Funeral Industry News Funeral Industry Press Releases


November 12, 2015

We believe that every funeral director should have the tools to succeed. With the help of our field-leading partners, we publish daily funeral industry news and provide free tools to help our readers advance their careers and grow their businesses. Our editorial focus on the future, covering impact-conscious funeral care, trends, tech, marketing, and exploring how today's funeral news affects your future.


Pierce Mortuary Colleges (PMC), a member of The Wilbert Group, announces today the merger of Worsham College of Mortuary Science, Wheeling, IL into PMC.  Other Pierce Mortuary Colleges are Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, Dallas, TX, Mid-America College of Funeral Service, Jeffersonville, IN, and Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service, Decatur, GA.

Worsham College, founded in 1911, is a private institution offering an Associate’s Degree and is currently owned and operated by Karl Kann, President, and Stephanie Kann, Vice President.  Both will retain those positions upon completion of the merger.

Like the Pierce Mortuary Colleges, Worsham has a proud heritage of generations involved in the college, including Stephanie’s parents who owned Worsham from 1979 until 1997.  Stephanie worked at Worsham since her teens and she and Karl are graduates of the college, where they met.  They are both licensed funeral directors and embalmers and have been very active in funeral service over many years.  Karl is Vice President of The American Board of Funeral Service Education (ABFSE), the accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and also serves as Vice President of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association.  He also serves on the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) Statistics Committee.  Stephanie is past-Chair of the Curriculum Committee of the ABFSE and presently serves on their Scholarship Committee.  She was also recently appointed to serve as a trustee for NFDA’s Funeral Service Foundation Board.

“This merger draws together some of the finest educators in funeral service,” says Joe Suhor, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Pierce Mortuary Colleges. “It will strengthen our collective reach and reputation, plus provide renewed focus on funeral service education for students on-campus and online.  We plan on revitalizing our curriculum to ensure graduates are prepared to meet the current and future needs of funeral service.”

Plans also include expanding communications with alumni from all four schools.

“The Wilbert Group and PMC will be perfect long-term stewards of Worsham College,” states Karl Kann. “We both have world-class brands and shared values.  The driver behind this merger is academic.  The Worsham and PMC merger will deliver significant future advances in the field of funeral service education.  Our combined renowned faculty and the brightest graduates will further reinforce positive change in the profession.”

Dennis Welzenbach, President of Pierce Mortuary Colleges, adds, “This growth is testimony to our commitment to the industry and to funeral service education.”

Kann also points to the recent action by Wilbert to institute an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) as further proof of their commitment to both the employees and the profession.

Members of The Wilbert Group include Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc., Wilbert Memorials, Wilbert Cemetery Construction, Pierce Chemicals, Pierce Mortuary Colleges, Signet Supply and SI Precast.

For more information, call (708) 865-1600.