We have worked hard to make sure that our team is made up of a talented, diverse and special group of people who have a passion to serve our client families. We hope that by allowing each of our team members to choose their own photo a little bit more of their unique personalities will shine through and you will be able to get to know them that much better.
The Cardinal Team
Born and raised in Toronto, Jim began working in the family funeral business as a teenager. He became a licensed funeral director in 1982 and became president of Cardinal Funeral Homes in 1984, following the death of his father. Jim has held leadership positions in many funeral and bereavement-related organizations, among them: the Toronto and Ontario boards of Bereaved Families of Ontario; the Funeral Service Association of Canada; Open Dialogue; the Ontario Funeral Service Association. Outside his professional field, Jim has had volunteer roles with the Hospital for Sick Children’s Unforgettables Fund and has coached his children’s T-ball, little league and hockey teams. A professional musician, making music remains an important hobby for Jim, along with gardening, scuba diving and golf.
Jimmy is the fourth generation of the Cardinal family who has chosen to be a funeral director serving the families of Toronto. It was working at the funeral home during summer breaks from school, beginning in 2003, when he realized joining the family business was unquestionably for him. After completing his studies in Economics at McGill University, he attended Humber College to obtain his Funeral Director’s License and graduated in 2012. Jimmy looks forward to a long career of making a difference in the lives of grieving families and carrying on the Cardinal family’s tradition of service for years to come.
Andrew obtained his funeral directors license in 2013 and has joined his father and brother at the funeral home. He is the fourth generation to work at the funeral home and his passion for helping others has been growing ever since he started working during school breaks since 2004. Before studying Funeral Service at Humber College, he received a Bachelors degree with Honors from Dalhousie University Majoring in Theatre. He is very pleased to work in a profession where he can see the direct impact of his contributions on a day to day basis. He is proud to carry on the family tradition of serving our community with care and compassion. When not at the funeral home, Andrew likes to attend the theatre, practice yoga, exercise, cycle and spend time with his friends.
Paul has been with Cardinal Funeral Homes since 1981, when he graduated with Honours from Humber College’s Funeral Service Education Program. Paul finds it gratifying to “help people at a low point in their lives.” He is former Treasurer of the Dundas/Bathurst Business Improvement Area and a member of funeral profession associations at the city, provincial and national levels, as well as the United States’ National Funeral Directors Association. When not managing the business and helping grieving families, Paul can be found on a golf course, or in a curling rink – depending on the time of year.
With her education in Accounting and Human Resources, Shona keeps the business side of Cardinal Funeral Homes humming. She has worked full time at Cardinal since 1996, and part-time for ten years before that. “There’s a real respect among the team here, everyone feels like an “extended family.” When not on the job, Shona enjoys her hobbies of scuba diving and underwater photography. A certified scuba instructor and Emergency First Response Instructor, she is a member of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. She has completed an 18-year stint as a volunteer with the Toronto Educational Opportunity Fund.
Like many of the families we serve, Clara was born in the Azores, but raised in Toronto. She decided to become a funeral director as a second career, after being exposed to the field through a friend and family. She is a member of Toronto and Ontario funeral services associations and finds it very gratifying to help families through the emotionally difficult time when a loved one has died. When not at Cardinal, Clara likes to read, travel and “do nothing”.
“Being a funeral director is something I’ve always wanted to do, as far back as I can remember,” Kim says. She feels it is “an honour” that families entrust the care of their deceased family members to her. “I will do everything I can to ensure the funeral is meaningful, and perfectly organized.” After graduating with Honours in Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, Kim pursued a funeral services diploma, graduating in 2007. She had already joined Cardinal the previous year, as an intern. Her interests are reading, listening to music, camping and volunteering for charities that help animals.
As a child in Sudbury, Bruce attended visitation for a family member and knew from that moment he wanted to be a funeral director. “I will never forget the way that funeral director carried himself — he was calm and compassionate and he helped the whole family through a terrible situation.” Bruce’s sense of vocation never wavered, and he was licensed in 1992. He joined Cardinal in 2007 to head the pre-need team. For fun and relaxation, Bruce likes to ride his boat around Toronto Island, “it’s a beautiful way to see Toronto’s skyline”.
Originally from Hagersville, Ontario Jessica moved to Toronto in 2003 to pursue her career in the funeral profession. She received her Funeral Director’s License in 2005 and began working at Cardinals as a funeral director in 2009. After taking some time off to have a baby, she is delighted to be able to return in the role of Purchaser. When not at work, Jessica spends her time with her husband and their daughter; she also enjoys travelling and Woody Allen movies.
Kathy joined the Cardinal’s team in 2003. She works with families both before and after they need a funeral. A Certified Preplanning Consultant, she helps people organize their funeral plans, so that their families will be spared the task when the need arises. She also delivers Cardinal’s Extended Family Services Program, helping families who have just experienced a loss to wind up the deceased’s affairs. With her fluency in Ukrainian and her professional expertise, Kathy is a godsend to many of our clients. She finds her work gives her “a really good feeling at the end of the day.” In her free time, you’ll find Kathy enjoying the outdoors with friends and family, on the ski slopes in the winter and on the patio in the summer.
Born and raised in the poetically-named town of “Too Good Arm,” Newfoundland, Phyllis has put her goodness and arms to use in caring professions since 1977. She worked as a palliative care nurse for 25 years. Over time, Phyllis became more interested in the counselling dimension of her profession and took further education in that area before joining Cardinal’s in 2002. Phyllis is an active member of the bereavement community in the Toronto area. “A big component of what I do is help clients understand their grief and to reengage back into life. I feel blessed to be doing this work.“ An interest in the cycle of life figures prominently in Phyllis’ personal time as well she loves gardening, hiking and nature walks.
My interest in bereavement began while studying social anthropology. Since then I have been interested in the ways in which our social worlds influence the bereavement experience. These ideas have shaped my counselling methods. I hold a BA (honours) in social anthropology and I am waiting to defend my MA research in the same. Throughout this process I have earned other relevant certification through Ryerson University and University of Toronto. In my free time I volunteer with hospice and I enjoy playing records and the banjo.
Danielle had always intended to be a lawyer. But when she took a night time job as a receptionist at a funeral home, it only took two weeks for her to abandon the idea of law school. “As a funeral director, nothing gives me as much peace of mind as when a family tells me that the whole process wasn’t as bad as they had imagined it would be. A succession of family deaths, including my younger brother in 2014 has reacquainted me with the importance of what we do for people at the lowest point in their lives, as my colleagues did for me”. A licensed funeral director since 1993, Danielle joined Cardinal Funeral Home in 2001 and assumed her current role in 2008, overseeing the execution of all service details. When not at work, Danielle likes to spend her time knitting and crocheting for various little ones, reading and walking with her husband and her two 150 lb American Akitas, Talisker and The Woodge.“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” Gandhi
Toronto native Aaron joined Cardinal in 2005 and still finds the camaraderie of team to be exceptional. He likes working for families in their time of need and says his goal is always to take away their anxiety and stress about planning and experiencing a funeral. “The nicest thing a family can say to me is, ’thank you for making this so easy.” In his free time, Aaron enjoys cycling, movies and playing the guitar.
My career in funeral service started with my position as a service counsellor at Pine Hills Cemetery in Scarborough. I felt a connection with so many of the families that I assisted in selecting graves and creating markers/monuments. I realized that funeral service is where I belonged so I attended Humber College graduating in 1996 with honours receiving my funeral directors license. Over all these years I have had the privilege to help families plan, honour, remember and celebrate the lives of their everyday heroes.
You may have heard the saying “takes one to know one,” well I know all too well how it feels to lose everything and climb your way out when the odds are against you! Being left at the age of 24 and becoming the oldest survivor of your family was no easy task as everyone was gone. Having children look up to you, to provide after their loss, and somehow finding the strength to carry on and become the provider. Time passes, and with time I have had more people die in my arms that I care to think about, but somehow you learn to adapt to the new way of life. In a lot of ways a loss can lead to a new, better you.
Speaking with families who come into the funeral home, for guidance and support, sharing stories with one another and giving their loved one the personalized send off they deserve is my specialty. Sometimes just being with someone who truly gets it, providing a human factor can be invaluable to them but also makes this career so rewarding for me. Susie joined Cardinals in 2008, and has been working in the industry and caring deeply for each family she has served since 1994.
Tom Murray was inspired to pursue a funeral service career at the age of 28, when he visited his funeral director brother, Bill, at the funeral home where he worked. Bill’s evident job satisfaction has become Tom’s. While second to the profession, he was first to Cardinal, joining the firm in 2000, 7 years before his brother did. “I never get tired of helping families at such a low point in their lives. They are grateful I’ve made things run smoothly, I’m grateful they have placed their confidence in us.” Tom spends his down time with family and friends, watching movies and socializing.
Mike’s first exposure to the funeral services field came during a summer job while he was studying Ambulance and Emergency Care at Niagara College. He worked for a transfer service, an organization that transfers the deceased from hospitals to funeral homes. In the course of the work, he got to know some funeral directors and found their field interesting. A funeral director since 1996, Mike joined Cardinal in January 2009. He is glad he made the move, “my colleagues here are really good people, very helpful to each other and focused on doing the best for the families who come to us.”
Like so many of Cardinal’s funeral directors, Bill was inspired to make this his life career after the death of someone very close to him – his father. A native Torontonian, Bill graduated with a Diploma in Funeral Service Education in June 2003, receiving the John Finn Memorial Award for outstanding achievement. “The thing I like best is knowing that I can help make the funeral process just that little bit easier, like the funeral directors did for my family when my dad died.” Now a father himself, Bill is passing along another tradition to his eight-year-old daughter – teaching her to play drums.
Prior to Debbie receiving her Funeral Directors license in 2013 she graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. She was first introduced to funeral service while in high school but decided to obtain her arts degree first. After receiving her degree she worked part time at a local funeral home in the east end of Toronto. It did not take long for Debbie to realize that this was the career for her because Debbie loves to help people. She graduated from Humber College Funeral Service program in 2013 with Honours. When Debbie is not at work she loves to spend time with her family, watch movies, read, cook and scrapbook.
Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, Katie acquired her Funeral Director’s license in 2013, after completing a Bachelor of Arts in History at McMaster University. Katie was drawn towards Funeral Services after losing both of her Grandfathers and experiencing first hand, the difference a compassionate, knowledgeable Funeral Director could make to a grieving family. “We meet people during some of the darkest moments in their life. They’ve just lost someone very dear to them, and I think that the goal of most Funeral Directors is to make the whole funeral process just that little bit easier, and if we’re lucky, just a little bit more bearable”.
I am thrilled to be joining Cardinal Funeral Homes after graduating from Humber College with honors in 2016. After my younger sister and Dad died, I knew becoming a funeral director was the right thing for me. One of the last things my sister did was wish me success; I define that as being fortunate enough to do what I love. My favorite thing in the world is being Uncle Mark to my nieces and nephews, and if you throw in indulging in some junk food, this is a recipe for a great time! I love to cook and watch cooking shows such as The Great British Bake Off, as well as discovering great new local places to eat.
Born in Manila, Philippines my family and I immigrated to Toronto during my late teens. I became a funeral director as a second career after working in the financial industry. I graduated from Humber College in 1998 and served families as a Funeral Director in Scarborough, Ontario for several years. I returned to financial services for the second time, but my heart was longing for a sense of fulfillment and that prompted me to go back to funeral services and back to my true passion of helping and being an encouragement to grieving families. Aside from being a seasoned Funeral Director, I find joy in the great outdoors. I like rock climbing with my son and daughter, paddle boarding, mountain biking, and camping with my family.
Born into a Portuguese family, Justin Silva Rebelo first started with Cardinal Funeral Homes as a co-operative education student while in high school. It was not long until Justin realized that he wanted to follow in his mothers footsteps and become a licensed funeral director. He received his funeral directors license in 2012 after completing his internship at Cardinals. He has now returned where he says ``I feel at home in the surrounding Portuguese community and I am very proud to serve families during the most difficult time in someone's life, when they have to say goodbye to a loved one``. When not at work he has an interest in cars, sport and spending time with family and friends. Justin is a proud Portuguese speaking funeral director and is eager to continue helping families alongside his mother.
Carlina first joined the Cardinal Team in 2014 as an intern Funeral Director. She graduated from Humber College’s Funeral Service Education Program in 2015. After losing both of her grandparents, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in funeral services. “I am honoured to care for someone’s loved one and relieve the stress for families during this difficult time. ” Carlina enjoys baking, swimming, and spending time with her dog, Ruby.
A Toronto native born and raised in the west end, Bernard has been with us since 2013. He comes to us with a varied background from sales and marketing, property and facilities management to construction trades person including 17 years as a limousine driver.
Born in Hong Kong, China, Antony and his family emigrated to Toronto in 1989. He worked as an Electrical Engineer in China and became a facility manager for a Canadian company upon his arrival. Antony takes pleasure in working; his ventures also include Hospital maintenance and Post delivery. In the early 2000s, Antony came across a job advertisement for a funeral home assistant in Scarborough. He welcomed the opportunity and brought his knowledge and expertise in Asian funeral rituals to the firm. After a brief one month retirement, he realized that he had a strong desire to return to work in the funeral profession. Cardinal’s welcomed Antony to our team in 2017. He speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese. Antony says that “during my experiences, I try to understand what each family’s needs are. I am sensitive to those and will do anything I can to help them to exceed their expectations.” In his spare time, Antony enjoys playing table tennis and basketball. He especially appreciates spending time fishing on his boat in Rice Lake.
Kenneth comes to funeral services as a later chapter in his life after a career as a professional musician. He is pleased to to be of service to the families in their time of need and enjoys the supportive working atmosphere of the Cardinal team.
Melissa has been part of the Cardinal Team after she joined Cardinal Funeral Homes in July 2017. Melissa attended Humber College where she studied Community and Justice Services. ``While searching for a career in my field I came across a posting for a funeral directors assistant with Cardinal. Thinking back to the passings of family members and close friends in recent years I decided that this was a career that I wanted to pursue. I remember the kindness and grace that the staff showed my family and I while they were assisting in the care of our loved ones, and I take pride that I now get to be that person for others. I am happy to be in a position where I can have a positive effect on the families and the community that we serve.
In my free time I enjoy spending time outdoors with my dog Snickers, hiking, visiting with friends and family, swimming, and watching sports.``
Meet Joyce, one of the most down to earth, compassionate people you will ever meet. Relating to families that come through our door, providing that listening ear and providing comfort. Joyce brings with her a wealth of diverse life experience that she draws on to look after each family like they are her own.
Over the past few years, she has been a donor and sponsor for the Boat Rally for Kids with Cancer in support of Sick Kids, a charity so dear to her heart.
Joyce joined Cardinal in July of 2017 and has been a great asset to our families as she looks after each detail to make sure they receive the kind and compassionate service during one of the most difficult times of their lives.
`` A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal ``
- Steve Maraboli -