Dawson & Wikoff - Our Team

Our Team




Chad Childers
General Manager / Funeral Director
Phone: (217) 855-6756

A native of Herrin, Illinois and a 1988 graduate of Southern Illinois University’s Mortuary Science and Funeral Service Program, Chad has spent most of his adult years living in and giving back to the communities of Decatur and Blue Mound. When not helping and assisting families at Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Homes or vacationing on a Caribbean beach, Chad can be found in the immediate area riding his Harley and spending time with his wife Brittany, his three daughters Cheyenne, Emma and Juliet and his stepson Luke. A true man of the community, Chad knows no strangers, and it is this concern and passion for people that drives him to offer hope and help to the many hurting families that he meets “during the most difficult times of their lives”.



Ronald D. Johnson
Funeral Director
Phone: (217) 855-3323

A Worsham College, Chicago graduate, Ron always knew he would come back home, and that decision continues to pay incredible dividends to a man who loves his communities. Ron was born and raised in Macon County, and along with his wife Sarah, have dedicated their lives to the communities that they live in and serve. Serving comes natural to Ron, especially in his role as a Funeral Director, where those relationships and friendships grow daily. Says Ron, “I have so many close friends here, and I want to continue to work in my community in roles in which I could help others”. Many people who know Ron know that he has a twin brother and that he loves riding Harley Davidson motorcycles as well as volunteering in community government, but everyone who meets Ron will quickly see his passionate commitment to his family, community, and families that he serves in a time of need.



John Stork
Funeral Director
Phone: (217) 877-4102

Originally from Riverton, Illinois, John is proud to designate Decatur as his hometown, calling it “the biggest small town with good, hard-working people”. A 1995 graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, John chose the career field of funeral service to “help people on the worst day of their life”. When he’s not serving families, John can be found working out, enjoying sports, and spending time with his friends, family, and his son Drew.




Terry Ripple
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (217) 877-4102

Raised in Mt. Zion as a youth and then spending many of her adult years as a resident of Macon, Terry is no stranger to Decatur and its adjoining rural communities. In fact, it is Decatur’s “small town feel with benefits of a larger city” that makes Terry such a fan of the “warm, friendly town” that she works in and serves. In 2007, Terry joined Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Homes, where her position of Administrative Assistant has not only allowed her to help others “during the worst time of their lives”, but it has also allowed her to embrace and envision her job as a ministry. As Terry excitedly admits, “getting to work with a group of amazing people is a bonus!” The oldest of six children, Terry was a stay-at-home mom until her kids were raised, at which point she worked several years at a famous Decatur icon, Del’s Popcorn Shop. Even amidst her busy schedule, Terry enjoys reading and gardening, but her true passion is and will always be her family. She was married 41 years to her high school sweetheart, who sadly passed away in 2012. Together they have raised 2 sons and have been blessed with 6 grandchildren and 2 great-granddaughters. If Terry was not working or attending her grandchildrens’ sporting events, she would likely be found spending more time with her church and church family and volunteering in her community.



Carla Shehorn
Administrative Assistant
Phone: (217) 877-4102

A lifelong resident of Decatur and a graduate of MacArthur High School and Richland Community College, Carla knows her community well and values the great events and activities that it has to offer. After working in education for 15 years, Carla enjoys and appreciates her role as Administrative Assistant with Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Directors and the ability to contribute to and creatively “help her community” that she loves so much. Carla and her husband, Luke, have two sons (Anthony and Jacob), one daughter (Elania), two dogs (Buddy and Rowdy), and one cat named Sissy. When Carla is not at work or watching over her large household, she can be found crafting, cooking, baking, and adventuring with her treasured family.



Megan Shaffer
Family Care Specialist
Phone: (870) 810-1837

Megan grew up in Clinton, Illinois, and later received her Associate of Arts Degree from Richland Community College and her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Business from Illinois State University. For Megan, family is everything, especially as it pertains to her son Frankie, daughter Haven, and family pets (English Bulldog–Reggie/American Staffordshire Terrier-Rockie). The Shaffer home functions as a second home for many of her son and daughter’s friends, and her “second mother” status is seen by all who visit their house. So important to Megan are children that if she weren’t working for Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Homes, she would likely be serving as a social worker or guidance counselor in an effort to help as many children as she possibly could. Megan’s love for cooking is experienced by all who enjoy her home-cooked evening meals, but cooking isn’t Megan’s only hobby. A documentary and war novel enthusiast, Megan also enjoys taking walks in the woods with her children and exploring the animals, flowers, and wilderness that the outdoors readily provides. Since 2017, Megan has functioned as Family Care Specialist for Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Homes, where she has enjoyed the opportunity to “meet new people and help families feel comfortable and at ease with their finalized arrangements”. As Megan excitedly attests, “the look on each person’s face is priceless knowing that I have filled them with knowledge and made their lives easier”. Decatur has always been defined by its resilience and unity and Megan quickly noticed this, especially the “strong bond and willingness of each community member to help each other.” Says Megan with an immense amount of joy and passion, “This community continues to make me feel right at home”.



Sam Burton
Family Care Specialist 
Phone: (217) 413-5944

A native of Jacksonville, Illinois, Samantha "Sam" Burton has always had a soft spot for people and their needs, especially in her hometown, where this passion originated. Sam attended Aurora University and completed multiple degrees in social work. As Sam says, "I love helping people. I like being a support that people can lean on and I enjoy helping people realize their full potential." Sam's care for people is also extended to her pets, where she and her husband Wes spend ample time caring for their many dogs, cats, bearded dragons, and leopard geckos. Sam's interests extend beyond her passion for people and her pets, as evidenced for her love for dance, singing, watching movies, and enjoying the outdoors.



George Owens
Family Care Specialist 
Phone: (309) 825-9820
Email: gowens@dawson-wikoff.com

George Owens is no stranger to central Illinois and his roots extend throughout his home state. From his earliest days in Peoria through his college days at Illinois State University, where he played baseball for a year, George was never too far from home. Even while playing basketball for the United States Army while stationed at West Point Military Academy, George’s love for family and loyalty to local sports remained intact. As a member of the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame, former IHSA official, and multi-sport coach and volunteer for over 40 years, George’s impact throughout the local sports community has been felt. A faithful follower of stock car racing at various central Illinois tracks and a loyal attendee of local sports events, George is always close to the action. His interests and accolades are not limited to athletics, however. Not only has George accrued innumerable accomplishments in the athletic field, but he has experienced tremendous success in the business world, as well. As an inductee in the Illinois South AFLAC Wall of Fame, past member of the AFLAC Advisory Council, and Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Directors employee since 2010, George Owens has experienced success in every area of his life. A father of three (Jeannie, Molly, and Geoffrey), George and his wife Paula treasure their family and especially their grandchildren’s activities that continue to keep them busy. When asked what he loves about his role as Family Care Specialist for Dawson & Wikoff Funeral Directors, George quickly replied, “Knowing that in some small way I can give comfort to families who are grieving the loss of a loved one, so they do not have to make the arrangements.” When George is not serving families at Dawson & Wikoff’s funeral homes, he can be found traveling throughout the United States with family and attending major sporting and Show Choir events.

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