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Our Staff

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FEMA Funeral Reimbursement Information

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Full Time Staff 
Front Row:  Roger Richie, Lavie Kaya  
Back Row: John Justice, Dan Heaman , Michael Skoklo and Steve Bayer

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Part Time Staff

Front Row: (left to right) Nancy Roach, Suzanne Vitale and Gail Robins. 
Middle Row: (left to right) James Cook, Robert Aronberg, Grace Binning, Sarah Stallings, Roger Richie, Matt Reitinger, Jimmy Chase and Allan Cordes, 
Back Row: (left to right) Edward Kurmann, Mike Coleman, Brian Akerson, and Ron Miller 

Our full-time staff of caring professionals:

  • Roger Richie,  Funeral Director/Former Owner
  • Lavie Kaya, Funeral Director
  • Danan McSellers, Funeral Director
  • Sarah Stallings, Funeral Director
  • Pam Scott, Funeral Director
  • Steve Bayer, Chauffeur
  • John Justice, Property & Grounds

Assisting licensed funeral directors:

  • Brian Akerson, Consultant
  • Don Binz, Retired
  • Edward Kurmann
  • Allan Cordes, Retired
  • Dan Heaman

In this section

Why Choose Us?

About Us

Our History

Our Staff


Contact Us


Roger Richie

Roger Richie

Funeral Director & Former Owner

Roger was born and raised in South St. Louis City near the iconic Bevo Mill landmark, the youngest of three children of the late George and Gladys Richie, a letter carrier and stay at home mom, respectively. 

He attended Long and Buder Elementary Schools and was graduated from Cleveland High School—Class of June, 1966. Roger attended SEMO State University and was graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science, Chicago, Il., to become a Missouri licensed funeral director and embalmer in 1971 and the same in Illinois in 1985. 

After working at a large south St. Louis funeral home for 10 years, Roger founded a professional embalming and crematory company working 12 years for funeral homes only and then joined John L. Ziegenhein & Sons Funeral Homes in 1994. In 2006 he became President / Owner. 

Roger is married to Linda Henry and has three adult daughters and five grandchildren. At home, Linda appreciates Roger doing all the dishes and making a pot of fresh coffee early every morning. 

He grew up in the Christy Methodist Church by Bevo Mill and is now an active member of Concord Trinity United Methodist Church in South County. After work, time is filled with church and family activities, reading (especially motivational materials) and watching special television programs. He has been a member of the Mehlville Optimist Club since 1978. 

Roger has always been passionate about funeral service, believing every life is important and needs to be honored. At death, family and friends need to gather to remember and celebrate their loved one and create an opportunity to share love, remembrances and life experiences.

Mike Skoklo

Mike Skoklo

Funeral Director

Michael was born and raised in Madison, IL, the youngest of 3 sons of the late Ted and the late Norma Skoklo. He attended the Madison, IL public school system and graduated from Madison High School in May of 1978. 

After 5 years in the construction industry he decided it was time for a career change and enrolled in the funeral service program at St. Louis Community College graduating in May of 1985 with an Associate’s Degree in funeral service education. He has been licensed as a funeral director and embalmer in both Missouri and Illinois for over 30 years. Michael’s funeral service career began in 1983 at a large North St. Louis City and North St. Louis County funeral home. In 1990 he accepted the opportunity to work at a family owned funeral home in Granite City, IL. In February, 2018 Michael joined John L. Zeigenhein & Sons Funeral Homes as a full time funeral director, continuing his desire to serve others through funeral services. 

Michael has a long history of community service starting as a firefighter/EMT for the Madison, IL volunteer fire department. He was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary Club International, past president of Lions Club International, and holds memberships in the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Masons, and Shriners. Michael also served a 4 year term as a member of the Funeral Directors and Embalmers Licensing and Disciplinary Board for the State of Illinois and has served as a Madison County, IL deputy coroner since 2000. 

Michael and his wife Jenifer live in Granite City, IL and are members of Nameoki United Methodist Church where Jenifer has been the organist/pianist since 1996. Jenifer has been employed in the steel industry as a purchasing manager since 1990. They have 2 miniature dachshunds, Sally & Chester. Michael has an adult son Andrew (spouse Hannah) from a previous marriage.

Debra Beckman

Debra Beckman

Advance Planning Advisor

Telephone: 1-314-602-4517


John Justice

John Justice

Maintenance Specialist

John was born and raised in South St. Louis City in the historic Soulard Neighborhood, the forth of nine children, to the late Lawrence and Wanda Justice, who both worked as laborers. 

He attended Humbolt and Lafayette Elementary Schools and McKinley High School. After working as a maintenance specialist for a north county funeral home for eighteen plus years, John joined John L. Ziegenhein & Sons Funeral Homes in 2001. 

He enjoys family time, playing games, television and fishing. He is married to Tina (Barton) Justice and has one adult daughter. 

John, better known to his friends as “JJ,” loves people and enjoys helping them through difficult times by his service in the funeral business.

Steve Bayer

Steve Bayer


Steve was born and raised in south St. Louis near Carondelet Park. He was the youngest of three boys born to Don and Mary Bayer. Steve attended Windsor and Long Elementary Schools and was graduated from the Gateway Christian High School, all of which are in St. Louis City. 

In August, 1998 he married his wife Debbie. Debbie is a school teacher in the Oakville community. They now have three children and a Yorkshire Terrier named Milo. 

Steve's passion is to love and serve people. He is grateful to be able to help in their time of need by serving in the funeral business. 

In addition to working at John L. Ziegenhein, Steve serves as the lead pastor at Servant United Church at Keller 8 Cinema in South County on Sunday mornings. He has found great fulfillment in this mission that God has led him to. 

In his free time, Steve enjoys spending time with his family, playing music, specifically the guitar, and watching many different sporting activities. He especially enjoys watching his three children who are very active in athletics and extracurricular activities. He also enjoys quiet time away with his family on vacation as well as time reading and reflecting on the Bible.

Lavie Kaya

Lavie Kaya

Funeral Director

Lavie was born and raised in Dupo, Illinois. She is the youngest of three daughters of Catrina Dixon and the late Mark, a police officer and steelworker, respectively. She attended Dupo High School and went on to graduate from Word of Life Christian Academy.

Lavie worked in the restaurant industry until she decided to pursue her true passion: faithfully serving communities through funeral service. Her inspiration for joining the funeral industry comes from her own personal experience with loss and tragedy.

In the spring of 2015, Lavie enrolled in the funeral service program at St. Louis Community College and was graduated in the spring of 2017. She earned her Associates Degree in Funeral Service Education and now is a Missouri licensed funeral director and embalmer.

Lavie served at a funeral home in the St. Louis metropolitan area for three years before joining John L. Ziegenhein & Sons Funeral Homes as a full-time funeral director in the fall of 2018. Every day she feels honored to be able to assist grieving families as they continue life without their loved one. Lavie attributes much of her happiness to her two cat-children, Ophie and Elda. She enjoys cooking, listening to podcasts and reading.

South County Chapel
4830 Lemay Ferry Road
| St. Louis, MO 63129
Tel: 314-894-8444
| Directions
South City Chapel
7027 Gravois Avenue
| St. Louis, MO 63116
Tel: 314-352-2600
| Directions
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