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Our 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.

At Erickson-Smith Funeral Home & Cremation Service, we are honored to have earned the trust and confidence placed in us by those that we serve. We pledge to offer respectful and dignified professional service, service that a family should expect, service that a family deserves. From the time the first phone call is received, throughout the service and beyond, each staff member at our funeral home contributes in an important way.

CHRIS CARLSON

CHRIS CARLSON

Licensed Funeral Director

Chris comes from a funeral service background as well. He grew up and attended school in Page, North Dakota, where his father owned and operated the Lindsey-Carlson Funeral Home. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, he worked at funeral homes in Starbuck and Morris, Minnesota. In 2004, Chris moved to Fergus Falls, and joined the staff at Glende-Nilson Funeral Home & Cremation Service and in 2006, joined the staff at Erickson-Smith Funeral Home.

Chris and his wife Brenda have two daughters and one son.


RICK MEKALSON

RICK MEKALSON

Licensed Funeral Director

Rick was born and raised in Battle Lake, Minnesota. He graduated from the Fergus Falls Community College and then the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. After graduating from the U of M he was employed with funeral homes in Virginia, Minnesota, as well as the Bertha area. In 1995, Rick joined the staff at Glende-Nilson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, and later at Erickson-Smith.

Rick attends the Battle Lake Alliance Church and is a member of the Battle Lake Lions Club. Rick and his wife Ann live on their farm by Battle Lake. They have three sons, seven grandsons. Rick enjoys horseback riding and camping.


LUKE JOHNSON

LUKE JOHNSON

Licensed Funeral Director

Luke Johnson joined the staff of Glende-Nilson and Erickson-Smith Funeral Homes in August 2014, though has lived in the Fergus Falls community for numerous years, having been employed at the former Boschert-Norman and Faith and Hope Funeral Home.
Luke grew up and attended school in Lake Park, graduating from Lake Park/Audubon High School in 2000. Luke then went on to attend Minnesota State University Moorhead from 2000 -2004. After his generals he then continued his education at the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in Ohio. While there he served as a lab assistant where he worked closely with the University Of Cincinnati and their body donation program. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Mortuary Science in 2007, graduating Magna Cum Laude.
Luke a his wife Lisa live on Wall Lake and have one son, Rusty. In his spare time he enjoys hunting and fishing. Luke is a Licensed Funeral Director in Minnesota and North Dakota and also holds his insurance license.

DOUG NELSON

DOUG NELSON

Licensed Funeral Director

Doug comes from a funeral service background, where both his grandfather and father were active in the business in Brooten, Minnesota. After graduating from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Doug served his apprenticeship at the Hoplin Funeral Home in Glenwood.

Following his service in the United States Army, Doug moved to Fergus Falls where he worked as a licensed director at the Glende-Johnson Funeral Home. Doug eventually purchased the Funeral Home which he continues to manage today. In 2006, Doug began managing the Erickson-Smith Funeral Home.

Doug and his wife Virginia live in Fergus Falls and have two married daughters. Doug and his wife are active members of Bethel Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls. He is also a member of the Otter Risers Kiwanis, the VFW and the Ashby American Legion.


DIANE GROUT

DIANE GROUT

Office Manager

Diane joined the Erickson-Smith Funeral Home in Elbow Lake and Hoffman in the spring of 2014. She has been a resident of Elbow Lake since early childhood.

Diane and her husband Tom have 4 adult children, Geoffrey (Crystal), Dawn (Adam), Benjamin (Kelly), and Daniel (Courtney). Her children have blessed her with 5 beautiful grandchildren, whom she adores and loves to spend her time with.

Prior to working at Erickson-Smith Funeral Home, she was an at home daycare provider and worked for St. Olaf Catholic Church in Elbow Lake.

In her free time she enjoys gardening, crocheting, camping and listening to people share their stories. She considers it a privilege to be working for the people in the community.


DIANE KAPPHAHN

DIANE KAPPHAHN

Support Staff



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