Stephen D. O’Brien - Stephen graduated from Longfellow High School in Kearney in 1958 and has a bachelor of Arts degree from the University of NE in Lincoln. After attending Kearney State Teachers College and The San Francisco College of Mortuary Science he began his career as a Funeral Director and Embalmer. In 1994 he went into partnership with Gary Straatmann and purchased the Nielsen-Godberson Funeral Home in Kearney. Stephen was born on a farm north of Gibbon and grew up in Grand Island and Kearney. He is married to Lori L. McCammon also a Kearney native and has a daughter Lori Strnot of Lincoln, NE. He is a member of First United Methodist Church in Kearney., Tehama Shrine, Scottish Rite of Hastings, Rob Morris Masonic Lodge #54 A.F. and A. M., Jesters, Kearney Elks Lodge #984, Kearney Noon Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce Colonels and is Associate Guardian of Jobs Daughters Bethel #6 of Kearney.
Gary M. Straatmann - A lifelong resident of Kearney, Gary Straatmann graduated from Kearney State College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Broadcasting. He later obtained his mortuary science degree from Kansas City Kansas Community College. Gary is a member of First Lutheran Church in Kearney, Kearney Dawn Rotary, board president at the Trails and Rails Museum, secretary-treasure of the Nebraska Funeral Directors Association, past president of Kearney Concert Association, past co-fund drive chairperson of the Kearney United Way, Kearney Elks Lodge, past board member of 1733 Barbershop Chorus, Rob Morris Lodge #46 A.F. & A.M, 32nd degree and the Tehama Shrine. He is married to Stephanie (Dlouhy). They have four children; Alex, Katie, Joseph and Abby.
Ryan M. Redinger – a graduate of St. Paul High School. He attended the University of Central Oklahoma where he earned his Mortuary Science degree in 2001. He is a member of Prince of Peace Catholic Church and is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Kearney Noon Rotary and serves on the Board of the Kearney United Way. Ryan is a Past District President of the Nebraska Funeral Directors Association and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Consumer and Professional Review Committee. Ryan and his wife, Brandi have a daughter, Makenna and two sons, Tyson and Taten.
Taylor J. Redinger – is a native of Phillipsburg, Kansas. He graduated Phillipsburg High School in 2006. Taylor attended Hastings College before obtaining a degree in Mortuary Science from Kansas City Kansas Community College. He is a member of the Kearney Evangelical Free Church. Taylor and his wife Lindsey live in Kearney. His pastimes include golf, hunting and running.
Jodi Hyde - Jodi is a native of Nebraska. Mrs. Hyde received her nursing degree from Omar Gibson Nursing School at Reed Springs, Missouri. She was a 2005 graduate of the Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, CO with a degree in mortuary science. She is a licensed funeral director at our funeral home. She is a member of the Kearney E-Free Church in Kearney. She is a member of the Kearney Elks Lodge #984. She and her husband, reside in Riverdale. They have three sons, Michael, Branson and and Alec.
Carol Snodgrass – Administrative assistant. Carol is a native of Oxford, NE and graduated from Oxford High School. She attended Kearney State College, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Education. She joined the staff at O’Brien – Straatmann Funeral Home in 1994, when Stephen and Gary purchased the business. She and her husband, Andy, have two children, Sara and Daniel, and 5 grandchildren, all living in Kearney.
Gailen Kotrous, Monument Sales & Pre-need Counselor - Gailen was born at Niobrara, NE and attended high school at Grant, NE. After high school he went to Omaha and attended Omaha Barber College where he received his Master of Barbers Degree. Gailen barbered in Kearney for 33 years, served as the Greyhound Bus agent in Kearney and Lexington. He has been a monument designer for the past 22 years. Gailen joined the staff at O’Brien Straatmann Funeral Home in 2006. Gailen is a member of St. James Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, and has served as publicity chairman for the Kearney Area Concerned Citizens Thanksgiving dinner program for the past 25 years.Gailen and his wife, Becky have been married for 30 years and have four grown children, Gailen Jr., Clark, Chad and Linsay.
Mary Bowman, CSW - Mary leads our grief support group which meets at 6:00pm, the first Wednesday of every month. She is a social worker with Good Samaritan Home Care. She is also the RCIA Director at St. Jame’s Catholic Church in Kearney. She grew up on a farm near David City, NE She graduated from Kearney Sate College in 1983. Her family includes her husband, Mark and 4 children who attend UNO and Kearney Catholic High School. Contact Mary
Sharon Fuentes – Pre-need funeral counselor – Sharon has a degree in social work and past experience working as a social worker in nursing homes, hospice and hospital settings. She has been assisting families with pre-planning funerals for several years. Sharon and her husband, Eric have been married for over 25 years and have three children. They are active in the Catholic church. She enjoys traveling, sewing and gardening. Contact Sharon