Our Staff

W. Byron Calhoun

President - Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

W. Byron Calhoun is President of Calhoun Funeral Home & Cremation Service, LLC.  He has been a licensed Funeral Director, Embalmer and Life Insurance Agent for over 15 years.

Before moving to Cleveland, he worked with his father, William Calhoun, as a Director with The Stewart & Calhoun Funeral Home, Inc. in Akron.

Byron received his AAS from The Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, his BA from Morehouse College, and his MBA from Baldwin Wallace College School of Business.

Byron has received numerous awards for his community involvement, evidenced by his volunteer service on many charitable boards, including the Akron Urban League, Child Guidance Center and Family Solutions and The Kappa Foundation. He is a proud member of The House of the Lord Church, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and The Morehouse College National Alumni Association.

His wife Alison Graves-Calhoun is a PhD, Principal Scientist with Medtronic, Inc. and together they have one daughter, Amaia.

Allen M. Siverls

Vice President - Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

Allen Siverls, CFSP is Vice President at Calhoun Funeral Home and Cremation Services.  He holds a Funeral Directors and Embalmers License in three states and is Life Insurance Licensed.

He received his MBA from Clarkson University and a BA from St. Lawrence University.  He has an Associate’s Degree in Applied Technical Science from Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science.

Allen was previously the President & CEO of The Triumph Group, LLC, a funeral home Consulting Company; President & COO, VP of Corporate Development and VP of Operations for Concord Family Services, a funeral home Management & Acquisition Company; Territory Manager for Batesville Casket Company; New York District Sales Manager & Philadelphia District Sales Manager for American Greetings Company.

He is a Lifetime Member of the National Black MBA Association, the National Sales Network, the National Funeral Directors and Mortician Association, the American Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice (APFSP), and Toastmasters International.

Allen also completed the Strategic Planning Certification Courses with the American Management Association, Executive Training at Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, and The University of Chicago.

Arthur Baker, Jr.

Arthur Baker is a licensed Stockbroker, Life/Health Insurance Agent and a professional Realtor. Families value his sales, management, human resources and legal knowledge.

A graduate from Cleveland State University, Arthur then received a Master’s of Science in Organization Development from Case Western Reserve University.

Arthur has served on Boards for the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, City of Cleveland Small Business/Minority Incubator, City of Mayfield Heights Tax Incentive Council, East Suburban Housing Council, Black Professionals Association, NAACP, United Way, Cleveland Opera, Karamu House, East High School Alumni Association, Case Western Reserve Alumni, Marcus Garvey Academy Middle School, Lane Metropolitan C.M.E. Church, National Brotherhood of Skiers and the Great Lakes Pinochle Club.

James A. Forney Jr.

Licensed Apprentice Embalming & Funeral Director

James A. Forney Jr. is a Licensed Apprentice Embalming & Funeral Director at Calhoun Funeral Home & Cremation Service. James holds a BS from Youngstown State University and is a licensed Life & Health agent.

James is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., The House of the Lord Church, Mt. Calvary Lodge No. 76, NAACP, Urban League, and student member of the National Funeral Directors Association.

Before graduating from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, James worked as an Account Executive with the Xerox Corporation in Cleveland and spent 20 years working in sales & training with Johnson & Johnson, Lilly and Merck.

James and his wife Cindy A. Forney have one son, James.

Kymberly Upchurch

Licensed Funeral Director/Lakeshore Office Manager

Kymberly Upchurch is a Licensed Apprentice Embalming and Funeral Director as well as the Office Manager of our Lakeshore location. She graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University before attending Cincinnati School of Mortuary Science.  Prior to working at Calhoun, Kym gained experience with Naegeles Funeral Home in Cincinnati.

Kym enjoys spending time with her three wonderful children and family.

Linda D. White

Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer.  She is a graduate of East High (Blue Bombers) in Cleveland, Ohio.  Linda graduated from Cuyahoga Community College, received her Associate in Law Enforcement.

She was employed with Cuyahoga County Department of Human Services for over 22 years, where she retired to go back to school for a second career in the funeral industry.

She received her Associate and Bachelor of Arts Degrees from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, she brings knowledge and experience with her from working in the funeral industry for over 16 years.

She attends New Life Gospel Center, where as she is very active in the church serving as a Board Member, Deaconess and Altar attendant.

She has received various awards for her involvement in and around the community.

She is a devoted wife, mother, grandmother.

Shaniqua D. Cole

Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

Shaniqua D. Cole was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.  She earned her Associate of Arts as well as Sciences, at the Cuyahoga Community College, June, 2012.  Soon after, she earned her Associate in Applied Mortuary Science at The Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, then off to her Bachelor in Mortuary Science, December, 2013.  Shaniqua is a proud, licensed, Funeral Director and Embalmer in the state of Ohio.  She is dedicated in volunteering in her community and helping children; she has been a volunteer at a local daycare center for over 8 years.  Shaniqua is so passionate on helping children that she plans on opening her own daycare center in the near future.  Shaniqua enjoys spending time with her “bouncing baby boy ” Ethan, family and friends.

Fredricka “Dee” Jones

Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer

Fredricka “Dee” Jones is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer at Calhoun Funeral Home & Cremation Service.  She holds a License in both Ohio and Pennsylvania with a License in Life/Health Insurance.

She received her BA in Biology from Kent State University and is finishing her Master’s in Forensic Science and also a Master’s in Educational Leadership.  Dee has an Associate’s Degree in Applied Specialized Technology from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science (PIMS) where she was Salutatorian and Class President of Class #124.

Dee is a lifetime member of the Mu Sigma Alpha Honors fraternity at PIMS where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.  She is also a member of City Reach Church Cleveland where she serves on the Worship Team.  Dee was also recognized by the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association for being mortuary student recovery volunteer for 9/11 in Shanksville.

Dee enjoys spending time with her family and daughter, Alexa

Debbie Biggins

Insurance Specialist/Rockside Office Manager

Debbie Biggins works part time at Calhoun Funeral Home as the Insurance Specialist and Office Manager of our Rockside location. She is a retired Vice President of KeyBank Corp and the owner of Exquisite Floral Design. Her work has been featured in the Plain Dealer and the Painesville News for her exquisite and beautiful designs.

Debbie is married to Donald Biggins and the mother of 3 children.

Voncille Oliver

Care Center Assistant

Voncille Oliver is currently studying to become a licensed mortician at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. Having worked for United Airlines, Brecksville Clinic and several funeral homes in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, she brings corporate, health and funeral home experience to Calhoun.

Her dedication to quality service, understanding of customer needs and anticipation of mourners’ concerns are a few of the many positive impressions Voncille makes on Calhoun Funeral Home families.

Cynthia P. Owens

Lakeshore Insurance Specialist

Cynthia Porter Owens a native of Montezuma, Georgia.  Attended the D.F. Douglas High School and graduated with honors.

Cynthia attended Sinclair Community College, In Dayton, Ohio and graduated with an Associate Degree in Business Administration.

Cynthia brings to the Calhoun Funeral Home twenty-six years of banking and Customer Service Experience.

Cynthia is the wife of Dr. A.L. Owens, Senior Pastor of the Second Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church.  Mother of one Son Bishop Brandon L. Owens and a Grandmother of three.

Shermaine (Sherry) Oliver

Rockside Obituary Specialist

Sherry brings over 32 years of corporate experience to Calhoun Funeral Home & Cremation Service.  An expert in personnel, human resources, support services, and public affairs, Sherry’s experiences help her meet the needs of families that entrust us with the care of their love ones.

Sherry attends Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church and is President of the Deaconess Board.  She sits on the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Executive Board, and is a member of the National Action Network and NAACP organizations.

Latifa Norma Wilson

Rockside Memorial Video and In-House Obituary Specialist

Latifa Norma Wilson has a wealth of experience in office administration from the public and private sector and an extensive background in interpersonal communications with bereaved individuals. For over 20 years, Latifa has excelled in providing prompt customer service and efficient office management.  She is  also a professional photographer and loves to capture the best in everyone.

A graduate of East High School and attended Tri-C and John Carroll University. She  walks to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s, Breast Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus and The Ministry of Hope AIDS Awareness.

She and her husband, Kenneth, have four adult children:  Nicole, Mario, Kevin and Leslie.


Neisha Perry-Jackson

Rockside Receptionist

Neisha Jackson is a native Clevelander and a graduate of John Adams High School.  She brings over 50 years of customer service and office administration experience from private, corporate and non-profit sectors to the Calhoun family.  Neisha obtained a multi-disciplinary under-graduate degree in Business and Human Resources from Capital University, Master of Arts in Psychology specializing in Diversity Management from Cleveland State University and Certification from NTL (National Training Laboratories) Institute for Applied Behavioral Science.

Neisha received her first experience in office administration and was the first black to run the front office of the Shaker Heights Country Club in 1965.  She retired from ALCOA in 2003 after 30 years of service.  In 2005 she volunteered with the Cleveland Branch of the NAACP where she became the Assistant Director in 2006.

She is on Trustee Board for the Real Gospel Missionary Baptist Church, member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), V.P. of the Alcoa 25 yr. Club and volunteered with the State of Ohio Ombudsman and Cuyahoga Hill Boys School.

Neisha has two children and six grandchildren.  Her daughter and son (in-law) reside in Snellville, Ga with their three sons and her son and three daughters reside in Cleveland.

Lynn Mauldin

Rockside Receptionist

Susan Lynn Mauldin is a native of Bluefield, West Virginia and moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1968.  She graduated from East High School moving onto work at Metro Health Hospital for 9 years as a Medical Assistant.  Susan then transferred to Cleveland Clinic where she has continued to flourish for the past twenty years, in the pharmacy Department as a Revenue Cycle Specialist.

Susan’s love of caring for others lead her to working for The Calhoun Funeral Home.  Her passions doesn’t end there, Susan also enjoys to bake with her specialties being wedding and birthday cakes.

Susan is a devoted member of St. Timothy Baptist Church.

Susan is the proud mother of three wonderful children and five grandchildren.

Vivian M. Mitchell

Aftercare and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist

Vivian M. Mitchell has been with Calhoun Funeral Home for over a year. In 2010, she retired from her full time career after 39 years of service.

A strong Christian and a devoted wife for 42 years, Vivian is a mother to three the youngest of which has gone to be with the Lord and a grandmother to five.

Melanie Treece

Lakeshore Receptionist and Death Certificate Specialist

Melanie Treece is a graduate of East High School where she played sports and majored in cooperative office education.  She is currently employed full-time with the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office as a Case Manager and part-time with the Calhoun Funeral Home.  Melanie is a member of the Nation of Islam where she takes pride in her spiritual studies.  She is a mother and grandmother and is active in her community.

Tina Rice

Marketing Specialist & Brand Ambassador

Tina Rice is President of T Rice Communications with over 25 years of corporate marketing and media experience. After a successful career with Viacom, CBS and Radio One, she started her own company in 2007. Tina has worked on creative local marketing campaigns for Dr. Pepper, Coca-Cola and T-Mobile.

Tina is responsible for the placement of the first “Fully Wrapped” Bus on the streets of Cleveland for the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority. Tina is committed to connecting small business owners with corporate partners to decrease the disparities in the business community.

Tina is the acting Marketing Director for the Christian Business League and a proud Glenville High School Tarblooder.

Reverend Marvin J. Walker

Driver Scheduling and Maintenance Manager

Reverend Marvin J. Walker is a Cleveland native and has dedicated himself to serving his community.

Rev. Walker is a graduate of East Tech High School. He attended Cuyahoga Community College, The Warren Bible School and the Cleveland Police Academy, for Supervisory training. Rev. Walker retired from the City of Cleveland, Division of Police.

As a former pastor, he is the first Vice President of Christian Education for the Progressive Baptist District. Rev. Walker is on the faculty of the National Baptist Congress, USA, Inc. as an Instructor in Department of Theology. He is a minister at the Second Ebenezer Baptist Church and a member of Cleveland’s SCLC and NAACP.

He was elected to the County’s Democratic Party’s Executive committee and is the Secretary of the Baptist Pastor’s Council.

He is married to Mary Liggins Walker and is the proud father of two children and two grandchildren.

Heidi Redd

Hostess and Driver

Heidi Redd has been a Licensed Social Worker with the State of Ohio since 1984 and has worked in many capacities in community service. A graduate of Tri-C, she is currently in the Theology Program at Ursuline College.  Heidi offers families knowledge on how to cope during life’s most difficult moments.

She is married to Bilal Akram and has four children and ten grandchildren.

Denise Simms

Hostess, Driver and Family Care Specialist

Denise E. Simms was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio.  The only child of the late Dennis and Regina Parks

A graduate of Martin Luther King Law and Public Magnet High School, Denise attended Cuyahoga Community College where she majored in psychology, receiving her Associate of Art Degree.  She is currently continuing her education at Cleveland State University majoring in Criminology, earning her Bachelor’s Degree.

In her spare time she loves shopping for clothes and shoes , traveling, and spending time with her grandmother Mrs. Ruby Henderson.

Denise helps support our families through her kind spirit, understanding heart, compassion, and her readiness to go above and beyond for whomever she encounters.

Antonio Harris

Rockside Maintenance and Transfer Team Member

Antonio Harris is a proud Cleveland native who attended West Tech High School.  He worked for twelve years in the environment services department at Metro Health Hospital before joining the team here at The Calhoun Funeral Home.

Mr. Harris is the father of four and enjoys spending time with family and friends and riding his Harley Davidson.

David C. Shannon

Escort, Transfer Team Member, Driver and Usher

Mr. David Shannon was born and raised in Cleveland and has lived in Maple Hills for the past 20 years.  He graduated John F. Kennedy High School before serving in the United States Air Force.  Since being honorably discharged, he has worked in the Cleveland community with the goal of giving back to his hometown.

He has been married for 25 years.

Rasheed Shabazz

Escort, Transfer Team Member, Driver and Usher

Rasheed Shabazz first worked with Mr. Calhoun at Stewart & Calhoun Funeral Home in Akron before joining the Calhoun Funeral Home in Cleveland.

After 16 years in the funeral industry, Rasheed is currently in pursuit of his Mortician license upon completion of Mortuary School.

Rasheed was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corps and has been a dedicated member of the Nation of Islam for over 25 years.

Melvin Edwards

Transfer Team Member, Vital Specialist and Driver

Melvin Edwards has been a small business owner for eight years and a supervisor at Hospital Specialty Company for the past fourteen years.  Melvin is a native Clevelander and a graduate of East High School.

He attends Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church.

Michael Winlock

Driver and Usher

Michael Winlock is a proud Funeral Associate at Calhoun Funeral Home and Cremation Service.

A native of Cleveland and graduate of John F. Kennedy High School, Michael attended Cuyahoga Community College and later was honorably discharged from the United States Marine Corp.

For 15 years, he owned the Togo Suite Night Club and was employed at the Cotton Clun Bottling Company, American Vineyard and now the Atlas Bonding.

Jamal Oden

Driver and Usher

Jamal Oden offers a sense of security and comfort to the families we serve. He has been the Owner/Operator of a community-based Life Center working with youth and families since 1977.

Jamal and his wife, Debra are members of East View United Church of Christ, in Shaker Heights. He serves as Deacon and works with Debra in the Christian Education Department.

Donald Biggins

Driver and Usher

Donald Biggins brings professional landscaping, transportation and sales management experience to Calhoun.

A graduate of East Technical High School, Donald attended Case Western Reserve University and Cuyahoga Community College where he majored in Physical Education, Law Enforcement and Sales.

An active supporter of scholarship programs with the East Technical High School Alumni Association, Donald’s work ethic, attention to detail and dependability are assets he shares with families served by Calhoun Funeral Home.

Manley Dunbar

Driver and Usher

Manley D. Dunbar was born in Cleveland and christened at Antioch Baptist Church.

A graduate of John Adams High School, Manley attended Kent State University and completed his education at Cleveland State University. He achieved success in the field of housing and real estate as the co-founder of Parkhill Realty.

When Congress passed the first Section 8 Housing Assistance Bill, Manley was appointed the first Director of the program and finished his career as Specification Specialist for the Ohio Turnpike Commission at the Headquarters in Berea.

Manley was the first African-American appointed to the National Leased Housing Association based in Washington, D.C. and served on the Board of Housing and Redevelopment Officials as a Certified Property Manager.

He was an active board member of Campbell Court, a senior housing complex in Shaker Heights.

Now Manley sings in the Antioch Baptist Church Sanctuary Choir and is a member of The John Adams Black Heritage Alumni Association. He is also a devoted husband, father and stepfather.

Curtis A. Franklin

Driver and Usher

Curtis Franklin is a Shaker Heights graduate and holds a B.S. from Indiana State University.  He is currently employed with the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Juvenile Division as a Detention Officer, Probation Officer, and Youth Development Coordinator.  He is a member of Kappa-Alpha psi Fraternity Inc., Kappa Guide Right Youth Program, Youth Mentor, “Lionel Reed” Sunbeam School Xmas Gift Program, and “Lamont S. Johnson Kappa Choir”.  Curtis attends Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, where he is a member of the Male Chorus, the Anniversary Choir and Church Security Team.

George Mixon

Driver and Usher

George Mixon brings a professional demeanor and strong work ethic to Calhoun Funeral Home.

A graduate of Cuyahoga Community College, George served in the U.S. Air Force for four years. He was the owner and operator of a barbershop for 24 years, and worked as a letter carrier for the U.S. Post Office where he retired after 37 years.

He is a member of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church, an avid ballroom dancer, and enjoys bike riding and roller-skating.  He is a widower and has three wonderful children.

Robert M. Heard, Sr.

Driver and Usher

Robert M. Heard, Sr. is the immediate past chairman and current member of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Board of Education. He worked for State Farm Insurance Company as a bodily injury adjuster and fraud investigator for 20 years.

Robert earned his BA from Cleveland State University and his title of Fellow from the Broad Institute. He completed the Executive Leadership Program for Educators at Harvard University and has been an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity since 1970.

He and his wife, Gennorris, resides in the Historic Wade Park District of Cleveland with their two daughters.

Burnell R. Miller

Driver and Usher

Burnell has been an associate with Calhoun Funeral Home for three years. He is a 1976 graduate of John Hay High School and attended Ohio and Cleveland State Universities.

A Cleveland native and an avid Browns, Cavaliers, and Indians fan, Burnell also works with R.T.A. and the Cleveland Browns stadium.

Burnell is a member of The Historic Greater Friendship Baptist Church.

Reverend Henry M. Mitchell

Driver and Usher

Reverend Henry M. Mitchell worked at General Motors for 41 years, but his true calling is serving the Lord. Reverend Henry has been in ministry for 43 years and a Pastor for 27 years, 19 of which have been at Faith United Baptist Church. He serves as the First Vice President of the Calvary Hill Baptist District Association of Ohio.

Reverend Henry and his wife Vivian have been married for 42 years. Together they had three children, the youngest of which has gone to be with the Lord, and five grandchildren.

Kenneth A. Troutman

Driver, Usher and Transfer Team Member

Kenneth A. Troutman has worked in funeral service for many years.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Kenneth relocated to Cleveland over 25 years ago.

He is now retired from Yellow Freight Trucking Company as a Union Representative and active member of Temple Baptist Church.

He dedicates his time to his children and grandchildren.

Reverend Gregory L. Gilbert

Driver and Usher

Reverend Gregory L. Gilbert is a native of Cleveland.

Rev. Gilbert is a graduate of Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights Public School System.  He attended the American Baptist College and is an ordained minister and member of Greater Galilee Baptist Church.

Rev. Gilbert and his wife, Betty, visit nursing homes and rehab facilities weekly and carry out church service for elderly and infirmed.  They visit the sick and shut-ins in hospitals.

Rev. Gilbert, along with his recently departed father, William H. Gilbert, Sr. owned and operated Gilbert and Gilbert Construction, LLC performing all phases of masonry for residential and commercial projects. During the winter months Rev. Gilbert operate Gilbert and Gilbert Snow Removal.

He and his wife Betty Marcus-Gilbert are proud parents of two sons and one daughter.  They have two grandchildren.

Ronald Bass

Driver and Usher

Ronald Bass is a lifetime resident of Cleveland. He majored in Physical Education at Ohio University and was manager of Sterling Recreation Center for 30 years before retiring in 2007. He also worked for 11 years as a Public Safety Dispatcher at Cuyahoga Community College.

He is a certified basketball referee with the state of Ohio. He often transported young adults to major sporting events, such as games with the Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Cleveland Indians sponsored by the city.

Minister Leon Atkins

Driver and Usher

Leon Atkins worked for thirty years for The Lake County Commissioners.  He tired as the Assistant Superintendent of the Lake County Garage.

Leon currently attends Lakeland Community College part-time and is an active member of union Pentecoatsl Church, under the leadership of Bishop James Koonce.

A graduate of Spring Garden Automotive Institute with an Automotive Certification (three and a half years).

Past President of the Lake County N.A.A.C.P.

Proud father of four daughters and grandfather of seven