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Our Team


Our staff is comprised of professionals with a broad depth of funeral and cremation experience.  We are dedicated to helping direct you through this stressful and difficult time. We will answer all your questions regarding your options for funeral and cremation services. Please feel free to contact any of our staff members at any time.

Philip J. Zehms

Philip J. Zehms

General Manager and Funeral Director

Phil has been in Funeral Service since 1998 and has had a variety of experiences in Pre-Arranged and Immediate Need Funeral and Cemetery Services including burial and cremation services as well as Pet Services. In all areas Phil focuses on tailoring the services to meet the families financial and service needs. His favorite part of funeral service is getting to meet so many interesting people and helping them create services that reflect a life well lived.

Phil earned two bachelor degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia (Go Tigers!!) and is a licensed Funeral Director in both Ohio and Missouri. Phil is a Certified Funeral Celebrant, he earned his cremation certification from the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) and Matthews Cremation; and is a member of other professional organizations including the Associated Cemeteries of Missouri (ACM); where he serves as Secretary, National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) and the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA); graduating from the ICCFA University in 2018 and is a past member of the Pet Loss Professional Alliance (PLPA).

Phil is originally from the St. Louis, Missouri area. He moved to Kansas City in 2014; he is an avid volunteer spending a great deal of time with the Gladstone Rotary Club, wher he served as the Club President 2017-2018; an active member of both the Smithville and the Northland Chambers of commerce, the Northland Breakfast Club; he is on the board of the Miss Zona Rosa Scholarship Pageant; which is part of the Miss America system and a variety of other activities during the year. He especially enjoys using his skills as an Emcee to enhance any event. When he is not working or volunteering, Phil enjoys reading, running and playing golf.


Desiree Paananen

Desiree Paananen

General Sales Manager

Desiree Paananen has been in the death care industry for over 4 years.  Her experience in this industry started in memorial design.  She believes that memorializing the life of a loved one can bring comfort to a family and hopefully help their healing begin. 

Desiree is currently completing her bachelor’s degree in Business Management at Cardinal Stritch University in Wisconsin.  She recently moved to the Kansas City area from Wisconsin as Sales Manager to join the team at Johnson County Memorial Gardens, Overland Park, Terrace Park Memorial Gardens and Longview.  She enjoys this role as it allows her to strengthen her experience in Customer Service and Sales Leadership roles.  Desiree is extremely passionate about helping families through difficult times



Brad Lewis

Brad Lewis

Funeral Director

Recently Brad and his fiancé recently moved to the Kansas City from Buffalo, MO where he discovered a passion for funeral service. He is a licensed funeral director and pre-need agent in the state of Missouri.

Shortly after his graduation from Buffalo High School in 2012, he began working for Cantlon Otterness Funeral Home where he served his community for four and a half years. 

In his free time, Brad he enjoys bowling, running, fishing and visiting various parks and attractions around the city.  He bases his life around three aspects; faith, family and friends.

Brad has one daughter, Aliah Grace Lewis and  one on the way, due in January of 2019. 


Brinkley Grado

Brinkley Grado

Apprentice Funeral Director

Brinkley moved from her hometown of Wichita, KS in 2012 to Kansas City to pursue her career in the funeral industry. She is a Kansas licensed Asst. Funeral Director and is currently working on obtaining her Missouri Funeral Director license. Outside of work Brinkley enjoys spending time with her family, playing tennis, hiking, and traveling.


Kathryn Dale

Kathryn Dale

Family Service Advisor

Kathryn M. Dale originally from Webster Groves, MO, is a resident of Lake Waukomis, MO. She and her husband have four children, all married. She has four grandchildren.

She completed her education with a Life Time Degree in Education with an emphasis in Learning Disabilities. She completed her Master’s in Education and her Specialist in Reading. She retired from Teaching and began her career in the Cemetery and Funeral Industry in 1998. 

She supports Ronald McDonald House Charity and is active in the support of St. Louis ARCH. An organization for the Mentally Challenged. 

She enjoys living on the lake, reading, crafting, and caring for her family.


Krista Caldwell

Krista Caldwell

Family Service Advisor

Krista joined the Terrace Park Team in September of 2017.

She grew up in the cold and snow of Minnesota.  Upon her family moving to Joplin, MO Krista was accepted to travel the bicentennial year with the international touring company, Up With People 1975-76.  She feels fortunate to have traveled to every state in the US except Alaska.  In addition, Krista enjoys traveling internationally.  One such trip included smuggling bibles into mainland China from Hong Kong.

Krista completed her public relations/advertising degree from Texas Christian University.  While studying at TCU she served an internship at the Miller Brewing Company.  One of the many highlights of her experience was entertaining 25 non-English speaking Russian athletes during the US-USSR track and field meet, sponsored by Miller.

Krista married Colin Caldwell of California.  When he finished his Master of Divinity degree with the Charismatic Episcopal Church they built a successful insurance agency at the same time building a volunteer ministry at Topeka Correctional Facility. 

Krista has 2 adult step children and 4 step grandchildren.

Her hobbies are water color painting, fishing-boating and she affectionately refers herself as a clothes horse and skin care junky.

Krista has been in the funeral business for 4 years and enjoys helping the families she has the privilege to serve.


Pam Lucito

Pam Lucito

Administrative Leader

Pamela J Lucito was born and raised in Kansas City, MO, the oldest of four children. She attended Ruskin High School and graduated in 1978. She left the area for about 6 years and traveled the United States. When she came back to Missouri she went to work for DW Newcomer’s at Brush Creek and Paseo in May of 1984. She transferred to Floral Hills in 1987 and became the office manager for that location in 2005. In 2013 she transferred to Johnson County as the office manager. She transferred to Terrace Park in 2015.

Pam has been able to grow and and learn a lot during her 32 years with the company. She has seen lots of changes, but has thought of those as learning opportunities. One of the changes that she has seen was using a computer to do all of her work and learning all of the different programs that were offered to make her work much easier, instead of doing everything by hand. However, the biggest change she has seen are the type of services we can offer to our families. We can personalize the families service to almost anything they want to be able to remember their loved one.

During her same 32 years, she has raised 2 children and became a grandmother of 2. She was the soccer mom for 12 years, a girl scout leader for 15 years, along with being the girl scout cookie coordinator for 4 of those years. Coordinator for collecting and packing food for many food pantries. Coordinator for collecting school supplies for a Raytown organization for 2 years. She volunteers at Safe Haven(domestic violence shelter for women and children) in the kitchen on Friday nights serving dinner and cleaning up afterwards.

Pam loves the fact that she has been able to stay in the same industry for 32 years and hopes to be here many, many more. She feels that it is so important to be able to help families, no matter how minuscule it may be. All questions are important and she loves being able to help get the answers to those questions to the best of her ability. Even though she has always worked behind the scenes for the most part, Pam feels that the administrative team plays a very important role in the funeral industry and loves having the opportunity to play that part.


Ernest Hamilton

Ernest Hamilton

Ambassador

Ernest Hamilton began working in funeral service in 2001. Prior to funeral service he worked for 33 years in the Surety Bond field. His professional employment began in Texas and later was transferred to Kansas City, Missouri. The last 20 years of his Surety career was spent in management with responsibilities of operations in 5 states. 

Ernest was born in Texas and attended Texas public schools, graduating from Lufkin High School He attended college at Stephen Foster Austin University and East Texas Baptist University from which he earned a B.S. degree. While attending ETBU, Ernest met and married a wonderful Texas girl, Johnnie Thompson, in 1959. Johnnie and Ernest have one son, one daughter and 5 perfect grandchildren. 

His long faith experience and his involvement in Church ministries is a natural step for assisting with grieving families. Ernest commented “helping people work through one of life’s most traumatic and difficult times like the death of a loved one or closer friend is its own reward.”


Mike Mohr

Mike Mohr

Funeral Director and Ambassador

Mike Mohr was born in St. Louis, and moved to Kansas City in 1986. He has invested most of his adult life in helping people. For 42 years he has been an ordained Baptist minister serving small churches throughout Missouri, currently he is serving the Rock Falls Baptist Church. In 2007 Mike came to Terrace Park as a funeral director. He finds it rewarding to serve families during a difficult time in their life. His role is to help provide a meaningful service that honors a loved one and gives comfort and hope. Mike has a good sense of humor and is willing to listen to any jokes a person may have; he is a regular blood and platelet donor, he enjoys photographing nature and bass fishing.


Jeni Furrow

Jeni Furrow

Ambassador/ Part-Time Office Administration

Jeni joined the Terrace Park team in February of 2017. She was born in Southern California but has lived most of her life in the Kansas City area. As a graduate of Excelsior Springs High School and the University of Central Missouri, Jeni has enjoyed staying close to her family and friends in Kansas City. 
She has a degree in Communication and experience working for a local law firm but is happy to make the change to assisting families in the funeral industry. Jeni is active in the community both through church organizations and her son’s PTA board. She also spent a year and a half doing volunteer work in Ukraine.
When not at work, Jeni stays busy with her husband and three young sons.


Debbie Goddard

Debbie Goddard

Ambassador

Debbie has lived in the Kansas City area her entire life. Being the oldest of 4, she moved out as soon as she graduated, lived in a funeral home and learned several aspects of the business. Then comes love and marriage, raised two kids and now has four grand-kids. She have been a church organist since forever, and loves working with community theater. After retiring from the corporate world, she ended up back in the funeral home business, and now have come full circle.


Bill Grant

Bill Grant

Funeral Director, Ambassador

After several years working in industry and a short time in the care-giving field, Bill made the decision in 1995 to pursue his desire to become a funeral director. He earned his degree at Kansas City Kansas Community College and is a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in both Kansas and Missouri. While in school, he began working at McGilley Hoge Funeral Home and continued to work at various sites throughout the city for the same company. Bill spent three years as the primary operator of the crematory for that company. While serving in this role he earned his crematory operator certificate. Bill feels blessed to serve the loved ones of the deceased by ensuring that everyone is treated with respect. 

Bill returned to the care giving and support field for adults with developmental disabilities and continues to work in this position full-time. Bill is an active member of the First United Methodist Church in North Kansas City. As a member of a large family from Freeport, Illinois, he has many siblings, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews. Bill moved to the Kansas City area in 1977. He married his wife, Gayle Bennett, in 1985. He enjoys spending time with his family members and his dog, Charley. 

Bill feels privileged to have this opportunity to server as an Ambassador at Terrace Park Funeral Home. He is honored to work personally with families during their time of grief.


Joan Lowe

Joan Lowe

Ambassador

Joan joined the Terrace Park Team in 2015, she is originally from Texas and is married to David an A&M Aggie, and proud Texan. JLowe and David have 2 children; a son in St. Charles, Missouri the daughter who lives in Germany. She is a PROUD grandma of 4 -- they are the light of her life. She enjoys traveling especially cruises. Her favorites have been Alaska and Hawaii-- then "all the rest".


Joe Blankenship

Joe Blankenship

Ambassador

Joe Blankenship joined the Terrace Park Team in 2016. He was born and raised in St. Louis. He is a proud graduate of CBC High School. He was hired by Union Electric in 1971 as a porter. He worked his way to the Coal Gang and became a machinist for 20 years, before finishing his degree in chemistry. He became a senior chemist for 15 years; a total of 38 ½ years for Union Electric, now Ameren Missouri. He and his wife Sharon moved to Kansas City in 2014 to be closer to grandchildren. He loves KC, he says it’s a Kinder and Gentler place compared to St. Louis.


Jay Thompson

Jay Thompson

Ambassador

Jay joined the Terrace Park family in 2016. He is a life long resident of Kansas City, Missouri where he grew up in the historic northeast area. He graduated from Penn Valley Community College with an Associates Degree in Administration of Justice. 

Jay joined the Independence, Missouri Police Department in 1978 where he was employed for five years. He then joined the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department in 1984 and served on the department in various assignments for thirty-two years. He received three Awards for Valor from KMBC-TV 9 and the metropolitan Chiefs and Sheriff's Association as well as Certificates of Commendation from the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department.

He and his wife Lyla still reside in Kansas City and have one son Jim, daughter-in-law Tara and three beautiful grandchildren, Delaney, Deyton and Drake. He especially enjoys attending the sports activities of all three grandchildren. He enjoys spending time outdoors by going on daily walks and going on annual hunting trips.

Jay has particularly enjoyed serving as an ambassador at Terrace Park and assisting families during their time of grief.


Joe Rogers

Joe Rogers

Cemetery Superintendent

Joe Rogers is currently the Superintendent of Longview Cemetery and Terrace Park Cemetery, after accepting a promotion in August 2018 to operate both cemeteries. We are grateful to have his experience and see what he brings to the cemetery in his new role. 

Joe Rogers transferred to Longview Cemetery in 2016 after having been with Johnson County Memorial Gardens for over five years as part of the cemetery maintenance personnel. Joe started his career with Johnson County as a seasonal employee and was soon promoted to a full-time position. Joe had become a dedicated leader to the rest of the cemetery staff with responsibilities including backhoe operation, placing markers, general upkeep of the indoor and outdoor mausoleums, and many other tasks.

Joe currently resides in Kansas City with his girlfriend and 8 year old son, Aiden. A Kansas City native, Joe continues to enjoy exploring the city in his free time. He also appreciates spending unending hours with his extended family in the area, time in his large garden and working on small home projects. As most from Kansas City, Joe enjoys barbequing and taking in a great Chiefs game!


Everett Lee Purvis

Everett Lee Purvis

Property & Grounds Leader

Everett brings more than 20 years of cemetery and maintenance experience to the Terrace Park Team. he is a graduate of MWSC; He lives in St. Joseph, MO with his wife and 2 children; he enjoys the aftercare that he can provide to families after the services. He really likes Fluffy kittens and will gladly give you a hug if you need one.


Chris Tipton

Chris Tipton

Grounds Maintenance

Chris originally joined the Terrace Park Property and Grounds team in 2016—his background was in the restaurant business; so he is no stranger to hard work and customer service. He is a graduate of Smithville High School and finds great satisfaction in helping families.


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