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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Elsa Woyasz President / Owner

Elsa (Figueroa) Woyasz was born in Cidra, Puerto Rico and came to Connecticut as a young woman with a desire to discover her potential to do great things for others. She immediately began working at various local companies and chose to be in positions serving customers to interact with and make relationships in the community. With a strong work ethic and natural ability to serve, she held numerous roles at the Naval Underwater Warfare Center and Sound Lab, and Ledge Light Federal Credit Union. Following these careers, she and her husband Jonathan decided to dedicate themselves to the next generation of funeral service at Woyasz & Son. Focused on reinvigorating the customer experience at Woyasz, Elsa and Jon teamed with company founder Peter Woyasz to deliver superior service to their client families.

In her spare time, Elsa is an avid runner and enjoys attending weekly church services as a member of Church of the City in New London. She has two sons—Kent and Martin—and loves to spend time with her grandchildren, Mason and Gwynn.

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Jonathan P. Woyasz Vice-President / Owner / General Manager

Jonathan Woyasz is a second-generation funeral director and embalmer born and raised in Norwich. He is a graduate of Norwich Free Academy, Class of 1985 and obtained his mortuary science degree from the New England Institute of Applied Arts & Sciences in Boston. After losing his mother to cancer at 16, Jon felt the incredible ability of the funeral service to help him take those first steps toward healing; it’s that understanding of loss so early in his life that makes him different from other funeral directors and endears him so much to his client families. Jon believes that simply listening to the amazing and incredible stories of what people have experienced in their lifetimes is one of the greatest gifts of the funeral ministry, and he’s been told countless times how therapeutic it was for families to share their stories.

Jon has served as President of the Norwich Sunrise Rotary Club and as a two-time President of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association. He serves as a board member for the Johnson Home and for Maplewood Cemetery. He is also a long-time parishioner of St. Joseph Church in Norwich and loves to spend time with Elsa and their family, boating, traveling, and golfing.

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Martin W. Palmieri, Esq. Funeral Director / Assistant Manager

Martin is a licensed funeral director and attorney who has assisted the Woyasz team in helping serve families in New London county since 2011. Born in New London and raised in Waterford, he is a graduate of New York’s Fishers Island High School, Class of 2002. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree at Daniel Webster College in New Hampshire and his law degree from the University of Connecticut. After passing the bar exams in both Connecticut and Wisconsin, Martin specialized his legal work in veterans benefits law, focusing primarily on appeals to military medical disability boards on behalf of injured veterans seeking relief from the individual service branches and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2010, on a trip home to visit family, Martin assisted Jon Woyasz on a funeral service and was deeply inspired by the dedication and commitment that Jon displayed with the funeral home’s clients; he witnessed the meaningful relationships he shared with the family members of loved ones who passed, and how they ultimately transitioned into long-lasting friendships. Soon after, Martin answered the call to serve in the same passionate way and he has never wavered in his commitment to fulfilling the needs of Connecticut families. He graduated from the mortuary science program at Lincoln College in Southington and has earned the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) distinction through his commitment to continued educational and community service opportunities.

Martin is an aviation enthusiast and licensed pilot, and also enjoys traveling, playing golf, and participating in road races. Most of all, he enjoys spending wonderful moments with his adored daughter, Gwynn—the light of his life.

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Gavin P. DeMauro Funeral Director

Born and raised in Norwich, Gavin is the newest licensed funeral director and embalmer serving the families of Woyasz & Son. As a young man, Gavin decided to pursue funeral service as a career after working with his grandfather and funeral home founder, Peter Woyasz, and his uncle, Jon Woyasz. He is a graduate of Norwich Free Academy, Class of 2015, and he earned his associate degree in mortuary science from Lincoln College in Southington. Gavin later earned his director’s license in 2018. He’s extremely proud to be a third-generation funeral director and to continue the legacy of service excellence and high standards set by his grandfather. With an enthusiastic spirit and gentle nature, Gavin has committed himself to making sure that every client family is served with dignity and respect.

Gavin is a parishioner of the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich, loves to spend time outdoors and traveling across the United States, and enjoys entertaining family and friends.

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Peter R. Woyasz Founder & Funeral Director Emeritus

1940—2018

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Tom Kolasa Senior Funeral Associate

Tom has been assisting the Woyasz & Son Funeral Service in its mission to help families celebrate the memories of their loved ones for over 50 years. He is a graduate of the original Norwich Technical High School and a retiree of United Nuclear Corporation and Foxwoods Casino. Tom is an experienced and skilled fisherman, and a longtime member of Thompson Fish & Game Club and Trout Unlimited. He is also a parishioner of St. Joseph Church in Norwich where he enjoys attending services with his family.

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Richard Bernier Funeral Associate

Born and raised in Norwich, Rich has been an invaluable part of the Woyasz team for many years. He is a retiree from the Connecticut Department of Transportation and enjoys fishing and boating with his family. Rich is also a talented and accomplished accordion player and began performing in 1966. He’s played in numerous polka bands and his legendary career includes the recording of dozens of albums, starring in the movie “The Polka King” with actor Jack Black in 2018, and receiving the Leon Kozicki Award from the International Polka Association for his 50 years of contributions to the genre. He has used music as a way to support many charitable organizations, including the Lisa Biskup Foundation, and performing with the Polish American Carolers at the Holyoke Soldiers Home, various Alzheimer’s facilities and nursing homes, and religious organizations.

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Javier Martinez Facilities Specialist

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Dennis Burke Fleet Maintenance

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Roberto Diaz Cruz Funeral Associate

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Rafael Rodriguez Funeral Associate

Elsa Woyasz

President / Owner
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Elsa (Figueroa) Woyasz was born in Cidra, Puerto Rico and came to Connecticut as a young woman with a desire to discover her potential to do great things for others. She immediately began working at various local companies and chose to be in positions serving customers to interact with and make relationships in the community. With a strong work ethic and natural ability to serve, she held numerous roles at the Naval Underwater Warfare Center and Sound Lab, and Ledge Light Federal Credit Union. Following these careers, she and her husband Jonathan decided to dedicate themselves to the next generation of funeral service at Woyasz & Son. Focused on reinvigorating the customer experience at Woyasz, Elsa and Jon teamed with company founder Peter Woyasz to deliver superior service to their client families.

In her spare time, Elsa is an avid runner and enjoys attending weekly church services as a member of Church of the City in New London. She has two sons—Kent and Martin—and loves to spend time with her grandchildren, Mason and Gwynn.

Jonathan P. Woyasz

Vice-President / Owner / General Manager
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Jonathan Woyasz is a second-generation funeral director and embalmer born and raised in Norwich. He is a graduate of Norwich Free Academy, Class of 1985 and obtained his mortuary science degree from the New England Institute of Applied Arts & Sciences in Boston. After losing his mother to cancer at 16, Jon felt the incredible ability of the funeral service to help him take those first steps toward healing; it’s that understanding of loss so early in his life that makes him different from other funeral directors and endears him so much to his client families. Jon believes that simply listening to the amazing and incredible stories of what people have experienced in their lifetimes is one of the greatest gifts of the funeral ministry, and he’s been told countless times how therapeutic it was for families to share their stories.

Jon has served as President of the Norwich Sunrise Rotary Club and as a two-time President of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association. He serves as a board member for the Johnson Home and for Maplewood Cemetery. He is also a long-time parishioner of St. Joseph Church in Norwich and loves to spend time with Elsa and their family, boating, traveling, and golfing.

Martin W. Palmieri, Esq.

Funeral Director / Assistant Manager
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Martin is a licensed funeral director and attorney who has assisted the Woyasz team in helping serve families in New London county since 2011. Born in New London and raised in Waterford, he is a graduate of New York’s Fishers Island High School, Class of 2002. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree at Daniel Webster College in New Hampshire and his law degree from the University of Connecticut. After passing the bar exams in both Connecticut and Wisconsin, Martin specialized his legal work in veterans benefits law, focusing primarily on appeals to military medical disability boards on behalf of injured veterans seeking relief from the individual service branches and the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2010, on a trip home to visit family, Martin assisted Jon Woyasz on a funeral service and was deeply inspired by the dedication and commitment that Jon displayed with the funeral home’s clients; he witnessed the meaningful relationships he shared with the family members of loved ones who passed, and how they ultimately transitioned into long-lasting friendships. Soon after, Martin answered the call to serve in the same passionate way and he has never wavered in his commitment to fulfilling the needs of Connecticut families. He graduated from the mortuary science program at Lincoln College in Southington and has earned the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) distinction through his commitment to continued educational and community service opportunities.

Martin is an aviation enthusiast and licensed pilot, and also enjoys traveling, playing golf, and participating in road races. Most of all, he enjoys spending wonderful moments with his adored daughter, Gwynn—the light of his life.

Gavin P. DeMauro

Funeral Director
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Born and raised in Norwich, Gavin is the newest licensed funeral director and embalmer serving the families of Woyasz & Son. As a young man, Gavin decided to pursue funeral service as a career after working with his grandfather and funeral home founder, Peter Woyasz, and his uncle, Jon Woyasz. He is a graduate of Norwich Free Academy, Class of 2015, and he earned his associate degree in mortuary science from Lincoln College in Southington. Gavin later earned his director’s license in 2018. He’s extremely proud to be a third-generation funeral director and to continue the legacy of service excellence and high standards set by his grandfather. With an enthusiastic spirit and gentle nature, Gavin has committed himself to making sure that every client family is served with dignity and respect.

Gavin is a parishioner of the Cathedral of St. Patrick in Norwich, loves to spend time outdoors and traveling across the United States, and enjoys entertaining family and friends.

Peter R. Woyasz

Founder & Funeral Director Emeritus
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1940—2018

Tom Kolasa

Senior Funeral Associate
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Tom has been assisting the Woyasz & Son Funeral Service in its mission to help families celebrate the memories of their loved ones for over 50 years. He is a graduate of the original Norwich Technical High School and a retiree of United Nuclear Corporation and Foxwoods Casino. Tom is an experienced and skilled fisherman, and a longtime member of Thompson Fish & Game Club and Trout Unlimited. He is also a parishioner of St. Joseph Church in Norwich where he enjoys attending services with his family.

Richard Bernier

Funeral Associate
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Born and raised in Norwich, Rich has been an invaluable part of the Woyasz team for many years. He is a retiree from the Connecticut Department of Transportation and enjoys fishing and boating with his family. Rich is also a talented and accomplished accordion player and began performing in 1966. He’s played in numerous polka bands and his legendary career includes the recording of dozens of albums, starring in the movie “The Polka King” with actor Jack Black in 2018, and receiving the Leon Kozicki Award from the International Polka Association for his 50 years of contributions to the genre. He has used music as a way to support many charitable organizations, including the Lisa Biskup Foundation, and performing with the Polish American Carolers at the Holyoke Soldiers Home, various Alzheimer’s facilities and nursing homes, and religious organizations.

Javier Martinez

Facilities Specialist
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Dennis Burke

Fleet Maintenance
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Roberto Diaz Cruz

Funeral Associate
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Rafael Rodriguez

Funeral Associate
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