Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.
For five generations the Murdoch family has been serving area familes. Our staff of Licensed Funeral Directors, Pre-Planning Specialists, Certified Celebrants and our many support staff are here to help answer any questions you may have. We are available 24/7/365. Do not hesitate to reach out at any time.
Leigh Murdoch began working at Murdoch Funeral Homes in 1986. In 1992, Leigh and her brother, John Murdoch, became the fourth generation of the Murdoch family to operate the funeral homes. She currently acts as Vice-President and Secretary/Treasurer of the company.
A lifelong resident of Marion, Iowa, she graduated from Marion High School in 1978, and attended Coe College. She has two children, Megan and Kyle. Leigh is on the Board of Directors for Discovery Living, the Marion Library Foundation Board of Directors and is a member of O.O.P. In her free time, Leigh likes to travel, go bike riding and attend sporting events.
John Murdoch, a lifelong resident of Marion, began working in the family business in 1975. After receiving his A.A. Degree from Kirkwood Community College, he attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science, graduating in 1983. He received the Albert Worsham Award for academic achievement. In 1986, he was appointed President of Murdoch Funeral Homes, which he currently serves as. John and wife, Kim, have six children, Brett Murdoch, Jaime Steward and Hailey Murdoch, and Brock, Cody and Jordan Bickford. Together they have eight granddaughters, Reagan, Makinley, Alivia, Maddyn, Campbell, Avery, Emery and Thea, and one grandson, George. John is a member of the Iowa Funeral Directors Association, the National Funeral Directors Association and the Indian Creek Country Club. He served as a past board member of the YMCA. John, with his sister, Leigh, are honored to continue the family heritage of serving the communities and families in their time of need.
Jaime (Murdoch) Steward
Manager, Pre-Planning Coordinator & Licensed Funeral Director
Jaime is our Pre-Planning Coordinator and a Licensed Funeral Director who has worked at Murdoch Funeral Homes since 2007. She is part of the fifth generation of the Murdoch family. She received her B.A. in Biology from the University of Northern Iowa and received her Mortuary Science degree from Des Moines Area Community College. Jaime lives in Marion and enjoys spending time with her husband, Dann, daughters, Maddyn & Campbell, and son, George. She also enjoys Iowa Hawkeye and Green Bay Packer Football, traveling, and spending time with her family and friends.
Hailey began working at Murdoch Funeral Homes & Cremation Service in 2016. She is a graduate of Marion High School and Kirkwood Community College, where she received degrees in Business Administration and Project Management. She is part of the fifth generation of the Murdoch family. Hailey lives in Marion and loves spending time with her three daughters, Reagan, Makinley and Alivia, family and friends. She enjoys camping, kayaking, live music, the Iowa Hawkeyes and the beach.
Jeff was born and raised in Manchester, Iowa. Jeff began working at what is now the Bohnenkamp-Murdoch Funeral Home in 1986 while in high school. Following graduation from West Delaware High School he attended UNI in Cedar Falls and then graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mortuary Science from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. Jeff returned to the Murdoch Funeral Homes in 1991. Jeff lives at the funeral home in Center Point and is a member of First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids and the Iowa Funeral Director's Association. When not at the funeral home, Jeff enjoys working out at Aspen Athletic in Cedar Rapids, traveling-especially to Florida, home remodeling projects and spending time with his friends, family and his rescued Caribbean Coconut Retrievers, Kyle, Taylor, Tiffany and Marty.
Mike began working for Murdoch Funeral Homes in 1992. He's part of 5 generations of Olingers from the Toddville area. Mike is a graduate of Alburnett High School and received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Northern Iowa. He is a magna cum laude graduate of the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science and a recipient of the Charles D. Dhonau Award for Embalming Excellence. While residing in Cincinnati, Mike was affiliated with the historic Weil Funeral Home. Mike is an active member of the Alburnett Community School District Foundation Board, and coordinates both the Pillars Scholarship Program and the Horizon Awards for community service. He is also a member of the Hospice of Mercy Advisory Board, the University of Northern Iowa Alumni Association, the National Funeral Directors Association, and the Iowa Funeral Directors Association. Mike assists families in designing cemetery markers/headstones and occasionally sings at funeral services. Mike and his wife, Corina, reside in Marion. Together they have five children. He enjoys traveling, hunting, fishing, cooking, listening to a wide range of music and watching movies with his family.
Duane is an Iowa native, growing up in Mason City. He has been a licensed funeral director since 1984, and joined the Murdoch family in 1994. Duane is married to Renee (Willett,) who is employed at the Marion Police Department and they have four children: Desiree, Britney, Brooklyn and Dalton; and two grandchildren, Mya and Ava.
Bill currently serves as a funeral director for Murdoch Funeral Homes & Cremation Service. A native of Estherville, Bill graduated from Iowa Lakes Community College in the paralegal program. He earned a management finance degree from the University of Northern Iowa. Bill worked as a bank examiner for the FDIC and State of Iowa Department of Finance before obtaining his diploma from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1993. Bill was a funeral director in Readlyn before joining the Murdoch family in August of 1999. He enjoys spending time with his sons, Blake and Bret, and volunteering in the community.
Karl, a third-generation funeral director has been licensed since 1995 and re-joined the staff at Murdoch Funeral Homes and Cremation Service in November of 2015. He was born and raised in Clinton, Iowa; a 1986 graduate of Mater Dei High School; earned an Associate of Arts in Business Management degree from Clinton Community College and in March of 1994, earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Funeral Service from the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service in Dallas, Texas. Karl then moved to Cedar Rapids and began his career with Murdoch Funeral Homes. He continued working as a licensed funeral director at firms in Clinton and the Des Moines area. He is thrilled to be back at Murdoch Funeral Homes to finish his career. He is a member of Lions Club, Knights of Columbus and a Fourth-Degree member of Loras Assembly. In 1995, Karl married the love of his life, Debi. They enjoy spending time with friends and family, being on the lake, country living, grilling, going for long walks, swimming, watching movies and traveling. As dedicated and loyal fans of both the Iowa Hawkeyes and Green Bay Packers they enjoy watching football games, especially at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. "Go Hawks!” and “Go Pack Go!"
Angela is a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer and has worked at Murdoch Funeral Homes since 2005. She is a graduate of Anamosa High School and Kirkwood Community College. She received her Bachelor of Mortuary Science from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. Angela, who lives in Marion, is a member of the Iowa Funeral Director's Association and Fawn Creek Country Club. She enjoys spending time with her family and her dog, Precious, playing cards, golfing and bowling.
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Ryan is licensed funeral director with Murdoch Funeral Homes & Cremation Service. He completed his funeral director internship with the funeral home in November 2007. He is a native of New Sharon, Iowa, and a graduate of North Mahaska High School and Des Moines Area Community College where he received his degree in Mortuary Science. Ryan and his wife Kristan live in Cedar Rapids and enjoys spending time with family and friends. He also enjoys fishing, hunting, the Iowa Hawkeyes, and being outdoors.
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Lindsey has been a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer since 2005. She graduated from Edgewood-Colesburg High School and attended Kirkwood Community College before graduating from Worsham College of Mortuary Science. She and her husband, Adam, live in Winthrop. She enjoys spending time with her family, boating, and playing frisbee with her black lab, Duke.
Amy (Ziolkowski) Hart grew up in the Chicago suburbs and graduated from Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, Illinois. She graduated as a Presidential Scholar with a Bachelor of Arts degree from St. John’s University in Queens, New York, where she studied history and art history. While in college, she was very active in the performing arts, appearing on the Little Theatre stage and working behind the scenes with the Chappell Players Theatre Group.
Amy later went on to Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, Illinois, graduating with the September Class of 2011, where she received the Albert E. Worsham Memorial Award. She moved to Iowa in October of 2011 to begin her career in funeral service.
Amy and her husband, Jesse, have lived in Cedar Rapids since 2014. Jesse works as an elementary school teacher in the Linn-Mar School District. Amy and Jesse welcomed their first child, Aaron, in April of 2017.
Amy joined the Murdoch Funeral Home family in September of 2017. She is passionate about all aspects of funeral service. Amy enjoys working closely with families to plan unique funeral and memorial services, and truly believes in the celebration of a life well-lived. She is a member of the Iowa Funeral Directors Association, as well as the National Funeral Directors Association.
Outside of work, Amy and her husband are enjoying parenthood and love to take family outings with Aaron. Amy also enjoys listening to talk radio, watching documentaries, and visiting local museums.
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David has been a licensed funeral Director and Embalmer since 2004 and joined the Murdoch Funeral Homes in 2015. He is a native to Estherville, Iowa, and received his Bachelor’s Degree from Upper Iowa University and later graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science. David, his wife Amanda, and their two sons, Tyler and Bryant currently live in Marion, Iowa.
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Dan Buckingham graduated with a Bachelors Degree from Cornell College in Mount Vernon in 2007, and received his degree in Mortuary Science from Kansas City Kansas Community College in 2011. Dan, originally from Storm Lake, Iowa, enjoys reading, movies, spending time with his family, fishing and going for walks in our beautiful state parks with his wife, Katie.
Stanley Lawrence is a semi-retired licensed funeral director and started his career with Murdoch Funeral Home in 1966. Stan, a lifelong resident of the Central City and Prairieburg area, is a graduate of Central City High School and the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science. He is a member of St. Stephen's Catholic Church, American Legion Post #421, and Amvets Post #37, all of Central City, and the Iowa Funeral Directors Association. He has also been a member of the city council, the volunteer fire department, and his church's parish council. Stan retired in 1994, but continues to direct funeral services for families in and around his community. He and his wife, Marianne (who continues to work as a funeral hostess), reside near Central City. They have two children, Steven Lawrence and Kathy Sole, and 5 grandchildren. Stan's hobbies include traveling, working in the outdoors, and organizing the Bingo program through his local legion post.
Robert has been associated with Murdoch Funeral Homes since 1980. He is a funeral director licensed in both Iowa and Illinois. He is a graduate of Marion High School, Kirkwood Community College and Southern Illinois University. He served in the United States Marine Corps during Viet Nam. He is a member of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection, American Legion Post 298, Trojan Lodge No. 548 A.F. & A.M., The Cedar Rapids Consistory, El Kahir Shrine, and the Iowa Funeral Directors Association. Robert's family includes his wife, Denise and daughters, Tina and Stacy and grandchildren, Aubrey and Max. He enjoys, sailing, music, radio and being a member of the Hawkeye Bicycle Association.
Eric is a Pre-Planning Specialist and began working for the Murdoch Funeral Home in 1993. Eric graduated from the University of Iowa and is a long time resident of Cedar Rapids. He attends First Lutheran Church and is active in various civic groups in the community. In his free time, Eric enjoys golfing, boating and spending time with his wife Andi and four children, Grace, Graydon, Wynnston and Lilly.
Joe Eagle is a Pre-Planning Specialist for the Murdoch Funeral Homes and Cremation Center. Joe mainly serves the Marion, Central City & Manchester areas. Joe, originally from Washington, Iowa, attended Upper Iowa University and married Jeane Hutchins of Marion in 1980. They have two children: Rachel, who teaches for the Linn-Mar school district and Travis, who is a recent Mt. Mercy College graduate. On top of spending time with his children and their spouses, Joe enjoys spending time with his grandchildren. Joe is the owner of Charity Services, Inc. of Cedar Rapids and is a member of the Knights of Columbus and Indian Creek Country Club. He enjoys family activities, golf, hunting and cooking.
Diane Thovson serves the Murdoch Funeral Home & Cremation Service as a Certified Celebrant. She received her Celebrant certification through the Insight Institute. Diane meets with families to listen to memories and develop a service that will celebrate the life of their loved one and provide comfort to family and friends. The goal is to create a service that is a unique reflection of the individual being celebrated. Diane grew up on the family farm in Southwest Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota. Her degree has given her a number of opportunities in health care and wellness. In 2003 she accepted a sales position and moved from South Dakota to Cedar Rapids and in 2015 joined the funeral home staff. Diane enjoys spending time with family and friends. She finds joy in dance, yoga, walking, meditation and Bible study.
Matt Witting is a lifelong resident of Cedar Rapids. He grew up on the west side of Cedar Rapids on the family farm where he has helped work his entire life. He attended St. Ludmila Grade School and graduated from Jefferson High School in 1979. He went on to earn a two-year degree from Kirkwood Community College in Agribusiness and then a four-year Bachelor of Applied Science Degree in Business from Mount Mercy.
Matt joined the Murdoch Funeral Homes in 1991 and has worked in many capacities for the company over the years. With his experience and education in agriculture, he became the cemetery superintendent for the overall management of Linwood Cemetery in 1998.
A lover of the outdoors, Matt also enjoys fishing, boating and hunting with his beloved dogs. In addition to his time spent in the outdoors, he likes to volunteer at various local events such as St. Ludmila’s Kolach Festival and the St. Jude Sweet Corn Festival. He is a longtime member of St. Jude Catholic Church.
Jim Clifton attended Iowa State College and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1959. He has been a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer since 1961. He owned and operated the Clifton Funeral Home from 1964 until selling it to the Murdoch family in 2004. Jim retired from the funeral home in February of 2018.
Jim and his wife, Connie, are involved in the Earlville Community where Jim has always lived. They are active members of the Earlville United Parish and serve on the Board of Directors for the Maquoketa Valley Dollars for Scholars Chapter. Jim has been the secretary of the Earlville Fairview Cemetery Association since 1971.
The Cliftons have two married sons and three grandchildren. Jim enjoys woodworking, traveling and spending time with his family.