Our Staff

At Cole Funeral Services, our family is here to help yours. We pride ourselves on caring, compassionate and committed staff who have attained the highest levels of accreditation and professional practices in our industry.

Laurie Cole

President and Funeral Director

Laurie is a fourth generation descendant of John Cole, founder of the original Pinecrest Remembrance Services which was established in 1924. In addition to her tireless service to Ottawa through the Rotary Club of Ottawa Kanata Sunrise, she has also served on the Board of Directors of the Cremation Association of North America. A mother of two, Laurie is a country girl at heart and has even earned a college diploma as a veterinary technologist.

Mark Steele

Managing Funeral Director

Mark has been a stalwart member of the Cole Funeral Services family since he joined in 1999. An active father of three girls, he is an avid hockey, baseball and football fan.

Mark has also distinguished himself as a member of the Board of Bereaved Families of Ottawa and as chair of the Health Promotion of the Heart and Stroke Foundation, West Ottawa Chapter.

Melanie macewen

Senior Funeral Director

Melanie was born and raised in Ottawa.  She graduated from St. Pius X High school and went on to become a licensed Funeral Director in 1995.  A part of the Ottawa funeral services community throughout her career, she joined Cole Funeral Services in 2008. Melanie resides in Barrhaven with her husband Greg and her children William & Mallory.

Cynthia Nichols

Funeral Director

Originally from Almonte, Cynthia was educated both at Mount Royal University in Calgary and at Toronto’s Humber College.

Now a mother of two, she continues to live near her family’s farm, where she enjoys an outdoors-oriented life. Cynthia brings unparalleled professionalism and compassion to our family.

Kevin Heaps


Kevin is Chief Financial Officer of Cole Funeral Services and holds office on the Board of Directors as Secretary Treasurer.  Kevin has been with the Cole family for over thirty years.  

Kevin was born and raised in Ottawa, and currently resides in Almonte. Kevin enjoys playing guitar and is an avid golfer.

Richard Hewitt

Funeral Director

Originally from Perth, since joining the Cole Funeral Services Family, Richard has continued to bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his work ever since.

Richard is also an enthusiastic golfer and hunter who enjoys reading.

Michelle Vanderploeg
Pre-Planning Funeral Director

A graduate of the Humber College Funeral Service Education Program, class of 2001. Born and raised on a farm in Delhi, Ontario, Michelle relocated to Ottawa in 2003 where she met her husband Mark and now resides in Osgoode with their daughters Avery and Alana. In her spare time she is an avid sports enthusiast, participating in softball, figure skating, and teaching boxing and kickboxing.

Amy Lascelle

administrative assistant

Amy, born and raised in Ottawa, graduated from Canterbury High School 2000 with honours, then went on to Herzing College where she obtained her Business Management Diploma. She resides in Metcalfe with her fiancée John and her 2 children Noah and Kaity-Mae. She has been  working with the Cole Family since 2012 as an Administrative Assistant. In her spare time, she can be found at their family cottage on the Big Rideau. Amy also enjoys reading, boating, fishing, gardening and spending time with her family and friends.

Ted Rigby

Funeral Director

Born and raised in Kemptville, Ted has always been connected to the Ottawa community and surrounding areas.

A proud father, sports enthusiast and volunteer hockey coach, Ted is an integral part of the Cole Funeral Services family.