Our Story & Staff
Bryan-Braker Funeral Home has been owned and operated by the Bryan family since 1954. Paul C. Bryan, Jr. purchased the only funeral home in Suisun City and added his name to the door. In 1964 Paul started his own cemetery, Fairmont Memorial Park at 1901 Union Ave in Fairfield.
Bill Braker has long ago retired and his ownership bought out by the Bryans. He was a foundational part of our company becoming what it is today. We will always be Bryan-Braker.
Craig Bryan, son of Paul and current CEO and owner has since taken over running the corporate operations and continued to provide caring, compassionate service through the family business. Craig's daughter, Jenna Bryan Stewart, is currently General Manager and being groomed to take over the business as Craig moves further into retirement.
Craig and his wife, Francie, strongly believe in community involvement and continue to be an active member in our community. Craig had a big hand in building the skate park in Fairfield, he chartered the Fairfield-Suisun Twilight Rotary Club, is a member of the Elks, Masonic Lodge, both Fairfield and Vacaville Chambers of Commerce and was a part of starting the first Wine and Food Jubilee that still supports NorthBay Healthcare to this day.
Bryan-Braker has been a sponsor of the Wine and Food Jubliee for thirty-one years. Francie, along with being the food chair for the Wine and Food Jubliee, Francie is a member of Soroptimist of Central Solano County, member of 100 Women of Solano County, and LeTip of Vacaville.
Operating a funeral home isn’t a job for everyone. Every person who walks through your door is experiencing one of the most vulnerable and confusing times of their lives. It takes a special someone to be able to carry out what the Bryan family and staff are known for - the special balance between professionalism and compassion.
Bryan-Braker Funeral home is proud to say we can help anyone in the community. Whether it is pre-planned funerals or helping people who have never had a family member pass, we are here to help. Especially when it comes to different cultures. We pride ourselves on having the knowledge and experience of all traditions and cultures; on that same token we are constantly learning and evolving as a company to continue to provide our community with the most professional, respectful and personalized service possible.“One thing that I admired of my father was his commitment to always be the funeral service provider who was knowledgeable of all faiths, their customs and beliefs, and not fall into a pattern of always working with the same religion. We truly strive to make the service as unique as the individual,” - Craig Bryan, Owner/President
“We love Vacaville and this entire area and are proud to be members of this community,” - Francie Bryan, Cemetery Administrator
“It’s a nice platform to be able to be of service to people when they’re going through this grieving process in their time of need. A lot of people haven’t set up a service so they look to me and our other directors as their guiding light. It takes a special person to be a funeral director and we have some amazing staff here that are able to find the balance between professionalism and compassion. We have gotten a lot of positive feedback,” - Jenna Bryan Stewart, General Manager
The Bryan Family and Staff
As a staple member of Solano County, Bryan-Braker Funeral Home
employs nineteen full-time employees and five part-time employees.
Craig Bryan, President / Owner
Francie Bryan, Cemetery & Trust Administrator / Pre-Arrangement Counselor
I attended UC Davis majoring in Mass Communications. I have worked at KCRA-TV Channel 3 in Sacramento in various capacities with my last title as Research & Marketing Specialist for 13 years. During employment there I was voted President of the American Marketing Association where I organized and implemented the first Sports Marketing Seminar in Sacramento, which was one of the most successful fundraisers in the association.
I started employment at Bryan-Braker Funeral Home in 1999. I am a member of Soroptimist of Central Solano County, Le Tip of Vacaville and a committee member for the annual Solano Wine & Food Jubilee benefitting NorthBay Hospice & Bereavement programs. I am a supporter of many fundraisers benefitting non-profit organizations in Solano County.
Contact Francie directly at [email protected]
Jenna Bryan Stewart, General Manager
Ending up in the family business was never in my plans. I left the Solano County area three weeks after I graduated from Fairfield High School. Over a span of 12 years I spent time in Chico, San Diego and San Francisco, finishing my BA in Organizational Communication at SFSU. During that time I also completed two Internships which took me to Iceland and Germany.
A sequence of events led me back to the Solano County area in 2013. I was offered the opportunity to work in the family business. With the intention of it being a temporary situation, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it here. My father always told me this profession was more of a “calling”, and not just a job. Each day that resonates with me more and more.
Being able to contribute as the third generation in our family business and legacy is a gift that I do not take for granted. Seeing my grandfather and father build this business from the ground up it is an honor to follow in their footsteps. I recognize the reputation they have earned in our community and the confidence they have in my abilities to continue to provide growth as a company which enable us to provide the most excellent service to our community.
We are a family business that fosters a warm and inviting work culture within our office; one which I hope filters to the families we serve. This position is a beautiful platform to be of service to people in such a vulnerable time in their lives.
My husband and I live in Vacaville and are kept busy with our four young boys. Any spare time we have is spent doing some family activity – outside if possible. We place a high value on nature and the ability to appreciate and respect it. We do what we can to instill that in our boys.
"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." - Albert Einstein
Contact Jenna directly at [email protected]
Evelyn Mallory, Accountant / Human Resources
“When we lose someone we love, we must learn NOT to live without them … BUT to live with the LOVE they left behind…”
I received this quote from a co-worker here at Bryan Braker Funeral Home after the passing of my mother and I refer to it often as my father too, has joined her once again.
This is simple example of the small, yet special, things the staff does daily for the families we meet. I often share that those in this profession are certainly “called” to be doing what they do; being supportive, informative, compassionate and always available to those who ask.
As I am behind the scenes; as the Accountant/HR since 2013, I try to extend these qualities to my fellow employees in the small details (yet very important) components that are necessary to be a successful business.
I have lived in California now for over 35 years after meeting my husband who served most of his US Air Force time right here at Travis Air Force Base. As retirement approaches we bowl often, both competitively and for fun – more numbers; who would have known! I enjoy traveling, spending time with friends and most important – living with the LOVE of visiting my daughter and family as often as I can.
You may email Evelyn directly at [email protected]
Greg Boyko, Office Manager / Funeral Director / Pre-Arrangement Counselor
My life has led me in different ways to enjoy many aspects of it. Athletically, I swam competitively for approximately for 14 years, through youth all the way up to University of the Pacific, in Stockton, CA.
In my first professional career, I was a Dentist, for approximately 23 years, graduating from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco, CA. It was a wonderful career, but I felt I needed a change in how I cared for people. While getting my Master’s Degree prior to Dentistry, I got a taste for the Funeral Industry, by working part time, which I enjoyed greatly.
This led to my next career of being a Funeral Director for the Bryan-Braker Funeral Home. I have now been here at Bryan-Braker for 15 years. With my caring values, this fit well into how I wanted to continue my career. I feel that being a Funeral Director gives me a wonderful opportunity to be able to help individuals and families in such a low and difficult portion of their life. Not only do I care for families here at Bryan-Braker, I also facilitate a “GriefShare” program through my church to help individuals “Journey Through Their Grief”.
When I am not in the office, I love being with my family, training and showing our Vizsla dogs, being a big Disney enthusiast and riding my tractor on our property. I have been called “Green Acres” many times. Again, I fell that I am honored to be able to work in this industry.
You may email Greg directly at [email protected]
Bryan Anderson, Assistant Manager / Funeral Director / Embalmer / Pre-Arrangement Counselor
I have been in the Funeral Industry for 30 years. I graduated from San Francisco College of Mortuary Science with honors in 1990. Prior to being in the Funeral Industry, I was in the US Army as a Medic for 6 years. I have a passion for helping my fellow Veterans, and their families. Originally, I worked for Bryan-Braker from 2006 to 2008. After exploring other endeavors I happily returned in 2017.
The Dali Lama said, “Our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if you can’t help them at least don’t hurt them.” I work on that idea when I meet with families that I have the opportunity to help here at Bryan-Braker.
I am blessed to have a beautiful wife, Anne; daughter, Emma; and three fun loving little dogs in my life. Fun fact: my wife and I were the first couple to get married at Bryan-Braker Funeral Home in 2007!
You may email Bryan directly at [email protected]
Nicole McGown, Funeral Director / Pre-Arrangement Counselor
I don’t think I have ever met someone who grew up thinking, “I want to be a funeral director when I grow up,” and I was no exception to this. I have always worked in the restaurant business since the age of 15, and when I was presented a job at Bryan-Braker Funeral Home to become the death certificate specialist, I was some what intrigued.
I decided to take this job and start my career in 2015. I went back to school and am currently on track to finish my AA in Psychology. I have been told that I am a highly self-motivated individual who is always pushing myself to go above and beyond for anyone. After about a year of doing death certificates, I decided to obtain my license to sell burial insurance to enable me to meet with families for their pre-arrangement needs. Once getting a taste of working with families, I then was determined to obtain my funeral director license. Having these accomplishments facilitated my promotion to a Funeral Director in 2016.
This is where my experience of 15 years of customer service could shine through. I could help families in their most delicate time of need and make the passing of a loved one an easier experience. I take pride in my upbringing and how being so organized and prompt could touch someone’s life and help them through this difficult time. I can’t tell you how many times I am asked, “How do you do this job?” The answer is simple… at the very end a family will turn to you with tears in their eyes and say two simple words… “Thank you.” This statement makes everything I do worthwhile.
Another way I decided to touch people lives in a positive manner was becoming a group fitness coach by teaching cycling classes at a local gym. This is a wonderful environment for me to really let my outgoing and bubbly personality loose. While I’m not in the office or teaching cycling, my Chihuahua, Twinkle, and I share a passion for hiking. In my down time my husband and I enjoy cooking and relaxing.
You can email Nicole directly at [email protected]
Shannon Parra, Funeral Director / Embalmer / Pre-Arrangement Counselor
I was born and raised in Old Town Suisun, so I am a native to the area Bryan-Braker serves. I started working in the funeral industry at Bryan-Braker in 2016 after graduating from the American River College of Mortuary Science. Not many of us can say they found what they were meant to do, and I feel like I can honestly say that being a mortician is my calling.
I believe my 19 years in customer service has helped me become a team player and a real people person at Bryan Braker. I enjoy meeting, and creating a trusting, comfortable relationship with the families I serve.
“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally. It comes from what you do consistently.”
You may email Shannon directly at [email protected]
Malia Swanson, Funeral Arranger / Apprentice Embalmer
After high school I prepared to be an RN for NorthBay Hospital in Fairfield. However, my interests led me to the two year Funeral Service Program at American River College in Sacramento. Since 2016 I have been working part-time at Bryan-Braker Funeral Home to gain experience and knowledge within this special profession.
I recently graduated from American River College Funeral Service Education Program. I find it interesting that I started working with one side of life and ended up finding my calling working with the opposite of that. I am grateful to be a part of this team at Bryan-Braker.
You may contact Malia at [email protected]
Cate Smeltzer, Receptionist
My mother taught me to give 100% to everything I do. I have done this in every job I have held, helping my husband at Outback and in raising our son.
It is my personal goal here at Bryan-Braker since 2014, to investigate every avenue of our business to get the answers you are seeking. I believe my 20-plus years as an administrative assistant has helped me become a team player at Bryan-Braker.
One of my highest priorities here at Bryan-Braker is to make sure there is an ample supply of chocolate at the front desk when you come to see us (smile).?
You may email Cate directly at [email protected]
Alyssa Piniak, Death Certificate Clerk, Admin Support
I was born in Vacaville and lived there until I graduated in 2017. I moved to Auburn at 18, and although it was a fun experience, I missed home and decided to come back to my hometown. I worked at a vet for a long time and for most people they wouldn’t trade working with animals for anything but I knew that wasn’t where I wanted my career to be. I definitely didn’t expect to stumble across a job at a funeral home, but I did and I don’t regret it at all.
I enjoy working here at Bryan-Braker and gaining experience in a field I haven’t worked in before. Helping people through a hard time in their life is one of the best things about working here. The second best thing is when people ask me where I work and my answer is “a funeral home”, their expressions are always surprising.
Jose Avalos, Maintenance Supervisor / Monument Installation / Funeral Director Support
My greatest professional achievement is working with Bryan-Braker for the 21 years.
I believe my success in this profession comes from my strong work ethic and treating each family’s pain with the same compassion and respect as if it were my own.
In my free time I enjoy my beautiful wife and four children, our cats, dogs and working in my garden.
You may email Jose at [email protected]
Ron Smith, Funeral Director Support
Certified Phlebotomist through California.
Credited City of Suisun Youth and Adult Sports Coordinator.
Certified California High School Level Baseball Coach, including Concussion Awareness Certified, CPR certifications.
Here at Bryan-Braker since 2014, I have been dedicated to improving the quality of life for our community by providing exceptional programs, facilities, and service.
You may email Ron at [email protected]
Brigette Pinell, Funeral Director Support / Chapel Attendant / Garden Court Host
My priority is to see that the families served feel it is my privilege to help them. Serving each family in a special way and exceeding their expectations has yielded many expressions of gratitude. The often extended “I’ll never forget you”, is telling of my benevolent nature and my desire to serve well.
Being raised catholic and attending Notre Dame in San Francisco set the tone for my strong sense of compassion and dependability. Having a mother who instilled great generosity and emphasizing “There are always others worse off than you, so be humble,” still resonates with me.
I am a mother of two great young men; one is a VP of Client & Product Marketing at DWS Group and the other is just launching his career in HR payroll at TCU. I love getting together with family and friends; and heading to Napa for wine tasting and culinary exploration. I loved being a volunteer at my church teaching catechism; however, currently I’m mothering my 86- and 90-year-young aunties.
You may email Bridgette at [email protected]
Kevin Johnson, Crematory Operator, Cemetery Support
After 46 years of a career in hospitality management and wrestling with the idea of retirement, I felt I had more to offer yet in my life. After speaking with Craig I recognized we shared the same passion for serving our community and the families in it. It is an honor to be on this side of service as people depend on the most passionate and compassionate service professionals at this time in their lives. I am blessed to continue service in this organization.
I joined Brayn-Braker Funeral Home in March 2019. I have never been prouder to be associated with such a dedicated and honorable group of individuals that make our team of professionals. Had it not been for this dedication to families and community that is displayed here at Bryan-Braker I would have stayed retired. I am thankful every day that I was able to join such a fine organization.
Alex Trammell, Cemetery Groundkeeper, Cemetery Support
I am the groundskeeper at Fairmont Memorial Park. I enjoy my job here and do my best to keep the cemetery looking great!
Christina Taylor, Funeral Support
I’ve always been fascinated by the thought of the afterlife. When I got out of high school I figured what better profession to get into than the funeral business. I’ve worked customer services jobs pretty much my whole life. With this experience, I knew I could meet families compassionately and help them through their difficult times. It definitely was not easy trying to get my foot in the door of a funeral home. I did lose hope for a bit and ended up going to school and getting my Pharmacy Technician license. However, in the back of my mind I knew I had to keep shooting for a position with a funeral home. I applied to work at Bryan-Braker back in 2017 but didn’t make the cut. Then in January of 2020 I tried again and was so relieved to get a response back. I love working here and learning as much as I can about this industry.
When I’m not at work I enjoy building my Ford Mustang, which is on its way to being a show car; watching movies; playing with my cat, Mia; and making my favorite food, Spaghetti.