Staff

Staff members of Handler Funeral Home 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 staff of licensed funeral directors.

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John R. Barnhart Owner, Manager-Tecumseh Chapel
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Nicholas Handler, Jr. In Memory
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Henry B. Sikes Manager-Clinton Chapel
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Becky Hamilton Office Manager
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Doug Downard Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Ron Publiski Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Jim Englehart Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Rick Wright Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Bob Rowe Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Deb Downard Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Jan Wegner Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Carolyn Publiski Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Nancy Findley Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Phil Walker Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Jerry Pape Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter

John R. Barnhart

Owner, Manager-Tecumseh Chapel
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Nicholas Handler, Jr.

In Memory
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I became interested in funeral service when my brother Mike died when he was 16 and I was 12. I remember (vividly) how Mr. Allore (the funeral director) took care of everything for my parents as they were quite upset. Mike’s death was very unexpected. He saw to it that things were done, in place and that my parents only had to care for themselves, us kids and greet friends who would be visiting over the next few days. Being age 12, I was very confused. How could my brother be dead? He was fine yesterday. Back then 12 years old didn’t know all that kids do now. This was the first time someone (very) close to me had died. I wondered why he was so hard, so cold and yet he looked perfect. Did he get up at night when we left? Will he be able to breathe in there when we close the lid? Are his legs there? Mr. Allore explained things to me and took the time to care. After that experience, the whole funeral and all, I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up and never wavered from that. It was and still is a passion of mine to help, guide and support people during this very difficult time. I have been involved with funeral service since I was 18. I began working at that same funeral home as a car washer and grounds guy. I began school and served my apprenticeship under Mr. Allore. I worked there before going to Milan to work for the Ochaleks and Gary Couture in 1993. In 1997 I became part owner of Couture-Handler Funeral Homes. Gary and I were partners until I became sole owner in April of 2006. God has truly blessed me in so many ways. I own a funeral home which has been a dream of mine since age 12. I have a wonderful family in Monroe and my parents did get to see me become a part owner before they died. I have the best staff, or I should say extended family to help me do what I love doing and a wonderful community to live in and be part of. Yes, I am blessed. I am able to do what I love, with those I love in a community full of people I love. If this passion of mine ever becomes a job, it will be time for me to bow out. I don’t have to be the biggest or the cheapest….. I just have to be the best I can be.

Henry B. Sikes

Manager-Clinton Chapel
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Becky Hamilton

Office Manager
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Doug Downard

Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Doug is a lifetime resident of Tecumseh and a retiree from Ford Motor Company after 33 years. He began working for the funeral home in the summer of 2003. Doug and his wife Deb enjoy working in their yard and gardens in their spare time. Doug enjoys hunting, fishing and golfing. His attention to detail and thoroughness make him a vital asset to the funeral home. He says it’s rewarding to be part of the Handler Family and able to help out when a friend of someone important to him has died.

Ron Publiski

Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Ron has been a Tecumseh resident for over 35 years. He retired from Ford Motor Company after 30 years of service and has been working for the funeral homes since June 2001. In addition to the funeral home, Ron works as a Pulmonary Technician and is also certified in audio testing and CPR Instruction. Ron’s caring nature and warm smile make him a great asset to Handler Funeral Homes. He and his wife of 16 years, Carolyn, have five grown children and five grandchildren. Ron has traveled to Kenya on three different occasions to assist with water well digging missions.

Jim Englehart

Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Jim currently resides in Chelsea with his wife, Susie after moving from Clinton in 2008. Jim and Susie have been married over 40 years and have three daughters and six grandchildren. He was enlisted in the United State Air Force for four years and worked for Ford Motor Company for over 30 years. In addition to his family, Jim enjoys playing golf and has been a member of Handler Funeral Homes since 2005.

Rick Wright

Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Bob Rowe

Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Bob lived in Clinton for the past 23 years,and just recently moved to Tecumseh. He retired from the State of Michigan after 35 years. After retiring from the state, Bob worked for the Village of Clinton as a seasonal employee for 9 years. Bob and his wife, Marylou, have been married for 47 years and have 4 children, 7 grandchildren, and enjoy attending their school events. Bob enjoys sports, bowling, and traveling. He attends St. Dominic Church in Clinton.

Deb Downard

Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Deb was born in Detroit and raised in Belleville where she also raised her two daughters. She moved to the Tecumseh area in 1983 and married Doug in 1999. She worked for the Ford Motor Company in Saline until her retirement in 2003. In 2007 she began to work for Handler Funeral Homes taking care of the housekeeping and helps during visitations at both Chapels. Deb enjoys crocheting, scrapbooking and working in her flower gardens at home.

Jan Wegner

Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Jan is a lifelong resident of Clinton where she and her husband, Mark, have been married for over 40 years. They have two children Nick and Nichole and one grandson David. Jan has worked for the Saline Police Department and for Handler Funeral Home since 2004, which she thoroughly enjoys. She is involved in the Clinton Community, including the Lenawee County Relay for Life, Clinton Blood Drives and the Clinton Fall Festival. Jan is also a member of the Northridge Church in Saline.

Carolyn Publiski

Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Carolyn has lived in Tecumseh since she was 4 years old. She retired from Boysville and prior to that had worked as a legal secretary for 13 years. She loves living in Tecumseh and watching its continued growth. She enjoys helping out at the funeral home and families during this difficult time. She has been able to comfort many of her childhood friends and families.

Nancy Findley

Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Phil Walker

Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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Jerry Pape

Funeral Director's Assistant & Greeter
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