SOUTH COUNTY CHAPEL
4830 Lemay Ferry Road
St. Louis, MO 63129
Phone: 314-894-8444
SOUTH CITY CHAPEL
7027 Gravois Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63116
Phone: 314-352-2600

Meet Our Staff

Photo by Michael Jacob Photography

Full Time Staff

Left to right - Allan Cordes, John Justice (Maintenance Specialist), Dan Heaman (Manager South County Chapel), Suzanne Hayes (Vice-President), Roger Richie (President and Owner), and Steve Bayer (Chauffeur).

Photo by Michael Jacob Photography

Part Time Staff

Front Row (left to right) Edward Kurmann, Frances Macek, Gail Robins, Christina Collins, Ashley Bailey, Karen Disabato and Nicole O’Bryan
Middle Row (left to right) Matt Reitinger, James Cook, Robert Aronberg, Mary Roam, Nancy Roach, Roger Richie (President and Owner), Sarah Stallings, Betty Lloyd, Margaret Brannon, Wayne Forbes and Gene Guzman
Back Row (left to right) Frank Jorns, Mike Coleman, Tim Butler, Brian Akerson (former owner), Steve Monaco, Don Binz, Al Book, Ron Miller and Jimmy Chase

Biographies

Roger Richie, President / 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.


Suzanne Hayes, Vice-President & Funeral Director

Suzanne’s career in the funeral service industry began 30 years ago when she answered a classified ad for a part-time receptionist position at a South St. Louis City funeral home. She was returning “home” to St. Louis after living in Omaha, NE and Ann Arbor, MI. As a young mom with a five-year-old daughter starting kindergarten, she was re-entering the work force and thus her new career started. Suzanne has been a licensed funeral director since 1992 and a licensed Pre-need Agent Funeral Director since 2009.

On July 15, 2002, she joined the staff of John L. Ziegenhein & Sons Funeral Homes. She feels privileged to be working with a dedicated group of co-workers as they help families remember and celebrate the lives of their loved ones. Her co-workers are like extended family to Suzanne. In 2013, she was proud to accept the position of Vice-President. In addition to funeral directing, her duties now include management, bookkeeping and finances.

Suzanne owes everything to her parents, the late Tom and Helen Hayes. Her Dad retired from the Missouri Pacific Railroad after 40 years of service and her Mom had the hardest job of all. She was a stay-at-home Mom raising four kids. Suzanne graduated from St. Catherine of Alexandria Grade School in Bellefontaine Neighbors and Riverview Gardens High School—Go Rams! She is a member of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Parish, located in South St. Louis. When Suzanne is not busy at work, she enjoys going to estate sales on the weekends, home improvement projects, traveling, working in the yard, watching movies and learning the German language.


Daniel Heaman, So. County Chapel Manager & Funeral Director

Dan was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, growing up in Affton and attending St. Timothy Catholic School and was graduated from St. John Vianney High School. Much to his parents’ chagrin, he attended Western State College of Colorado which he chose specifically for two reasons, the first being that they offered him a scholarship and the second being that it was almost 1000 miles away from home (to discourage parental visits).

After studying journalism and criminal justice, and having absolutely no desire to pursue either as a career, Dan took an opportunity to work at a St. Louis funeral home to learn about funeral service as a vocation. 20+ years later, he is grateful for that decision because funeral service has allowed him to be of service to others in need at a very troubled time.

Dan joined the staff of John L. Ziegenhein & Sons in November of 2012 as a funeral director and accepted the position of South County Manager in early 2016.

He has two teenage children to whom he lovingly attributes his frequent laughter and his rapidly graying hair.

Dan likes to think of himself as a wildly successful unpaid writer, while devoting considerable time to worthy efforts such as avoiding exercise, cleaning up after his children and tinkering with his automobiles that are abundant in character and uniquely devoid of any real monetary value.


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 3 miniature dachshunds, Charlie, Sally, & Chester. Michael has an adult son Andrew (spouse Hannah) from a previous marriage.


Lavie C. 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.


Frank Heckler, Funeral Director

Frank was born in Lemay, Missouri, and graduated from Bayless High School. He is the elder of two children of the late Frank and Doris Heckler. His father retired from Anheuser Busch and his mother, a homemaker, passed away at the age of 42. In February 1968, Frank entered the U.S. Army and, after basic training, was assigned to Crash and Rescue before being sent to Korea, where he spent one year during the Vietnam War.

After returning to the United States Frank found his passion in the funeral business. He has been “loving and serving people—kindness always” as a Missouri Licensed funeral director for more than 40 years in the St. Louis area and continues his service at John L. Ziegenhein and Sons, where he has been since 2010. Frank believes that as a funeral director, he is “helping you say good-bye—because every heart has a story.”

Frank has served the community in many other ways. From 1975 to 1990 he was in the Mill Hill Father’s Clown Group. He was a member and is a past president of the Mill Weiss Sportsman’s Club; Hampton Village Lion’s Club; Lemay Optimist Club; Signal Chaser’s RC Club; and Lemay Chamber of Commerce. Frank is a current member of American Legion Post 777; VFW Post Lemay 3223; Past Senior Vice Commander, 40 ET 8 Voiture 38 St. Louis; and he is currently on the board of the St. Louis County Police Business Association.

Frank and his wife, Sarah, enjoy hunting, fishing and getting away to the “farm” near Owensville, Missouri. Frank also enjoys playing golf. He has two adult children, three adult stepchildren, and seven grandchildren.


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, Chauffeur

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 which meets 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.


Two Beautiful Chapels in St. Louis, to serve you...

SOUTH COUNTY CHAPEL
jlzsc@att.net
4830 Lemay Ferry Road
St. Louis, MO 63129
Phone: 314-894-8444
SOUTH CITY CHAPEL
johnlz@sbcglobal.net
7027 Gravois Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63116
Phone: 314-352-2600

Our full-time staff of caring professionals:

  • Roger Richie, President/Owner
  • Suzanne Hayes, Vice-President
  • Dan Heaman, South County Manager
  • Mike Skoklo, Funeral Director
  • Steve Bayer, Chauffer
  • John Justice, Custodian

Assisting licensed funeral directors:

  • Brian Akerson, Consultant
  • Don Binz, Retired
  • Frank Heckler
  • Edward Kurmann
  • Gene Guzman
  • Allan Cordes

We are members of the following organizations:

  • National Funeral Directors Association
  • Missouri Funeral Directors & Embalmers Association
  • Illinois Funeral Directors Association (Roger Richie)
  • International Order of the Golden Rule
  • Affton Chamber of Commerce (Roger Richie, Frank Heckler)
  • Lemay Chamber of Commerce (Roger Richie, Frank Heckler)
  • South County Chamber of Commerce (Roger Richie)
  • Gravois Business Association
  • Kiwanis of Gravois (Allan Cordes-Past President)
  • Kiwanis of South County (Edward Kurmann-Past President)
  • Mehlville Optimist Club (Roger Richie)
  • Southside Lions (Don Binz)

Obituaries