Our counselors meet with families 365 days of the year to arrange at-need and pre-need purchases and services. A member of our staff is always present at the burial or entombment in our cemeteries.
Bob DeHaven brings extensive customer service skills to his position as a pre-need counselor with Catholic Cemeteries from his past work in business and retail sales. Bob worked several years with the Jenkin’s Music Store in the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area. His love of music carries over to his church where Bob has been active as a choir director and cantor in the past. He currently is a choir member at Holy Cross Parish, Overland Park, Kan. Busy in his roles as husband, father and proud grandfather, in his spare time, Bob enjoys woodworking, restoring antiques and fly fishing.
John Krumm has longevity with Catholic Cemeteries that spans almost 30 years. While he has seen many changes and positive developments in cemetery services, what he values most is the ministry dimension of his job. As a family service counselor, he strives to be available to help people during these difficult times in their lives. “This truly is a job where you can make a difference,” he said. “You have the opportunity to be there when tough decisions have to be made quickly.” John is a member of St. Ann’s Parish, Prairie Village, Kan., where he serves as a Eucharistic minister and an usher.
Larry Krische, a lifelong Topeka resident, attended St. Joseph Grade School and Hayden High School, then earned his degree in business administration from Washburn University. He worked for AT&SF Railway for 32 years. For the past 11 years he was involved in development and fund raising and spent 5 years as development director at Hayden High School.
Larry and his wife Sue are members of Christ the King Parish in Topeka. “Mt. Calvary Cemetery is very important to the Catholic community in Topeka. So many of us have family buried there,” Larry said. “I look forward to working with and helping people of the Topeka region an am proud to join the Catholic Cemeteries’ staff, who are dedicated to caring about the individuals and families they serve.”
Mike Kuban has spent a good portion of his career working for Catholic cemeteries in Florida, Kansas and Missouri. Originally from Milwaukee, Wisc., Mike came to Kansas City in 1978 to assist with marketing mausoleum crypts. He remained in the Midwest and with Catholic Cemeteries as a pre-need counselor because he enjoys helping people and values the dignity with which the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas treats people. Mike and his wife Lucy have two adult children. He is a member of St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Leawood, Kan.
Peggy Miller has returned to work at Catholic Cemeteries as a pre-need counselor because she is drawn to this ministry to help people with important life decisions. Peggy likes working with people and knows a lot of them from her lifelong residency in Kansas City, Kan. From 1999 to 2003, Peggy worked part-time at Catholic Cemeteries as secretary to the executive director. She left for a job with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, where she remains employed full-time. Peggy said she knew in her heart that she would return to Catholic Cemeteries in some capacity. Peggy and her family are members of St. Patrick’s Parish, Kansas City, Kansas.
Karen Ohde joins other family service counselors in assisting people with important decisions about pre-arrangements and at the time of a death in their families. She follows the “Golden Rule” in her work—treating others the way she wants to be treated. Karen has worked at Catholic Cemeteries since 1991. Prior to that, she had worked with other cemeteries and had co-owned a small cemetery in Kansas. She has knowledge of all aspects of cemetery management. She’s a firm believer that people have a calling in their lives and that she found hers when she began working in family services for cemeteries.
Charlie Owens joined the Catholic Cemeteries staff as a family service counselor in July 2005. He had worked 30 years for Knight-Ridder newspapers, retiring from his position as a sales and marketing executive with nationwide responsibilities. Charlie also spent five years as director of marketing for the National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company. Charlie said that he likes being able to help families think, talk about and pre-arrange burial plans. “It leaves them and me with a feeling that we’ve accomplished something good and helpful,” he said. Charlie is a member of Holy Trinity Parish, Lenexa, Kan.
Gilbert Valle looks forward to using his bilingual skills to help educate the growing Spanish-speaking community about services offered by Catholic Cemeteries. He is a member of All Saints Parish, Kansas City, Kan. Originally from El Paso, Texas, Gilbert moved to Kansas City in 1990 and met his future wife at his parish. In 1994, Gilbert opened his own business—an insurance and income tax preparation company. His five-year plan is to retire. When he read that Catholic Cemeteries was recruiting part-time pre-need counselors, the position appealed to him. Gilbert wants to help other people understand that while it’s very important to be prepared spiritually for the eventuality of death, it’s also important to be prepared physically to ensure burial in sacred ground.