Stéphanie Côté-Marcoux - President and Funeral Director

Stéphanie Côté-Marcoux

President and Funeral Director

I’m Stéphanie Côté-Marcoux, a licensed funeral director and embalmer. A graduate of the Funeral and Mortuary Science Program at Collège Rosemont, I have also studied business administration at HEC and project management at McGill University. I have provided funeral services in the West Island of Montreal and the surrounding area for over 20 years, serving hundreds of families and their loved ones.

I founded Voluntas in 2007 in order to have the freedom to serve customers the way they want to be served. Our dedication to be open and transparent in everything we do is greatly appreciated.

I have always believed that my mission is to provide humanitarian support to help grieving individuals gently through the transition period after losing someone they love. With my many years of experience, organizational skills, meticulous attention to detail and network of associates, I can help you to create meaningful and personal celebrations of life. Planning and coordinating a gathering can be difficult at such an emotional time. Rely on me to provide the support you need so that you can concentrate on being with those you love.

I often tell those I serve: “I’ll be your best friend and ally in the days ahead.”

Denis J. Marcoux - Funeral Director

Denis J. Marcoux

Funeral Director

For 40 years, the past 20 on the West Island, I’ve had the privilege of serving grieving families. Over the years, I’ve seen many changes in what families need and want. Families today don’t want a generic funeral – they want a memorial that really reflects the person and is truly meaningful.

I’m a licensed embalmer and a member of the Quebec Funeral Standards Committee. I have been involved in the community for many years, notably as outgoing president of the West Island Palliative Care Residence and leader of a bereavement support group. I believe that the Voluntas concept is an innovative and positive solution, and I’m proud to be part of the Voluntas team.

Émilie Lister - Family Counselor

Émilie Lister

Family Counselor

Audrey Paiement - Family Counselor

Audrey Paiement

Family Counselor

I’m a Mom of three small boys (two are twins), enjoying life at what seems to speed by at one hundred miles an hour, daily! But it doesn’t stop me from living life fully, either planning family outings, enjoying Sunday dinners at Teta’s house, hiking with my hubby, indulging in wine and cheese nights with my girlfriends or simply sitting on the couch with my husband after putting the kids to bed, glasses of wine in hand, sharing with each other the news of our day. I insist on enjoying every moment to the fullest!

 

My passion has always been customer service. As a flight attendant since 2010, the pandemic pushed me to consider new career opportunities. In November 2020, I met the Voluntas team when they took care of my grandfather at the time of his passing. They were able to lift my family’s spirits through so many small kindnesses, attentive listening and amazing service. It was that experience that opened the door for me to consider a field that I probably would never have considered. I told myself that if I could help families during the most difficult of times and give them a fraction of the peace of mind that the Voluntas team gave my family, then isn’t that the ultimate customer service profession? That’s how I joined the Voluntas team in January 2021.

 

I bring with me the perspective of the client, since I have gone through exactly what our families are going through. My biggest takeaway from planning my grandfather’s funeral was that I wished he had pre-arranged everything so that we could have focused on our grief with the confidence that we were honoring his precise wishes. But also, I learned how critical it is to have the guidance of the Voluntas team through this emotional time. This is what I hope to do for the families I will serve; lift their spirits a little bit and honour their loved ones the way they deserve to be honoured.

Molie Filiatrault-Asselin - Customer Service Administrative Assistant

Molie Filiatrault-Asselin

Customer Service Administrative Assistant

Gabrielle Marcoux - Customer Service Administrative Assistant & Hostess

Gabrielle Marcoux

Customer Service Administrative Assistant & Hostess

Having both my parents work in the funeral industry, it seemed natural to start working at Voluntas. I had seen both my parents, but especially my mother, Stéphanie poor her blood, sweat and tears into founding Voluntas and bringing it to where it is now. Seeing her work countless hours was really inspiring and I aspire to become as invested in my career as she is. She built this company and it is stil HER company. She serves clients with grace and compassion and even the smallest actions, such as writing personalized letters to every client, can have the biggest impact.

I am passionate about sciences and seek to further my education in that field. I am interested in microbiology, immunology, biochemistry and molecular biology. I am gaining both administrative work and human relations skills as I work at Voluntas. Human relations are not my strong suit, but I try to get better every time I answer the phone or meet a customer.

I enjoy the feeling of doing work that means something to others. Families trust us entirely and we do work that impacts a period of life that can be stressful, devastating and difficult to deal with. Seeing the families relieved and happy is one of the best feelings; it truly warms your heart. Funerals where people mingle, laugh and eat, all while mourning are by far the most wonderful thing I’ve seen in the time I’ve been working at Voluntas.

Donna Olinik - Hostess

Donna Olinik

Hostess

In May 2018, I was happy to be invited to join Voluntas and become a member of this wonderful team.

Born and raised in Montreal, I have worked in customer-related fields for a variety of companies including a Telephone Company, Butcher Shop, Car Dealership, Church and now a Funeral Service. While travelling along the road of my career, I’ve been very active in the community as I have always loved to help others.

When my Dad suffered from a stroke, I began investigating healing modalities and subsequently studied to become a Healing Pathway Practitioner. This is a Christian-based healing modality with the aim of restoring balance and harmony within an individual’s energy system and thus enabling the self-healing of an individual.

I am also a Registered Certified Reflexologist.

I wear many hats, depending on the time of day or week.  I am a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother and primary caregiver for my Mom.  I volunteer for Karnak Shriners by organizing drivers to pick up children travelling to Montreal to receive treatment at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children – Canada.  I love to sew and watch movies.

Working for Voluntas gives me the opportunity to add you to my list of people that I may have the opportunity to support to the best of my abilities.  I look forward to meeting you.

Michael

Michael "Mike" Olinik

Funeral Service Assistant

Hi, I’m Mike and I have been working at Voluntas since 2019. This was a big step for me because my Dad died when I was only 11 years old. Death in general was something you didn’t talk about in my family. Donna, my wife, works also at Voluntas. During a staff party, the sharing of sad and funny stories related to funeral service, done with such respect, had me interested in trying it out and I joined the team.

At Voluntas, my responsibilities vary as needed… washing the vehicles transporting your loved ones from place of death, to the crematorium or cemetery. I also assist the funeral director during funerals and I’m also a pallbearer. My nickname is “The Transporter”.

I met the love of my life in February 1977 and married in May 1979. We have two children and two grandchildren. I worked in accounting for forty years for the same company in Montreal East before retiring.

Lynn Brown-Poole - Communication & Customer Service Specialist

Lynn Brown-Poole

Communication & Customer Service Specialist

Lynn is a Communication & Customer Service Specialist at Voluntas. Her strong interpersonal and communication skills come from her years employed as a Senior Executive in sales and marketing for a large international corporation. She is a respected team leader who nurtures, motivates, and empowers high performing, productive teams. She also possesses solid entrepreneurial skills having built a successful business start-up.

As an avid reader, it was the love of reading that led her to start writing. And, once she started, she was hooked! She writes both non-fiction and fiction, but it is the thrill of creating a story simply from one’s imagination that really excites Lynn.

It only takes a one-word prompt and my brain is off to the races thinking of all sorts of possible storylines. My best imagining is when I’m driving home after my creative writing workshop. It is not unusual to see me laughing alone in my car as I come up with all sorts of amusing and sometimes twisted ideas. Wink.”

A strong believer in community, Lynn is also an active volunteer with Literacy Unlimited, a community organization dedicated to changing lives through improved adult literacy.

Annie-Rose Marcoux - Hostess

Annie-Rose Marcoux

Hostess

Stephanie Pislis - Embalming Apprentice

Stephanie Pislis

Embalming Apprentice

Filou - Pet Therapist

Filou

Pet Therapist

 

Hello! I’m Filou, the pet therapist. Read my blog! Read my blog!

 

Jacques Côté - Handyman

Jacques Côté

Handyman

Johanne Brunet & Serge Aumais - Janitorial Team

Johanne Brunet & Serge Aumais

Janitorial Team

Alexandra Shaw - Embalming Student & Intern at Voluntas

Alexandra Shaw

Embalming Student & Intern at Voluntas

Joëlle Lavoie-Picard - Embalming Student & Intern at Voluntas

Joëlle Lavoie-Picard

Embalming Student & Intern at Voluntas

In loving memory of Carol-Lynn Chayer - 1965-2018

In loving memory of Carol-Lynn Chayer

1965-2018

There are people who make a major impact when they enter into our lives. The relationship began in 2002 when Carol-Lynn and Stéphanie met at the funeral of a family member. It was winter 2012, at another memorial service this time for the mother of her friends, they renewed their acquaintances.

Stéphanie then asked Carol-Lynn to join our small Voluntas team.  At first, she assisted the fledgling organization by accomplishing various tasks around the office. Her ability to greet and connect with families at the office and especially at commemorative events became an indispensable attribute. With her warm and contagious smile, her compassion, her listening skills, her impeccable appearance, her joie de vivre and sense of humour, grieving families were immediately put at ease and comforted in these difficult circumstances.

Following her first bout of cancer, she returned to work with renewed energy as she embraced her role by bringing peace in our work environment and an increased desire to accompany grieving families.

Carol-Lynn, you brought much joy in our lives. When we think of you, we can’t help but smile even as we shed tears. We think of you often, especially when we walk in the forest, when we enjoy salt and vinegar chips, when we read environmental and health related articles, but especially when we are serving families in need.  Every year when clearing spider webs in front of our office, we recollect the day, when hundreds of little Spidermen descended upon you. You’ll be pleased to know that we have discovered a new and more ecological alternative solution to the spider problem. You will always be in our thoughts, as we share stories and sometimes laugh at those comical moments we experienced together, as we continue to serve grieving families as you would, with affection and compassion. Be assured we will continue to maintain ties with your family, Guillaume, Nicolas and Alexandre.

Your Voluntas friends forever

 

Here is a text written and read by her husband, Guillaume Hervé, at the celebration of her life.

 

…As an introvert, Carol-Lynn picked one of the most difficult jobs: working with families and large groups to ensure their funeral or commemoration services were done with the utmost respect and compassion and occurred without a single glitch. To truly understand Carol-Lynn, you would have to assist to one these events – like this one – when she was hosting. Which I did on two occasions when they were short on staff.

If she had been running this event, she would have prepared well ahead of time and rehearsed all the steps to ensure everything was well prepared in advance. She would show up early for the set up to make sure the space represented the wishes of the family. She might have prepared the transfer of the ashes into the urn as if it was her most beloved person that had been cremated.

Then, Carol-Lynn would have greeted us all with a warm and compassionate smile, as if she had known these strangers all her life, she would spot a grieving person and quietly walk over and kindly offer a Kleenex, a hand or a hug, she would stay and listen to the ceremony and eulogy to understand the life that was lived and give her own goodbyes to this stranger she had adopted for the day.  She would wait until the very last person left before touching anything to ensure all had the time to grieve.

She would come home and speak to me about these ceremonies and how grateful she felt of being a witness.  She would insist on taking part in the most difficult events: The passing of a young child or a suicide or a tragic death. I guess she knew this is where people would need the most support.

When I or her colleagues or the family she served told her how great she was, she would be embarrassed and say she did what anyone else would have done. She was humble to a fault.

To see her eulogy published in newspaper: https://voluntas.ca/fr/necrologies/chayer-carol-lynn/