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. John is the 3rd generation of Linge family to lead Iowa's most innovative death care service provider. His passion for innovative, meaningful death care service stems from his grandfather, Carl K. Linge and father, David E. Linge, founders of the cemetery and funeral home respectively.
John graduated from Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL with a degree in Mortuary Science and from Regis University in Denver, CO with a degree in Business Administration. He is an Iowa Licensed Funeral Director, a Certified Preplanning Consultant and a Certified Crematory Operator.
John is a leader in the death care industry, serving on the Board of Directors for The International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, The Iowa Board of Mortuary Science, President of the Association of Iowa Cemeteries and a charter member of the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance. He speaks throughout the country on issues related to the death care industry. John has also served on many community non-profit boards and committees.
John is motivated and inspired daily by the incredible work of his fellow Associates - and more importantly, by the love and support of his wife, Dina and sons, Drew and Clay.
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.
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, Maci. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, boating, fishing, and snowmobiling.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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
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 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.
Brian Hurlbut’s kindness and warmth is appreciated by families who have experienced a death loss. Brian is so committed to excellence as a funeral director that he earned two degrees in Mortuary Science. In 2013 he was awarded a Bachelor of Science from Upper Iowa University, and a Bachelor of Science from Mid-America College of Funeral Services in 2014. He also graduated from Kirkwood Community College with an Associates of Science degree. Brian has been a licensed funeral director since 2014, and was a welcome addition to Cedar Memorial’s team of caring funeral professionals in 2017.
Brian is active with youth ministry at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, taking yearly mission trips to disaster areas, helping residents to rebuild and repair their homes. When home, Brian enjoys spending time with his Westie, Oliver, as well as biking and swimming.
Steve’s passion for helping people took him from a 20-year teaching career to the funeral industry. He began his career as a funeral director in Des Moines and then had the opportunity to work in Chicago, before returning to Iowa and Cedar Memorial. Steve strives to make each service personal for the family as they celebrate the life of their loved one.
Steve graduated from Upper Iowa University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, and taught and coached girls’ basketball in Des Moines and Decorah for 20 years. He studied Mortuary Science at Des Moines Area Community College. Steve enjoys sports, is a big basketball fan, and huge Northern Iowa fan. When he isn’t watching sports, he enjoys exploring new restaurants in Cedar Rapids and the surrounding area, visiting friends in Chicago, spending time with his granddaughters, and traveling— with the goal of visiting every professional baseball stadium in the United States.
When considering how he could best serve his community, Casey Hepker turned to funeral service. It takes a special person to help guide families through such a difficult time, and Casey is up to the challenge. As a licensed funeral director, Casey’s compassion and kindness are put to good use in creating a meaningful tribute.
Originally from Tipton, Casey graduated from Worsham School of Mortuary Science. Casey and his wife, Emily and their three children recently relocated from Dubuque, where they were members of St. Anthony Catholic Church. Most of Casey’s spare time is joyfully spent with his family and reading.
Funeral Director Intern
Heather Orr joined Cedar Memorial in the fall of 2017 as an Intern Funeral Director. Cedar Memorial is committed to funeral service education and offers a comprehensive internship program for mortuary science students that are seeking licensure in the state of Iowa.
Heather is originally from Muscatine, and graduated from Muscatine High School and Muscatine Community College. She previously had a 10 year career in education before graduating from Carl Sandburg College with a degree in Mortuary Science. Heather enjoys traveling, scrapbooking, creative writing, attending her husband’s band performances, and time spent with her family. She resides in Eastern Iowa with her husband Daniel, and their son Jared.