Staff

Staff

Our dedicated staff are here to provide support, compassion, and information to help you through your journey of grief and the celebration of your loved one’s life.

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Jesse Starkson Owner & MN Licensed Mortician Jesses@hastingsmnfuneral.com

Phone: 651-437-9419
Cell Phone: 651-319-1237

Jesse is a 2007 graduate of Faribault Senior High School and a 2010 graduate of the Program of Mortuary Science at the University of Minnesota. While attending the program, Jesse was the President of the Mortuary Science Student Association and was also the recipient of the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association Past President Scholarship. He originally began working with a funeral home in Faribault in 2003 and also worked in their Waseca and Janesville funeral homes until joining our firm in September of 2014.

Jesse enjoys being involved in the University of Minnesota Program of Mortuary Science Board of Directors, the Rivertown Lions Club, the Minnesota Funeral Director's Association, and along with his wife Katie, is a member of the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. They also enjoy being actively involved throughout the Hastings and surrounding communities.

On September 30, 2016, Jesse and his wife, Katie, and his business partner, Samuel Steffel and wife, Tara, purchased Caturia-Smidt Funeral Home & Cremation Services from Steve and Kim Smidt, and are honored to continue the legacy the funeral home has offered for many, many years. They have also purchased the funeral homes that Jesse worked at in Waseca and Janesville prior to joining the staff at Caturia-Smidt. Along with that, they also purchased their own crematory, meaning your loved one never leaves our professional care. Jesse and his wife, Katie, live in Hastings and oversee the day-to-day roles for Caturia-Smidt and Sam, and his wife, Tara, live in Waseca to manage those locations.

As of August 17, 2018, Jesse & Katie Starkson collaboratively joined forces with Wise Family Funeral Home in Hastings, MN. The Starksons purchased of the Wise Family Funeral Home and Michael & Mary Wise and their staff joined the team at Caturia, Smidt & Starkson Funeral Home. Both couples are excited for a very long-lasting, collaborative effort in serving families the Hastings community.

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Michael Wise MN and WI Licensed Mortician Michaelw@hastingsmnfuneral.com

Phone: 651-437-3752

Born and raised in Hastings, Michael Wise graduated from Hastings High school in 1990 before attending his first two years of college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. When deciding on a career in funeral service, he transferred to the University of Minnesota where he graduated with a BS degree in Mortuary Science in 1994. After graduation, he worked for a family-owned funeral home in Minneapolis/Edina where he managed their Edina Chapel. It is there that he met his wife, Mary

Michael and his wife Mary have been married since 1998 and have two children, Grace and Griffin. In 2001 Michael & Mary moved back home to Hastings to own and operate the Wise Family Funeral Home & Crematory (formerly Ellis Wise Funeral Home.) As of August 17, 2018, Michael & his wife, Mary collaboratively joined forces with Caturia, Smidt & Starkson Funeral Home. The Starksons took ownership of the Wise Family Funeral Home and Michael & Mary, along with their staff, joined the team at Caturia, Smidt & Starkson Funeral Home. Both couples are excited for a very long-lasting, collaborative effort in serving families the Hastings community.

Michael has been very active in the Hastings community having served on many boards and volunteer roles including the Augustana Nursing Home, Park Ridge Communities, Knights of Columbus and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Cemetery Board. He served as a past President of the United Way of Hastings, Oak Ridge Manor Board, Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Council. Michael currently serves as a member of the Regina Foundation Board of Directors.

Michael also enjoys spending time with his daughter, Grace, and son, Griffin. Family matters most to Michael & Mary, so any chance to travel with them is time well spent. He also enjoys working out at Hastings Cross Fit and golfing.

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Steven Smidt MN and WI Licensed Mortician Steves@hastingsmnfuneral.com

Phone: 651-437-9419

Steve was born and raised in Iowa, the oldest of 4 children. At an early age he became interested in the funeral profession. He had first hand exposure to how funeral directors care for families through a relative and also from part time employment at a funeral home in high school.

Steve attended the University of Minnesota Program of Mortuary Science, graduating with distinction in 1980. After a brief time working in funeral homes in Minneapolis and northern Minnesota, he took a position with Bob Caturia at Caturia Funeral Home in Hastings in 1981.

Steve worked with Bob for 16 years, and in 1997 purchased the business from Bob and continued to run the the funeral home as Caturia-Smidt Funeral Home until October of 2016 when he sold to Jesse Starkson and wife, Katie, and business partner, Sam Steffel and wife, Tara. Steve is very proud of the over 75 year tradition of caring, family owned, personal service to Hastings area families, which has been a hallmark of the Caturia-Smidt Funeral Home since 1942. Steve is active in the community, is a past president of the Hastings Rotary Club, a board member of United Way of Hastings & Hastings Family Service.

Steve is married to Kim, a retired Hastings elementary school teacher, and has two adult children, Adam Smidt and Allison, who is married to Derek Preble, and 3 grandchildren, Brynnlee, Kylee and Croix. He enjoys following the Minnesota Twins and Vikings, taking his classic Camaro to area car shows and is also an avid NASCAR fan.

Steve is proud that all of the staff at Caturia, Smidt & Starkson Funeral Home and Crematory are an integral part of the Hastings community and all are honored for the opportunity to serve families in their time of greatest need. Steve and Kim are excited that Jesse and Sam are taking a larger role in the operation of the funeral homes and with the addition of the new facility, are confident they will continue to serve the communities with the same focus on family service which the local families have become accustomed to. Steve plans on continuing to work with the staff at Caturia, Smidt & Starkson on a part time basis.

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Jessica Stern MN and WI Licensed Mortician Jessicas@hastingsmnfuneral.com

Phone: 651-437-9419

Jessica grew up in southern Minnesota in the small town of Truman. After attending the University of South Dakota for 3 years as a business student, she transferred to the University of Minnesota for Mortuary Science. Once licensed, she moved to a suburb of Milwaukee for two years to work at a funeral home and get her dual licensure. When her brother-in-law received the news that he was going on his second deployment, Jessica moved back to Minnesota to live with her sister for the year. She took a job in White Bear Lake and worked as a funeral director and preplanning specialist there for over 6 years. When the opportunity came up to work for her friend and college classmate, Jesse Starkson, she jumped at the opportunity. In March of 2019, Jessica came on board with Starkson Family Life Celebration Chapel in Hastings.

As a child, Jessica lost a majority of her hearing at a year old and began wearing hearing aids and using American Sign Language. Fortunately, in 2017, she was able to receive a life-changing Cochlear Implant surgery to get back a significant amount of hearing in her right ear. The deaf/hard of hearing community has been an important part of her life and she enjoys volunteering with Lifetrack’s deaf role model program and being a member of their advisory board. She also keeps close ties with her college sorority by being a member of the St. Paul Alumni Club for Pi Beta Phi. As a former scholarship recipient of Junior Miss (now called the Distinguished Young Women’s Program), she loves to help organize parts of the state program for high school women to receive scholarships through DYW.

Outside of work and volunteering, Jessica and her husband, Andrew, enjoy kayaking, traveling, and spending time with their family and friends. They are a divided household when it comes to sports as Andrew is a Badger and Packer fan through and through. They are both excited to be welcomed into the Starkson and Wise families as they move forward to provide the Hastings community with top level service.

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Robert Caturia MN Licensed Mortician office@hastingsmnfuneral.com

Phone: 651-437-9419

Bob Caturia began his career working for his father Clinton Caturia, the founder of our funeral home. Bob is a Hastings native and graduate of Hastings High School in 1958 and the University of Minnesota School of Mortuary Science in 1962. Bob took over ownership of Caturia Funeral Home in 1970 and for many years served the families around Hastings. He sold the funeral business to Steve Smidt in 1997 and after a couple more years he retired to his lake home near Brainerd, MN. Bob and his wife Gayle recently returned to Hastings to be nearer family and Bob has returned to work on a part time basis for Caturia-Smidt Funeral Home.

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Sarah Wise-Schwieger Office Administrator Sarahs@hastingsmnfuneral.com

Phone: 651-437-3752

Sarah was born and raised in Hastings, MN. She is Michael Wise's "little sister." She is a 1996 graduate of Hastings High School and attended Bethel College.

Sarah and her husband, Ben, have three small children, Matthew, Laney, and Beckett. After starting a family, Sarah started working in the funeral business at her brother's funeral home in 2006. She loves working with families to help personalize services for their loved ones. In 2016, Sarah took on an additional role as the Advanced Planning Consultant. She loves meeting with members of the community to educate them on options to pre-plan their funerals. As of August 2018, Sarah joined the staff at Caturia, Smidt & Starkson Funeral Home as a part of the collaborative effort to merge the two Hastings funeral homes.

Sarah enjoys volunteering at Sharing and Caring Hands and is also actively engaged with her children's school, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School. She has been a co-chair of the Spring Fling Committee, which is the largest, annual fundraiser for the school. Sarah currently serves as the Vice President of the Hastings Catholic Education Foundation Board.

In her free time, Sarah enjoys traveling and attending her children’s sporting events, along with cooking and reading and relaxing by the pool.

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Meghan Larson Pre-Need Advisor Meghanl@hastingsmnfuneral.com

Phone: 651-437-9419

Meghan is a 2011 graduate of Waseca High School and a 2015 graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University where she studied Business Marketing. She relocated to the Hastings area with her husband Clint in 2017. Meghan is Jesse Starkson's sister-in-law and is looking forward to working for our family owned business and getting involved with the community.

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Jill Becker Office Administrator Jillb@hastingsmnfuneral.com

Phone: 651-437-9419

Jill is the daughter of Bob and Gayle Caturia. She was born and raised in Hastings, Jill graduated from Hastings High School and went on to College with an interest in funeral service. She later graduated from the Medical Institute of Minnesota with an associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology, and worked for 21 years at the Hastings Veterinary Clinic. Jill has two wonderful sons, Tyler and Mason Martin, and is happily married to Pete Becker. She enjoys spending time with family and friends. Jill is proud to be back in her family roots working with Jesse Starkson who has the same professional vision that has always existed here at the Caturia-Smidt Funeral Home. She will strive to serve the community with the same compassion and integrity that the Funeral Home was built on.

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Mary Wise Funeral Director's Assistant office@hastingsmnfuneral.com

Phone: 651-437-3752

Mary was 18 when she started working in the funeral business at a family-owned funeral home in South Minneapolis. The years she worked at that funeral home, they served over 2,000 families each year. While working there, she gained a great deal of knowledge about the funeral industry. At such a young age, she was exposed to many different situations which helped her to understand the need for personalized service. Mary knows firsthand how every family and every situation is unique.

While working at the funeral home she met Michael, and they were married 2 years later. Together, they managed a funeral home in Edina for 2 years. When they decided to start a family, she stayed home with their two children, Grace and Griffin. Michael and Mary moved back to Hastings, MN in 2001 and were the owners of Wise Family Funeral Home, until August of 2018 when they sold their funeral home to Jesse & Katie Starkson.

Along with working at the funeral home and being an active participant in her children’s’ busy schedules, Mary loves to volunteer her time in the Hastings community. Some of those wonderful opportunities to give back have been the Holiday Assistance Program, the Back to School Program at Hastings Family Service, and Sharing and Caring Hands. Mary currently delivers Meal on Wheels in the local community.

Jesse Starkson

Owner & MN Licensed Mortician
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Phone: 651-437-9419
Cell Phone: 651-319-1237

Jesse is a 2007 graduate of Faribault Senior High School and a 2010 graduate of the Program of Mortuary Science at the University of Minnesota. While attending the program, Jesse was the President of the Mortuary Science Student Association and was also the recipient of the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association Past President Scholarship. He originally began working with a funeral home in Faribault in 2003 and also worked in their Waseca and Janesville funeral homes until joining our firm in September of 2014.

Jesse enjoys being involved in the University of Minnesota Program of Mortuary Science Board of Directors, the Rivertown Lions Club, the Minnesota Funeral Director's Association, and along with his wife Katie, is a member of the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. They also enjoy being actively involved throughout the Hastings and surrounding communities.

On September 30, 2016, Jesse and his wife, Katie, and his business partner, Samuel Steffel and wife, Tara, purchased Caturia-Smidt Funeral Home & Cremation Services from Steve and Kim Smidt, and are honored to continue the legacy the funeral home has offered for many, many years. They have also purchased the funeral homes that Jesse worked at in Waseca and Janesville prior to joining the staff at Caturia-Smidt. Along with that, they also purchased their own crematory, meaning your loved one never leaves our professional care. Jesse and his wife, Katie, live in Hastings and oversee the day-to-day roles for Caturia-Smidt and Sam, and his wife, Tara, live in Waseca to manage those locations.

As of August 17, 2018, Jesse & Katie Starkson collaboratively joined forces with Wise Family Funeral Home in Hastings, MN. The Starksons purchased of the Wise Family Funeral Home and Michael & Mary Wise and their staff joined the team at Caturia, Smidt & Starkson Funeral Home. Both couples are excited for a very long-lasting, collaborative effort in serving families the Hastings community.

Michael Wise

MN and WI Licensed Mortician
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Phone: 651-437-3752

Born and raised in Hastings, Michael Wise graduated from Hastings High school in 1990 before attending his first two years of college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. When deciding on a career in funeral service, he transferred to the University of Minnesota where he graduated with a BS degree in Mortuary Science in 1994. After graduation, he worked for a family-owned funeral home in Minneapolis/Edina where he managed their Edina Chapel. It is there that he met his wife, Mary

Michael and his wife Mary have been married since 1998 and have two children, Grace and Griffin. In 2001 Michael & Mary moved back home to Hastings to own and operate the Wise Family Funeral Home & Crematory (formerly Ellis Wise Funeral Home.) As of August 17, 2018, Michael & his wife, Mary collaboratively joined forces with Caturia, Smidt & Starkson Funeral Home. The Starksons took ownership of the Wise Family Funeral Home and Michael & Mary, along with their staff, joined the team at Caturia, Smidt & Starkson Funeral Home. Both couples are excited for a very long-lasting, collaborative effort in serving families the Hastings community.

Michael has been very active in the Hastings community having served on many boards and volunteer roles including the Augustana Nursing Home, Park Ridge Communities, Knights of Columbus and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Cemetery Board. He served as a past President of the United Way of Hastings, Oak Ridge Manor Board, Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Council. Michael currently serves as a member of the Regina Foundation Board of Directors.

Michael also enjoys spending time with his daughter, Grace, and son, Griffin. Family matters most to Michael & Mary, so any chance to travel with them is time well spent. He also enjoys working out at Hastings Cross Fit and golfing.

Steven Smidt

MN and WI Licensed Mortician
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Phone: 651-437-9419

Steve was born and raised in Iowa, the oldest of 4 children. At an early age he became interested in the funeral profession. He had first hand exposure to how funeral directors care for families through a relative and also from part time employment at a funeral home in high school.

Steve attended the University of Minnesota Program of Mortuary Science, graduating with distinction in 1980. After a brief time working in funeral homes in Minneapolis and northern Minnesota, he took a position with Bob Caturia at Caturia Funeral Home in Hastings in 1981.

Steve worked with Bob for 16 years, and in 1997 purchased the business from Bob and continued to run the the funeral home as Caturia-Smidt Funeral Home until October of 2016 when he sold to Jesse Starkson and wife, Katie, and business partner, Sam Steffel and wife, Tara. Steve is very proud of the over 75 year tradition of caring, family owned, personal service to Hastings area families, which has been a hallmark of the Caturia-Smidt Funeral Home since 1942. Steve is active in the community, is a past president of the Hastings Rotary Club, a board member of United Way of Hastings & Hastings Family Service.

Steve is married to Kim, a retired Hastings elementary school teacher, and has two adult children, Adam Smidt and Allison, who is married to Derek Preble, and 3 grandchildren, Brynnlee, Kylee and Croix. He enjoys following the Minnesota Twins and Vikings, taking his classic Camaro to area car shows and is also an avid NASCAR fan.

Steve is proud that all of the staff at Caturia, Smidt & Starkson Funeral Home and Crematory are an integral part of the Hastings community and all are honored for the opportunity to serve families in their time of greatest need. Steve and Kim are excited that Jesse and Sam are taking a larger role in the operation of the funeral homes and with the addition of the new facility, are confident they will continue to serve the communities with the same focus on family service which the local families have become accustomed to. Steve plans on continuing to work with the staff at Caturia, Smidt & Starkson on a part time basis.

Jessica Stern

MN and WI Licensed Mortician
photo

Phone: 651-437-9419

Jessica grew up in southern Minnesota in the small town of Truman. After attending the University of South Dakota for 3 years as a business student, she transferred to the University of Minnesota for Mortuary Science. Once licensed, she moved to a suburb of Milwaukee for two years to work at a funeral home and get her dual licensure. When her brother-in-law received the news that he was going on his second deployment, Jessica moved back to Minnesota to live with her sister for the year. She took a job in White Bear Lake and worked as a funeral director and preplanning specialist there for over 6 years. When the opportunity came up to work for her friend and college classmate, Jesse Starkson, she jumped at the opportunity. In March of 2019, Jessica came on board with Starkson Family Life Celebration Chapel in Hastings.

As a child, Jessica lost a majority of her hearing at a year old and began wearing hearing aids and using American Sign Language. Fortunately, in 2017, she was able to receive a life-changing Cochlear Implant surgery to get back a significant amount of hearing in her right ear. The deaf/hard of hearing community has been an important part of her life and she enjoys volunteering with Lifetrack’s deaf role model program and being a member of their advisory board. She also keeps close ties with her college sorority by being a member of the St. Paul Alumni Club for Pi Beta Phi. As a former scholarship recipient of Junior Miss (now called the Distinguished Young Women’s Program), she loves to help organize parts of the state program for high school women to receive scholarships through DYW.

Outside of work and volunteering, Jessica and her husband, Andrew, enjoy kayaking, traveling, and spending time with their family and friends. They are a divided household when it comes to sports as Andrew is a Badger and Packer fan through and through. They are both excited to be welcomed into the Starkson and Wise families as they move forward to provide the Hastings community with top level service.

Robert Caturia

MN Licensed Mortician
photo

Phone: 651-437-9419

Bob Caturia began his career working for his father Clinton Caturia, the founder of our funeral home. Bob is a Hastings native and graduate of Hastings High School in 1958 and the University of Minnesota School of Mortuary Science in 1962. Bob took over ownership of Caturia Funeral Home in 1970 and for many years served the families around Hastings. He sold the funeral business to Steve Smidt in 1997 and after a couple more years he retired to his lake home near Brainerd, MN. Bob and his wife Gayle recently returned to Hastings to be nearer family and Bob has returned to work on a part time basis for Caturia-Smidt Funeral Home.

Sarah Wise-Schwieger

Office Administrator
photo

Phone: 651-437-3752

Sarah was born and raised in Hastings, MN. She is Michael Wise's "little sister." She is a 1996 graduate of Hastings High School and attended Bethel College.

Sarah and her husband, Ben, have three small children, Matthew, Laney, and Beckett. After starting a family, Sarah started working in the funeral business at her brother's funeral home in 2006. She loves working with families to help personalize services for their loved ones. In 2016, Sarah took on an additional role as the Advanced Planning Consultant. She loves meeting with members of the community to educate them on options to pre-plan their funerals. As of August 2018, Sarah joined the staff at Caturia, Smidt & Starkson Funeral Home as a part of the collaborative effort to merge the two Hastings funeral homes.

Sarah enjoys volunteering at Sharing and Caring Hands and is also actively engaged with her children's school, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School. She has been a co-chair of the Spring Fling Committee, which is the largest, annual fundraiser for the school. Sarah currently serves as the Vice President of the Hastings Catholic Education Foundation Board.

In her free time, Sarah enjoys traveling and attending her children’s sporting events, along with cooking and reading and relaxing by the pool.

Meghan Larson

Pre-Need Advisor
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Phone: 651-437-9419

Meghan is a 2011 graduate of Waseca High School and a 2015 graduate of Southwest Minnesota State University where she studied Business Marketing. She relocated to the Hastings area with her husband Clint in 2017. Meghan is Jesse Starkson's sister-in-law and is looking forward to working for our family owned business and getting involved with the community.

Jill Becker

Office Administrator
photo

Phone: 651-437-9419

Jill is the daughter of Bob and Gayle Caturia. She was born and raised in Hastings, Jill graduated from Hastings High School and went on to College with an interest in funeral service. She later graduated from the Medical Institute of Minnesota with an associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology, and worked for 21 years at the Hastings Veterinary Clinic. Jill has two wonderful sons, Tyler and Mason Martin, and is happily married to Pete Becker. She enjoys spending time with family and friends. Jill is proud to be back in her family roots working with Jesse Starkson who has the same professional vision that has always existed here at the Caturia-Smidt Funeral Home. She will strive to serve the community with the same compassion and integrity that the Funeral Home was built on.

Mary Wise

Funeral Director's Assistant
photo

Phone: 651-437-3752

Mary was 18 when she started working in the funeral business at a family-owned funeral home in South Minneapolis. The years she worked at that funeral home, they served over 2,000 families each year. While working there, she gained a great deal of knowledge about the funeral industry. At such a young age, she was exposed to many different situations which helped her to understand the need for personalized service. Mary knows firsthand how every family and every situation is unique.

While working at the funeral home she met Michael, and they were married 2 years later. Together, they managed a funeral home in Edina for 2 years. When they decided to start a family, she stayed home with their two children, Grace and Griffin. Michael and Mary moved back to Hastings, MN in 2001 and were the owners of Wise Family Funeral Home, until August of 2018 when they sold their funeral home to Jesse & Katie Starkson.

Along with working at the funeral home and being an active participant in her children’s’ busy schedules, Mary loves to volunteer her time in the Hastings community. Some of those wonderful opportunities to give back have been the Holiday Assistance Program, the Back to School Program at Hastings Family Service, and Sharing and Caring Hands. Mary currently delivers Meal on Wheels in the local community.

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