to do so in caring for our families.  In her spare time Alexis enjoys reading, writing, and joking around with her family and friends.  She is a parent to two cats, Blizzard and Zukizumi and one dog, Azula.  She also enjoys painting, traveling, sewing, taking Azula and Blizzard on walks as well as being out and about within the community she grew up in.


Natasha Wright

Natasha Wright

Ambassador

Fourteen years ago, I endured the greatest loss of my life. Despite the pain, the staff during the service and the funeral made me feel as though I was their only priority. I was well cared for and they took impeccable care of my family member as well. As an Ambassador, I can now return that level of care, compassion, and empathy to families who must also endure the pain of losing someone dear to them. I have recently completed my training and licensure as a cremationist to continue progressing in my funeral home career.

I absolutely love all animals, especially my 3 standard poodles: Kiera, Oscar, and Archibald. I also enjoy exploring and traveling with my spouse and my children. 

  


Archie

Archie

Emotional Support Dog

Archie belongs to Managing Partner Melissa Johnson.  He is 9 years old and enjoys spending the day at the funeral home with the staff and families we care for.

Though he is not a licensed therapy dog, his stoic calm demeanor is something most families enjoy. He may bark from time to time, but he will never bite and enjoys playing on the carpet when no one is around...  Please feel free to come in anytime and meet our wonderful support companion. 


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Contact Us


Hennessey Funeral Home & Crematory
|
2203 North Division Street
| Spokane, WA 99207
|
Tel: 509-328-2600
|

| Directions

You are welcome to call us any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or, visit our funeral home in person at your convenience.

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