Meet Our Team

Commitment to community has been a hallmark of Cotter Funeral Homes & Crematory for three generations. Our family has cared for families in this community since 1962. Following in the footsteps of Cotter patriarch Jim, son Mike and grandson Matt have guided our compassionate staff’s commitment to respectful and beautiful life celebrations in comfortable spaces in the Allouez, De Pere, Denmark and Wrightstown communities. Read more about our team members by clicking on their picture.


Mike Cotter President / Funeral Director & Owner
Matt Cotter Vice President / Funeral Director & Owner
JoAnn Cotter Vice President
Rachel Dinehart Funeral Director
Mary Rueckl Advance Funeral Planner
Dana Paler Advance Planning Specialist/Aftercare Coordinator
Shellie Verdegan Apprentice Funeral Director
Mary Lynn Glowacki Housekeeper
Mike Donart Funeral Associate
Neal Zastrow Funeral Associate
Marv Zeamer Funeral Associate

Mike Cotter

President / Funeral Director & Owner

“The life of service to our community means a lot to my family…ours is a special place to raise a family and to serve each other.”

Mike Cotter is a life-time funeral director and second-generation president of Cotter Funeral Homes and Crematory. Mike graduated from Abbot Pennings High School in West De Pere in 1979. He attended St. Norbert College in De Pere and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Illinois in 1983. Mike is also a Certified Crematory Operator.

In addition to working with his son Matthew managing the operations of the funeral homes and crematory, he maintains a long list of accomplishments and activities. He is an active member of St. Mary Catholic Community in De Pere, and a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 3955 of De Pere. Mike is also on the Board of Directors for The Catholic Foundation, an active member of The Brown County Coalition for Suicide Prevention, a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, and Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association, and President of the De Pere Optimist Club.

Mike enjoys volunteer and fundraising work, especially for the Brown County Suicide Prevention Coalition, Ecumenical Partnership for Housing, The Hope Squad and Hands Across De Pere, the NEW Community Shelter, and Optimist Club among other community organizations.  He was also an active volunteer coach of youth basketball for over 30 years, having coached the J.V. boys’ basketball team at Notre Dame Academy and Abbot Pennings High School, various middle school teams for De Pere and Notre Dame Grade schools as well as AAU Basketball teams.

In his personal time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, JoAnn and their three children and their spouses: Matt, Eric and Alayna, traveling, coaching various youth sporting ventures and time at their family cottage in Door County.

Matt Cotter

Vice President / Funeral Director & Owner

"I am inheriting a strong tradition of integrity and compassion from my father and grandfather, and look forward to carrying on the tradition of serving families as a professional and as a friend."

Matt grew up in De Pere, graduating from Notre Dame Grade School followed by De Pere High School. Matt earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in physiology in May of 2011 from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, and graduated from the Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2012. Matt is also a licensed life insurance agent and CANA Certified Crematory Operator.

Matt is a third generation funeral director and will serve as the third generation of family owners at Cotter Funeral Homes and Crematory. Professionally, he is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and the Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association. He is a member of Resurrection Catholic Parish in Allouez, the Knights of Columbus Fr. Claude Allouez Council and the Allouez Sunrise Optimist Club. Like is Grandfather and Father, he is passionate about serving families, and believes strongly in giving back to the families he serves through community service. In his free time he enjoys: traveling, time at the cottage in Door County with family and friends, and various building projects.

JoAnn Cotter

Vice President

“Empathy, patience, and compassion are the cornerstones of our family caring for your family”.

JoAnn assists with the aftercare program for the families served by the funeral homes and crematory. Our care and compassion for our families extends beyond the funeral and it is our mission to be there to assist in any way we can.

JoAnn is a life-long De Pere resident, growing up in the town of Lawrence, graduating from St. Joseph Grade School and West De Pere High School. JoAnn graduated from St. Norbert College with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and retired Partner and Leadership Team member of Wipfli LLP, a top 20 accounting firm in the United States, where she worked for 34 years.

JoAnn is an active member of St. Mary Church.  She serves on the Board of Directors and Finance Council for the Green Bay Diocese, The Board of Directors, Audit Committee, and loan committee for CIB Marine Bank and CIB Marine Bancshares, The Board of Directors and Audit Committee for Society Insurance, the Board of Directors for Encompass Foundation, as a council member for Unity Hospice Community Development Council, as a council member on the President’s Advisory Council for St. Norbert College, and is active with several other nonprofit organizations in the area.

JoAnn married Mike in 1984 and lives in De Pere, where they raised their three children, Matthew, Eric, and Alayna.  She enjoys spending time with her family, and friends traveling, at their cottage in Door County, and various outdoor activities.

Rachel Dinehart

Funeral Director

Rachel Dinehart first joined the Cotter Funeral Home family in 2018, during the completion of her Wisconsin funeral director apprenticeship. She is a 2014 graduate of Southern Illinois University where she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Mortuary Science and Funeral Service and was selected as the 2013 Embalming Colloquium Winner. Currently, she is working toward her Master of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University as well as designation as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner through the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice. She is a Certified Crematory Operator through the National Funeral Directors Association. With over a decade of funeral service experience, Rachel has had the privilege to also serve families in Alabama, Illinois, Iowa, and Montana. She and her husband, Grant, are grateful for the opportunity to make Wrightstown their home along with their six children: Zoie, Grant Jr., Della, Edgar, Lilly, and Wrigley.

Mary Rueckl

Advance Funeral Planner

Mary Rueckl is an Advance Funeral Planner and a licensed insurance agent, joining Cotter Funeral Homes and Crematory in 2003. Mary entered the funeral service field in January of 1986, and since then, has become an expert in all aspects of the funeral planning process. She takes great pride in caring for families and the well-being of the community at large. Mary believes all families should be treated as if they were her own.

Mary is a lifelong area resident, currently residing in Ledgeview with her husband Todd, and daughter, Karli. Mary and her family are active members of St. Mary Catholic Church. Spending time with her family is her true passion. She also enjoys cooking, gardening and volunteering in her community.

Dana Paler

Advance Planning Specialist/Aftercare Coordinator

Dana Paler is the Advance Funeral Planning Specialist and Licensed Life Insurance Agent that has joined Cotter in March of 2022.  In the industries that she has contributed to during her career, Dana takes pride in the positive influence and experiences she has given to her guests, teams, and community. Her passion for the funeral industry and the importance of having conversations in pre-planning services has come due to her own life events. Dana's attention to detail, listening skills and planning will assist in ensuring we establish a plan to honor a life well-lived before, during and after your time of need.

Outside of office, Dana loves to spend time in the kitchen experimenting new recipes for her family dinner nights, being active with her dogs and traveling the world with her husband, Matthew; with a concentration on seeing iconic churches ( St. Paul's Cathedral is a must see) and war history (Normandy is a tear-jerker). 

Shellie Verdegan

Apprentice Funeral Director

Shellie Verdegan is an Apprentice Funeral Director who joined Cotter Funeral Homes and Crematory in 2018. She previously worked as a project coordinator with a major security firm, but did a complete career change, later earning her apprentice certificate from Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC).


Shellie is a graduate of Green Bay Southwest High School and has two grown sons and two grandchildren. She lives in Green Bay and enjoys attending concerts.


After losing her brother 30 years ago, Shellie is proud to be in a career where she can now help “the people left behind” after loss.

Mary Lynn Glowacki


Mary Lynn Glowacki has worked in housekeeping part-time for Cotter for four years; the De Pere native, and graduate of West De Pere High School, also works as inventory manager for School Specialty in Appleton. She enjoys reading, listening to audiobooks and travel.

Mike Donart

Funeral Associate

Mike Donart is funeral associate who has assisted part-time at Cotter since 2015. The former Brown County Sheriff (1992-1996) spent 24 years with the department as law enforcement officer. The Green Bay native, who attended Green Bay West High School, now lives in Allouez; he has a grown daughter and son and six grandchildren. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus; SERRA (a Catholic association that promotes religious life) and a member of Resurrection Catholic Parish. He has been a long-time volunteer with the CP Center and the American Red Cross. He enjoys volunteering and working the K of C cribbage tournament.

Neal Zastrow

Funeral Associate

Biography coming soon!

Marv Zeamer

Funeral Associate

Marv joined Cotter Funeral Homes and Crematory in 2017 after retiring as a partner in Associates Insurance.

Marv graduated from De Pere High School in 1968 and drove semis until he joined Harvestor where he worked until 1986 when he purchased his first insurance agency, Kiekhaefer Insurance in Morrison. Marv sold that insurance agency to Denmark State Bank in 1997 but continued to operate the insurance company as part of the Bank. Marv repurchased the insurance agency in 2007 where he continued to work as a partner until his retirement in December 2016.

Marv married Faye Hennessey on June 14, 1973 and they have two children, Amy, a nursing manager at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, and Bill, a canine deputy with Waupaca County. Marv and Faye also have 2 grandsons and 2 granddaughters. In his spare time, Marv likes to ride horses, his motorcycle, and attend his grandchildren’s sporting activities.