About us 

The Lakes Crematory has been serving funeral homes in the Chicagoland area since 1996. But, when a heartbroken friend asked us to provide end of life care for his beloved dog, we knew we also had to respond to the needs of pet families. In answer to that need, we opened The Lakes Pet Crematory in 2014.

As pet parents ourselves, we know what it is like to love and care for an animal their whole life. When you choose The Lakes Pet Crematory, you can be assured that we will treat your pet with the dignity and respect they deserve and help you to feel comfortable making the last decisions in the care of your pet.

At The Lakes Pet Crematory, care is central to how we approach our profession. We care deeply about the people we serve, and the animals in our custody. We are attentive to the aftercare we provide your pet, and it is with the utmost care that we return their cremated remains to you.

We pledge to earn and keep your trust as we provide your pet the best aftercare available.

Our Staff:

Mark Symonds, Sr. – Partner, Funeral Director, Certified Crematory Operator

Mark Sr. and his wife Deborah have five children: Elizabeth (Robert), Mark Jr., Rebecca, Penelope and Luke.  Their extended family includes 1 dog and 2 cats.

Katherine Salyards – Partner, Funeral Director/Embalmer, Certified Crematory Operator

Katherine and her husband Ron have three daughters: Victoria (Tony), Roseanna (Brett) and Katherine. Their extended family included 5 dogs, 2 cats and 3 granddogs.

Eric Schwalb – Crematory Manager, Funeral Director/Embalmer, Certified Crematory Operator

Eric and his wife Elizabeth both work at The Lakes Crematory.  Eric served his apprenticeship here in 2010 and has been here ever since, caring for the loved ones and animals entrusted to The Lakes Crematory.

Elizabeth Schwalb – Funeral Director/Embalmer, Certified Crematory Operator

Liz joined our team in 2016.  Bringing nearly a decade of experience with her. She continues to provide aftercare for the people and pets whose families we serve at The Lake Crematory.  Liz is married to Eric, our Crematory Manager.

Katherine G. Salyards – Pet Crematory Manager, Funeral Director/Embalmer, Certified Crematory Operator

Kate is a licensed funeral director and has worked at The Lakes Crematory for 4 years. She earned her degree of Mortuary Science at Malcolm X College in 2019. Kate has 1 dog & 2 cats. She strives to care for each animal like it is her own.

Matthew Praznowski – Licensed Funeral Director Intern/Certified Crematory Operator

Matt is a recent graduate of Worsham College, earning his degree in Mortuary Science. He is currently working on his internship to become fully licensed.  Matt has a turtle, dog and a cat.

Maria R. – Office Admin

Maria has worked at The Lakes Crematory for 3 years.  She has 2 dogs.

Jo-Lynne Havens – Pet Crematory Operator

Adeline Symonds (Senior Partner)

Irving Symonds III (Partner)

Matthew Symonds Sr (Partner)

Daniel Symonds (Partner)

For services concerning loved ones please, visit the Lakes Crematory.

The Lakes Pet Crematory  500 Park Avenue, Suite 105, Lake Villa, IL 60046  (847)265-7210   

Owned and operated by the Symonds Family Partnership.