Meet Our Staff

Our staff provides excellent funeral planning services.

We have years of experience caring for families from all walks of life, cultures and faiths. Our unsurpassed staff and our family provide kind, caring, professional service. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession who are dedicated to excellence in service, adhere to the highest funeral industry standards, and have exceptional integrity. We consistently earn phenomenally high customer satisfaction survey results.

Our licensed, professional staff is here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call 401-539-2271 anytime. We will even come to you to make arrangements in the comfort of your home.

Prompt, compassionate service is always just a phone call away, where and when you need it.


John G. Weeden

John G. Weeden

Location Manager / Funeral Director - Embalmer

R.I. License # 1070

John G. Weeden of Ashaway and Rockville, Rhode Island is a Funeral Director/Embalmer and the Location Manager of both the Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home and S.R. Avery Funeral Home. He has been associated with both funeral homes since 1985.

He is a graduate of Chariho High School, Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science degree, and the former New England Institute of Anatomy and Sciences in Kenmore Square, Boston, now part of Mt. Ida College, Newton, Massachusetts.

John and his wife Janet (Mourninghan) Weeden are active members of the Westerly Yacht Club and Hopkinton Historical Society. Both attend St. Joseph Church in Hope Valley.

John volunteers and serves on the Hopkinton Animal Control Commission. He is a member of both the Rhode Island and National Funeral Directors Association. In his spare time, John enjoys spending time with his wife Janet, traveling, practicing yoga, working out at morning boot camp, and skeet and trap shooting at the Narragansett Gun Club.

Email: john.weeden@carriageservices.com


Michele J. Wegner

Michele J. Wegner

Managing Partner / Funeral Director - Embalmer

R.I. License #1242

Michele J. Wegner is a Funeral Director/Embalmer and the Managing Partner of both the Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home and S.R. Avery Funeral Home. She received her degree in Mortuary Science from Briarwood College, Southington, Connecticut in 2005 and has been a practicing funeral director ever since. She is a licensed funeral director in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Michigan and a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and Connecticut Funeral Directors Association. Prior to that, she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology/Chemistry from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana in 1997.

Michele is a U.S. Army veteran, serving as a Captain in the Army Engineer Corps, then working for the Stanley Works (Stanley Black & Decker) as a logistics and operations manager. She spends her free time exercising and traveling and is active in both the American Legion and the 82nd Airborne Division Association. Michele and her husband David Roden reside in Stonington, Connecticut.

Email: michele.wegner@carriageservices.com


Nicole Whittaker

Nicole Whittaker

Administrative Assistant

Nicole joined S.R Avery Funeral Home in March of 2016. She graduated from Chariho High School in 2002 and earned an Associate's Degree in Business from the Community College of Rhode Island. She is a member of  Kappa Beta Delta and is also a Notary Public.

Email: nicole.whittaker@carriageservices.com


Phil Smith

Phil Smith

Ambassador

Phil graduated from the Westerly (RI) High School in 1962 and the New England Technical Institute in 1963 with a certificate in Air Conditioning and Refrigeration. He was employed by General Dynamics Electric Boat Division for 42 years. At Electric Boat Division, he was a Weight Engineer responsible for the ballasting of submarines. He was also a Safety/OSHA Compliance Officer for the Division. His hobbies include auto racing; he was a NASCAR Track Steward for over 20 years at the Stafford Motor Speedway and the Waterford Speedbowl, both in Connecticut. He has been a boater for over 50 years and has cruised New England and New York waters extensively. He also has an antique car, a 1938 Ford, that he has restored.

Ray Smith

Ray Smith

Ambassador

Ray is the owner/operator of Bea Smith’s Clothing Company. He is a native of Westerly and a 1982 graduate of Westerly High School. He attended St. Michael’s College in Vermont before assuming ownership of the family business, Bea Smith’s, in 1984. Ray continues to grow this popular clothing company via direct sales to retirement communities and an e-commerce platform.

Ray is active in the business community of Westerly, serving as the Secretary of the Old Town Hall Museum. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Westerly-Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce and as past president of the Downtown Business Association.

Ray married his wife Sharon in 1994. They enjoy vacationing in Turks, Caicos and New Hampshire and sailing their Hobie and are devoted dog lovers. They are active parishioners of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Pawcatuck Connecticut. They reside in Bradford Rhode Island.

In his spare time, Ray enjoys hiking with his dog, relaxing at the beach, and collecting Lionel electric trains. He is a member of Rhode Island Mobile Sportfishermen and the New Haven Railroad Historical Society.

Courtney Sojka

Courtney Sojka

Ambassador

Courtney Sojka is a resident of Westerly, Rhode Island. Courtney graduated from Franklin County Technical School in 1988. From there, he proceeded to obtain training from multiple police academies to follow a career in law enforcement. Courtney was a police officer in Vernon, Vermont, as well as a Deputy Sheriff for the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, where he retired from in 2014. Since his retirement, Courtney has trained at National Advanced Training Center to be an Advanced Protective Security Specialist.

Michael O'Connor

Michael O'Connor

Ambassador

Michael O’Connor is a resident of Westerly, Rhode Island.  He grew up in Albany, New York and graduated from Albany Academy High School in 2008.  He is currently attending Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut working on a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.  He has also worked as a dock builder in the local area. 

In his free time, Michael is an avid golfer and enjoys spending time with his family. 


Christina (Davis) Sojka

Christina (Davis) Sojka

Ambassador

Christina (Davis) Sojka is a resident of Westerly, Rhode Island where she resides with her daughter, Courtney.  She is a 1995 graduate of Somers High School in Somers, CT. 

 

Since starting in the workforce Christina’s focus has been exemplary customer service, which she has received awards for.  Christina has held Connecticut licenses in both real estate and insurance and is pursuing her real estate license in the State of Rhode Island.

 

Christina is a parishioner of Curtis Corner Baptist Church in Wakefield, RI.  She is devoted to her family and friends also loves travelling, gardening, and auto racing. Multiple times a year Christina also volunteers her time to raise money and awareness for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and The Terry Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation; where she also participates in the TBBCF half marathon walk yearly.


Brian Browne

Brian Browne

Ambassador

Brian Browne of North Stonington, CT joined S.R Avery Funeral Home in August of 2017. He is a graduate of Wheeler High School and attended Western CT State College. Brian has over 40 years of training and experience in repair, maintenance and operation of mechanical equipment including automobiles, submarines and power plants. He also currently works for James Thompson Lumber in Hopkinton, RI.


Zachary Perrin

Zachary Perrin

Ambassador

Zachary Perrin of Westerly, RI joined S.R Avery Funeral Home in December 2017. Zac is a Chariho High School Graduate and is also employed with General Dynamics Electric Boat. 


Robert Kirkland

Robert Kirkland

Ambassador


Bob Kirkland of Westerly, RI joined S.R. Funeral Home in August of 2018.  He is a retired physical education teacher at Exeter/West Greenwich schools.  He later was in retail selling convenience items to various stores and gas stations.  He enjoys spending his free time with his family and friends.



Bret Fensley

Bret Fensley

Ambassador

Bret M. Fensley of Canterbury, CT joined S.R. Funeral Home in July of 2018.  He is a graduate of Griswold High School in Griswold, CT and currently enrolled in the Funeral Service program at Goodwin College in East Hartford, CT


Benjamin Hanssen

Benjamin Hanssen

Ambassador


Benjamin R. Hanssen of Westerly, RI joined S.R. Funeral Home in September of 2018.  He is a graduate of Westerly High School and currently enrolled at the Community College of Rhode Island. 



Angela Cornell

Angela Cornell

Ambassador


Angela E. Cornell of Bradford, RI joined S.R. Funeral Home in September of 2018.  She is a graduate of Chariho High School. She had previously worked in Customer Service for JCPenney and as a Pastry Chef for local restaurants in the Westerly area for many years. Angela is also a Notary Public.



Katlin Hermann

Katlin Hermann

Ambassador


Katlin A. Hermann of Westerly, RI joined S.R. Funeral Home in October of 2018.  She is a graduate of Plainville High School in Plainville, CT and currently enrolled at Post University, Waterbury, CT in Criminal Justice.  She has previously worked as an EMT for Plymouth Ambulance along with employment with various companies in the service industry.   



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