History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

Our History

Maxim Muzyka came to America from Ukraine in 1890 and started off in Pennsylvania. Maxim began working in a coal mine. A noticeable man of over six feet tall, he was granted the most dangerous job of carrying dynamite.

Our History

After one year of working hard to create a new life for himself and his family, he returned to Europe to bring his children Basil and Marie back with him.  They moved to the West Pullman neighborhood in Chicago in hopes of better lives and greater opportunities.  The children grew and Basil graduated high school.  Basil began to work for Pullman Coaches as an upholsterer.  During this time, the young Basil noticed funeral directors on the south side taking advantage of the immigrants.  Inspired to make a difference, he decided to go to Mortuary College in 1913.  Just two years later on April 1, 1915, he opened his first funeral home at 2157 West Chicago Avenue in the neighborhood still known as Ukrainian Village.

Photo: Young Basil Muzyka dressed in traditional Ukrainian clothes (Circled near back left).

Our History

Marie Muzyka decided to go to school to become a licensed funeral director and embalmer as well, and graduated in 1919.  She was one of the first women in the Chicagoland area to enter the funeral industry, and went into business with her brother Basil.  The Muzyka family had been using a horse and buggy for transportation, but in 1919 purchased their first car, a 1917 Cunningham.

Photo: Three Generations of the Muzyka Family

Basil Bohdan "Danny" Muzyka (top left)
Basil Muzyka (top right)
Maxim Muzyka (bottom) 

Our History

On September 5, 1922, Basil’s first son, Basil Bohdan “Danny” Muzyka was born.  Danny grew up, completed a tour of active duty in the U.S. Air Force, and then went to Mortuary College.  He received his degree in 1947 and went to work with his father, Basil.

Danny Muzyka got married and had four children.  Margaret M. Muzyka and Basil Michael Muzyka both decided to stay in the family business.  Margaret graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1976 and began working on Chicago Avenue.  Shortly after in 1980, the family decided to open a second location in the Jefferson Park neighborhood on the Northwest side of Chicago.

B. Michael Muzyka graduated from Worsham College in 1983 to take over this new funeral home location at 5776 West Lawrence Avenue.  Since 1915, the Muzyka’s have helped thousands of families with funeral and cremation services.  They proudly continue their family values-based service with the utmost dignity and respect for the wishes of the families they serve. 

Basil "Danny" Muzyka - Funeral Director (right) - Danny Muzyka United States Air Force Pilot (left)

Four Generations of the Muzyka Family in America

Basil Michael Muzyka (left)
Basil "Danny" Muzyka (right)

Our Valued Staff

  • Basil Michael Muzyka

    Basil Michael Muzyka Funeral Director

    Basil Michael Muzyka is the 4th generation of his family in America from Ukraine. A 3rd generation funeral director born and raised in Chicago, Michael is the youngest of four children and the only son. He always looked up to his father, Basil Bohdan “Danny” Muzyka, who lived for others and was very active in the community. Michael wanted to be just as generous. He went to Lake Forest Academy and then attended college in Texas before going to Worsham College of Mortuary Science. He became a licensed funeral director in 1983 and joined his father at the second location in Jefferson Park, Muzyka & Son Funeral Home. His sister Margaret Muzyka continues to manage the original Muzyka Funeral Home location on Chicago Avenue. An adventurous spirit, Michael enjoys many outdoor activities in his leisure time such as skiing, hiking, gardening, and riding his motorcycle. Michael is honored to serve the families of Northwest Chicago and the Chicagoland Area.

  • Chad Reuland

    Chad Reuland Funeral Director

    Chad cherishes the time he spends and the relationships he is able to build when serving a family after a time of loss. Always giving the utmost care and respect to the deceased, he is also mindful of the survivors. Chad is continuously searching out other professionals who can help those survivors continue to heal. Chad has been committed to his career for over 20 years, serving the families of Chicagoland. A resident of Lindenhurst, Illinois, graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science, licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer and Life Insurance Producer, Past President of Northeastern Illinois Funeral Directors Association, husband and father of two daughters, Chad is very proud to be affiliated with the history and reputation of Muzyka & Son Funeral Home and will be there in your time of need.

  • Eli J. Turnbough

    Eli J. Turnbough Funeral Director

    Eli has a deep understanding of how all people deserve final recognition along with a realization of the impact and legacy they leave. Planning a funeral is a stressful event, which is designed to honor a life. Making respectful decisions about honoring the deceased may take a traditional or a unique path to celebrate that life and the impact it has had on others. Eli received a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Dickinson State University, while in college he worked within the mortuary industry and then chose to attend Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2010. Eli, a native of Montana, now resides in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood where he can often be found at the dog beach with his dog, Suzy. He is the past president of Northeastern Illinois Funeral Directors Association, a licensed Funeral Director & Embalmer, and a Life Insurance Producer for the purpose of funding advanced funeral planning.

  • Melissa Jankiewicz

    Melissa Jankiewicz Funeral Director

    Melissa grew up in the northwest suburb of Elmwood Park, Illinois and currently resides in the Norwood Park neighborhood of Chicago. After the sudden and unexpected death of a close family friend, Melissa decided to change careers and enroll in mortuary school to become a Funeral Director. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in English in May 2010, and then later graduated Worsham College of Mortuary Science in March 2017. She is a certified crematory operator with the Cremation Association of North America and hopes to become a certified grief counselor. In her free time, Melissa enjoys reading and relaxing, as well as attending Blackhawks and Cubs games and going to local concerts in Chicago. She also enjoys spending time with her family, her companion Chad, and her dog Khabi.

  • James E. Peterson

    James E. Peterson Funeral Director

    Jim has been working full time in the funeral service profession since 1967. He has been a part of the Muzyka & Son staff for over ten years. Jim resides in Naperville with his wife, Marybeth. Together they have five children, and thirteen grandchildren. When he is not serving a family, he enjoys spending time with his family, spoiling his grandchildren, and doing all kinds of different woodworking projects. We are very lucky to have Jim as a part of the Muzyka & Son family.

  • Patricia Reichart

    Patricia Reichart Wake Attendant and Receptionist

  • Laura Johnson

    Laura Johnson Wake Attendant & Receptionist

    After a life-long career of serving children, youth and adults with disabilities, Laura now receives fulfillment assisting people during the various stages of their grief journey. Now in her third year as a wake attendant and receptionist, she is pleased to be a member of the Muzyka & Son “family”, taking care to meet the needs of the families we serve. Born, raised and still residing in the Jefferson Park neighborhood of Chicago, Laura loves to garden, travel the world and read. She enjoys spending time with her husband and visiting her son, stationed in the US Navy in Jacksonville FL. She is involved in several volunteer projects through her church.

  • Magdalena Wojcik

    Magdalena Wojcik Wake Attendant