Our Team

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.

  • The Smolenski Family

    The Smolenski Family, Owners

    Joseph Smolenski, Jr. began Renaissance Funeral Home in 2003 bringing the renown service found at the other family funeral home on Long Island, New York called New Hyde Park Funeral Home. In 2008, fourth generation funeral director, Joseph Smolenski, III, joined his father in the family funeral business. Both father and son are advocates of choice, ceremony, earth-friendly options, and creating a great experience for every family they serve. Renaissance Funeral Home is the first and premier funeral home in Raleigh approved by the Green Burial Council. Serving people of all faiths, denominations, creeds, and cultures, the Renaissance Funeral Home team is an extension of the Smolenski family. In unison, they make certain every family served feels understood, respected and the warmth of care.

    "Dear Joe, Thank you so much for all of your care and guidance through a difficult time. Some people work with their hands, and others with their hearts- you blessed us with both. We know that you went the 'extra mile' for us; and for that we are very grateful." -Deane & Jan T.

  • Mark Barnes

    Mark Barnes, Generous / Compassionate / Funeral Director

    Mark has been involved in funeral service since 1994. He is a graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science in Atlanta,GA, and a member of Pi Sigma ETA National Mortuary Fraternity. He resides in Raleigh. Mark's greatest reason for becoming a funeral director was ability to connect with people during these challenging life events with his calm and compassionate demeanor. Mark has four children and three grandchildren. Mark enjoys good food, cooking, baking, planting, and gardening.

    "During the time I was Making arrangements following the death of my husband, I dealt with Mark Barnes. He was very professional, very caring and compassionate and had patience to help me make the decisions that needed to be made, I will always appreciate the help and advice that he gave to me. He is a true professional and a credit to the Renaissance Funeral Home staff" - Jane G

  • Heather Hill

    Heather Hill, Compassionate / Thorough / Funeral Director

    Heather is a mother to three children. Her experience in marketing, and website design has helped her become very well rounded in the modern business economy. Heather works from her heart and is very compassionate to the families she serves.

    "Our experience with Renaissance Funeral Home was on-point, in all aspects. My family worked with Heather Hill, who was genuine and sincere, and worked to ensure that everything went smoothly. She was consistently professional and courteous, while still earnestly compassionate for our family. Our questions were answered directly, and her assistance in navigating the veteran aspect of the service was excellent. I would strongly recommend Renaissance Funeral Home to anyone having to work through this difficult process." Phillip G.

  • Collette Meador

    Collette Meador, Caring / Helpful/ Family Services Coordinator

    Collette Meador, Family Services Coordinator, assists the funeral directors with families who have experienced a loss. She appreciates the sense of community that is part of her position. She values family, diversity, and volunteerism. Collette is married and has two children. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and baking, reading, watching tv, volunteering at her children’s school and spending time with her friends. Collette was born and raised in Kansas. She has a Masters of Science degree in Family Studies and Human Services from Kansas State University.

  • Ron Kimball

    Ron Kimball, Light Hearted / Faithful / Pastor

    Bio coming soon.

  • Thomas Amato

    Thomas Amato, Thoughtful / Kind / Apprentice

    Thomas is a native of North Carolina who entered funeral service in 2011. He is a graduate of East Carolina University where he double majored in Anthropology and History. He spent the last four years living in the Phoenix, Arizona area where he worked in the funeral industry and continued his education, graduating from Mesa County Community College School of Mortuary Science. He has since relocated back to North Carolina and lives in North Raleigh with his wife Denise. Thomas is a member of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Wake Forest and enjoys spending time with his wife, visiting historic sites, listening to his extensive vinyl album collection and watching classic films.

  • Justin Bunch

    Justin Bunch, Helpful / Energetic / Assistant

  • Kerri Habben

    Kerri Habben, Writer / Poetic / Gracious

    Kerri Mai Habben is a writer, living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She was raised here, attending local schools and graduating from both Peace College (now William Peace University) and North Carolina State University. Her poetry, essays, and articles have appeared in anthologies and journals and regularly are published throughout the United States and Canada. She has long enjoyed local history, and does even more so now as her community continues to grow and evolve.

  • Frank  Sancineto

    Frank Sancineto, Social / Father / Family Services

    Frank and his wife Laura, live in North Raleigh and are parishioners of St. Luke's Catholic Church. Frank has three children and six grandchildren. Frank is a member of the RTP Corvettes Club, Knights of Columbus and the Police Benevolent Association. He enjoys organizing functions, traveling, spending time with his family and driving his corvette.

  • Blanche  Ellison

    Blanche Ellison, Caring / Grandmother / Grief Counselor

    Originally from upstate New York, Blanche came to Raleigh in 1980's and worked with the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh. She now works closely with the Catholic Community by offering her compassion for bereaved families. Blanche has three children and enjoys spending time with her two grandsons.