Our licensed directors adhere to the highest standard of ethical practices and are committed to ensuring that all of your needs are attended to during this difficult time. Their commitment to the community and genuine compassion toward the families we serve are but a few of the characteristics that make them outstanding in their field. We are extremely proud to have them on our staff.
Jay Van Sickle, Licensed Director & Owner
Office Phone: (507) 794-5221
Fax: (507) 794-3191
Jay grew up in Warren, MN where he helped on the family farm until graduating from Warren High School in 1982. He attended Universities in St. Cloud, MN and Fargo, ND for Pre-Mortuary Science and then attended the U of M in Minneapolis graduating with a BS degree in Mortuary Science in 1988. Jay worked for Ivers-Landblom Funeral Home in Fargo, ND until moving to Sleepy Eye in 1994 working for Sturm Funeral Homes. Jay and Justin acquired the business in 2004 from Ron and Sharon Sturm.
Jay has twin daughters, Alexa and Regina. Jay has been active in the community serving in several service groups including the Sleepy Eye Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Brown County Pheasants Forever and Sleepy Eye Eagles Club. Jay is a member of St. Mary's Catholic Church where he serves as St. Mary's Cemetery Sexton. In his spare time Jay enjoys spending time with his family and friends, and also hunting, golfing, and fishing.
Justin & Jennifer Asmus, (Justin - Licensed Director) Owner
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Office Phone: (507) 723-4298
Fax: (507) 723-4299
Justin was born in Litchfield, MN. He graduated from Litchfield High School, attended Southwest State University in Marshall and graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Campus with a degree in Mortuary Science in 2000. Justin and Jennifer were married in Huron, SD where Jennifer was born and raised. They resided in Richfield, MN before moving to Springfield in February of 2000 to become a part of Sturm Funeral Homes. Justin and Jay Van Sickle acquired the business in 2004 from Ron and Sharon Sturm. In 2004, Jennifer also started working with Sturm Funeral Home. Justin and Jennifer have two children – Xandar and Carter.
They are members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Springfield where Justin has served on the Church Council and Call Committee. He also served on the Springfield Library Board as Treasurer and is currently serving on the Springfield Planning and Zoning Board. The Asmus family enjoys camping, biking, golfing, and spending time as a family.
Jim Carlsen, Licensed Director
Office Phone: (507) 375-7342
Fax: (507) 375-7346
Jim grew up in the Twin Cities and graduated from Milbank High School, Milbank, SD, then attended Northern State College in Aberdeen, SD, and mortuary college at Dallas Institute of Funeral Service in Dallas, Texas. Jim is licensed in South Dakota and Minnesota and brings 37 years of funeral service experience with him to St. James.
Before joining the staff of Sturm Funeral Homes in 2006, Jim was managing partner at the Carlsen-Jolley Funeral Homes in Sturgis and Spearfish, SD since 1991. He has been active in funeral service associations serving as President of the South Dakota Funeral Director's Association in 1998-1999, he also has held numerous other State Officer positions as well as committee chair positions. Jim is proud to have had the CFSP designation awarded by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice since 1996. He has been active, over the years, in Lions Club, Kiwanis Club, Sertoma Club, Optimist Club, local Chambers of Commerce and church where he has held numerous leadership positions. He is a former board member of the South Dakota Infant Loss Center in Sioux Falls.
Jim met his wife, Eyvonne, while working at a funeral home in Dallas, Texas. They have a daughter, Elizabeth, son-in-law Dale and grandsons Andrew and Aiden that live in Mankato.
Rose Hoxmeier, Licensed Director
Office Phone: (507)-642-3214
Rose grew up in Litchfield MN and graduated from high school in 1998. She attended Century College in White Bear Lake, MN where she completed her training for Dental Assisting. In 2007, she married her husband Nick Hoxmeier and in 2009, the couple had daughter, Allison. After working in the dental field for 10 years, Rose furthered her education, earning an Associate in Arts degree at Century College in 2013. In 2014, she graduated from the University of Minnesota - Mortuary Science Program with a Bachelor's of Science Degree. It was in September of the same year that she moved to Madelia with her husband, Nick and daughter, Allison, to begin Rose's career in funeral service.
Rose is a member of the Women of Today - Madelia chapter and the Madelia Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She enjoys camping, hiking, rollerblading and outdoor activities with her family.
John Zaharia, Licensed Director
Office Phone: (507)-427-2755
John was born and raised in North Dakota. After attending Minnesota State University in Moorhead, MN, John earned his Mortuary Science degree from Mid America College of Funeral Service. He has been active in the funeral service industry for over 27 years. John joined the Sturm Funeral Home staff in December of 2018.
John has four daughters – Emily, Courtney, Gracie, and Johnnie. In his spare time, he enjoys riding his motorcycle and spending time with his family.
Michael McIlheran, Licensed Director
Michael was raised in Fremont, Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, garnering a BA and MA in journalism. He went on to get a BS in Biology and Communications Studies at Simpson College, Indianola, IA. In 2006, he completed a Master of Divinity degree and was ordained as a Lutheran pastor. He also worked for a funeral livery service. Mike later graduated from the Mortuary Science program at the Des Moines Area Community College. He served as a funeral director in Fergus Falls and Breckenridge before joining Sturm Funeral Homes in March of 2021.
Michael is married to Myla Worden. He has five grown children - Chad, Chris, Shawn, Kelli, and Erin and two step-children - AJ and Aaron. His first wife Brenda, died in 2007.
Jeanni Durheim, Pre – Arrangement Consultant
Toll Free Phone: 1-877-500-7972
Office Phone: (507) 375-8326
Fax: (507) 375-7346
Jean was born and raised in St. Peter, MN and graduated from St. Peter High School. After high school, Jeanni attended cosmetology training and for twenty-five years she lived in Mankato and worked at Campus Coiffures in Mankato as a hairdresser. In Feb of 2000, Jeanni joined the staff of Sturm Funeral Home as a Pre-need Consultant.
Jeanni and “Doc” Durheim were married in 1997 at First Lutheran Church in St. James. Jeanni and Doc are members of First Lutheran Church in St. James. They are also members of the Core Committee of Watonwan County Chapter of Relay For Life. Jeanni and Doc enjoy traveling, flower gardening, reading, and spending time with their families.