About Us / Our Staff
Understanding of what the funeral should accomplish and dedication to the principle that everything possible will be done to help is our goal. Our memorial home takes pride in offering you personal attention and distinctive service. You can count on us to be a source of caring and comfort during a difficult time.
Please read on to meet our dedicated staff.
Bruce Van Tassel
Bruce Van Tassel, owner of Riewerts Memorial Home, joined the staff in June 1978 and has been the Owner and Manager since 1988 and co-owner of Petrik Funeral Home in Bogota since 2008. He has been a certified certified Celebrant since March 2006. Born and raised in Ringwood, NJ and a Bergenfield resident since 1979 he graduated from The American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service, New York, NY in 1975, completed his Associates Degree in Retail Business Management at Bergen Community College in 1977. He received a New Jersey Funeral Director's License in 1977 and New York State Funeral Director's License in 1978. He earned the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) designation in 1998, an extensive continuing education program that requires 20 hours of credits for certification annually. He is a member and Past President of the Bergen County Funeral Directors, a member of the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association and the National Funeral Directors Association, a member of the Bergenfield Optimist Club since 1979 he served as the club President in 1989 and Distinguished President in 1990 and is a longtime member and Past President of the Bergenfield Chamber of Commerce. Bruce resides in Bergenfield with his wife Laura who practices Family and Collaborative Law in River Vale, NJ and is a N.J. Certified Mediator. Their daughter Tracy, a graduate of Tuft’s University in Medford MA with a degree in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, lives in Ohio and son Bruce James, an Eagle Scout with St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church Troop 139, is a graduate of Kutztown University in Kutztown, PA with a degree in Marketing and a licensed funeral director since 2013.
Eugene Friend joined the staff of Riewerts Memorial Home in July of 1989 and is co-owner of Petrik Funeral Home in Bogota since 2008. Born in Jersey City, he graduated from Bergenfield High School in 1986 and received his Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice from Bergen Community College in 1989.He graduated Cum Laude from the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service, New York, NY in 1990 where he received the Dr. John McAllister Memorial Award, the Silvo J. Fialla Award and was inducted into the Mu Sigma Alpha Honor Society. He received a New Jersey Funeral Director's License in 1991. Gene earned the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) designation in 1999, an extensive continuing education program and completes the required 20 hours of continuing education credits for certification annually and is a member of the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association and the Bergen County Funeral Directors Association. Gene resides in River Vale with his wife Laura, daughter Juliana and son Ryan.
Bruce J. Van Tassel
Bruce J. Van Tassel, joined the staff of Riewerts Memorial Home in January of 2012. He graduated from the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in New York City in 2013 and received a New Jersey Funeral Director's License in 2013. He is a member New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association, the Bergen County Funeral Directors Association and is very active in the Bergenfield Lions Club. .He is a lifelong resident of Bergenfield where he attended the Bergenfield Public School System and graduated from Bergenfield High School in 2006. He received a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 2011. Bruce was selected from thousands of applicants seeking professional internships at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. He was selected to the position of Guest Relations Host at the Magic Kingdom. Bruce is very proud of his participation with Boy Scout Troop #139 and he attained the rank of Eagle Scout in 2005.
Jim Schmitt joined the staff of Riewerts Memorial Home in January of 2008. Jim started his career in funeral service in 1981 and became a licensed funeral director in 1983. He is the Senior Director of Petrik Funeral Home in Bogota. A member and Past President of the Bergen County Funeral Directors Association he chairs the indigent burial committee. He is a life member of the Bogota Volunteer First Aid Squad and an active member of Hook and Ladder Company #1 of Bogota Fire Department and Truck Company #2 of the Ridgefield Park Fire Department. Jim is a charter member of the Bergen County Firefighter’s Pipe Band and has led the band as Pipe Major since 1999. He also belongs to the MAG 7 Pipe Band and plays at many concerts and parades throughout the tri-state area. He is self-taught on the many instruments he plays and was the folk group director at St. Joseph’s R.C. Church, Bogota for many years. Jim and his wife the former Irene Moran were raised in Dumont, NJ where they both attended the Dumont school system, graduated from Dumont High School and reside in Bogota, NJ. They have two daughters, Keri Ann Sanabria who lives in Ridgefield Park, NJ with her husband Edwin and their daughter Isabella and Jennifer Furnari is an Architect and Graduate of New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. NJ. Jenn and her husband Jesse Reside in Ridgefield Park, NJ