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.

 

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Mike Cotter President / Funeral Director & Owner
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Matt Cotter Vice President / Funeral Director & Owner
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JoAnn Cotter Vice President / After Care Coordinator
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Ashley Cotter Funeral Director
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Laura Fulcer Funeral Director
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Luke Semrau Funeral Director
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Mary Rueckl Advance Funeral Planner
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Marv Zeamer Advance Funeral Planner
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Shellie Verdegan Apprentice Funeral Director
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Diane Schommer Non-licensed Associate
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Mary Lynn Glowacki Housekeeper
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Candi Bauer Funeral Associate
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Mike Donart Funeral Associate
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Neal Zastrow Funeral Associate
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Sharon Verbeten Creative Writer

Mike Cotter

President / Funeral Director & Owner
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“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 managing the day to day 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 Our Lady of Good Help Shrine in Champion, a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, and Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association.

Mike enjoys volunteer work, especially for the Salvation Army, the NEW Community Shelter, and as a volunteer coach of youth basketball. Mike 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 (a CPA & retired Partner at Wipfli LLP) 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
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"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. Matt and his wife Ashley were married in August of 2015 and reside in Allouez. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife, and their pets as well as traveling, time at the cottage in Door County with family and friends, and various building projects.

JoAnn Cotter

Vice President / After Care Coordinator
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“Empathy, patience, and compassion are the cornerstones of our family caring for your family”.

JoAnn coordinates 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 for Encompass Foundation 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.


Ashley Cotter

Funeral Director
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Ashley is a native of Swartz Creek, Michigan and began her career at a family-owned firm there. After graduating from the Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2012, where she met her husband Matt, she entered funeral service in Wisconsin and earner her license in 2014. Ashley enjoys traveling and spoiling her "fur babies" at home in Allouez as well as working out, crafting and decorating. Ashley also owns a cleaning and decorating business, Clean Living Green Bay. 

Laura Fulcer

Funeral Director
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Laura Fulcer is a funeral director who has been with Cotter since 2017. The Appleton native has her mortuary degree from Milwaukee Area Technical College. She previously worked in several careers—hospitals, insurance and owned her own cleaning company—before becoming a funeral director. She lives in Appleton and has four children, two grandchildren and two cats. She is a member of All Saints Episcopal Church in Appleton; in her spare time, she enjoys traveling and photography.  

Luke Semrau

Funeral Director
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Luke Semrau is an funeral director who joined Cotter in December of 2019. The De Pere native is a full-time firefighter and paramedic who lives with his wife, Nichole, and their five children on a hobby farm outside Pulaski. He is a member of Green Bay Community Church, an executive board member on the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin Honor Guard and a drill captain for the Wisconsin State Firefighter Memorial Funeral Guard. He enjoys playing bagpipes, hunting and fishing year round.

Mary Rueckl

Advance Funeral Planner
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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.

Marv Zeamer

Advance Funeral Planner
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Marv is an Advance Funeral Planner and a licensed insurance agent. 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.

Shellie Verdegan

Apprentice Funeral Director
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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.

Diane Schommer

Non-licensed Associate
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Diane Schommer, a non-licensed associate, joined Cotter Funeral Home in 2018. The Appleton native spent the last 28 years raising her family in Kaukauna; she has five grown children and six grandchildren. She now lives in Little Chute with her beloved pug, Jasco. She enjoyed taking Jasco for walks, as well as many outdoor activities, including camping, fishing, kayaking and swimming, as well as enjoying live music with friends. 

Mary Lynn Glowacki

Housekeeper
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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.

Candi Bauer

Funeral Associate
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Candi Bauer is a funeral associate with Cotter Funeral Home; she joined the firm in 2019. “I have a strong desire to give back to people some of the compassion I’d felt when I lost loved ones,” she said. The native of Mondovi, WI, now lives in Green Bay and has two children, Rachel and Trace, one cat and one grand-puppy. She previously taught religious education classes and was a eucharistic minister at St. Joseph’s Parish in Oneida. She is also affiliated with the Brown County United Way and the American Red Cross. In her free time, she enjoys gardening, cooking, writing and mentoring youth and women.

Mike Donart

Funeral Associate
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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
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Biography coming soon!

Sharon Verbeten

Creative Writer
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Sharon Verbeten is a blogger for Cotter Funeral Homes & Crematory. She supports families by creating and ensuring access to grief resources. As a freelance writer and editor, Sharon has written for funeral industry publications and companies—as well as for many other trade publications—for more than 25 years. She is owner of All Write Creative Services in De Pere, Wis., where she lives with her husband and daughter. In addition to being a writer, she is also a children’s librarian for Brown County Library and is a member of Resurrection Catholic Parish in Allouez.