History & Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

Our History

On November 1, 1949, Walter H. "Doc" Ford and Ross Young opened the doors to Ford-Young Funeral Home on Sprigg Street in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. In 1953, Walter J. Ford, Walter H.’s son, bought out the Young family interests and the name changed to Ford and Sons Funeral Home. Four years later, in 1957, Walter J. Ford and his wife Iris took over as acting managers of the funeral home and also opened a branch in Benton, Missouri.

In order to better serve the community, many additions have been made to the Sprigg Street location over the years. In 1986 Ford and Sons purchased the Cape County Memorial Park Cemetery and in 1988 purchased Walther's and Brinkopf-Howell Funeral Homes in Cape Girardeau. Shortly after the purchase, the firm was merged into the Ford and Sons corporation.

In 1980 Cliff Ford joined his parents in the family business to be followed in 1983 by his brother Kevin. Then in 1990, the Mt. Auburn Road location was established. Kevin's son, Josh joined the staff in 2009 and currently serves as Vice President and oversees daily operations at all four locations. After 30 years of dedicated service Cliff retired in 2010 and now resides with his family in Mississippi. In March of 2015 Cracraft-Miller Funeral Home in Jackson, Missouri was purchased and renamed, Ford & Sons Funeral Home- Jackson. We are excited about serving the needs of the Jackson community.

Our Valued Staff

Walter J.  Ford

Walter J. Ford, Past President/Funeral Director/Embalmer

Walter "Doc" Ford began his career in July of 1957 along with his wife Iris who was Secretary/Treasurer and licensed Funeral Director of the firm for over 50 years. He currently is a member of the Elk's Lodge, Masonic Lodge, Moolah Shrine and the Eagle's Lodge. Lifetime active member of Centenary United Methodist Church.
He has been active in many other boards in the community.

Kevin  Ford

Kevin Ford, President/Funeral Director/Embalmer

Kevin was a 1979 graduate of Cape Central High School. He then graduated from Louisiana Tech.
He and his wife Cindy have two children, Josh (Julianna) and Kristen (Brad LaBruyere). He has two grandsons, Montgomery and Fisher. He is a member of Centenary United Methodist Church in Cape and is on the board of SoutheastHEALTH. Kevin is an avid golfer and enjoys spending time with his grandsons.

Josh  Ford

Josh Ford, Vice President/ Funeral Director

Josh was a 2003 graduate of Cape Central High School and 2008 graduate of Arkansas State University with a degree in Business Management. While at ASU he was a member of the Red Wolves baseball team. A lifelong member of Centenary United Methodist Church, Josh serves as an Ambassador Board Member for Southeast Health, and is a member of St. Marks Masonic Lodge and the Lions Club of Cape Girardeau. He and his wife, Julianna, reside in Cape Girardeau with their sons, Montgomery, Fisher and one child due in July, 2018.

Mike  Cracraft

Mike Cracraft, Funeral Director/Manager of Jackson location

Mike was a 1969 graduate of Jackson High School and a 1974 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University. He began working in the family business in 1970. He is a member of New Mckendree United Methodist Church in Jackson. He is married to Nancy (Pfeiffer) Cracraft. He has two children and three grandchildren. Mike enjoys being outdoors, hunting and fishing.

Joe L.  Lowes

Joe L. Lowes, Funeral Director/Embalmer

Joe was a graduate of Jackson High School in 1969 and graduate of Kentucky School of Mortuary Science in 1972. He has been in the funeral industry since 1970. He was married to the late Janet M. (Steeg) Lowes of Jackson, MO for 42 years. They have 2 children, 4 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren and one on the way. Member of Hanover Lutheran Church. Hobbies include, sports, horses, dogs and walking.

Alan J.  Essner

Alan J. Essner, Funeral Director

Alan has been a Funeral Director with Ford and Sons since 1988. He is married to Denise and they have 5 children. He is active at St. Vincent DePaul Catholic Church in Cape Girardeau. Graduate of Notre Dame High School in 1978, Southest Missouri State University in 1982.

Rick  Wieser

Rick Wieser, Funeral Director

Rick came to Cape Girardeau in 1974 and graduated from Southeast Missouri State University. Rick and his wife Judy spend most of their spare time with their children’s athletic events. They attend Trinity Lutheran Church in Cape.
Rick joined Ford & Sons Funeral Home in 1997 and believes in helping families in the community during their time of need.

Dana  E. Townsend

Dana E. Townsend, Funeral Director/Embalmer

Dana was raised in central Indiana and attended Ivy Tech where she earned her Mortuary Science degree in 2010. While in Indiana she had worked in the funeral industry for 7 years. She joined the Ford & Sons staff in 2011. She is a member of the Jackson Rotary Club.
She and her husband Deius live in Jackson, have a three year old daughter, Marlee Jane and are expecting a baby boy in July of 2019.

Jerry  Goin

Jerry Goin, Funeral Director/Embalmer

Jerry was a 1967 graduate of Chaffee High School and 1973 graduate of Kentucky School of Mortuary Science. He served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and is a life member of the VFW. Jerry has one daughter and one grandson.

Mary  Emmenderfer

Mary Emmenderfer, Administrative Assistant

Often the first person you see, Mary (Lappe) Emmenderfer, a Cape native formerly married to Gary Emmenderfer until his untimely death in 1994.
She is a lifelong member of St. Mary's Cathedral having served in many capacities including the school board. Mary's primary interests are her large family and cooking.

Saylor Hardesty

Saylor Hardesty, Administrative Assistant

Saylor was a 2011 graduate of Jackson Senior High School and a 2015 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University. Saylor is a lifelong member of LaCroix United Methodist Church. Saylor and her husband, Clayton enjoy spending time with their family and being outdoors. They have one daughter, Laney.

Donny Ford

Donny Ford, Funeral Director/Pre-Need Consultant/Monument Sales

Donny was born and raised in the Cape Girardeau/Jackson area. He graduated from College High School and later Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY.
Donny has pastored several churches in the area and began working for Ford & Sons in September of 2005.
Donny and his wife Phyllis have two children, Daren and Sherry as well as five grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Florence Marshall Harold

Florence Marshall Harold, Pre-Need Consultant/Monument Sales

Florence is a graduate of Notre Dame High School, earned a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southeast Missouri State University and a Master of Arts, Pastoral Theology from St. Mary of the Woods College, St. Mary of the Woods, Indiana. She is a licensed pre-need agent, advising families in pre-arranging their own funeral or the funeral of a loved one, which helps relieve the burden for those left behind. She works with families after a funeral is complete, obtaining death certificates, designing cemetery markers or monuments and offering assistance as needed.

Jim Welter

Jim Welter, Funeral Assistant

Jim is a member of St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church. He enjoys serving the families during visitation and service times.

Bob Osborn

Bob Osborn, Funeral Assistant

Bob has lived in Cape Girardeau since 1959. He was owner and operator of The Meat Shop.
He began working at Ford and Sons in 2006.
Bob enjoys greeting everyone with a smile and is passionate about serving others.

Harold G.  Cobb

Harold G. Cobb, Funeral Assistant

Harold was a graduate of Central High School, graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with degress in Criminal Justice and General Studies. Was former coroner of Cape Girardeau county and worked at SEMO for 26 years in the police department. Has worked at Ford & Sons Funeral Home for 35 years. He has one daughter, one grandson and one great-grandchild. Hobbies include baseball, politics and taking care of his cat.

Terrell Weaver

Terrell Weaver, Funeral Assistant

Terrell was born and raised in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and a graduate of Cape Central High School. He is married to Jane (Ponder) Weaver. Together they have a blended family of four children and four grandchildren. Terrell is a member of St. Vincent DePaul Parish in Perryville.
He enjoys spending time with family and friends. His hobbies include flower gardening, landscaping, traveling, and cemetery repair projects.

Clark Daniels

Clark Daniels, Office Manager/Grounds Supervisor

Clark was born and raised in Missouri. He graduated from Illmo-Scott City High School in 1978. He has lived in Cape Girardeau since 1979.
Clark is married to Vicki who is Director of Nursing at Doctors Park Surgery. They have four sons and 12 grandchildren.
They enjoy spending time with family, going to the gym and participating in various 5K events.
Clark has been employed at Cape County Memorial Park Cemetery since 1981.

Richard Schreiner

Richard Schreiner, Grounds Maintenance

Richard was born in Cape Girardeau and has lived in Jackson his whole life.
Richard enjoys spending time with family and friends but especially riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Matthew Daniels

Matthew Daniels, Grounds Maintenance

Matthew was born and raised in Cape Girardeau. He attended Cape Public Schools and graduated from Cape Central in 2003. Matt joined the Marine Corp from 2003-2006. He then returned to the area to work alongside his dad at Cape County Memorial Park Cemetery. Matt has four children, Makenzie, Austen, Jorden and Kiyla. He enjoyes spending time with family and riding motorcycles.

Ruby Voshage

Ruby Voshage, Administrative Assistant

Ruby serves as an administrative assistant at both the funeral home and cemetery, Cape County Memorial Park. She has worked in the office part-time for 10 years and developed an electronic database for the records. Ruby brings years of customer service experience to her new position. She has managed her own hair stylist shop, and also is a stylist at the funeral home. Ruby is a life-long resident of the Cape Girardeau/Jackson area and currently resides in the Fruitland area with her husband, Joe. She has two sons and three beautiful granddaughters.