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.

RJ Fagle
R.J. Fagle

Chief Operations Officer / 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

Manager of Funeral Services / Funeral Director

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.

Royce Lenger
Royce Lenger

Manager of Decedent Care / 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Brian Hurlbut

Funeral Director

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.

Heather Livezey

Funeral Director

Heather Livezey joined Cedar Memorial in the fall of 2017 as an Intern Funeral Director and became an Iowa Licensed Funeral Director in 2018.

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, and time spent with her family. She resides in Eastern Iowa with her son Jared.

Sawyer Kuboushek

Funeral Director

Sawyer immediately puts grieving families at ease with his kindness and empathy. He has a gift for helping families find unique ways to honor their loved one, while giving them full confidence he will see to every detail so they can grieve with minimal worry. Sawyer is one of five siblings to grow up on the Kuboushek family farm near Ridgeway, Iowa. He graduated from the Worsham College of Mortuary Science and began his career in Waterloo before joining Cedar Memorial in 2019.

Sawyer enjoys spending time with his siblings, hunting, and going snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains.

Lydia Cole

Funeral Director

Lydia’s compassionate nature combined with her soothing presence allows families to grieve in the way that fits them best. She listens to families and helps them create a meaningful tribute to honor their deceased loved one, while carefully managing all the details that go into a service. Originally from Waverly, Lydia completed her AA degree at Des Moines Area Community College and then graduated from the Worsham College of Mortuary Science.

Lydia and her husband, Jaydon, live in Cedar Rapids with their two cats, Chai and Asher. Lydia enjoys spending time with friends and family, trying new restaurants, biking and riding her motorcycle.