Eric & Nickola VanHorn Owners/Funeral Director
Eric received his Funeral Director’s license after completing coursework at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Arapahoe Community College in Denver where he graduated at the top of his class. He has been licensed since 2009 and worked for area funeral homes for many years. He is a member of the South Central Amateur Radio Club, the Minden Volunteer Fire Department, is a volunteer associate for Phelps County Emergency Management and is a Mortuary Specialist for the federal DMORT team which responds to mass-fatality incidents nationwide. He is also District Vice President for the Nebraska Funeral Directors Association.
Nickola attended the University of Nebraska at Kearney where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. During her time at UNK she was very active with the Women’s Tennis team where she earned many awards for her sporting achievements. She has worked for area Economic Development teams and most recently is involved in administration for a local Orthopedic Surgeon’s clinic.
Both Eric and Nickola love Minden and enjoy watching their son, John grow and learn new things every day. They are honored to have been given the opportunity to carry on the Craig Family legacy of care and service to the communities they serve.
Dave & Jane Craig Funeral Director
Dave started working for Layton Funeral Home in 1976 while attending college. He was licensed in 1978 and returned to work at Layton’s in 1979. Dave and Jane owned and operated Layton Funeral Home for many years until selling the business to Eric and Nickola VanHorn in October of 2017.
Dave and Jane have been involved in the community belonging to many organizations and serving on various boards. Dave is a member of Rob Morris Masonic Lodge in Kearney and Scottish Rite and Tehama Shrine in Hastings. Jane is a member of P.E.O. Chapter N in Minden. Both are active members of the Minden United Methodist Church.
Dave and Jane have three married children and nine grandchildren.
Dick & Kay Lyn McBride Funeral Assistants
The McBride’s have been part of the Minden community for over 50 years. They have two children and three grand children. Dick has been a funeral assistant with Craig Funeral Home for the past seventeen years. Dick owned and operated the John Deere dealership in Minden for many years prior to retiring. They enjoy attending Husker Sporting events and watching their grandchildren in school activities. They both are very active at the Minden United Methodist Church and have served on many local boards and service organizations including: Kearney County Hospital Board, Kearney County Board of Supervisors and the Minden Opera House Board as well as many more.
Lynn & Linda Nelson Funeral Assistants
Lynn and Linda have lived in Minden for several years. They are both graduates of Minden High School. Lynn was employed by the gas company for many years before retiring. Linda was a licensed beautician for many years where she made many lasting friendships and acquaintances. Linda also serves on the Kearney County Health Services Auxiliary. They are both involved in various activities at the Westminster United Presbyterian Church in Minden and enjoy volunteering at Bethany Home in Minden. They enjoy Husker sporting events and spending time with their two children, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Mary Evelyn Yant Visitation Hostess
Mary is very active in serving at St. John’s Catholic Church in Minden and enjoys helping with various tasks around the community. Mary and her late husband, Jim, owned and operated the Daylight Donut store in Minden for many years before retiring. Mary has also been involved in various aspects of medical help in the Minden area ranging from emergency medical care to nursing. She is an avid gardener and enjoys spending time with her family and attending family sporting events.
Gloria Beach Visitation Hostess
Gloria has lived in Hildreth for many years and enjoys being involved in numerous community activities. She enjoys spending time with her family and watching her grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow. She is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Hildreth and the V.F.W. Auxiliary. She has served her community in many capacities as the Director of the Golden Year Center as well as practicing care nursing in Minden and Hildreth.
Emily Gartner Apprentice Funeral Director
Emily is originally from the Hastings area and has recently completed her studies to become a Funeral Director. She attended Concordia College and later attended Kansas City Kansas Community College. She is serving her apprenticeship and will become licensed in January of 2019. She enjoys being outdoors and attending musical events. Emily is also a Certified Crematory Operator and assists as a technician for the Nebraska Institute of Forensic Sciences.
David Maddox Funeral Assistant
David Maddox is originally from Wichita, Kansas and has a vast resume of public service. He served for two years with the United States Peace Corps in Morocco. He also has served as a youth camp counselor at Camp Winadu in Massachusetts. He recently served as a National Advance Staff Liaison for the 2016 Presidential Election. He attended Rockhurst University where he majored in Psychology, Political Science and Philosophy. David enjoys being outdoors and working with youth.
Michelle Messbarger Funeral Assistant
Michelle attends the University of Nebraska Medical Center where she is studying Nursing. She is very involved with the Chi-Omega Sorority and enjoys doing volunteer service work. Michelle enjoys playing Tennis and spending time with her nephews and family. She also enjoys being outdoors and hiking.