History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

Family and tradition go hand in hand at our home. We have been family owned and operated since 1926. Our low-key professional yet, compassionate approach to the families that need our services are what you will find when you enter the doors at Carlson, Holmquist, Sayles Funeral Home. When it came time to move from our original location on the East side of Joliet to our new location on the West side of town, we found that our families moved with us. Our new facility has over 25,000 square feet of space and our Formal Chapel provides just the right atmosphere for a funeral or memorial service. The warm and inviting atmosphere makes everyone who enter feel at ease.

Our six full time staff members are here to help you through a difficult time and to help ease the burden of a stressful event. Our staff is knowledgable in every aspect of arranging service, from the different types of burial options, memorial services, and life celebrations to urn selection or jewelry keepsake, and we are here to answer questions about Social Security or Veterans benefits, we are here to help you through this most difficult time. We strive to provide you with the best of service and to guide you through the grieving process.

Our philosophy is to treat our families, as we would want to be treated, with compassion, caring, and concern to make the extra effort to comfort and accommodate our families when a loved one passes.


Our Valued Staff

Michael A. Sayles

Michael A. Sayles, Funeral Director / Owner

Mike is a second generation funeral director with the Carlson-Holmquist-Sayles Funeral Home. This year will mark 33 years for him with the firm. A life long Joliet resident, Mike graduated from Joliet Township High School West and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He is Past President of the Will County Funeral Association and Past Vice-President of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association. His memberships include the Joliet Noon Lion's Club, Joliet Regional Airport Board Member, Former President of Oakwood Cemetery and President of Carlson-Holmquist-Sayles Funeral Home. Mike has two son's in college, Nicholas at Southern Illinois University and Michael at University of Georgia.


Richard J. Tapella

Richard J. Tapella, Funeral Director

We are pleased to welcome Richard Tapella to our family. Richard has been a licensed funeral director and embalmer for over 40 years and is the former owner/partner of the Haley-Tapella Funeral Home and Westwood Memorial Chapel. Until recently, he served as the Director of Cemeteries for the Diocese of Joliet Catholic Cemeteries. Rich and his wife Lynn are life long Joliet area residents and members of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church. They have a son Bryan and daughter-in-law Theresa Tapella and have just welcomed their first granddaughter, Arya Reagan Tapella


Marysue Reardon

Marysue Reardon, Funeral Director

We are pleased to have Marysue join our staff starting in September of 2013. She has over 19 years of experience within funeral service. Marysue is a life long Joliet resident and a member of the Cathedral of St. Raymond. In her spare time she enjoy's cross stitch, walking and spending time with her two college age children Kevin and Katherine.


Laurie Peyla Rambo

Laurie Peyla Rambo, Director of Administration

We are pleased to welcome Laurie to our firm. Laurie and her family have a long family history in Joliet. She graduated from St. Francis Academy and the College of St. Francis with a degree in communications. Laurie is a active member of Joliet Rotary and the YMCA Board of Directors. Laurie has two adult children Emma and Ian.


Kelly K. Unruh

Kelly K. Unruh, Funeral Director / Advanced Family Planning Director

Kelly is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in the States of Kansas and Illinois, is a Certified Preplanning Consultant and has been involved in funeral service since 1984. He also holds an Insurance Producers License in the State of Illinois. Previous to joining the staff of the Carlson-Holmquist-Sayles Funeral Home, he was affiliated with Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. of Broadview, IL. During his tenure with Wilbert, Kelly was involved numerous times with the interment of deceased veterans at Arlington National Cemetery. Most recently he arranged the donation, construction and personalization of The Wilbert Bronze® burial vault for the interment of the 184 victims of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon at a special memorial service held on September 12, 2002 at Arlington National Cemetery. Building upon his passion for funeral service, knowledge of the profession and his deep desire to help families Kelly joined the staff of the Carlson-Holmquist-Sayles Funeral Home in June of 2006 as the Aftercare and Family Service Counselor. Kelly and his wife Laura currently reside in Plainfield, IL.


Craig W. Sayles

Craig W. Sayles, Funeral Director / Owner

Craig is a second generation funeral director with the Carlson-Holmquist-Sayles Funeral Home. Craig and his wife Terri are life long Joliet residents. Craig is a graduate of Joliet Township High School West, Illinois State University and Worsham College of Mortuary Science. Craig is also a fire fighter with the Joliet Fire Department and a member of the Joliet Fire Department Honor Guard and Dive Team. Craig and Terri have two sons.


Gary Haire

Gary Haire, Funeral / Visitation Attendant


Robert A. Sayles

Robert A. Sayles, Funeral Director / Owner

Bob began his career with Carlson Funeral Home in 1963. This year marks his 50th year as a funeral director professional. Bob and his wife Sherry are life long Joliet residents as well as Joliet Township High School graduates. Bob graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science. He is also a founding member of the Joliet Junior College Community Band and has played bassoon in the band for the past 30 years. Bob's other past time passions are his four grandsons, wood working and wood carving. On July 13, 2013, Bob passed after being diagnosed with Glioblastoma Brain caner three weeks prior. We are thankful for all the support and care that he received from the staff at Silver Cross Hospital, Joliet Area Community Hospice and all his friends.