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Our Staff

Dedicated to Excellence

/DengelMortuary/Craig.jpgOur Staff's Commitment to You.


If you have lived in Franklin County for any length of time, chances are you will know or at least recognize our employees, because they all live here. They are all longtime or lifetime residents.

We think that it is important for families we serve to see familiar faces at a time when they need comfort and understanding. It just seems to make a difficult situation a little easier.

Our employees deserve to be in the spotlight because much of our success is due to their dedication and caring, and we want to give credit where credit is due. I appreciate the staff's dedication and loyalty and I owe them a debt of gratitude. Without them, we would not be able to enjoy the success we have today.

However, their dedication and loyalty are not limited to the funeral home, these traits are also extended to our city and surrounding communities. All members of our staff are either native Franklin Counties or longtime residents. They have a vested interest in the future of this county, because their children and grandchildren are here; their roots are here.

They are not only good employees; they are good neighbors and friends, who are proud to live here and who take an active part in making it a good place to live.

We see a bright future for this community and the surrounding area. Our county is growing, and we are all very excited to be a part of it.

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Craig & Cindy Dengel Owner & Funeral Director

Craig Louis Dengel, the president of Dengel & Son Mortuary, is the third generation to own and manage Dengel & Son Mortuary. He follows in the footsteps of his father, Walter, and his grandfather, Louis. As a youngster of twelve, he began his career in the funeral business at the bottom of the ladder, washing cars and mowing the lawn for his grandfather at the funeral home. He continued helping at the funeral home all through high school and during the summers while in college.

Craig graduated from Ottawa High School in 1978, from Kansas City Community College with an Associate Arts Degree in Mortuary Science in 1980, and from Fort Hays State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in 1983. After college, he returned to Ottawa and joined his father in business.
 
In 1988, he married Cynthia Lee.  Although Cindy was born in Japan and in 1978 graduated high school in San Diego and later graduated from Baker University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management, she has family roots here in Ottawa and Franklin County.  Her father, Joe and Craig’s father, Walt graduated from Ottawa High School together in the same class of 1954.
 
Craig and Cindy have 3 children: Jennifer lives in Lenexa and is a registered nurse; Christina lives in Lawrence and is a kindergarten teacher and Chase lives in Kansas City and works in business management.  So far Craig and Cindy have 4 grandchildren.
 
Craig is proud to be a third generation funeral director serving Ottawa, proud to be the owner of Ottawa’s only independent, family owned funeral home. Growing up in Ottawa, being a part of this community, having lifelong friendships and acquaintances, influence his every business decision. This is more than just business to Craig; this is a personal commitment to friends and neighbors.

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Walter & Clarice Dengel Funeral Director & Former Owners

Walt Dengel, son of the founder of Dengel & Son Mortuary, Louis Dengel, grew up in Ottawa and graduated from Ottawa High School in 1954. He grew up living in an apartment on the second story of the funeral home with his parents, Louie and Vada Dengel and his sister, Naomi. He has many fond memories growing up in Ottawa and often recalls events that happened years ago with his coffee buddies. Living on top of a funeral home had its own special memories.
 
After high school he went to Emporia State Teacher’s College where he met his future wife, Clarice Steffes. After college and a stint in the Army, Clarice and Walt were married in her hometown of Olpe, Kansas in 1958. In short order they had three children, Craig, Carol and Mark.
 
In 1961, Walt brought Clarice and family to his hometown, Ottawa, and went to work for his Dad, Louie, at the funeral home. Walt and Louie worked together until Louie died in 1973 and Walt took over the reins of the funeral home. The kids were getting older and Clarice began helping at the funeral home.
 
Walt welcomed oldest son, Craig into the business in 1983. It was a good partnership. In 1998, Walter and Clarice retired from the funeral business and sold the funeral home to son Craig. They bought a second home in Florida and spent eight months every year there for fourteen years.
 
Walt and Clarice moved back to Ottawa permanently in 2013. They said it was time to come home.  Walt is so happy to be able to help at the funeral home. He is renewing old friendships and visiting with people he hasn’t seen in years. He is in his element. Clarice is equally happy to be back home, enjoying old friends and being close to family.

Dengel & Son Mortuary - Crematory

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Cassandra Tracy Funeral Director, Embalmer & Cremation Specialist

Cassandra, also known as Cassie, was a long-time resident of Salina before becoming a member of Dengel & Son Mortuary’s staff in 2015.  She is a licensed funeral director, embalmer, and cremation specialist.  Cassie also assists in web support and runs all our social media.  She is very knowledgeable with technology and is up to date on current trends.

 

Cassie knew she wanted to become a funeral director at the age of sixteen.  After high school, Cassie went on to attend Kansas City Kansas Community College where she graduated with her degree in Mortuary Science in 2015.  While in school, she did on the job training at Warren McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.  Once Cassie graduated, the owner recommended she come to work for us and has since enjoyed living and working in Ottawa.

 

When she is not working, Cassie enjoys spending time with her family and friends in Salina, attending concerts, watching sports and playing golf.  She plans to stay with our firm and make Ottawa her home.

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Carolyn Elder Certified Pre-need Counselor

Carolyn, an Ottawa native, is a certified Pre-need Counselor. She has been a member of Dengel & Son Mortuary’s staff since 1990.
 
As our pre-need counselor, Carolyn helps people plan funeral services before the need arises.  Some are pre-funded, some are not. She is a professional with high moral standards who is focused on a family’s needs. Most pre-need counselors work on a commission. As a salaried professional, Carolyn will never pressure anyone into pre-funding a funeral or influence their choices.  Carolyn sets high standards for herself, professionally, personally and morally.
 
In addition, Carolyn provides after-care for our families by sharing information on all aspects of grief and sharing appropriate books from our grief library.

She does an excellent job presenting programs on funeral service to various groups. She communicates very well and is very knowledgeable on all facets of funeral service. There seems to be a great deal of interest in the subject and the meetings are very lively and informative.
 
Carolyn is very active in her church. Among other things, she directs a ministry team, Hands of Glory, which shares contemporary Christian music in sign language. The popular group travels, sharing their talent. She also delivers Meals on Wheels each week and is a long time volunteer for Midland Hospice.
 
Carolyn has three married daughters and eight grandchildren. Through the years while working in our funeral home Carolyn has dealt with the death of close friends and of several members of her immediate family including her husband Bud, who died in 2003. She is a compassionate person who can relate to the families we serve.

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Joyce Boyd Office Administrator

Joyce, a longtime Ottawa resident, has been working for Dengel & Son Mortuary since 2003.  She began working part-time in the office during evening visitations. It wasn’t long before she became a full-time employee and became indispensable to us.
 
As office administrator she keeps things running smoothly and our Funeral Directors have come to depend upon her kind manner and her efficiency. One of her responsibilities is to write the obituaries for the newspapers and the funeral folder. The Funeral Directors write down the information and Joyce makes sense of it.  She has a talent for helping families put onto paper what they want to convey in the obituary and she does it with ease. Joyce is an important member of our team and greatly contributes to our success.
 
Joyce and her husband Jon, have four children and five grandchildren. During their free time they enjoy hosting family gatherings and spending time together outdoors. Joyce also loves to read, sew, bake and garden. She is thoughtful, kind and considerate, all of which are wonderful qualities that help when working with grieving families.

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Tony Stottlemire Cemetery Specialist

Tony, a Franklin County native who grew up in rural Rantoul, is in charge of cemetery set-ups.  When we have a burial Tony sets up the tent, chairs and the equipment used to lower the casket and vault into the grave.  Depending upon the cemetery, he is sometimes the grave digger.  He is good at what he does and we always know everything will be ready and in place when the funeral procession arrives at the cemetery.
 
He also keeps busy setting monuments.  He does an excellent job setting stones.  He takes extra precautions to make sure monuments remains straight and stable through the years.
 
Keeping the yard and grounds looking good at the funeral home and keeping the equipment in good repair takes a good deal of his time.  We are lucky to have a man of many talents working for us.  He always has a big smile and a friendly word for everyone.
 
Tony graduated from Central Heights High School in 1988 and still lives on a farm near Rantoul.  When he has time he hunts deer and turkey with a bow and arrow.  But most of the time, when he is not working, he is spending time with wife Michelle and his two girls, Emma Rose and Piper Jo.  This year he is coaching Emma’s softball team, Ottawa Thunder.   Piper is not old enough to play yet but we are sure Tony has plans for her too.

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Lee Crane Support Staff

Lee has worked for us two years.  We were looking for someone to work part-time to help with funerals, visitations and to go on “first calls” when there is a death.  We feel very fortunate to have found Lee.  If you have attended a visitation or funeral, you probably interacted with a kind and helpful, well dressed gentleman.  That gentleman was Lee.  When he goes to a home or a hospital for a “death call”, he is very professional and kind.  He is a man you can trust.

 

He retired from the US Navy and has traveled the world over twice and has been in every state in the nation.  He still enjoys traveling with his wife JoAnna.  He grew up in this part of the country and attended various schools, including Ottawa. 

 

He enjoys many activities including fishing, golfing, biking, as well as yoga, martial arts, woodworking and gardening. 

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Marna Riddle Support Staff

Marna is affectionately known as our “night lady.”  Let me explain.  Most of our visitations take place in the evening after the office staff has gone home.  We need someone to manage the office during those times and that is Marna’s job; hence the name, “the night lady.”  She is also called upon on weekends when the office staff is off and we have a funeral or visitation scheduled.  She has been doing a good job for us for 11 years.

 

Marna grew up in Garnett before moving to Ottawa.  Many of us knew her parents, Betty and the late Lionel Sutton, who owned Sutton’s Jewelry.  Before retirement, Marna taught school for 32 years.  She still substitutes, mainly at Central Heights.  That gives her 43 years in education and still counting.  She does so enjoy the students.

 

Marna is married to Butch Riddle, who is a retired plumber.  They have two sons, Jay and Luke; and a grandson, Johnie.

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Bob Redeker Visitation Specialist

Bob, a longtime resident of Ottawa, has been working for us for many years following his retirement in 1996. You will see him at most of our evening visitations greeting visitors and making everyone feel comfortable.  He is very good at that because he seems to know just about everyone, especially the citizens from the southern part of the county. And there is a reason for that, he was a teacher there.
 
His first teaching job in Franklin County was at Lane, he traveled a gravel road to get there.  When the schools consolidated, he moved to Richmond and taught high school and his final move was to teach in the brand new high school at Central Heights in 1969. Bob taught English, Theater and Speech. He was a natural for that because he has a wonderful speaking voice, that in the past, he has put to good use in Community Theater productions.
 
He and his wife Mary have four children and eight grandchildren that keep them busy. He is also very involved in his church and continues to be a substitute teacher at Central Heights. We are glad he leaves some time for us; we have come to rely upon his “people skills”.

Dengel & Son Mortuary - Louisburg

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Kraig Hickey Funeral Director, Embalmer & Cremation Specialist

Kraig Hickey has been a part of the Miami County Community since 1998. He is a licensed Funeral Director, Embalmer and Cremation Specialist.  Kraig and his wife Brandi are members of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and have been married since 2002. They have three children, Samantha, Rylee and Brady.

 

Kraig is a United States Navy Seabee Veteran and belongs to the VFW Post 7348 and American Legion Post 250. Kraig is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Louisburg Lions Club and the Knights of Columbus. He serves on the Board for the St. Mary’s Cemetery and Louisburg City Cemetery.

 

Kraig is committed to caring for families in this community and has been helping families with their funeral service needs for nearly 20 years.

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Cindy Hauer Office Administration & Assistant Funeral Director

Cindy Hauer is our administrative assistant and assistant funeral director for the Louisburg Chapel.  She has worked at Louisburg since November 1986, over 30 years.  She is one of those people a business cannot get along without.  We are grateful she is sticking around to work for us. 

 

She is a familiar face in the Louisburg area; you will see her at almost every funeral and visitation.  She takes care of multiple tasks, making sure the funeral ceremony is flawless.  She has the perfect personality to work with grieving families.  She is compassionate and just a really nice person.

 

Cindy has lived in Louisburg her whole life.  She and her husband, Garry, have two children and five grandchildren whom they love to spoil.  In her spare time, she likes to groom her pet.  No, it is not a dog or a cat---it is a Clydesdale horse!  Imagine that.

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Jerry Flanagan Support Staff

Jerry has worked at the funeral home in Louisburg for four years.  He works for us part-time, helping with funerals, visitations and in the office.  He and Glenda, his wife of 50 years, moved to rural Louisburg twelve years ago after being a school administrator for 30 years.  We like him because he is personable, easy to talk to and can put people who are visiting the funeral home at ease.  He likes people and they like him.

 

Jerry grew up in Wichita and after college, he and his family, moved to the K.C. area.  Now he and Glenda are enjoying the good life out in the country and couldn’t be happier.  He gardens and at one time they had nine chickens and two pigs.

 

He is on the Louisburg USD 416 School Board, volunteers at the Senior Center and is a member of K of C.  He is a diversified sports fan --- KU basketball, K State football and Royals baseball.

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Karen Williams Support Staff

Karen Williams is a member of our support staff.  She has worked part-time since last November, helping with funeral services and in the office.  We are blessed to have Karen, a Louisburg resident of 60 years.  She has a personal relationship with many of our families and is able to provide support to them during their loss.

 

Karen worked for her dad, Ray Long, owner of the Louisburg Gas Co. after graduation.  For 17 years she worked for the Louisburg school district as a cook, retiring in 2005.  She developed many friendships with the kids she served.  Now she enjoys seeing them grown up with their own families.

 

She and her husband, Richard, have been married for 47 years and have two sons, Dennis and Jeff.  They enjoy spending time with their three grandchildren and with family and friends.  She is a cancer survivor of 13 years and feels each day is a blessing.

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Sandra Rains Support Staff

Sandra Rains, also known as Sandy, works at our Louisburg Chapel as a support staff member.

 

Sandy is a native Californian and lived there most of her life.  While there, she owned a florist shop and a business doing government contracting on military bases all over the U.S.  Sandy was widowed after 52 years of marriage and moved to Louisburg in 2004 to be near one of her daughters, Anna Sprague,

and her family.

 

We are fortunate to have Sandy working for us.  She helps where ever we need her but mainly she helps with visitations.  She is acquainted with many people and has a pleasant personality.  She has a knack of making visitors feel comfortable during a difficult time.

 

Sandy keeps busy in her spare time.  It is no surprise that gardening is one of her hobbies.  She also likes to travel, here and abroad.  She is active in her church, United Methodist and the Louisburg Garden Club and Book Club.

Dengel & Son Mortuary - Osawatomie

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Debby Stout Funeral Director & Pre-need Counselor

Debby has worked in the funeral profession for 25 years.  Prior to that, she worked at the Osawatomie State Hospital and the United States Department of Agriculture Compliance Department in Kansas City, Missouri.  She and her husband Shane have been married 32 years and have three daughters Steffany (Josh) Madden, Kaylee (Trevor) Hurt, and Kelsey (Anthony) Nolte.  Their pride and joy are their four grandchildren Jayden and Sayge Madden, Kaydee Hurt, and Grayson Nolte. 

 

Debby was born in Ottawa, Kansas.  At that time, her family lived in Richmond, Kansas.  Her father Kenneth New was originally from Greeley, Kansas and her mother Marilyn (Roush) New was originally from Princeton, Kansas.  When Debby was 5 years old, they moved to Paola where she grew up and attended school graduating from  Paola High School with the Class of 1980.  She earned her Associate of Science degree through Fort Scott Community College and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

 

She and her husband live on a small private lake in rural Lane, Kansas where she enjoys paddle boarding and jet skiing.  She also likes baking, bicycling, watching movies, cross stitching, traveling, and completing jig-saw puzzles.  She stays very active in the community being a member of the Osawatomie Rotary Club and Lane Methodist Church.  She has served on the board of directors for Osawatomie Chamber of Commerce as well as the Paola Chamber of Commerce.  She assists with delivering Meals on Wheels in Osawatomie and Paola, is a volunteer for the American Red Cross, a Business Partner with Osawatomie Trojan Elementary classes, and is on the board of directors for Grief Comfort.  Her favorite pastime, is the time she spends with her family and friends.   

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Cindy Lewis Support Staff

Cindy is our newest employee and she has proven to be an excellent choice.

 

Cindy retired from First Option Bank in March and discovered she missed being around people and wasn’t ready to give that up.  Lucky for us, because she is just the person we needed to help at our Osawatomie funeral home.  She works part-time answering the phone and greeting visitors.  She also assists with visitations and funerals.  People like seeing a familiar face and a friendly person when they come to the funeral home.  That describes Cindy!

 

Cindy grew up in Osawatomie and resumed working in Osawatomie 16 years ago after working in Paola for many years.  She reconnected with old friends and made new friends.  That was not hard for her to do.  She is a very outgoing person.  In her free time, she enjoys taking day trips and going to the movies with friends.  She also enjoys flower gardening, reading and photography.

Dengel & Son Mortuary - Paola

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Chadwick Wilson Funeral Director & Embalmer

Funeral Director Chadwick D. Wilson is a life-long Paola resident.  A third generation funeral director, he was raised in the funeral home and grew up helping in and around the funeral home.  He joined his father Charles and grandfather Roy in the family business in 1974 and continues to provide Paola families with service and comfort to this day.

 

Chad is a former president of the Paola Lions Club, Ambassador Club member, Paola Country Club Men's Association president, former Red Cross safety director and First Presbyterian Church deacon.

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Terri Cooperrider Office Administrator

Terri works at our Paola funeral home.  She is a kind and compassionate person who works closely with the families we serve and with our funeral directors.  In the planning of funerals, details are of utmost importance.  Terri is detail oriented and has great organizational skills that are so important when you consider only a limited amount of time is available to plan a funeral service.

 

Family is very important to Terri.  When living in Olathe, Terri’s entire extended family lived on the same family acreage.  When they moved to Paola, they all moved and recreated that same sense of extended family.

 

Terri and her husband Carl, whom she met while they were at Pittsburg State, have two daughters and six grandchildren.  Terri likes to travel, read, knit, canoe and swim.  Of course, activities with her six grandchildren take priority.

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Fred Scherman Support Staff

Fred Scherman has been working at the Paola funeral home part-time for six years.  You’ll oftentimes find him at the funeral home helping wherever and whenever needed.  He enjoys working with the funeral home staff and meeting new people.  Prior to working at the funeral home, Fred worked as a carpenter which is a skill he acquired from his father.  He continues to do carpentry work when he has time and really enjoys it.

 

Fred, a life-long resident of Paola, grew up in Paola and graduated from Paola High School.  Being the third of six children, he grew up on a farm, raised farm animals, participated in 4-H and FFA, and enjoyed camping out.  He and his wife Kate (Lawrence) celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary this year.  They have two children Mitch and Kiley (son-in-law Dave). 

 

Fred enjoys fishing, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends.  He is a big Paola Panther fan, especially in the fall during football season.  He rarely, if ever, misses a Paola Panther football game, be it home or away.  His church membership is with Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Paola.  Fred has been told many times he has the “gift of gab” as he loves visiting with people. 

 

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Donna Powell Support Staff

Donna is based in Paola but there are times she is called upon to help at our Osawatomie or Louisburg funeral homes.  She has been working part-time for 10 years.  She is a very valued employee; she is friendly and always has a smile on her face.  Donna grew up in Paola and worked 25 years for Auburn Pharmacy, so there are not many people she doesn’t know.  When you have suffered a loss it sure helps to see a familiar face with a sympathetic ear.

 

Donna lost her husband, David, in 2000.  She has two children, Angela and David and two grandchildren.  In her free time, she enjoys going to movies, garage sales, cruises, casinos, reading and spending time with her friends. 

 

One of the things Donna enjoys about her job is that she has the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances.  And, they are glad to see her again too.

Craig & Cindy Dengel

Owner & Funeral Director
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Craig Louis Dengel, the president of Dengel & Son Mortuary, is the third generation to own and manage Dengel & Son Mortuary. He follows in the footsteps of his father, Walter, and his grandfather, Louis. As a youngster of twelve, he began his career in the funeral business at the bottom of the ladder, washing cars and mowing the lawn for his grandfather at the funeral home. He continued helping at the funeral home all through high school and during the summers while in college.

Craig graduated from Ottawa High School in 1978, from Kansas City Community College with an Associate Arts Degree in Mortuary Science in 1980, and from Fort Hays State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in 1983. After college, he returned to Ottawa and joined his father in business.
 
In 1988, he married Cynthia Lee.  Although Cindy was born in Japan and in 1978 graduated high school in San Diego and later graduated from Baker University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management, she has family roots here in Ottawa and Franklin County.  Her father, Joe and Craig’s father, Walt graduated from Ottawa High School together in the same class of 1954.
 
Craig and Cindy have 3 children: Jennifer lives in Lenexa and is a registered nurse; Christina lives in Lawrence and is a kindergarten teacher and Chase lives in Kansas City and works in business management.  So far Craig and Cindy have 4 grandchildren.
 
Craig is proud to be a third generation funeral director serving Ottawa, proud to be the owner of Ottawa’s only independent, family owned funeral home. Growing up in Ottawa, being a part of this community, having lifelong friendships and acquaintances, influence his every business decision. This is more than just business to Craig; this is a personal commitment to friends and neighbors.

Chadwick Wilson

Funeral Director & Embalmer
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Funeral Director Chadwick D. Wilson is a life-long Paola resident.  A third generation funeral director, he was raised in the funeral home and grew up helping in and around the funeral home.  He joined his father Charles and grandfather Roy in the family business in 1974 and continues to provide Paola families with service and comfort to this day.

 

Chad is a former president of the Paola Lions Club, Ambassador Club member, Paola Country Club Men's Association president, former Red Cross safety director and First Presbyterian Church deacon.

Terri Cooperrider

Office Administrator
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Terri works at our Paola funeral home.  She is a kind and compassionate person who works closely with the families we serve and with our funeral directors.  In the planning of funerals, details are of utmost importance.  Terri is detail oriented and has great organizational skills that are so important when you consider only a limited amount of time is available to plan a funeral service.

 

Family is very important to Terri.  When living in Olathe, Terri’s entire extended family lived on the same family acreage.  When they moved to Paola, they all moved and recreated that same sense of extended family.

 

Terri and her husband Carl, whom she met while they were at Pittsburg State, have two daughters and six grandchildren.  Terri likes to travel, read, knit, canoe and swim.  Of course, activities with her six grandchildren take priority.

Debby Stout

Funeral Director & Pre-need Counselor
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Debby has worked in the funeral profession for 25 years.  Prior to that, she worked at the Osawatomie State Hospital and the United States Department of Agriculture Compliance Department in Kansas City, Missouri.  She and her husband Shane have been married 32 years and have three daughters Steffany (Josh) Madden, Kaylee (Trevor) Hurt, and Kelsey (Anthony) Nolte.  Their pride and joy are their four grandchildren Jayden and Sayge Madden, Kaydee Hurt, and Grayson Nolte. 

 

Debby was born in Ottawa, Kansas.  At that time, her family lived in Richmond, Kansas.  Her father Kenneth New was originally from Greeley, Kansas and her mother Marilyn (Roush) New was originally from Princeton, Kansas.  When Debby was 5 years old, they moved to Paola where she grew up and attended school graduating from  Paola High School with the Class of 1980.  She earned her Associate of Science degree through Fort Scott Community College and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

 

She and her husband live on a small private lake in rural Lane, Kansas where she enjoys paddle boarding and jet skiing.  She also likes baking, bicycling, watching movies, cross stitching, traveling, and completing jig-saw puzzles.  She stays very active in the community being a member of the Osawatomie Rotary Club and Lane Methodist Church.  She has served on the board of directors for Osawatomie Chamber of Commerce as well as the Paola Chamber of Commerce.  She assists with delivering Meals on Wheels in Osawatomie and Paola, is a volunteer for the American Red Cross, a Business Partner with Osawatomie Trojan Elementary classes, and is on the board of directors for Grief Comfort.  Her favorite pastime, is the time she spends with her family and friends.   

Cindy Lewis

Support Staff
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Cindy is our newest employee and she has proven to be an excellent choice.

 

Cindy retired from First Option Bank in March and discovered she missed being around people and wasn’t ready to give that up.  Lucky for us, because she is just the person we needed to help at our Osawatomie funeral home.  She works part-time answering the phone and greeting visitors.  She also assists with visitations and funerals.  People like seeing a familiar face and a friendly person when they come to the funeral home.  That describes Cindy!

 

Cindy grew up in Osawatomie and resumed working in Osawatomie 16 years ago after working in Paola for many years.  She reconnected with old friends and made new friends.  That was not hard for her to do.  She is a very outgoing person.  In her free time, she enjoys taking day trips and going to the movies with friends.  She also enjoys flower gardening, reading and photography.

Fred Scherman

Support Staff
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Fred Scherman has been working at the Paola funeral home part-time for six years.  You’ll oftentimes find him at the funeral home helping wherever and whenever needed.  He enjoys working with the funeral home staff and meeting new people.  Prior to working at the funeral home, Fred worked as a carpenter which is a skill he acquired from his father.  He continues to do carpentry work when he has time and really enjoys it.

 

Fred, a life-long resident of Paola, grew up in Paola and graduated from Paola High School.  Being the third of six children, he grew up on a farm, raised farm animals, participated in 4-H and FFA, and enjoyed camping out.  He and his wife Kate (Lawrence) celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary this year.  They have two children Mitch and Kiley (son-in-law Dave). 

 

Fred enjoys fishing, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends.  He is a big Paola Panther fan, especially in the fall during football season.  He rarely, if ever, misses a Paola Panther football game, be it home or away.  His church membership is with Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Paola.  Fred has been told many times he has the “gift of gab” as he loves visiting with people. 

 

Donna Powell

Support Staff
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Donna is based in Paola but there are times she is called upon to help at our Osawatomie or Louisburg funeral homes.  She has been working part-time for 10 years.  She is a very valued employee; she is friendly and always has a smile on her face.  Donna grew up in Paola and worked 25 years for Auburn Pharmacy, so there are not many people she doesn’t know.  When you have suffered a loss it sure helps to see a familiar face with a sympathetic ear.

 

Donna lost her husband, David, in 2000.  She has two children, Angela and David and two grandchildren.  In her free time, she enjoys going to movies, garage sales, cruises, casinos, reading and spending time with her friends. 

 

One of the things Donna enjoys about her job is that she has the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances.  And, they are glad to see her again too.

Walter & Clarice Dengel

Funeral Director & Former Owners
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Walt Dengel, son of the founder of Dengel & Son Mortuary, Louis Dengel, grew up in Ottawa and graduated from Ottawa High School in 1954. He grew up living in an apartment on the second story of the funeral home with his parents, Louie and Vada Dengel and his sister, Naomi. He has many fond memories growing up in Ottawa and often recalls events that happened years ago with his coffee buddies. Living on top of a funeral home had its own special memories.
 
After high school he went to Emporia State Teacher’s College where he met his future wife, Clarice Steffes. After college and a stint in the Army, Clarice and Walt were married in her hometown of Olpe, Kansas in 1958. In short order they had three children, Craig, Carol and Mark.
 
In 1961, Walt brought Clarice and family to his hometown, Ottawa, and went to work for his Dad, Louie, at the funeral home. Walt and Louie worked together until Louie died in 1973 and Walt took over the reins of the funeral home. The kids were getting older and Clarice began helping at the funeral home.
 
Walt welcomed oldest son, Craig into the business in 1983. It was a good partnership. In 1998, Walter and Clarice retired from the funeral business and sold the funeral home to son Craig. They bought a second home in Florida and spent eight months every year there for fourteen years.
 
Walt and Clarice moved back to Ottawa permanently in 2013. They said it was time to come home.  Walt is so happy to be able to help at the funeral home. He is renewing old friendships and visiting with people he hasn’t seen in years. He is in his element. Clarice is equally happy to be back home, enjoying old friends and being close to family.

Cassandra Tracy

Funeral Director, Embalmer & Cremation Specialist
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Cassandra, also known as Cassie, was a long-time resident of Salina before becoming a member of Dengel & Son Mortuary’s staff in 2015.  She is a licensed funeral director, embalmer, and cremation specialist.  Cassie also assists in web support and runs all our social media.  She is very knowledgeable with technology and is up to date on current trends.

 

Cassie knew she wanted to become a funeral director at the age of sixteen.  After high school, Cassie went on to attend Kansas City Kansas Community College where she graduated with her degree in Mortuary Science in 2015.  While in school, she did on the job training at Warren McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.  Once Cassie graduated, the owner recommended she come to work for us and has since enjoyed living and working in Ottawa.

 

When she is not working, Cassie enjoys spending time with her family and friends in Salina, attending concerts, watching sports and playing golf.  She plans to stay with our firm and make Ottawa her home.

Kraig Hickey

Funeral Director, Embalmer & Cremation Specialist
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Kraig Hickey has been a part of the Miami County Community since 1998. He is a licensed Funeral Director, Embalmer and Cremation Specialist.  Kraig and his wife Brandi are members of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and have been married since 2002. They have three children, Samantha, Rylee and Brady.

 

Kraig is a United States Navy Seabee Veteran and belongs to the VFW Post 7348 and American Legion Post 250. Kraig is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Louisburg Lions Club and the Knights of Columbus. He serves on the Board for the St. Mary’s Cemetery and Louisburg City Cemetery.

 

Kraig is committed to caring for families in this community and has been helping families with their funeral service needs for nearly 20 years.

Carolyn Elder

Certified Pre-need Counselor
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Carolyn, an Ottawa native, is a certified Pre-need Counselor. She has been a member of Dengel & Son Mortuary’s staff since 1990.
 
As our pre-need counselor, Carolyn helps people plan funeral services before the need arises.  Some are pre-funded, some are not. She is a professional with high moral standards who is focused on a family’s needs. Most pre-need counselors work on a commission. As a salaried professional, Carolyn will never pressure anyone into pre-funding a funeral or influence their choices.  Carolyn sets high standards for herself, professionally, personally and morally.
 
In addition, Carolyn provides after-care for our families by sharing information on all aspects of grief and sharing appropriate books from our grief library.

She does an excellent job presenting programs on funeral service to various groups. She communicates very well and is very knowledgeable on all facets of funeral service. There seems to be a great deal of interest in the subject and the meetings are very lively and informative.
 
Carolyn is very active in her church. Among other things, she directs a ministry team, Hands of Glory, which shares contemporary Christian music in sign language. The popular group travels, sharing their talent. She also delivers Meals on Wheels each week and is a long time volunteer for Midland Hospice.
 
Carolyn has three married daughters and eight grandchildren. Through the years while working in our funeral home Carolyn has dealt with the death of close friends and of several members of her immediate family including her husband Bud, who died in 2003. She is a compassionate person who can relate to the families we serve.

Cindy Hauer

Office Administration & Assistant Funeral Director
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Cindy Hauer is our administrative assistant and assistant funeral director for the Louisburg Chapel.  She has worked at Louisburg since November 1986, over 30 years.  She is one of those people a business cannot get along without.  We are grateful she is sticking around to work for us. 

 

She is a familiar face in the Louisburg area; you will see her at almost every funeral and visitation.  She takes care of multiple tasks, making sure the funeral ceremony is flawless.  She has the perfect personality to work with grieving families.  She is compassionate and just a really nice person.

 

Cindy has lived in Louisburg her whole life.  She and her husband, Garry, have two children and five grandchildren whom they love to spoil.  In her spare time, she likes to groom her pet.  No, it is not a dog or a cat---it is a Clydesdale horse!  Imagine that.

Jerry Flanagan

Support Staff
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Jerry has worked at the funeral home in Louisburg for four years.  He works for us part-time, helping with funerals, visitations and in the office.  He and Glenda, his wife of 50 years, moved to rural Louisburg twelve years ago after being a school administrator for 30 years.  We like him because he is personable, easy to talk to and can put people who are visiting the funeral home at ease.  He likes people and they like him.

 

Jerry grew up in Wichita and after college, he and his family, moved to the K.C. area.  Now he and Glenda are enjoying the good life out in the country and couldn’t be happier.  He gardens and at one time they had nine chickens and two pigs.

 

He is on the Louisburg USD 416 School Board, volunteers at the Senior Center and is a member of K of C.  He is a diversified sports fan --- KU basketball, K State football and Royals baseball.

Karen Williams

Support Staff
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Karen Williams is a member of our support staff.  She has worked part-time since last November, helping with funeral services and in the office.  We are blessed to have Karen, a Louisburg resident of 60 years.  She has a personal relationship with many of our families and is able to provide support to them during their loss.

 

Karen worked for her dad, Ray Long, owner of the Louisburg Gas Co. after graduation.  For 17 years she worked for the Louisburg school district as a cook, retiring in 2005.  She developed many friendships with the kids she served.  Now she enjoys seeing them grown up with their own families.

 

She and her husband, Richard, have been married for 47 years and have two sons, Dennis and Jeff.  They enjoy spending time with their three grandchildren and with family and friends.  She is a cancer survivor of 13 years and feels each day is a blessing.

Sandra Rains

Support Staff
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Sandra Rains, also known as Sandy, works at our Louisburg Chapel as a support staff member.

 

Sandy is a native Californian and lived there most of her life.  While there, she owned a florist shop and a business doing government contracting on military bases all over the U.S.  Sandy was widowed after 52 years of marriage and moved to Louisburg in 2004 to be near one of her daughters, Anna Sprague,

and her family.

 

We are fortunate to have Sandy working for us.  She helps where ever we need her but mainly she helps with visitations.  She is acquainted with many people and has a pleasant personality.  She has a knack of making visitors feel comfortable during a difficult time.

 

Sandy keeps busy in her spare time.  It is no surprise that gardening is one of her hobbies.  She also likes to travel, here and abroad.  She is active in her church, United Methodist and the Louisburg Garden Club and Book Club.

Joyce Boyd

Office Administrator
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Joyce, a longtime Ottawa resident, has been working for Dengel & Son Mortuary since 2003.  She began working part-time in the office during evening visitations. It wasn’t long before she became a full-time employee and became indispensable to us.
 
As office administrator she keeps things running smoothly and our Funeral Directors have come to depend upon her kind manner and her efficiency. One of her responsibilities is to write the obituaries for the newspapers and the funeral folder. The Funeral Directors write down the information and Joyce makes sense of it.  She has a talent for helping families put onto paper what they want to convey in the obituary and she does it with ease. Joyce is an important member of our team and greatly contributes to our success.
 
Joyce and her husband Jon, have four children and five grandchildren. During their free time they enjoy hosting family gatherings and spending time together outdoors. Joyce also loves to read, sew, bake and garden. She is thoughtful, kind and considerate, all of which are wonderful qualities that help when working with grieving families.

Tony Stottlemire

Cemetery Specialist
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Tony, a Franklin County native who grew up in rural Rantoul, is in charge of cemetery set-ups.  When we have a burial Tony sets up the tent, chairs and the equipment used to lower the casket and vault into the grave.  Depending upon the cemetery, he is sometimes the grave digger.  He is good at what he does and we always know everything will be ready and in place when the funeral procession arrives at the cemetery.
 
He also keeps busy setting monuments.  He does an excellent job setting stones.  He takes extra precautions to make sure monuments remains straight and stable through the years.
 
Keeping the yard and grounds looking good at the funeral home and keeping the equipment in good repair takes a good deal of his time.  We are lucky to have a man of many talents working for us.  He always has a big smile and a friendly word for everyone.
 
Tony graduated from Central Heights High School in 1988 and still lives on a farm near Rantoul.  When he has time he hunts deer and turkey with a bow and arrow.  But most of the time, when he is not working, he is spending time with wife Michelle and his two girls, Emma Rose and Piper Jo.  This year he is coaching Emma’s softball team, Ottawa Thunder.   Piper is not old enough to play yet but we are sure Tony has plans for her too.

Lee Crane

Support Staff
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Lee has worked for us two years.  We were looking for someone to work part-time to help with funerals, visitations and to go on “first calls” when there is a death.  We feel very fortunate to have found Lee.  If you have attended a visitation or funeral, you probably interacted with a kind and helpful, well dressed gentleman.  That gentleman was Lee.  When he goes to a home or a hospital for a “death call”, he is very professional and kind.  He is a man you can trust.

 

He retired from the US Navy and has traveled the world over twice and has been in every state in the nation.  He still enjoys traveling with his wife JoAnna.  He grew up in this part of the country and attended various schools, including Ottawa. 

 

He enjoys many activities including fishing, golfing, biking, as well as yoga, martial arts, woodworking and gardening. 

Marna Riddle

Support Staff
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Marna is affectionately known as our “night lady.”  Let me explain.  Most of our visitations take place in the evening after the office staff has gone home.  We need someone to manage the office during those times and that is Marna’s job; hence the name, “the night lady.”  She is also called upon on weekends when the office staff is off and we have a funeral or visitation scheduled.  She has been doing a good job for us for 11 years.

 

Marna grew up in Garnett before moving to Ottawa.  Many of us knew her parents, Betty and the late Lionel Sutton, who owned Sutton’s Jewelry.  Before retirement, Marna taught school for 32 years.  She still substitutes, mainly at Central Heights.  That gives her 43 years in education and still counting.  She does so enjoy the students.

 

Marna is married to Butch Riddle, who is a retired plumber.  They have two sons, Jay and Luke; and a grandson, Johnie.

Bob Redeker

Visitation Specialist
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Bob, a longtime resident of Ottawa, has been working for us for many years following his retirement in 1996. You will see him at most of our evening visitations greeting visitors and making everyone feel comfortable.  He is very good at that because he seems to know just about everyone, especially the citizens from the southern part of the county. And there is a reason for that, he was a teacher there.
 
His first teaching job in Franklin County was at Lane, he traveled a gravel road to get there.  When the schools consolidated, he moved to Richmond and taught high school and his final move was to teach in the brand new high school at Central Heights in 1969. Bob taught English, Theater and Speech. He was a natural for that because he has a wonderful speaking voice, that in the past, he has put to good use in Community Theater productions.
 
He and his wife Mary have four children and eight grandchildren that keep them busy. He is also very involved in his church and continues to be a substitute teacher at Central Heights. We are glad he leaves some time for us; we have come to rely upon his “people skills”.