Daniel W. Symonds, Owner & Funeral Director
Daniel is a second generation licensed Funeral Director and U.S. Army Reserve Soldier, following in his father’s footsteps of military and funeral service. Daniel was literally born and raised into the funeral industry, learning to serve families with integrity first-hand from his late father, Irving Symonds Jr., who owned several funeral homes in Chicago, Highwood, and Grayslake, Illinois. Daniel tries to live up to the high standards his father set for him and his siblings a long time ago, and plans on instilling those same high standards in his children.
In addition to working in funeral service, Daniel has served a total of four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan after joining the United States Army six months after 9/11. He has also served his country through annual training, visiting many countries throughout the world including, Panama, Germany, Korea, and Malaysia. He is currently a 1st Sgt in the United States Army Reserve. Daniel is proud to have come from a long line of military service, dating back to the Civil War, starting with his Great-Great Grandfather, Private Daniel Rufus Symonds, who he is named after. His family has had a member serve in every major war since his Great-Great Grandfather. Daniel earned his Associate’s Degree in mortuary science at Chicago Citywide Mortuary School and has earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Television Production from Chicago’s Columbia College of the Arts. Daniel has been a licensed funeral director in the state of Illinois for over 24 years, and he also holds licenses in the states of Indiana and Michigan.
Daniel became the owner of Symonds-Madison Funeral Home in December 2013, and has continued to built upon it’s legacy of service to the Elgin Community since 1921. The greatest moment of Daniel’s life (besides meeting Joy, his wife!) is the day he moved to Elgin to join the Symonds-Madison Funeral Home family. Dan serves on the executive board for American Legion Post 57 in Elgin, He is also a member of the Ilinois Funeral Directors Association (IFDA), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 1307, the Elgin Area Historical Society, Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 799, a former member of Kiwanis Club of Elgin, the Elgin Lion’s Club, and member of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War camp #2. Daniel attends St. John’s Lutheran Church and Abiding Peace Lutheran Church in Elgin. Dan and Joy have two daughters, Emily Elizabeth born in December 2015, and Vivienne Mae born in October 2017.
Joy Symonds, Director of Community Engagement
In partnership with her husband, Daniel, Joy handles day-to-day operations at Symonds-Madison Funeral Home, with a special focus on family services and community relations. As a licensed insurance agent, Joy also handles pre-arrangements for families who plan ahead for their funeral expenses. She brings an extensive background in marketing and public relations, most recently serving as Director of Communications for the Department of Attorney General for the State of Michigan. Joy has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy from Michigan State University. She also holds a Master’s Degree in Security Policy Studies from George Washington University. Joy is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary for Post 57 and The VFW Post 1307 Auxiliary in Elgin. She also serves on the Patient Family Advisory Council for Advocate Sherman Hospital. Joy is a board member for two Elgin-based nonprofits, True Patriots Care and Peace Through Pain. She is a faithful member of Abiding Peace Lutheran Church in Elgin.
Valfrids “Val” Kaspar, Funeral Director
Val has been a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer since 1963. He was born in Latvia but became an American citizen raised in Chicago after his parents fled to the United States to escape Soviet communism.
Val attended Wright College, Ray-Vogue Art School, and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science. Val also pursued a second career in the aerosol products industry, ultimately retiring as a Vice President of Manufacturing and Purchasing. Following retirement, Val returned to the funeral industry to serve families in their time of need. He joined Symonds-Madison Funeral Home in 2008, and is dedicated to excellence in service, integrity, compassion and personalized care.
Val is a member of Oak Lawn Lodge #1166, a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, and a proud Medina Shriner. Val and his wife, Ariel, have been married for more than 51 years. Together they have four children and 12 grandchildren. He has been helping families in their greatest time of need, in the Chicagoland and Elgin community for more than 45 years.
Robert Allanson, Funeral Director
Robert is a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer for over 30 years, following his father and grandfather in serving the families of the Elgin community. He was born and raised in Elgin, and is a graduate of St. Edward Central Catholic High School (’77) in Elgin. He is a graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science, and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Services and a Master of Arts Degree in Organizational Leadership from Judson University.
Robert is a parishioner of St. Mary’s Parish in Elgin, and is a past Grand Knight of the Elgin Knights of Columbus, Monsignor Henry Schryer Council #654. He is also a member of the 4th degree Knights of Columbus, Bishop Arthur J. O’Neil Assembly #2381.
Robert joined the Symonds-Madison Funeral Home family in early 2014, to bring his expertise to the residents of Elgin, and the surrounding Fox Valley area with integrity, honor and compassion.
Jimmy Lewis, Funeral Attendant
Jimmy is a welcoming face at Symonds-Madison who serves families with warmth and compassion. He has been an Elgin resident for more than 25 years, and currently lives in the Gifford Park Neighborhood, just down the street from the funeral home.
Jimmy currently owns his own business, Caring Caregivers Associates, a firm focused on providing professional caregiving services in Kane and McHenry Counties.
Jimmy is a native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is why he remains a lifelong fan of the Minneapolis Vikings and the Minneapolis Twins. Later in life, Jimmy lived in Connecticut and Colorado, before moving to Elgin.
Jimmy is a trained Chef with extensive experience serving the public in the restaurant industry. He studied accounting, business, and technology at Red Rocks College in Golden, Colorado. He has owned three businesses and has extensive experience in sales and marketing.
Jimmy has three daughters, six granddaughters, one grandson and one great-great grandson. He enjoys playing Santa Claus for his family and nursing home residents. Jimmy’s hobbies include playing guitar, tennis, skiing, hunting, hiking, mountain climbing, writing children’s stories and playing cribbage.