History & Staff

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.

Our History

The Severino family started and owned American Mortuary Services from 1970 - 1980 providing removal and preparation services to local and nationwide funeral homes that took care of  over 900 service calls a month. In 1980 they opened Cremation Services Inc., the first crematory not housed in a cemetery.

Later they saw the need for alternatives in funeral service, allowing families more choices at affordable prices.   In 1991 they started  Alternative Funeral Services, the first low cost funeral service center, which lead to building River Woods Funeral Chapels in Des Plaines. 

We have been in Des Plaines for almost 20 years now.

Our Valued Staff

Tom Chung  II Suh

Tom Chung II Suh, Funeral Director/Embalmer

Tom Chung-Il Suh has been serving as the President of the Korean American Association of Chicago since 2013. Tom has been a licensed funeral director in since 1996. He received his license after graduating from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling. Tom, along with his wife Sue, have two sons and a daughter. Tom and Sue currently attend Hebron Church. Due to his affiliation with the Korean American Association of Chicago, he has had the opportunity to meet with the President of South Korea on many occasions. Tom has a desire to see all Korean Americans succeed in every aspect of their lives. He is an avid golfer, runs marathons, and enjoys traveling.

Colette M. Severino

Colette M. Severino, Funeral Director/Embalmer

A 1992 Graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science, Colette has been a funeral director for over 25 years - a founder and partner of Severino's River Woods Funeral Chapels.
Colette was also a partner and founder of the Alternative Funeral Services in 1991 which served families with low cost affordable services.

The Lady Elks of Des Plaines Lodge 1526 and member of Mt. Prospect Moose Lodge 660.
Colette is the proud mother of Gabriel age 20 and Mason age 18.

Mason is an aspiring artist, extremely talented and has sold art work at various exhibitions.
Gabriel is an assistant at the funeral home and presently attending Harper College.

Colette is honored to be a part of a family funeral home serving other families in there time of need.
Her personal compassion and touch, along with her attention to details throughout the funeral process, is a great comfort to families.

Colette enjoys walking her dogs, Laddie and Goose and when weather permits you will find her in the garden.

William E. Conlon

William E. Conlon, Funeral Director

Bill has served the Chicagoland community for almost 50 years. He was born and raised in Iowa. He came to Chicago to fullfill he dreams of being a funeral director. Bill has been with the firm for over 20 years. He is compassionate and dedicated to the families he serves. Bill is always caring and his gentle nature has been a comfort to many families in their time of need. Bill enjoys movies and theatre.

Gabriel J Severino

Gabriel J Severino, Funeral Director Assistant

Gabriel is the newest addition to our staff. We are lucky to have him. Gabe is a natural at helping people feel comfortable. Gabe is presently attending Harper College where he will be studying his favorite subjects, History and Philosophy.

Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams, Funeral Director Assistant

Ryan is an energetic young man who is very devoted to helping people. His compassion will serve him well as he begins his education and development in the world of funeral service. Ryan adds a young energy to our business. His knowledge of the new technologies as well as his ability to identify with the younger people of our community will help us to serve all family members properly. Ryan is attending Worsham College of Mortuary Science and will be graduating in September 2018.


William "Vince" Henry, Funeral Director/Embalmer

William Vincent Henry a Central Illinois Native. He is a family man with seven children and 4 grandchildren. Vince is a very spiritual person; serving as pastor of a number of churches in the Central Illinois and Indiana area. Vincent is very active in the civic groups of Des Plaines. He is a member of the Elks, the Kiwanis Club and the Masons. He also enjoys the many fine restaurants of Des Plaines. He likes antique cars, classic country music and old movies. He enjoys singing and stand up comedy. Vincent was attracted to the funeral business because he wanted to minister the needs of the survivors. The personal bond with families at need and aftercare is what matters most to him. He is also intriqued by the Arts and Science of the funeral business. Vincent is a 1997 Graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science, as well as a B.A. Degree from National University in 2001. Vince took a Master of Arts degree from both Olivet Nazarene University and at Urbana Theological Seminary. He is currently preparing to begin a Doctorate Degree in the fall.