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Our Staff


Our staff is comprised of dedicated and licensed professionals with the experience to answer all your questions regarding our services. Please feel free to contact any of our staff members at any time.

Mike Doran

Mike Doran

Funeral Director

Mike grew up in Brainerd.  His dad, Tom merged their family funeral home with another local funeral home in 1960 to create, Nelson - Doran Funeral Home.  As a young man, Mike often assisted his dad on projects around the funeral home.  After graduating from Brainerd High School, he attended the University of Minnesota College of Mortuary Science and graduated in 1986.

Mike lives in Merrifield with his wife, Wendy and daughters, Megan and Abby.  They enjoy snowmobiling and spending time outdoors.  Mike was an avid hockey player who has become a an avid hockey fan.  He and his family make an effort to attend Wild games whenever possible. The family also has a number of four-legged members who aren't spoiled at all.

Mike and his  family are members of St. Francis Catholic Church and Mike is also a member of the noon Rotary Club.

Favorite Sport:  Hockey

What he can frequently be heard saying:  Nothing specific - but he is a genius at movie impressions and quotes.


Kendal Mallery

Kendal Mallery

Funeral Director

Kendal grew up in Faribault, MN graduating from Faribault High School in 2013. She earned a degree in Biochemistry from University of Minnesota - Duluth in 2017 and completed the Mortuary Science program at the University of Minnesota in 2019.

Kendal is new to the Brainerd Lakes Area, and excited to get involved in the community. She is a member of ZONTA, a women's organization committed to helping young ladies reach their full potential.  

Kendal and her boyfriend are building their home and expanding their furry friend family.  Kendal enjoys spending time with her family and friends, binge watching a new comedy, and telling Abe to stop playing Call of Duty.

Favorite Food:  Steak. Rare.

Favorite TV Show:  New Girl

Favorite Quote:  "Do not pity the dead.  Pity the living, and above all, those who live without love." - Dumbledore (Harry Potter)



Rhonda Mareck Harting

Rhonda Mareck Harting

Funeral Director

Not new to funeral service, but new to our team, Rhonda joined the Nelson - Doran Funeral Home in December of 2019 after managing another funeral home for 17 years.

She is a 2001 graduate of St. Cloud State University and started her career in the funeral industry in 2003.  After years of helping families, she decided she wanted to further her education and enrolled in the Mortuary Science Program through Des Moines Area Community College.  

Rhonda is married to Jed Harting.  She is mom to Rhett and Rhya and a bonus mom to Lili and Miranda.

Favorite Quote:  "In a world where you can be anything, be kind." 



Emmy Tuomi

Emmy Tuomi

Funeral Director

Emmy was born and raised in Brainerd. She found her passion for funeral service as a young girl. At the age of 15, she began working for a local funeral home.  After graduating from high school, she immediately began her education to become a licensed funeral director. Emmy graduated with a degree in mortuary science from Des Moines Area Community College in 2016.

Her family has been actively involved in the community and they enjoy giving their time to Camp Confidence.  She is also a member of Sertoma.

She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, tending her plants, snuggling her cats (she only has two...so far), and appreciating the little things in life.

Favorite Music Genre:  Big Band Music

Favorite Movie:  "Amelie"

Favorite Quote:  "You can always give something, even if it is only kindness."  - Anne Frank

What you can frequently hear her say:  "We will figure it out".


Wendy Doran

Wendy Doran

Preplanning Advisor

Wendy and Mike knew early on that the call to be in funeral service was a family commitment.  Wendy enjoys working with families ahead of time to ensure their wants and needs will be met and that they are properly funded.

Wendy and Mike live in Merrifield with daughters, Megan and Abby.  They enjoy snowmobiling and spending time outdoors.  Practicing yoga, visiting her daughters at college, and enjoying time with friends are some of Wendy's favorite passtimes. The family makes an effort to attend Wild games whenever possible and also have a number of four-legged members who aren't spoiled at all.

Wendy and her family are members of St. Francis Church and she is also a member at Takedown Gym.


Paul Koering

Paul Koering

Funeral Home Assistant

Since 1995, Paul Koering has been lending a hand and giving his time to the families utilizing Nelson - Doran.  He is always willing to come in - day or night, to make sure we have the help we need to serve families with dignity.  He's a great source of local knowledge.


Devyn Mudgett Baker

Devyn Mudgett Baker

Funeral Home Assistant

Devyn helps out in the office, serves up coffee and smiles during visitations, and helps direct services.  She enjoys being there for families and uses her own experiences to ensure their events are meaningful.


Jerry Peterson

Jerry Peterson

Funeral Home Assistant

Jerry has been part of the Nelson - Doran staff for many years.  He enjoys ensuring services run smoothly for families and chatting with friends and neighbors at the same time.  


Bill Tollefson

Bill Tollefson

Business Manager

Bill has worked at Nelson - Doran since he was 16 years old.  He started out by mowing the lawn, cleaning cars, and making the directors' lives a little easier.  For the last 30 plus years, Bill has been charged with many of the business management tasks.


Jed Harting

Jed Harting

Funeral Home Assistant

Jed Harting can be found helping the funeral home in lots of ways:  assisting with transportation, vehicle maintenance, and helping set up and run services when needed.  He also is trying to find a way to cater the lunches - he loves to cook.


Abraham Tuomi

Abraham Tuomi

Funeral Home Assistant

Abe Tuomi is always willing a hand when we are in need.  Whether assisting with transportation or fixing a door lock - he's up for the task and doing it with a smile.


Kaylee Alholm

Kaylee Alholm

Funeral Home Assistant

Kaylee's passion for funeral service started when her own life was in question.  Luckily she received a liver transplant in time and is now able to pursue her dream:  becoming a funeral director.  Before she can become licensed, she has some schooling to complete...however, that hasn't stopped her from helping in any way she can.  


Ann Burch

Ann Burch

Stylist

Ann Burch is committed to making sure everyone looks their best.  She has been our resident stylist for more than 20 years.


Jason Walkowiak

Jason Walkowiak

IT Specialist

Whether helping us create a more user friendly live-streaming option or ensuring our computers and programs are safely storing personal data, Jason keeps us up to date.  

Tom Doran

Tom Doran

Funeral Director - Retired

1929 - 2020

Tom graduated from High School in 1947. He is a veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy from 1948 - 1952. He attended the University of Minnesota earning his degree in Mortuary Science in 1954. Tom purchased Hoenig Funeral Home in Brainerd in 1956, and in 1960 joined John Nelson and together they formed the Nelson-Doran Funeral Home. Tom and his wife, Marguerite are members of St. Francis Catholic Church. They raised three children, Kevin, Michael and Kathy. Michael Doran joined the firm in 1987.


Steven Wardrip

Steven Wardrip

Funeral Director - Retired

Steve grew up in Mason City, Iowa graduating from Mason City High School in 1970. He attended the University of Minnesota and graduated from the College of Mortuary Science in 1975.  Steve has been a funeral director for the last 45 years. He has managed funeral homes in Virginia, Eveleth, Chisholm.  He returned to home town to work in a funeral home before settling in the Brainerd Lakes Area in 1992.  While in Brainerd, Steve managed a local funeral home until they were purchased by a multi-national cooperation. At that time, he retired and until he found his home here at  Nelson - Doran Funeral Home - a locally owned and family operated facility om 2012.

Steve and his wife, Jean live in Baxter. Their son, Adam, has blessed them with four grandchildren.  He is a member of Lakewood Evangelical Free Church and facilitates a mission group each year that travels to Alaska.  He also looks forward to spending time in Hawaii each year.

Steve is our resident handy-man.  He is car enthusiast.

Favorite Food:  Seafood

Favorite Cars:  Street Rods and Sports Cars  

Favorite Quote:  "The problem with socialism is eventually you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher



Erik Christensen

Erik Christensen

Funeral Director - Retired

Erik is a native of Jamestown, North Dakota, graduating from Jamestown High School in 1969.  He earned a degree in Biology from MN State University-Moorhead in 1973 and completed the Mortuary Science Program at the University of Minnesota in 1975.  Erik was employed as a funeral director in Minneapolis prior to joining Nelson-Doran in 1988 and is a licensed funeral director in ND and MN. Erik retired in 2017 but is always willing to lend a hand when we are in need.

Erik and his wife Pat live in Baxter and have two  daughters.  He enjoys fishing and spending time on the lake.  


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