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The Smith Family Forms Heaton-Bowman-Smith & Sidenfaden Chapel

Garth H. Smith,

In June 1956, the Smith Family comprised of Garth H. Smith, his wife, Sally; his brother, Theron and his father, Archie, moved to St. Joseph and purchased Heaton-Bowman Funeral Home. Before moving to St. Joseph, the Smith Family had owned and operated funeral homes in Seneca, Axtel, Randolph and Marysville, Kansas and North Kansas City, Missouri. With their knowledge and expertise in the funeral industry, the Smiths’ saw a wonderful opportunity to serve the people of the St. Joseph community. In 1962, six years after the Smith’s purchased Heaton-Bowman Funeral Home, they acquired the H. O. Sidenfaden Funeral Home at 1802 Union. H.O. Sidenfaden was established in 1856 , and was the second oldest mortuary in St. Joseph. While at Fourth & Messanie, Sidenfaden’s conducted the funeral of the outlaw- Jesse James, who died April 3, 1882. St. Joseph had grown throughout the years and Heaton-Bowman along with it. As the city expanded, the firm began to plan for more modern facilities in a location keeping with the expansion. In November 1968, a new facility was dedicated at 3609 Frederick Boulevard. It was named Heaton-Bowman East Chapel. The new location made it closer to many of the rural cemeteries. It is unique in that it has an indoor loading of the funeral cars, out of inclement weather, and the largest chapel seating in the area. The chapel has been consecrated by the Catholic Bishop, who sanctioned it’s use to conduct Masses.

Kent D. Smith

In November 1969, Theron Smith retired from the firm and Garth became president. Garth’s wife, Sally, was active in the firm. Garth and Sally’s son, Kent D. Smith, joined the firm in 1970.

In 1975, Kent became president of the firm and was instrumental in the consolidation of the three funeral firms into one at the East Chapel location. The firm’s name changed to the present, Heaton-Bowman-Smith & Sidenfaden Chapel. Sally and Kent’s wife, Judy, became licensed funeral directors in 1978. In 1981, the firm was accepted into the Order of the Golden Rule, an international association of funeral homes held to the highest standards. In response to the ever-changing needs of the community, our pre-arrangement division was expanded in 1982 to manage the services and counseling of pre-arranged funerals. Our pre-need program originally began in 1965. In 1983, Kent and Garth saw the increasing interest and requests for cremation and installed a crematory at the funeral home location. The new division was called St. Joseph Crematory Company. This division now provides cremation services for the surrounding areas of Northwest Missouri, Northeast Kansas, Southwest Iowa and Southeast Nebraska as well as local cremations.

The Smith Family

On June 18, 1989, Garth H. Smith, passed away. Garth’s son, Kent continued on as President until his death on September 11, 1993. Kent’s wife, Judy and mother, Sally assumed responsibilities as president and chairwoman of the board. Judy and Sally have continued to offer service to families in the community in the progressive tradition of their fore founders. Following their family’s legacy, Kent and Judy’s daughters are the fourth generation to join the firm. Kacee R. Smith has been with firm since 1998 and currently serves as Vice-President of Finance and Administration. Kristi L. Smith-Stephens joined the firm in 2005 and has assumed the role of Vice-President of Operations.

Today the Smith’s, along with their dedicated associates, continue to offer services, following this important guideline, “Do unto others as you would have those do unto you”. At Heaton-Bowman-Smith & Sidenfaden Chapel, we commit ourselves to these high standards, and continuously strive to incorporate them within the funeral profession.