One of Holden’s long-time businesses, Campbell-Cast Funeral Home, is under new ownership, as of September 1, 2021.
Marshall and Lia Stewart, along with their five children, took the reins of the historic funeral home and look forward to meeting and serving the people in the Holden community.
Former owners, Joe and Cyndi Campbell, are happy to be leaving the funeral home in such capable hands.
The Stewarts are very familiar with small town living, having both been raised in Higginsville.
They still reside in Higginsville but say they own some property in Johnson County and may one day build a home here and relocate.
Marshall and Lia bring a wealth of experience to Holden, as they currently own and operate a funeral home, Stewart-Hoefer Funeral Home Inc., which is located in Higginsville.
Marshall knew from a very young age that he wanted to be a funeral home director, having grown up watching his best friend’s father, Sevier Hoefer, care for grieving families in his role as a funeral home director.
Marshall is well prepared to serve the families of Holden, as he attended Mortuary School at Kansas City, Kansas Community College and obtained his degree there.
He is a State-licensed funeral director, embalmer, and preneed agent. “I did my practicum studies with the Amos Funeral Home in Shawnee, KS, which is another generational family-owned funeral home,” Marshall explains. “I did my apprenticeship studies under the direction of Sevier Hoefer and Hoefer Funeral Home in Higginsville, MO, prior to purchasing the business from Sevier.”
Campbell-Cast Funeral Home has a long, illustrious history in this community and Marshall and Lia appreciate the significance of the generations of service the funeral home has offered to the families of Holden. “I’ve had the privilege of meeting Dan Cast and Mike Wakeman,” Marshall said. “Through them and Joe, I have slowly been learning the history of the funeral home and it’s roots. There is still much to learn and plenty that interests me. “I love history,” he continued. “I look forward to interacting with the local residents and hearing all the stories that go with such a historical business.”
The Stewarts want to reassure Holden residents that they understand if they have questions about the new owners or the future operations of the funeral home, which will retain the Campbell-Cast Funeral Home name for the present time. “We understand when a business in a small town changes owners, it can be a scary time,” Marshall added. “My family is dedicated to serving your family and this community. We are a small town family and hope to get to know everyone here in Holden.”
The new owners say the most common question they get has to do with pre-arrangements that families have already made. Marshall answered those concerns, saying, “I can assure you, nothing changes; all pre-arranged funeral accounts are still just as they were and fully active. Funeral homes are heavily regulated by the State and the State has monitored and guided Joe (Campbell) and I through this entire process.”
When asked about possible changes or renovations to the funeral home building or interior, Marshall answered by saying, “Nothing will really change, but new faces around the funeral home. Year two or so, we will start discussing remodel projects and add to the upgrades Joe and Cindy have done.”
The Stewarts are working through the hiring process right now and hope to add qualified, empathetic employees to their capable staff. The couple has a mortuary student, Lacie Luke, who has worked for their funeral home in Higginsville for two years, who is relocating to Holden to help out here.
They are also in the final interview stages with a funeral director/embalmer to join them at Campbell-Cast Funeral Home. He is a licensed grief counselor, as well as a licensed embalmer and funeral director. “We feel his background in grief counseling is a huge asset to the funeral home,” Marshall added. “We are hoping to finalize the interview process soon and are excited for his relocation to Holden to join Campbell-Cast Funeral Home, should he accept our employment offer.”
Marshall and Lia understand the families they will be working with are going through a very difficult time when they are making final arrangements for a loved one.
The Stewarts believe they can offer support, personalized service, and a sympathetic ear to the families they serve. “My wife and I have worked with many families during the most difficult time of their lives,” Marshall explains. “Death can bring about many emotions and everyone grieves in different ways. “Grief is a very powerful and difficult emotion to understand. We know how important it is to understand the grieving process and all the elements that go with grief.”
The Stewarts take pride in offering very personalized services to their customers. They are happy to tailor services toward an individual’s hobbies and preferences and have conducted many of these special tributes for the families who are planning the perfect, personalized service for their loved one as a final loving tribute. “We take pride in personalizing and making any service as personal as the family wants,” Marshall said. “We have performed services for muscle car enthusiasts, having huge processions full of corvettes and a procession full of Camaros. “We have served many families who deer hunt and brought in their taxidermy collection for the service.”
They also offer video services for each funeral or Celebration of Life service they arrange. Marshall’s childhood best friend Rob, who was mentioned earlier, sadly passed away in a tragic car accident at the young age of 19. This had a profound influence on Marshall’s life and the path he chose. “This is what started my desire to serve families and do everything I could to help them get through the death of a loved one,” Marshall said. “I have kind of dedicated my career to Rob and want to do whatever I can to help grieving families.”
The Stewarts look forward to getting to know the Holden community and plan to have an Open House and Meet & Greet at a later date. There will also be a Chamber ribbon cutting in the future to officially welcome the Stewart family to Holden. In the meantime, the couple says, “We encourage the public to stop by and say hello. A few locals have already made their way around and introduced themselves. We promise we are friendly – don’t be a stranger!”