Michael Allen — President
Michael Allen began working side-by-side with Grandfather “Bill” Allen – the Founder of Allen Mortuary – several decades ago. He learned first-hand what it takes to make a family-owned business successful. With training very much rooted in his grandfather’s traditions, Michael’s approach to caring for families, and his personal leadership style, continue the Allen Family traditions today and into the future. Through his accomplishments and management of Allen Mortuary, Michael has earned an impressive reputation as a kindhearted executive. A compassionate businessman with a family-centered philosophy, Michael is committed to serving the community just as his grandfather did for more than five decades. Michael is a certified Funeral Counselor.
Alison Allen — Vice President/Funeral Director #3375
Alison is Michael’s wife and first joined the Allen family in 2003 when they married, and now works as part of the Allen Mortuary family. She helps in all areas of the business working on a managerial and administrative level, and also assists families during their difficult time. She graduated with a Bachelors Degree from California State University, Stanislaus and is a licensed Funeral Director.
Melody Eddings — Funeral Director #541/Embalmer #7955
In 2016 we were so fortunate to find Melody, a licensed funeral director and embalmer with over 25 years of experience in the funeral industry. She is a graduate of Cypress College of Mortuary Science in southern California. Melody meets with families in need to arrange funeral services and strongly feels that she has been called to this profession. She also assists with presenting our clients for viewing and services. Her eye for details is an asset for this responsibility. Melody is an ordained Deacon at her church home where she is an active member. She has two pampered poodles, enjoys family occasions, and cruises and travel within the US and Mexico with her mother. Melody’s personal motto is “I never give less than my best.”
Ben Sivils — Funeral Director #2320/Embalmer #8783
Ben began his funeral service career at Allen Mortuary in 1994 and trained alongside our founder William Allen. He received his degree in mortuary science at Mt. Hood College in Gresham, OR and is a licensed funeral director and embalmer with over 20 years of experience. Ben is past president of the Valley Lode Funeral Director’s Association, has served on the board of the California Funeral Director’s Association, is a current member of Turlock Masonic Lodge, Order of the Eastern Star, Wistaria Chapter, Aahmes Shriners, and the American Guild of Organists. We are happy to have Ben rejoin the Allen Mortuary family.
Veronica Munoz — Bi-lingual Arrangement Counselor
Veronica initially came to us a part-time “temp”, but she quickly proved herself invaluable, and was hired permanently in 2009. Her gentle and soothing demeanor is a blessing to families who walk in our door. Veronica is fluent in English and Spanish. She holds a Law Review Certificate from the California Funeral Director Association.
Penny Forgnone — Funeral Director #4043
Penny Forgnone started with the Allen family on a part-time basis to assist with services. In 2013, she stepped into a full-time position as an Arrangement Counselor, then in Sept. of 2016 became a licensed Funeral Director. Penny has years of experience leading others and is a fully trained Stephen Minister working with people in crisis, which aids her in guiding hurting families along. With an exceptional work ethic, she mirrors that of her own father by putting the needs of other people first. Penny is a careful listener with a nurturing heart. On top of various ministry experiences, she is a funeral service vocalist and holds an Associate’s Degree.
Jacob Ward — Funeral Assistant/Crematory Operator
Jacob started working for Allen Mortuary on a part-time, on-call schedule assisting with driving and services. After graduating from California State University, Stanislaus with a B.S. in Anthropology, he started working daily in the office, learning all aspects of the funeral industry. Jacob especially enjoys putting together videos and DVDs that are provided to our customers. His calm demeanor and professional manner is always appreciated by the Allen family, office staff and the families he comes in contact with. In August of 2016 Jacob assumed the additional duties of crematory operations.
Michelle Erlandson – Apprentice Embalmer
Michelle is our newest addition at Allen Mortuary. Starting out as an intern, with her positive attitude and eagerness to learn, Michelle fit right in and quickly moved up to become our Apprentice Embalmer. She holds three Associates Degrees and is currently a senior at California State University Stanislaus earning her B.A in Sociology with a concentration in Human Services. She will also be joining the Funeral Service Education program at American River College while working towards becoming a licensed Embalmer and Funeral Director. With her kind spirit and passion of wanting to help others, Michelle feels her purpose in life lies in this profession by helping families while thoughtfully caring for their loved ones.
Laurie Walters — Systems Analyst
As a member of the Allen family and with extensive experience in her field, Laurie is a true asset to Allen Mortuary. She works behind the scenes in administration, accounting, HR/payroll, software and systems support. Her smile and friendly personality are always a welcome sight in the office. Laurie graduated from California State University, Sacramento and Drexel University (Philadelphia) and holds an M.S. Degree in Business Information Systems.
Holly Strickland-Barragan — Advance Planning Specialist
Also employed by Precoa (The PreNeed Company of America), Holly represents Allen Mortuary and meets with families on- and off-site to arrange final expense life insurance and any preplanning needs. She has been representing us since 2013 and is entirely familiar with all operations and can answer any possible questions you might have.
Lanita Moen — Consultant/Retired
As a member of the Allen family, Lanita (Allen) Moen has been a part of Allen Mortuary nearly all her life. She officially joined the team as an Arrangement Counselor at the request of her uncle, the late “Bill” Allen. She is now “officially” retired, but continues to serve as a Consultant to Allen Mortuary and lends a hand whenever needed. Lanita is dedicated to continuing the Allen family legacy established over 65 years ago. Her gentleness and caring spirit, coupled with her natural eye for details and quick wit, have proven to be invaluable tools throughout her career at Allen Mortuary. Lanita attended both Pasadena College and Fresno State University.
James ‘Stan’ Gustafson, Keith Richardson, Ken Freeby — On-Call Family Attendants
Allen Mortuary relies immensely on the 24-hour on-call help and expertise of our Family Attendant staff. Stan has been representing Allen Mortuary in this special way for years, and we couldn’t do it without him. In 2013 we welcomed Keith Richardson into the Allen family to come alongside and help with our services. As of 2017, we congratulated Ken Freeby on his retirement. Ken will continue to assist with services and pastoral duties as needed.
It takes numerous team members to complete every important aspect of your loved one’s arrangements. While you may not often see the entire team, they are steadfastly working behind the scenes to fulfill your family’s needs.