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.

Our Story

Robert Candlish moved to Rosendale in the spring of 1892. He had been living in the Town of Black Wolf, just south of Oshkosh, where he was employed as a superintendent at the Oshkosh Furniture Company, later known as the Buckstaff Company.

It was in Rosendale that he established his undertaking business. He operated a livery stable, and had rooms available for rent above the business for travelers. As he was a skilled cabinetmaker, it was logical to open a furniture store. In addition, he was a skilled cheese and butter maker. His butter won third place at the world's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago.

In 1899, Robert's oldest son, William, went into business with his father, and in 1904, they decided to move to Fond du Lac, locating their funeral business at 160 S. Main Street. In 1909, they moved their business to 147 S. Main Street, where the firm remained for the next 31 years. Robert died tragically in 1923 from injuries he sustained from a car which struck him as he was crossing a street in Chicago. 

In 1940, his sons, Frank and William, had constructed Fond du Lac's first dedicated mortuary facility at 31 E. Division Street, in Georgian architechtural style, naming it the Candlish Funeral Chapel. 

In 1937, William's son, David, joined the firm. In 1944, Frank's daughter, Carol, became associated with the business and a year later, his son, Robert C., joined the staff. In 1948, William retired and Frank formed a corporation with his two children, Carol and Robert. 

In 1954, Robert G. Mach joined Candlish Funeral Chapel, and in 1985, Bob and his son, Bruce W. Mach, purchased the business. Bob continued to help at Mach Funeral Chapel & Crematory until his health declined, he died in June 2014. 

In May 2015, Donald R. Kurki joined the staff. Don brought to the business over 31 years of experience. On September 16, 2015, Bruce Mach retired and Don purchased the business from Bruce. The name changed to Kurki-Mach Funeral Chapel & Crematory. 

Kurki-Mach Funeral Chapel & Crematory will continue the tradition of sincere and compassionate service to all families we serve.

Our Valued Staff

  • Donald  Kurki

    Donald Kurki Funeral Director/Owner

    Donald "Don" Kurki has been a licensed funeral director for 31 years, having just purchased the business, he looks forward to serving the community and surrounding area with kindness and compassion he feels every family deserves.

    Don is married to Barb Kurki and has a son and daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. He is very active in the community and service organizations.

  • Barb  Kurki

    Barb Kurki Co-owner

    Don and I have been married for almost 31 years. I have watched Don through those years as he cared for people. He is a very loving and caring man who will take care of you whether it is to listen, talk about ideas, set up preplans, or take care of you and your loved one at the time of need.

  • Tracy Goeglein

    Tracy Goeglein Office Manager

    Tracy Goeglein was born and raised in Fond du Lac. For the past twelve years she worked in the business office at Faith Lutheran Church and School, where she is a member.

    She enjoys watching different sporting events, listening to music, exploring other cities, and spending time with her friends and family. Tracy is married to Jason and they have three children.

    Tracy looks forward to working with members of the community and surrounding areas. Her compassion and care for people will make everyone feel welcomed.

  • Christopher  Kurki

    Christopher Kurki Funeral Assistant

    Chris was born in Fond du Lac. He has been employed with J.F. Ahern for the past ten years as a mechanical welder.

    Chris enjoys hunting, fishing, and the outdoors.

    Chris is married to Laura and they have two sons.

  • Brian Bartelt

    Brian Bartelt Funeral Assistant

    Brian Bartelt joined Kurki-Mach Funeral Chapel in 2017. He has an outgoing personality and is very active in the community.

  • Bob Johnson

    Bob Johnson Funeral Assistant

    Bob joined the Kurki-Mach team in February 2018. Bob grew up in Fond du Lac and is a graduate of St. Mary Springs Academy.
    During his spare time you can either find him at the YMCA or if weather permits, out on a golf course.

  • Keith King

    Keith King Funeral Assistant

    Hello, my name is Keith King and I am currently a Funeral Assistant at Kurki-Mach Funeral Chapel. I have been a lifelong resident of North Fond du Lac and have been married to my wife Barb for the last 26 years. I also have a daughter Ashley and grandson Shane. I have been employed by NM Transfer for the last 20 years as a Driver Trainer, and currently serve on the Village Board as a Trustee. It's an honor to be associated with Kurki-Mach because of the the caring and compassionate people there, that are ready to serve you and your family in your greatest time of need.

  • Sharon  Kollman

    Sharon Kollman PrePlanning Consultant

    Sharon Kollman grew up on a farm west of Fond du Lac and graduated from Oakfield High School. She worked 30 years as a licensed insurance agent, earning both the AAI and CIC designation.

    Sharon currently serves on the Board of the Oakfield Public Library, Kiwanis Club of Fabulous Fond du Lac, and Avoca Cemetery. In the past, she served on the board of Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and was a co-founder and charter member of the Fond du Lac Area Insurance Association. She is a member of St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Oakfield.

    Sharon is married to Gene, has one daughter and two grandchildren. She enjoys traveling, sewing, reading, and spending time at the family cottage in Montello.

  • Ben  Koenen

    Ben Koenen Funeral Assistant

    Ben Koenen was born and raised in the Fond du Lac area. After high school graduation, Ben served six years in the U.S. Navy.

    Ben is married to Jean Nelson. They have two daughters and seven grandchildren.

    Ben retired from USF Holland in 2004.

    Ben is a member of Holy Family Parish, Knights of Columbus Council #664, and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8092.

  • Karen Kraus

    Karen Kraus Outreach Chaplain

    I am pleased to announce I’m serving as Outreach Chaplain at Kurki-Mach Funeral Chapel & Crematory, having known Don and the wonderful services offered.
    I have served as Outreach Chaplain at Hospice Home of Hope at Agnesian SSM. My background as a Lay-Chaplain is founded with a B.S. in Adult Education and M.S. from UW-Milwaukee in Administrative Leadership and Supervision in Education, and coursework at the Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. My faith tradition is ELCA Lutheran.
    As a non-denominational outreach chaplain, I serve all faiths and traditions. I have a love for people and a firm belief life has purpose and meaning for everyone. I love to hear whatever people like to tell me.
    I am widowed, have two adult children, a son-in-law, and two grandchildren. I design and make art jewelry in my spare time, going to art shows and museums.

  • Dave  Olson

    Dave Olson Funeral Assistant

    Dave Olson was born and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, attended college at Michigan Tech in Houghton, Michigan, graduating with a degree in electrical engineering. He worked for IBM for 30 years and then for Mercury Marine's IT Department for 15 years.

    Dave has been married to Sharon for 50 years. They have two children, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

    Dave is a member of Covenant United Methodist Church, Fond du Lac and currently the Chairman of Trustees. He is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, and the Tripoli Shriners in Milwaukee.