Funeral Directors

Our funeral directors act as your personal guide to help your family through every step of funeral planning. We explain all of your options and take care of the many details such as placing the obituary in local newspapers, scheduling services, and helping plan family gatherings. We also help you submit tribute photos and ensure your wishes are followed.

Our preplanning counselors can help you preplan funeral services to help ease your family's burden at the time of loss.

C. John Linge

President & CEO, The Cedar Group / Funeral Director

John leads the Cedar Group, which consists of Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery Association, Cedar Memorial Funeral Home Company, Iowa Cremation and Companions for Life. The Cedar Group is the second largest death care provider in the state of Iowa. Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery manages the largest perpetual care fund in the state of Iowa.

John received valedictorian honors from the first graduating class in the Mortuary Science department at the College of Boca Raton in Boca Raton, Florida. He also received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Regis University in Denver, Colorado — graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors. He is an Iowa licensed Funeral Director and Certified Preplanning Consultant.

John is a leader in the funeral industry serving on the Board of Directors for the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, the Board of Trustees of the American Cemetery-Mortuary Council and past president of the Association of Iowa Cemeteries. He speaks throughout the country on issues related to the death care industry. John has also served on many community boards and committees including Hospice of Mercy, the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra and Mt. Mercy College.

John loves skiing (snow and water), scuba diving, golf and being with family. John and his wife Dina have two boys — Andrew and Clayton.



RJ Fagle
R.J. Fagle

Director of Funeral Operations / Funeral Director

R.J. is originally from northeast Iowa and has been with Cedar Memorial since 1997. He oversees the day-to-day funeral operations for Cedar Memorial, Iowa Cremation and Companions for Life. R.J. works closely with the funeral directors, business services department, cemetery staff, family service counselors and aftercare specialists to ensure Cedar Memorial, Iowa Cremation and Companions for Life not only meets, but exceeds the expectations of the families we serve.

R.J. also focuses on industry best practices and internal technology to ensure Cedar Memorial staff has the necessary tools to better serve and care for you and your family. He is a member of the Marine Corp League and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. He enjoys fishing, scuba diving and spending time with his family.

Tom Willems

Funeral Director Lead

Tom graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science and is a licensed Funeral Director, serving families for over 25 years. His vast experience, unparalleled professionalism, and caring nature have helped countless people who have experienced a loss.

Tom, originally from Independence, IA, is a member of St. John XXIII Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus Council 11942 - Fairfax/Walford, and Elks Lodge #251. Tom’s family is comprised of wife, Angie, who is a floral designer at The Flower Shop at Cedar Memorial, their two children, Mitchell and Kaitlynn, and beloved dog, Micki. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, boating, fishing, snowmobiling and spending time at their cabin on the Wapsi River at Independence.

Heidi Benson
Heidi Benson

Funeral Director

Heidi has been a Funeral Director with Cedar Memorial since 2011. She is passionate about providing every family with unique services that reflect their loved one’s life in the most personal and memorable way possible.

Heidi attended Monticello High School and graduated from Kirkwood Community College with a degree in Applied Science and Human Services. After Kirkwood, she attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science, Chicago and graduated in 2007. She is a member of the Iowa Funeral Directors Association, the National Funeral Directors Association and is also a CANA Certified Crematory Operator.

Heidi organizes the Remembering Our Children event sponsored by Cedar Memorial. She enjoys gardening, traveling, cooking, being outdoors, spending time with friends and family and is an avid Hawkeye Football fan. Heidi and her husband Cody live in the Mount Vernon/Lisbon area.

Amy Hart

Funeral Director

Originally from the south suburbs of Chicago, Amy earned her Bachelor’s Degree from St. John’s University in Queens, New York, where she also received the Presidential Award for academic excellence. Amy then went on to receive the Albert E. Worsham Memorial Award for academic achievement when she graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2011. Amy began her career at Cedar Memorial in January of 2014.

She and her husband Jesse live on the northeast side of Cedar Rapids with their cats, Sookie and Frank, and their dog Daphne. In her free time, Amy enjoys travelling with her husband, visiting museums, trivia, and singing.

Anne Harrison

Funeral Director

Annie began her tenure with Cedar Memorial in 2007 as an intern and later as a licensed funeral director. Annie’s comforting presence and attention to detail have brought solace to families mourning the loss of a loved one. Her ability to personally connect with these families makes her a welcome member of the funeral directors staff.

Annie graduated from Central Lyon High School in Rock Rapids, IA. She then earned Associate of Science in Mortuary Science from Des Moines Area Community College. She is also a CANA Certified Crematory Operator.

In her spare time, Annie enjoys spending time with husband Dan, and their sons, Jack and Alexander.

Royce Lenger
Royce Lenger

Funeral Director

Royce brings over 35 years of experience to the families he serves for both Cedar Memorial and Iowa Cremation. The newer funeral directors he mentors also value this experience and his extensive knowledge of mortuary science. Royce maintains Iowa and Minnesota Funeral Director Licenses and is a CANA Certified Crematory Operator. Royce’s down-to-earth manner, quiet confidence, compassion and professionalism brings great comfort to families.

Royce is a licensed pilot and enjoys attending aviation shows and events, but his greatest delight is spending time with his grandchildren.

Jesse Mulvaney

Funeral Director

Born and raised in Coggon, Iowa, Jesse has been a Funeral Director for Cedar Memorial since 1989. He received his B.A. degree from Loras College in Dubuque.

Following graduation, Jesse enlisted in the army and completed a tour with the infantry in Vietnam. After his discharge from the military, he graduated from the Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago. In choosing funeral service as a career, Jesse’s professionalism and sympathetic nature helps families at what is usually the most difficult time of their lives. He is a member of All Saints Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, the Iowa and National Funeral Directors Associations, VFW Post No. 788 and American Legion Hanford Post NO. 5.

In his spare time, Jesse enjoys golf, yard work, baseball and is very devoted to his family and friends.

David A. Pfiffner

Funeral Director

David began his career with Cedar Memorial as a Funeral Director’s Assistant. After graduating from Worsham College of Mortuary Science, he became a full-time funeral director, mostly working from Cedar Memorial West Side Chapel. David is well-versed in the funeral customs of many different faiths. His compassion and dedication for the families he serves leaves a lasting impression and inspires him to be the best at what he does.

David is a native of Cedar Rapids and enjoys spending time with his family and in his garden. He bakes delicious bread from scratch and makes an art out of celebrating the holidays.

Eve C. Anderson
Eve C. Anderson

Funeral Director

Eve started her career as a Funeral Director at Cedar Memorial in 2015. Her steadfast and compassionate service brings great comfort to the families she is honored to serve.

Eve was born and raised in Osage, Iowa. After high school she attended St. Ambrose University and later graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 2013. Eve was awarded with the Iowa Funeral Directors Association Scholarship. Outside of work, Eve enjoys spending time with friends, sewing, cooking and baking, reading books and watching movies.

Kellie Palm
Kellie Palm

Funeral Director

Originally from Northwest Iowa, Kellie graduated from Spencer High School and later received her Associate of Arts degree from Iowa Lakes Community College. She received her degree in Mortuary Science from Des Moines Area Community College, and began serving the families of Eastern Iowa. Kellie’s attention to detail and professionalism allows her to provide confident guidance during the entire funeral process.

Kellie is a history buff, and in her spare time she also enjoys the great outdoors and spending time with her family and friends. She also takes every opportunity to express her creative and artistic talents.

Korey Avise Rouse

Funeral Director

Korey joined Cedar Memorial in 2015 as a funeral director intern. Originally from the Tama-Toledo area, Korey graduated from the DMACC Mortuary Science program and became a licensed funeral director in 2016.

Korey’s keen attention to detail and caring spirit made her a natural addition to the Cedar Memorial funeral director team. In her spare time, Korey enjoys spending time with her significant other, London and their beautiful daughter, Aviana.

Dan Lewis

Funeral Director

Dan joined Cedar Memorial in 2017 following a 30-year career in retail management and 9 years as a licensed funeral director. Dan’s caring and compassionate nature provides great comfort to families that have experienced a loss.

Dan received a BA in Business Management from UNI and graduated from Des Moines Area Community College with a degree in Mortuary Science. Dan enjoys biking, fitness activities and spending time with his family, which includes two daughters and one son.

Dan also has a great love for animals and is the pet parent of two cats and a few other small pets.