Joseph Ernest Pray, Licensed Director and Creationeer
Joe, or Joe E. has been an active Licensed Funeral Director since 1979. He attended Michigan State University and graduated from Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science in 1979 Joe has been through various continuing education programs and trainings to continue his education and is a graduate of Life Appreciation Training . Joe is a former Board Member of the International Order of the Golden Rule and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association.
Joe E. grew up around the funeral business and started out by helping care for the grounds and washing the automobiles used by the funeral home. After receiving his license, he joined his parents and grandparents in business at Pray Funeral Home. Joe E. is currently the co-owner of Pray Funeral Home, Inc.
Joe has held numerous leadership positions in local organizations and service clubs and continues to be a member of the Charlotte Rotary Club, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, and Knights of Columbus.
Joe is currently Board Member and Past Chairman of the Capitol Region Community Foundation and the Eaton County Community Foundation, where he advises two of the endowment funds that were started in his family's name through the Foundation to further the philanthropic goals of the Pray family. He also is President of CharlotteRising, Charlotte's Main Street community development program.
In Joe's personal time he enjoys sharing time with his family, especially his three grandchildren, Barefoot waterskiing, flying with local pilots, and tinkering with antique automobiles.
Joseph Eugene Pray, Licensed Director
Joe has held a State of Michigan Funeral Directors License for over 60 years. He attended Michigan State University and graduated from Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science in 1949. He is an active committee member in the Michigan Funeral Directors Association and is a graduate of Life Appreciation Training.
Joe literally grew up in the funeral home and was involved in the operations of funeral service at a young age. He learned extensively from his mother and father, Hazel and Myron Pray, who then owned the business. After receiving his license, he joined his parents in the funeral home.
Joe, or Joe Sr. as some refer to him, has served the community in many organizations including Christmas Kiddies which he directed for many years. He is currently a member of the Charlotte Kiwanis Club, and St. Mary Catholic Church.
Joseph Tyler Pray, Licensed Director
Tyler Pray graduated on August 6, 2006, from the Wayne State University Mortuary Science program in Detroit with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He was the only of 24 graduates coming from a family business.
The Mortuary Science degree is Tyler Pray's second degree, his first being a B.A. in English from Kalamazoo College in 2005.Tyler follows his father, a 1979 graduate of the program, in receiving the C. Beaver Edwards distinction in restorative art, an award named for a famous sculptor and restorative artist who was a Professor of Joe Pray Sr., a 1949 graduate of the program.
Since graduation, Tyler has attended Life Appreciation Training, and participated in several staff exchange programs with other funeral homes. In April of 2008 Tyler was installed as a Director on the Board of the International Order of the Golden Rule. He served OGR until April 2011.
Tyler currently serves as President of Michigan Funeral Directors District 5.
Tyler has a wide range of interests including writing, acting, barefoot waterskiing. In addition to funeral service Tyler is pursuing a career in writing and has been published in many literary journals, newspapers and periodicals.
Dana Pray, Corporate Secretary
Dana Pray is a licensed funeral director with experience in managing both family owned and corporate owned funeral homes. She is a former Michigan Funeral Directors Association staff member serving as the membership liaison.
She now serves the Charlotte community as corporate secretary and management consultant for Pray Funeral Home.
Dana is best known in the community for her work with Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital's ALIVE, a multi-million dollar health park that will boost the health and well being of the community in numerous ways. Dana is a community development coordinator for ALIVE and has been instrumental in bringing the story of ALIVE to many throughout the tri-county area.
Daniel Hoffman, Pre Planning Counselor
Daniel or "Dan", helps families explore and prepare funeral and memorial arrangements without the time constraints that are experienced at the time of a death.
Dawn Hoffman, Pre Planning Counselor
Dawn assists her husband Dan Hoffman with the many details of Pre-Planning at Pray Funeral Home. She is also licensed as a Pre Planning professional.
Lori Pray, Financial and Facility Manager
Leonore, or "Lori" is a graduate of Michigan State University, is married to Joe E. and the mother of two sons, J. Tyler and J. McLain. She serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Pray Funeral Home, as well as the Facility Manager.
Lori serves the community in several capacities through her memberships in the GFWC-Charlotte, Friends of The Charlotte Performing Arts Center, and numerous other organizations.
Lori also serves on the Board of Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital.
Mrs. Kristine Sowles, Office Manager
Kristine has numerous responsibilities at Pray Funeral Home including greeting family and community members when they walk through our front doors. Chances are when you call Pray Funeral Home, the voice that greets you will be Kristine's.
Lori Baum, Receptionist, Creationeer
Lori helps us as a receptionist at the funeral home AND as a creationeer to help us create wonderful meaningful services at Pray Funeral HOme. Whether it be creating duck tape floral arrangements for a duck tape fan or creating unique vignettes with the touchstone items that families bring in to tell the story of their loved ones, she uses her enthusiasm and imagination to help families heal.
Richard Martin, Service Gentleman and Cremation Specialist
Dick is a General Motors retiree and one of Service Gentlemen serving in many capacities in our firm. As one of our Cremation Specialist, Richard transports the deceased family member in our care to the crematory and remains to witness the entire cremation process. He then transports the cremated remains back to Pray Funeral Home so your deceased family member never leaves our care.
Richard Bernard, Service Gentleman
Richard, or Dick as most people know him, is one of our gentleman that assists us in many ways, from helping as part of our home transfer team to helping at the funeral home on the day of the service. Dick was a retail manager before his retirement from his full time job.
Duane Royston, Service Gentleman
Duane, worked at General Motors until his retirement. At that time he became a full time minister for several local churches. Duan has been one of our gentlemen here at Pray Funeral Home for a number of years. He helps on services, our transfer team, and occasionally as a celebrant or minister for services.
John Mayes, Service Gentleman and Media Specialist
John is one of our gentleman that assists us in many ways, from a home transfer to helping at the funeral home on the day of the service. John also prepares our Family Album Tribute Video's and many other image or computer related photos and graphics..
Watch John's "Meet Your Neighbor" video to learn more about all he brings to Pray Funeral Home.
William Martin, Grounds Maintenance
Bill is a General Motors Retiree who helps us with grounds maintenance.
Lela Rodrigeuz, Receptionist
Lela is a member of reception staff. Her cheerful voice and constant smile has been a comfort to many of the families we serve.
Nate Lovaas, Funeral Service Associate
Nate grew up here in Charlotte. His polite and outgoing personality has endeared him to many within the community. He is working with Pray Funeral Home while he completes Mortuary School. We look forward to his completion of his studies and licensure requirements so he can join our staff as a fully licensed Funeral Director.
Ruthie Willis, Receptionist
Ruthie is a member of our receptionist staff. She is a very welcoming host as she greets guests who visit the funeral home. She is also a gifted musician who enjoys her music ministry at various facilities in the community.
Mark Fletcher, Service Gentleman
Mark came to Pray Funeral Home after an active position in high end retail management. Mark servies our families as part of our transfer team, and during visitations and services, and just about anything else he is asked to do. He always engages our guests with his positive attitude and compassionate personality.
Joseph Anders Pray, Vice President of Employee Morale
Anders is the son of J. Tyler Pray. He is one of our many promotional faces in the community. His big blue eyes and his constant smile and the bounce in his step aways bring a smile to staff and guests alike.