Our Team


     Serving Pana


Tom & Mayola Dean


Raised in Witt, Illinois and a graduate of Witt High School, Tom Dean attended Greenville College and later graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago. Tom’s wife, Mayola, was raised in Coffeen and Hillsboro and is a graduate of Hillsboro High School. The Deans are active in civic organizations and have served on the boards of Pana Community Hospital, Pana Community Hospital Foundation, Pana Community Hospital Auxiliary, Pana Chamber of Commerce, Pana Industrial Development Corporation, and Christian County Economic Development. An avid collector of John Deere tractors and farm equipment, Tom has served as emcee at many community events and fundraisers over the years; and together, the Deans have worked tirelessly to serve in, give back to, and strengthen the city of Pana and its neighboring communities.



Brenda Parker
Manager / Funeral Director
(217) 562-2116


A native of Jacksonville, Illinois, and a graduate of Carl Sandburg College, where she received her Associate Degree in Applied Mortuary Science, Brenda admittedly “loves what she does” and the “wonderful staff that works great together”. In fact, Brenda cherishes the funeral home’s collective goal of making a family’s difficult time “go as smoothly as possible”. Not only is this compassion and love shown daily to grieving families, but it is especially given to her daughter Sam and son-in-law, Wes. Brenda treasures her time spent with family and she also enjoys caring for her pets, especially her cat, Frosty and any other animals that might wander into her yard, such as deer, squirrels, foxes, and her “semi-feral” cat. If Brenda were not functioning as a funeral director, she would likely be applying her time to animals by fulfilling her dream as a zookeeper. When Brenda is not working, she can be found at craft shows, helping and serving in her church, and enjoying outdoor family activities such as fishing and hiking through the woods. For 19 years, Brenda worked for Capitol Records / EMI Music, serving in many roles, even as a forklift operator, but her love for family and community and the desire to work and serve in the funeral industry brought her to Pana, where “small town values and a willingness to come together to show support” are staples of her adopted community.




Jacci Ishmael
Office Manager
(217) 562-2116


Jacci was raised in a small town of 500 people, where as she so aptly put it, “everyone knew everything about you and everyone knew each other”. Those early years spent in Tower Hill instituted within her an appreciation for small, rural towns, and it allowed her to appreciate Pana’s strong sense of community, where everyone “stands by each other and supports one another”. As the Office Manager for McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Jacci shows this support daily to her community by caring for and helping families and individuals during the most difficult time of their lives. Jacci received her Associate Degree in Business Administration from Lake Land College in Mattoon, and later graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor Degree in Finance. When she is not at work, Jacci can be found watching movies, shopping, and spending time with her two girls, Maggie and Lucy. When asked what she would love to be doing if she weren’t working at McCracken-Dean Funeral Home, Jacci quickly deferred to her fondness for Florida and her love for family and said, “I would move to Florida with my family and work for the Walt Disney Company”.



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