History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our Valued Staff

Ryan M. Redinger

Ryan M. Redinger, Funeral Director

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. He serves as Past President of the Gibbon Chamber of Commerce and is a Board Member 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.


Kevin J. Wood

Kevin J. Wood, Funeral Director

Kevin is a native of Greeley, Nebraska. He graduated from Greeley High School in 1996 and the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, Oklahoma in 2001. Kevin had served families in Grand Island and the surrounding area since 2001. Kevin joined the staff at O'Brien Straatmann Redinger Funeral Home in May of 2015. He is a past president of District 8 of the Nebraska Funeral Directors Association as well as a past board member of the Nebraska Funeral Directors Association. Kevin and his wife, Tiff (Mudloff) have three daughters and one son: Avery, Adison, Boston and Annaka.


Gary M. Straatmann

Gary M. Straatmann, Funeral Director

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 member of the Buffalo County Historical Society, 2014 president 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, 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 (Kimberly), Katie (Aaron), Joseph and Abby and granddaughter, Andrea.


Brandi Redinger

Brandi Redinger, Office Manager

Brandi is originally from St. Paul, Nebraska. She earned her bachelors degree in Business Administration with Honors from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Brandi joined the staff in the Fall of 2014. She and her husband, Ryan have three children; Makenna, Tyson and Taten.


Gailen  Kotrous

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.


Carol  Snodgrass

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.


Sharon  Fuentes

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.


Lee Ward

Lee Ward, funeral and visitation assistant


John  Ward

John Ward, funeral assistant


Janie  Straatmann

Janie Straatmann, Visitation assistant


Wayne Simmerman

Wayne Simmerman, Funeral Assistant


Ron Catlin

Ron Catlin, Funeral and visitation assistant


Rojane Catlin

Rojane Catlin, Funeral and visitation assistant


Lee Vohland

Lee Vohland, Funeral assistant


David Wright

David Wright, Funeral Assistant


O'Brien Straatmann Redinger Funeral Home dates back to their predecessor, A.G. Bower established a furniture store and undertaking business on Central Ave and Railroad street in Kearney.


In 1955, Vance Nielsen built a new facility at 2115 2nd Ave in Kearney. Mr. Nielsen ran the funeral home at this location for over 40 years.  Miller Godberson sold the mortuary to Stephen O'Brien and Gary Straatmann in September of 1994. 


Construction of a new 10,000 sq. ft facility near the Kearney Cemetery began in May of 1998 and was completed in December of that year.  The Funeral home was the first of its kind in the area, offering ample off-street parking and the latest in funeral technology.

In February of 2011, Ryan Redinger joined the staff as partner.  O'Brien Straatmann Redinger Funeral Home will continue to provide service beyond expectation to Kearney and the surrounding communities.