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Our Staff

Our Staff

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Kris Rhodes

Kris Rhodes

Funeral Director In Charge/Funeral Director/Preneed Advisor

Kris Rhodes grew up and attended schools in Clear Lake City (Houston) for 12 years before moving to Mexia, TX and graduating high school in 1991.  She graduated Baylor University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health, Human Performance, and Recreation with a minor in Gerontology, while also working full time at Regis/St. Elizabeth nursing home.   

In 1995 Kris and Scott Rhodes married, and Kris spent over 25 years assisting in Scott's youth ministry.  The couple’s two sons, who both attended and graduated from Midway schools, are currently enrolled in college.  The youngest is a Waco area Realtor.   Kris was fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom for 15 years.


As a young adult, after attending a funeral, Kris was drawn to the organizational aspects of the funeral business. Later on, several classes at Baylor sparked her interest in death care.  However, it was while assisting her mother in the funeral arrangements for members of her own family that her desire to be an advocate for families in their times of need began to grow. 


In 2015 she joined the Grace Gardens family as a funeral assistant and her calling into funeral work blossomed.  In 2017 she earned her funeral director’s license and became a full time funeral director, allowing her to live out her greatest passion of serving others. Kris’ goal is to really hear and connect with families helping them create the meaningful experience they need when a loved one passes.  She seeks to be creative and innovative, and strives to offer love and care to all. To Kris, it is her ministry, not her job. Her philosophy is “No ask is too small or too big, there is a reason it was asked, and we need to make it happen.”


Dale Evers

Dale Evers

Funeral Director/Embalmer

Dale Evers was born to long time McGregor and Moody area parents, Parke D. and Raye (Laughlin) Evers in Waco, Texas.  He began his education in the McGregor Independent School District.  The family later moved to the Woodway edition of Waco in the 1970’s.  Dale played basketball with the Midway eighth grade basketball team and graduated from Midway High School with perfect attendance his senior year in 1977.  He was a member of the Red, White and Blue Midway Panther Band, was an active member of the Key Club, and was yearbook editor.


Dale furthered his education at McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, graduating in 1982 with a BBA in Financial Economics. While at McMurry, he took an active part in many phases of campus life.  He was a resident assistant, served on the dorm council, was president of Hunt Resident Hall, a member of Christian Life Fellowship, was chairman of the College Worship Committee where he was instrumental in organizing the first campus Christmas Candlelight service. He was a member of Phi Beta Lambda (a business organization), Ko Sari Social Fraternity, and the McMurry Indian Concert, Jazz Ensemble and Marching Band.  He enjoyed touring with the Concert and Jazz Bands each year. In August of 1982, Dale enrolled in the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service and graduated in the fall of 1983.  In 1985, he entered Baylor University where he worked on a Masters Degree in business.


Between his junior and senior years in high school, Dale embarked on his career in funeral service with Charles Cole at Amsler Funeral Home in McGregor. A few years later, in 1978, the business merged with Lee Funeral Home and became Cole Funeral Home where he did his internship for his embalmer's and funeral director's license.  Eventually Dale became the manager of Cole's, serving for 18 years in that role. After 34 years in funeral service in McGregor, Texas, Dale joined Higginbotham Funeral Homes of Texas in 2015.

Being reared in the Methodist Church, Dale is an active member of First United Methodist Church in McGregor where he serves in many capacities. Dale believes it is important to take an active part in one’s community.  He is a member of the McGregor Lions Club where he has held various offices, a past member of the McGregor Masonic Lodge and current member of the Crawford Masonic Lodge, was a member of the McGregor Chamber of Commerce and served as Chairman in 2000, and has also been involved with the McGregor United Way.  


In his spare time, Dale enjoys landscaping, home improvement projects, and watching high school and college football and basketball, as well as participating and volunteering with adaptive sports organizations.  Through the years, he has had many pets, most being beagles, which he has loved with all his heart. He also enjoys traveling, taking cruises, and being around people.

Dale's goal in funeral service has been to minister to others at a very difficult time in one’s life.  He works diligently to create a memorable and personal service for families.


Glenda Holland

Glenda Holland

Care Center Coordinator/Funeral Director/Embalmer/Preneed Advisor/Aftercare Coordinator

Glenda was born and raised in Roswell, New Mexico where she experienced growing up on a ranch and farm run by her loving parents and grandparents when times were simple and family oriented. Growing up in that environment gave her a love and compassion for the understanding of life and death on a daily basis.


Glenda married her husband Lynn in 1974 and had three wonderful children who were her life and world for several years before she took a job in 1985 as a receptionist at Ballard Funeral Home in Roswell. She found a passion and inner satisfaction in helping others during a difficult time after the death of a family member. She decided to further her education in order to go to Mortuary school and become a funeral director at a time when funeral directing was dominated by males.


Glenda attended Eastern New Mexico University - Roswell, graduating with a degree in Business in 1989 and immediately went on to attend Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Services in Houston,  TX where she graduated with honors and distinction; earning the Waltrip Award as most likely to succeed. During mortuary school and after graduating, she worked at Geo. H. Lewis & Sons in Houston before being transferred to Waltrip Funeral Directors as manager. Ventures would take her from Texas to Oklahoma for several years before moving back to Texas.


Glenda had semi-retired for a short time, but on January 30, 2018, she lost her only son after a very short hard battle with cancer which reignited her feelings and reopened all the passion and desire to help families who were going through what she had just lived through.  Because of the care and compassion of Grace Garden’s Funeral Home during that difficult time, Glenda begin working for Higginbotham Funeral Homes of Texas, making Grace Garden’s Funeral Home her second home. During her career span, she has worked at funeral homes in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas over a period of 35 years in many capacities including funeral director/embalmer, pre-need consultant, aftercare coordinator, trainer, management, and care center supervisor. 

Her hobbies include, antiquing, decorating for holidays, spending time with her family, and spoiling her grandchildren.


Ryan Baldridge

Ryan Baldridge

Crematory Manager

Ryan is a long time Woodway resident.  He graduated from Midway High School in 2002.

Ryan is very detail oriented and is a huge asset to Grace Gardens.  He began working as a funeral assistant in 2017.  His organizational skills improved many facets of our daily operations.  In 2019, he took on the role of crematory operator, using his gifts to provide reliable and dignified service.


Ryan is currently the crematory manager, overseeing all aspects of the cremation process.  He also provides technical support and helps in other avenues of funeral service.  Even though Ryan doesn’t serve families face to face, his support to the staff and his service of cremation is his way of offering support and care to all those Grace Gardens serves.

Ryan enjoys repairing antique clocks and watches, restoring antiques, collecting old photos, and fountain pens. 


Funeral Assistants

Funeral Assistants

We could not care for our families without the help of our amazing Funeral Assistant staff; they are: Christina Barker, Robert Buchanan, Whitney Bushing, Emily Christian, Tammy Freedman, Janet Green, Jeff Grieder, Alice and Tom Ledbetter, Sherrie Lightsey, Samantha Marton, Scott Rhodes, Scott Talley, Judy Upchurch, Betty Walsleben, James West, and Jack Whiddon.


Jeff Grieder

Jeff Grieder

Care Center Assistant/ Funeral Director and Embalmer Apprentice

Jeff was born and raised in the Houston area of Texas, eventually living and attending school in the Pearland Independent School System.  In school he enjoyed working in Journalism and Theatre where he was honored to become a Thespian in his Freshman year of High School.   Throughout his young life he dabbled in several different fields.  In 2004 he found the travel industry and spent the next 16 years traveling the world.  His specialty was Cruise Vacations, and he still plans to continue to cruise the world.  Little did he know that when the Covid-19 Pandemic hit, his career path would change. 

In the midst of the pandemic, the management of Grace Gardens Funeral Home approached him about assisting in funeral services and visitations on a part-time basis.  He instantly fell in love with the role; enjoyed assisting the families and felt the reward of being there for them in their time of need.  Jeff is now full time at Grace Gardens Funeral Home and attending the Dallas Institute of Funeral Services where he will earn his Associates Degree in Applied Sciences in Funeral Services.

In his spare time, Jeff enjoys reading and riding roller coasters.  He is also a member of the First United Methodist Church of McGregor and serves on its administrative board.   


Whitney Bushing

Whitney Bushing

Office Administrator / Funeral Director and Embalmer Apprentice

    


Scott Rhodes

Scott Rhodes

Grounds and Maintenance / Funeral Assistant

Scott grew up in the Houston area. However, his family visited Waco on a regular basis as most of his extended family resided here. Scott has degrees from Baylor University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. After 26 years in local church ministry, Higginbotham Funeral Homes of Texas was kind enough to offer him a job at Grace Gardens. If you encounter unsatisfactory conditions in the building, please inform him so he can fix it for you.


Robert Carpenter

Crematory Assistant / Care Center Assistant / Building Maintenance



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