History & 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.
When we sit down with a family, we have just one goal: to create a fitting, memorable and affordable service for their loved one. Together, we explore the wide variety of services and products available, as well as a wealth of creative ideas and suggestions.
Together, we'll design a memorial or funeral service that suits their needs now, and in the future. Families who come to us know that years from now, they will have deep peace-of-mind because in coming to us, they've done their best to honor their loved one.
Back in 1924, Henry G., along with his wife Ardella, and his son Clifford Van Orsdel founded the Van Orsdel Family Funeral Chapels. Grounded upon love and the desire to assist others, they built a strong reputation of true care and concern for the families they served. As pioneers of the South Florida community, Henry and Clifford took part in opening our four locations conveniently
situated within Miami.
In the late 1960s Donald Van Orsdel joined the firm becoming the third generation. Following his father’s footsteps, Donald, made a strong commitment of continued dedication to the families of South Florida and their loved ones. By maintaining his grandfather’s values and traditions, he has been able to lead the firm with integrity while adding his own experience and innovations. Today, Donald serves our community along with his wife Maria Van Orsdel and his three daughters.
Three Generations of Van Orsdel's dedicated to serving South Florida Families.
Left, Crystal Van Orsdel Marchant, Maria Solis Van Orsdel, Donald Van Orsdel, Katrina Van Orsdel Rosenbaum, Ivana Van Orsdel and Macho
Our Valued Staff
Donald Van Orsdel, President
Donald Van Orsdel is a native of Coral Gables, Florida. He is married to Maria Solis Van Orsdel, and has three daughters: Crystal Van Orsdel-Marchant, Katrina Van Orsdel, and Ivana Van Orsdel. Don graduated from Coral Gables Senior High School in 1969. Soon after, he graduated from Miami-Dade College of Funeral Service in 1971 as a licensed funeral director. Don continued his education and received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami. Furthermore, Don is also a long time member of University Baptist Church in Coral Gables, and has been in the Rotary Club of Miami since 1978. He represents his firm as a member of the Selected Independent Funeral Homes since 1937. Don is fully committed to the South Florida Community.
Maria E. Van Orsdel, Vice President
Maria was born in Havana, Cuba. At a very young age she came to the United States with her family and grew up in Miami, Florida. Here, Maria attended St. Peter and Paul Elementary School and La Salle High School. Following her high school education, her devotion to music led her to achieving her Bachelors of Music from Florida International University. Soon after, Maria went back to school to receive her degree in Education and taught at various public schools. Still, when Maria married Donald Van Orsdel she went back to school once more to obtain her degree in Funeral Science. Today she works at Van Orsdel Family Funeral Chapels along with her husband and has three daughters Crystal, Katrina, and Ivana. She currently holds a position of Chairman on the Advisory Board of Miami-Dade College (W.L. Philbrick School of Mortuary Science).
Crystal Van Orsdel Marchant, Assistant Vice President
Crystal was born in Miami, Florida. She was raised in South Florida and attended Westminster Christian School. Crystal obtained her Bachelor’s degree in International Business from Florida International University graduating Summa Cume Laude from the Honors College. She is also a graduate of St. Petersburg College of Funeral Service, and is a licensed Funeral Director. Crystal is the fourth generation of the Van Orsdel Family and plans to continue in the family business. She is an active member of her church and plays in the church band along with her husband. Crystal is married to Pablo Marchant and they have two children, Zachary and Isabella.
Ivana Van Orsdel, Administrative Assistant
Ivana was born in Miami, Florida and attended Westminster Christian High School. She graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor's Degree in Hospitality Management. Her interests include cooking, baking and exercise. She is assists families in various manners with a caring heart.
David Gonzalez, Coral Gables Manager
David was born in Doctors Hospital. He was raised in South Florida and attended a private school in the area. He graduated from Miami-Dade College School of Funeral Service Education. He has been employed with our firm since 1984 and lives in Coral Gables. David's daughter Victoria is a graduate of Florida State University. He considers Funeral Directing his calling and is honored to be able to serve our community.
Frank Lopez, Midtown Miami Manager
Frank was born in Havana, Cuba and came to the US in 1961. He is married to his wife Cristina and has two sons Danny and Brian, and two grandchildren Natalie and Matthew. Frank went to school at Miami Jackson High and joined the Army in 1969. He started in the funeral industry in 1978 as a counselor, and later joined Van Orsdel Family Funeral Chapels as a funeral director in 1988. He attended Miami-Dade College of Mortuary Sciences and is a licensed funeral director. In addition to his professional associations, Frank is a proud member of the Elks and the Masons.
Marite Torre, Kendall Manager
Maria T. Rodriguez Torre, "Marite" was born and raised in Coral Gables, Florida. She attended St. Theresa Catholic School and Our Lady of Lourdes Academy; and later graduated from Miami-Dade Community College from Funeral Services and Florida International University from Business Administration. Marite is also a member of Church of the Little Flower in Coral Gables . She has been serving in the funeral industry since 1983 and has been at Van Orsdel Family Funeral Chapels since 2006. This is the first Selected Independent Funeral Home she has worked with and plans to stay with us until she retires.
Cheryl Barber, Funeral Director
Cheryl was born in Chicago, IL. In 1997, she transferred to Miami with her job at United Airlines and continued to work at Miami International Airport until her retirement in 2008. At that point she focused her attention on becoming a Funeral Director and attended classes in mortuary study at Miami-Dade College. She graduated in 2010 with highest honors . After completing her internship at Van Orsdel she proudly became a Funeral Director. She and her husband reside in the Miami Shores area. She is an active member of The Red Hat Ladies Society and a full member of the Ladies of Harley, Harley Davidson Club. She comes to the Van Orsdel family ready to meet all the needs and expectations of the families she will be serving.
Ludmila De Oliveira, Funeral Director
Ludmila was born in São Paulo, Brazil, where she was raised until her teenage years and then moved to Miami, Florida with her family in 1996. She has over 18 years of experience in the Funeral Industry and has vast experience working with visiting families from other countries as well as Foreign Government Agencies. She graduated from Miami-Dade College Funeral Service Education in 2010 and is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese. On her free time she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.
Cynthia Emery, Funeral Director
Cynthia was born in New Jersey, raised in North Carolina, and survived a brief stint in South Carolina prior to making Miami her home in 2009. She graduated from Miami Dade College’s Mortuary Sciences Program in 2015, and became a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in 2016. Cynthia enjoys travel, art, and cuisine in her free time. She intends to continue her education throughout her life, and has made a goal to one day obtain a Doctorate Degree. Cynthia looks forward to many years in the funeral business with Van Orsdel, and concentrates her efforts on personalization, and environmentally friendly cremation and funeral services.
Vivian Ferro, Funeral Director
Vivian Ferro is an experienced funeral director who specializes in personalizing funerals and creating unique experiences for each family. She is both licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer having studied at Miami Dade College. Vivian was born in Cuba and speaks English and Spanish fluently. She is fully committed and dedicated to helping families during the difficult time of losing a loved one.
J.L. Plummer, Funeral Consultant
J.L. Plummer, JR. father of two daughters Dawn Marie Ratiner and Joni Lorrine Livingston. Grandfather of 3 soon 4, Jake, Jesse, and Nate. 30 Year member of the City of Miami Commission and many of those years as vice mayor, now "Commissioner Emeritus." Started the "International Trade Board," leader of the "Sister City" program, former chairman of the downtown development authority, Sport Authority, and Bayfront Park Trust. Former board member of the following, Mercy Hospital Outpatient, South Florida Employment and Training Consortium, Harry Anna Cripple Children Hospital, Governor Tax Reform Authority, 27 year member of Florida League, Florida Highway Advisory Council. Past President of the Dade then Florida League of cities representing 412 cities throughout Florida. Past exalted ruler of the Miami Elks #948. Member of the Independent Funeral Directors of Florida, Member of Knights of Columbus 3rd and 4th degree. 40 year member of Kiwanis, Syrian Lebanon American Club, A.H.E.P.A, Honorary Member of the Boys and Girls Club of Miami, Shake a Leg Handicap, Sailing Miami Outboard Club, Aurdua Training, Unlimited Racing Commission, and Reading for the Blind.
Craig S. Rogowski, Funeral Consultant
Craig is a native Conch, born in Key West, Florida. He has been married to his wife Sandy for 34 years, he has two daughters, Tarah Rogowski Martos and Erica Rogowski-Esteva, and one grandson Harrison. Craig has over 20 years of experience in Funeral Directing and Embalming. He is an active member of Epiphany Catholic Church and serves as a Eucharistic Minister. A member of the Knights of Columbus and a past Grand Knight. Past President of the UM Hospital Auxillary Board. He is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, Florida Funeral Directors Association, Pinecrest Business Association, Palmetto Bay Business Association and Cutler Bay Business Association. He has been a resident of Pinecrest for over 25 years.
Carol Van Orsdel, Funeral Consultant
Carol Van Orsdel was born in and resides in Coral Gables, Florida. She graduated from the University of Florida and worked as a social worker for several years. While attending graduate school at Barry College, working towards a masters of social work, she changed directions and decided to pursue a career in the funeral industry. She graduated from Miami Dade College with a degree in funeral service and has been a licensed funeral director since 1987. She is bilingual and has completed several Spanish language courses in Madrid, the Canary Islands, Costa Rica and Mexico. She is a member of the Soroptomist International Club of Coral Gables and through the club is involved in many charitable causes in the South Florida community. She has two college students Michael and Kevin.
Henry Ketzle, Family Service Counselor
Henry grew up in Miami attending Miami Edison High. He graduated from Miami Dade Community College in 1968 and went on to receive his Bachelors Degree from Trinity University. Henry has been married to Patricia for 40 years, he has two married daughters, and four grandsons. Henry and his wife have been active in their church, Southwest Community Church, for 39 years. He began his career in the funeral industry in 1995 working for a large national corporation, and has been with Van Orsdel since 2004. “I like the personal attention a family owned business offers its families and I plan on finishing my working career here with the Van Orsdel Family.”
Liz Boyles, Administrative Assistant
Liz was born in Miami, FL and attended Coral Reef Senior High School. She graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor's degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management and is currently pursuing her degree in Mortuary Science at American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service. She has been with Van Orsdel since 2012 and looks forward to serving families as a Licensed Funeral Director in the future.