Our staff makes us unique in the funeral industry. We serve a wide variety of roles, but all of us at Cedar Memorial share one common trait. We have an unwavering commitment to serve families needs with compassion and quality.


Our administrative staff watches over the day-to-day operations of Cedar Memorial and provides support for all other staff members as they serve family's needs.

C. John Linge
President & CEO, The Cedar Group

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.  Learn more about John


Susan Russell

As the Treasurer, Susan leads the Business Services Department and the daily processing of all financial transactions.  Before joining Cedar Memorial in January of 2014, she spent 14 years as an auditor and Accounting manager in the insurance industry, as well as Director of Finance for a local non-profit organization.

Susan received her BS in Accounting from Indiana University and is a Certified Public Accountant.  Originally from Indianapolis, Susan relocated to Cedar Rapids in June of 2008 with her husband and two children.  In her free time, Susan enjoys spending time with her family, reading and gardening.

Funeral Directors

Our funeral directors act as your personal guide to help your family through every step of funeral planning.

Meet our Funeral Directors

RJ FagleRJ Fagle
Director of Funeral Operations

RJ 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. Learn more about RJ


Our counselors serve families before the time of need to help you choose and plan funeral services, cemetery and memorial markers.

Meet our Counselors

Michelle Behnke
Director of Business Operations

Michelle oversees the creation of marketing programs and materials that help educate the public on the benefits of preplanning and the unique services offered by Cedar Memorial. Additionally, she manages Cedar Memorial’s Family Service department and serves on the senior management team.  Learn more about Michelle

Business Services

Our dedicated Business Services staff provides a wide range of services for Cedar Memorial Funeral Homes, Cemetery, Flower Shop, Family Center and Library, and Cremation Center.

Hillary Stacey
Assistant Controller

Cemetery Staff

You'd have to look far and wide to find cemetery grounds and facilities as meticulously maintained as Cedar Memorial Park Cemetery. Our Cemetery Staff take great pride in providing a peaceful, beautiful and a well maintained setting.

Greg Blood
Grounds Manager

Hospitality Staff

Our Hospitality Staff greet families and friends at visitations and receptions. They also assist the family by answering questions and assuring a comfortable environment.

Jan Eckhardt
Hospitality Lead

Funeral Assistants

Funeral Assistants support the Funeral Directors and families during visitations and memorial services by greeting family and friends, assisting with parking and transferring flowers.

Tom Willems
Manager of Funeral Services / Funeral Director

Floral Designers

The Floral Designers at Cedar Memorial Flower Shop can help you choose an appropriate flower arrangement or memorial gift to honor the memory of a friend or loved one.

Meet our Floral Designers

Nancy Meckel
Manager - The Flower Shop

Certified Celebrants

Our certified celebrants help create and present a funeral, memorial, or celebration of life that is unique and personalized.

Meet our Certified Celebrants

Julie Freese
Senior Certified Celebrant


AfterCare Specialist

Our AfterCare Specialist visits with family members after a death has occurred. If you need assistance dealing with your grief, you may contact him at any time.

Jim Parton
AfterCare Specialist - Certified Celebrant