Mark L. Justen
funeral director and owner, Justen Funeral Homes, McHenry, Illinois, died March 29, 2020, at age 66. After three years of studying sports medicine at Indiana State University, Justen switched his career path and joined the family funeral home as the fourth generation. Graduating from Worsham College of Mortuary Science, he worked alongside his sister and father at George R. Justen & Son Funeral Home in McHenry. In 1978, funeral home management was transitioned to Justen, and his father and sister left funeral service.
Recognizing the need early, Justen installed a crematory at the McHenry funeral home in 1983 and served the cremation needs of 15 area firms. In 1985, he purchased Wonder Lake Funeral Home, and in 1989 Round Lake Funeral Home.
Justen oversaw the relocation of George R. Justen & Son to a new McHenry location and renamed it Justen Funeral Home & Crematory.
Justen was a member of the McHenry fire service for 49 years and ultimately became a fire trustee with the McHenry Township Fire Protection District.
Justen also joined in disaster mortuary affairs with the Illinois Funeral Directors Association, serving with the Illinois Disaster Response Team before its merger with the federal response unit into the Disaster-Mortuary Operational Response Team. While with D-MORT, Justen was activated to serve for Hurricane Katrina; the American Eagle Flight 4184 crash near Rensselaer, Indiana; the Bourbonnais train derailment; and the World Trade Center terrorist attack (Justen was deployed to New York City over a nine-month period).
He is survived by wife Nancy, firm funeral director; sons Robert, also firm funeral director, and Alex; and sister Krista.