Staff

Our dedicated staff members are here to provide support, compassion, and information to help you through your journey of grief and the celebration of your loved one’s life.

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Wes Burkart Owner/Licensed Funeral Director

Wes Burkart joined Thompson-Larson as a Licensed Funeral Director in 1983. A North Dakota native, Wes graduated from Carrington High School in 1978 and attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks for two years. He started his career in the funeral industry in 1980 as an employee of the Erickson-Vik Funeral Home in Fertile, Minnesota, for one year.

In 1981, Wes went on to complete his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mortuary Science at the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1983. While attending the U of M, he was employed with Bradshaw Funeral & Cremation Services in St. Paul, Minnesota.

With over 36 years of service in Minot and the surrounding area, Wes remains an active partner in all aspects of funeral home management at Thompson-Larson. 

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Bruce Kramer Owner/Business Manager

Bruce Kramer, a 1980 graduate of Bishop Ryan High School, Minot joined Thompson-Larson in 1984 after completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Minot State University. Coming from a large family with strong roots in the Minot area, Bruce is a familiar face among the many families requesting the professional services of Thompson-Larson. He is an active partner in the firm and has served as Business Manager, Pre-Needs Advisor and Funeral Service Assistant for the 35 past years.

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Kelly Sorensen Owner/Licensed Funeral Director

Kelly Sorensen, a Minot native, joined the Thompson-Larson staff in 2000 as a funeral service assistant while attending Minot State University. Kelly graduated from Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon in 2004. Kelly returned to Thompson-Larson, and has been a licensed funeral director since 2005.

Kelly and his wife Lauri make their home in Minot and enjoy spending time with their children.

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Ben Slind Owner/Licensed Funeral Director

Ben Slind, a life-long Minot resident, has been a member of our professional staff of licensed funeral directors since June of 2004.

Ben graduated from Minot High School in 1995. In May of 2000, he graduated with a B.S. degree in Business Management from Minot State University. In June of 2001, he graduated with honors with an Applied Associates Degree in Funeral Service Education from Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, OR. He has been a licensed funeral director in Minot since November of 2001.

He also specializes in assisting those who want to make pre-arrangements for their funeral or for those of a loved one. In 2008, Ben attained his North Dakota Insurance Producers License in order to assist those who wish to set up a life insurance policy for their funeral or for those who need to set aside burial funds to comply with ND Medicaid guidelines.

On August 1, 2017, Ben became an owner of Thompson-Larson Funeral Homes.

Ben is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Minot Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Regents at Minot State University, and was elected to serve as the NW District Governor for the North Dakota Funeral Director's Association.

Ben and his wife, Jennifer, are blessed with two daughters: Eve and Avery. Ben's mother is LaVon "Voni" Slind; his father is Ron (Karla) Slind; his brother is Josh Slind; his sister is Ashley Stevens; and his grandmother is Mildred Slind; all of Minot.

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Shandi Isaacson Licensed Funeral Director

Shandi Isaacson was born and raised in Portland, OR. She graduated in 2014 from Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, OR with an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service Education. Shandi has been a member of our licensed funeral director staff since September of 2015.

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Ben Staley Licensed Funeral Director

Benjamin Staley, a native of west central Ohio, relocated to Minot with his family from Fort Lauderdale, FL in September 2013.

He has been a licensed funeral director since 2005. Ben graduated from James A. Rhodes State College with an Associate’s degree in Business Management in 2002 and a Bachelor's degree in Mortuary Science from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in 2004. He is also a certified crematory operator from Matthews International crematory division.

After having served a year apprenticeship in Sylvania, OH, he was brought on as a new funeral director. However after a brief vacation while visiting his older brother in Fort Lauderdale, FL during the wintertime, he decided to give sunny South Florida a try. After being there for about a year and a half that is when he met his beautiful wife Christine in late 2008. They got engaged and then married in June 2010. They have a precocious 9 year old little girl named Paisley Sue and a proud new father to a little boy named Leopold Alistair born June 2019.

During his spare time, Ben stays active with his love of all kinds of sports by playing at Oak and Roosevelt Park with his little girl. He is also a history buff and avid reader of both history and anything Cincinnati Reds.

Ben is a member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus, both of Minot.

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Jessica Hanson Secretary

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Braden Bierman Funeral Service Assistant - Minot

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John Leddon Funeral Service Assistant - Minot

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Larry Sorenson Funeral Assistant - Minot

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Joe Aberle Funeral Assistant - Minot

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Diane Wittmayer Funeral Assistant - Minot

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Voni Slind Funeral Service Assistant - Minot

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Ruth Zaback Funeral Service Assistant - Minot

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Jim Schoemer Funeral Service Assistant - Kenmare

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Jackie Schoemer Funeral Service Assistant - Kenmare

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Judy Weber Visitation Assistant - Minot

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Audrey Williams Visitation Assistant - Minot

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Sally Butgereit Visitation Assistant - Minot

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Eunice Wunderlich Visitation Assistant - Velva

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Lori Neubauer Funeral Assistant

Wes Burkart

Owner/Licensed Funeral Director
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Wes Burkart joined Thompson-Larson as a Licensed Funeral Director in 1983. A North Dakota native, Wes graduated from Carrington High School in 1978 and attended the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks for two years. He started his career in the funeral industry in 1980 as an employee of the Erickson-Vik Funeral Home in Fertile, Minnesota, for one year.

In 1981, Wes went on to complete his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mortuary Science at the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1983. While attending the U of M, he was employed with Bradshaw Funeral & Cremation Services in St. Paul, Minnesota.

With over 36 years of service in Minot and the surrounding area, Wes remains an active partner in all aspects of funeral home management at Thompson-Larson. 

Bruce Kramer

Owner/Business Manager
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Bruce Kramer, a 1980 graduate of Bishop Ryan High School, Minot joined Thompson-Larson in 1984 after completing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Minot State University. Coming from a large family with strong roots in the Minot area, Bruce is a familiar face among the many families requesting the professional services of Thompson-Larson. He is an active partner in the firm and has served as Business Manager, Pre-Needs Advisor and Funeral Service Assistant for the 35 past years.

Kelly Sorensen

Owner/Licensed Funeral Director
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Kelly Sorensen, a Minot native, joined the Thompson-Larson staff in 2000 as a funeral service assistant while attending Minot State University. Kelly graduated from Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon in 2004. Kelly returned to Thompson-Larson, and has been a licensed funeral director since 2005.

Kelly and his wife Lauri make their home in Minot and enjoy spending time with their children.

Ben Slind

Owner/Licensed Funeral Director
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Ben Slind, a life-long Minot resident, has been a member of our professional staff of licensed funeral directors since June of 2004.

Ben graduated from Minot High School in 1995. In May of 2000, he graduated with a B.S. degree in Business Management from Minot State University. In June of 2001, he graduated with honors with an Applied Associates Degree in Funeral Service Education from Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, OR. He has been a licensed funeral director in Minot since November of 2001.

He also specializes in assisting those who want to make pre-arrangements for their funeral or for those of a loved one. In 2008, Ben attained his North Dakota Insurance Producers License in order to assist those who wish to set up a life insurance policy for their funeral or for those who need to set aside burial funds to comply with ND Medicaid guidelines.

On August 1, 2017, Ben became an owner of Thompson-Larson Funeral Homes.

Ben is currently serving on the Board of Directors for the Minot Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Regents at Minot State University, and was elected to serve as the NW District Governor for the North Dakota Funeral Director's Association.

Ben and his wife, Jennifer, are blessed with two daughters: Eve and Avery. Ben's mother is LaVon "Voni" Slind; his father is Ron (Karla) Slind; his brother is Josh Slind; his sister is Ashley Stevens; and his grandmother is Mildred Slind; all of Minot.

Shandi Isaacson

Licensed Funeral Director
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Shandi Isaacson was born and raised in Portland, OR. She graduated in 2014 from Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, OR with an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service Education. Shandi has been a member of our licensed funeral director staff since September of 2015.

Ben Staley

Licensed Funeral Director
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Benjamin Staley, a native of west central Ohio, relocated to Minot with his family from Fort Lauderdale, FL in September 2013.

He has been a licensed funeral director since 2005. Ben graduated from James A. Rhodes State College with an Associate’s degree in Business Management in 2002 and a Bachelor's degree in Mortuary Science from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in 2004. He is also a certified crematory operator from Matthews International crematory division.

After having served a year apprenticeship in Sylvania, OH, he was brought on as a new funeral director. However after a brief vacation while visiting his older brother in Fort Lauderdale, FL during the wintertime, he decided to give sunny South Florida a try. After being there for about a year and a half that is when he met his beautiful wife Christine in late 2008. They got engaged and then married in June 2010. They have a precocious 9 year old little girl named Paisley Sue and a proud new father to a little boy named Leopold Alistair born June 2019.

During his spare time, Ben stays active with his love of all kinds of sports by playing at Oak and Roosevelt Park with his little girl. He is also a history buff and avid reader of both history and anything Cincinnati Reds.

Ben is a member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus, both of Minot.

Jessica Hanson

Secretary
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Braden Bierman

Funeral Service Assistant - Minot
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John Leddon

Funeral Service Assistant - Minot
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Larry Sorenson

Funeral Assistant - Minot
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Joe Aberle

Funeral Assistant - Minot
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Diane Wittmayer

Funeral Assistant - Minot
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Voni Slind

Funeral Service Assistant - Minot
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Ruth Zaback

Funeral Service Assistant - Minot
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Jim Schoemer

Funeral Service Assistant - Kenmare
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Jackie Schoemer

Funeral Service Assistant - Kenmare
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Judy Weber

Visitation Assistant - Minot
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Audrey Williams

Visitation Assistant - Minot
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Sally Butgereit

Visitation Assistant - Minot
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Eunice Wunderlich

Visitation Assistant - Velva
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Lori Neubauer

Funeral Assistant
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