Each of the staff members at Memorial Chapel & Plowe Funeral Service is committed to providing your family with the finest in personal care. It is comforting for area families to know that we are available to help at any time of the day or night.

When a loved one dies, all you need to do is make one phone call. From that moment on, we’ll take on the responsibilities of the physical care of your loved one, and the emotional care of those left behind.

Please take a few minutes to get to know our staff. We’re sure you’ll find each of us to be all that you would hope for in a trusted funeral professional.

 

 

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Neil Ahola Owner & Licensed Director

Neil is a third Generation Funeral Director and lifelong resident of Hancock. He is a graduate of the Hancock High School with the Class of 1988, attended Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI, and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, Illinois. Since joining his father at the funeral home in 1992 he has been very active in the community, currently he is a member of the Hancock Fire Department where he has served as Secretary, and as 2nd Assistant Chief. Other Organizations he has been involved in include: Chassell Lions Club where he has served as King Lion, the Hancock Rotary Club where he has served as President of the club, Michigan Tech Blue Line Club served as a past President, The Hancock Central High School Foundation Board, former Board of Control member of the former Phi Kappa Theta-Chi Rho chapter of Michigan Technological University, Board of Directors for Superior National Bank. He is a member of the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church where he has served as Vice-president of the Church council and helped with many committees. In his chosen profession he has stayed involved by serving as Sec./Treas. of District #10 (The Upper Peninsula)of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association and served as President of District #10. He also served as district Director for district #10. Also to keep active he had enjoyed golfing in the Wyandotte Hills Golf Course Men's League. He and his wife Tammy have 1 son Zachary.

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David Plowe Manager & Licensed Director

David is a lifelong Houghton resident, and third generation funeral director having owned and managed the Plowe Funeral Home in Houghton for many years. He is a member of St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church of Houghton, the Houghton Rotary Club, sits of the Portage Lake Water & Sewage Authority, an avid sports fan and enjoys playing Hockey and baseball. He also enjoys spending time at the family cottage in Bootjack.

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Christine Ahola Office Manager

Chris was born in Hancock, and raised in Winona. She was married to Jim Ahola, and spent most of her earlier, married years, raising their 2 children, Connie & Neil. She has worked at the funeral home since 1985, as Office Manager. Chris is a member of the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of Hancock and has served on many committees for the church & is a past Sunday School Teacher. She is a member & past Treasurer of the Portage Hospital Auxiliary, member & past Treasurer of the Hancock Business & Professional Association, past President of the Martha & Mary Society of Suomi College, now Finlandia University, and the Wyandotte Hills Women's Golf League. She has one grandchild, Zachary.

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James Ahola Former Owner & Director - In Memoriam 1946-2007

James E. Ahola, was a second generation Funeral Director, he was born and raised in Hancock, MI. He was a graduate of the Hancock High School with the class of 1964, attended the former Soumi College in Hancock, and Michigan Technological University in Houghton, and was a graduate of the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1968. He also received the Val L. Beyers Citation while attending W.I.M.S. in Milwaukee for excellence in Practical Embalming. He was a member of the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of Hancock, having served previously as the Church Council President, and was a member of the Jacobsville Committee of the church. He was a member and a past President of Kiawanis Club of the Copper Country, the past Treasurer of the Wyandotte Hills Mens Golf League, and was a member of the Copper Country Lodge #135 F.& A.M., Keweenaw-Bay Shrine Club, the Ahmed Temple Shriners of Marquette. He was the North Hospital Chairman for the Keweenaw-Bay Shrine Club, and was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #382 of Hancock. He married the former Christine G. Lindeman of Winona, MI, and was the father of 2 children: Connie Lynn and Neil James Ahola, Grandfather of Zachary James Ahola. He was a member of the Hancock Volunteer Fire Department for over 28 years, having served as their Fire Chief for 21 years. He was also past treasurer of the Copper Country Firefighters, and the Upper Peninsula Fire Fighters Associations. Previously he has been on the Lions Clubs of Dollar Bay, South Range, and Hancock, the Copper Country United Way Board. The Salvation Army Board of Hancock, and was a member of the Hospital Board for the City of Hancock. He was also a former Exalted Ruler at Lodge #381 B.P.O.E. of Hancock, and was a member of the Lodge #404 B.P.O.E. of Calumet. He also is serving as Vice President of the Portage Health Systems Foundation Board. Jim has also had been very active in his chosen profession, having served as past Director for District #10(the Upper Peninsula) of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association, and is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association.

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Karl Peterson Licensed Director & Manager, Chassell Location

Karl is the former owner and manager of the Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet. Karl is a graduate of Calumet High School, class of 1976. He attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago and received his degree of Mortuary Science in 1990. He bought the Peterson Funeral Home from his father in 1999 and then in April 2013, Karl joined the staff of Memorial Chapel & Plowe Funeral Homes as the manager of the Chassell Memorial Chapel Funeral Home.

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Joe Bianucci Funeral Home Assistant & Apprentice

Joe is a 2004 graduate from Hancock High School. After graduation he went on to attend Finlandia University for 2 years. He worked full time driving wrecker and working maintenance before deciding to go back to college. He is a graduate of Des Moines Area Community College with a degree in Mortuary Science. Joe joined the staff at Memorial Chapel& Plowe Funeral Homes in 2016. Joe is an active member of the Hancock Fire Department joining in 2005 and has been serving as secretary since 2009. He also sits on the board for the Portage Lake Multi-Educational Services. In his free time, Joe likes to play hockey, golf, hunt, fish, snowshoe, and work on small projects. Joe is also an avid sports fan rooting for the Detroit Red Wings, The Tigers and The Washington Redskins. Joe and his wife Haley have one son, Vinnie. They can often be seen walking their dogs Zetti and Gordy through the neighborhoods of Hancock.

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Gerald Harry Funeral Home Assistant

Gerald is a 1981 graduate from Jeffers High School. After school, he enlisted in the United States Army and served from 1982-2013 where he retired from active duty. Gerald had joined the Hancock Fire Department and 1998 and remains as an active member. He is also a member with the American Legion and works as a part-time Corrections Officer for the Houghton County Sheriff's Office. Gerald has 3 children; Alan, Bobby and Michaela. With the kids all grown, Gerald likes to spend his winter traveling to Florida to enjoy his retirement away from the snow.

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Brian Rimpela Funeral Home Assistant

Brian is a 1977 graduate of Chassell High School. After high school he worked in the hardware/lumber industry for a few years. He recently retired after a career in management for United Parcel Service. He is now working in the real estate industry for Century 21 North Country Agency as a agent. Brian has been a volunteer firefighter since 1981 startling with the Chassell Fire Department and now with the Hancock Volunteer Fire Department serving as Treasurer. Brian stays involved in sports by being a registered official and umpire with the MHSAA. He is married to Julie and has two daughters, Lauren (Chris) and Katie, and two grandchildren, Sophie and Dalton.

Neil Ahola

Owner & Licensed Director
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Neil is a third Generation Funeral Director and lifelong resident of Hancock. He is a graduate of the Hancock High School with the Class of 1988, attended Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI, and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, Illinois. Since joining his father at the funeral home in 1992 he has been very active in the community, currently he is a member of the Hancock Fire Department where he has served as Secretary, and as 2nd Assistant Chief. Other Organizations he has been involved in include: Chassell Lions Club where he has served as King Lion, the Hancock Rotary Club where he has served as President of the club, Michigan Tech Blue Line Club served as a past President, The Hancock Central High School Foundation Board, former Board of Control member of the former Phi Kappa Theta-Chi Rho chapter of Michigan Technological University, Board of Directors for Superior National Bank. He is a member of the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church where he has served as Vice-president of the Church council and helped with many committees. In his chosen profession he has stayed involved by serving as Sec./Treas. of District #10 (The Upper Peninsula)of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association and served as President of District #10. He also served as district Director for district #10. Also to keep active he had enjoyed golfing in the Wyandotte Hills Golf Course Men's League. He and his wife Tammy have 1 son Zachary.

David Plowe

Manager & Licensed Director
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David is a lifelong Houghton resident, and third generation funeral director having owned and managed the Plowe Funeral Home in Houghton for many years. He is a member of St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church of Houghton, the Houghton Rotary Club, sits of the Portage Lake Water & Sewage Authority, an avid sports fan and enjoys playing Hockey and baseball. He also enjoys spending time at the family cottage in Bootjack.

Christine Ahola

Office Manager
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Chris was born in Hancock, and raised in Winona. She was married to Jim Ahola, and spent most of her earlier, married years, raising their 2 children, Connie & Neil. She has worked at the funeral home since 1985, as Office Manager. Chris is a member of the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of Hancock and has served on many committees for the church & is a past Sunday School Teacher. She is a member & past Treasurer of the Portage Hospital Auxiliary, member & past Treasurer of the Hancock Business & Professional Association, past President of the Martha & Mary Society of Suomi College, now Finlandia University, and the Wyandotte Hills Women's Golf League. She has one grandchild, Zachary.

James Ahola

Former Owner & Director - In Memoriam 1946-2007
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James E. Ahola, was a second generation Funeral Director, he was born and raised in Hancock, MI. He was a graduate of the Hancock High School with the class of 1964, attended the former Soumi College in Hancock, and Michigan Technological University in Houghton, and was a graduate of the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1968. He also received the Val L. Beyers Citation while attending W.I.M.S. in Milwaukee for excellence in Practical Embalming. He was a member of the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church of Hancock, having served previously as the Church Council President, and was a member of the Jacobsville Committee of the church. He was a member and a past President of Kiawanis Club of the Copper Country, the past Treasurer of the Wyandotte Hills Mens Golf League, and was a member of the Copper Country Lodge #135 F.& A.M., Keweenaw-Bay Shrine Club, the Ahmed Temple Shriners of Marquette. He was the North Hospital Chairman for the Keweenaw-Bay Shrine Club, and was a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #382 of Hancock. He married the former Christine G. Lindeman of Winona, MI, and was the father of 2 children: Connie Lynn and Neil James Ahola, Grandfather of Zachary James Ahola. He was a member of the Hancock Volunteer Fire Department for over 28 years, having served as their Fire Chief for 21 years. He was also past treasurer of the Copper Country Firefighters, and the Upper Peninsula Fire Fighters Associations. Previously he has been on the Lions Clubs of Dollar Bay, South Range, and Hancock, the Copper Country United Way Board. The Salvation Army Board of Hancock, and was a member of the Hospital Board for the City of Hancock. He was also a former Exalted Ruler at Lodge #381 B.P.O.E. of Hancock, and was a member of the Lodge #404 B.P.O.E. of Calumet. He also is serving as Vice President of the Portage Health Systems Foundation Board. Jim has also had been very active in his chosen profession, having served as past Director for District #10(the Upper Peninsula) of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association, and is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association.

Karl Peterson

Licensed Director & Manager, Chassell Location
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Karl is the former owner and manager of the Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet. Karl is a graduate of Calumet High School, class of 1976. He attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago and received his degree of Mortuary Science in 1990. He bought the Peterson Funeral Home from his father in 1999 and then in April 2013, Karl joined the staff of Memorial Chapel & Plowe Funeral Homes as the manager of the Chassell Memorial Chapel Funeral Home.

Joe Bianucci

Funeral Home Assistant & Apprentice
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Joe is a 2004 graduate from Hancock High School. After graduation he went on to attend Finlandia University for 2 years. He worked full time driving wrecker and working maintenance before deciding to go back to college. He is a graduate of Des Moines Area Community College with a degree in Mortuary Science. Joe joined the staff at Memorial Chapel& Plowe Funeral Homes in 2016. Joe is an active member of the Hancock Fire Department joining in 2005 and has been serving as secretary since 2009. He also sits on the board for the Portage Lake Multi-Educational Services. In his free time, Joe likes to play hockey, golf, hunt, fish, snowshoe, and work on small projects. Joe is also an avid sports fan rooting for the Detroit Red Wings, The Tigers and The Washington Redskins. Joe and his wife Haley have one son, Vinnie. They can often be seen walking their dogs Zetti and Gordy through the neighborhoods of Hancock.

Gerald Harry

Funeral Home Assistant
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Gerald is a 1981 graduate from Jeffers High School. After school, he enlisted in the United States Army and served from 1982-2013 where he retired from active duty. Gerald had joined the Hancock Fire Department and 1998 and remains as an active member. He is also a member with the American Legion and works as a part-time Corrections Officer for the Houghton County Sheriff's Office. Gerald has 3 children; Alan, Bobby and Michaela. With the kids all grown, Gerald likes to spend his winter traveling to Florida to enjoy his retirement away from the snow.

Brian Rimpela

Funeral Home Assistant
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Brian is a 1977 graduate of Chassell High School. After high school he worked in the hardware/lumber industry for a few years. He recently retired after a career in management for United Parcel Service. He is now working in the real estate industry for Century 21 North Country Agency as a agent. Brian has been a volunteer firefighter since 1981 startling with the Chassell Fire Department and now with the Hancock Volunteer Fire Department serving as Treasurer. Brian stays involved in sports by being a registered official and umpire with the MHSAA. He is married to Julie and has two daughters, Lauren (Chris) and Katie, and two grandchildren, Sophie and Dalton.