Obituaries

Mary Wagner
B: 1930-11-11
D: 2017-08-17
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Wagner, Mary
Harold Robison
B: 1921-07-07
D: 2017-08-17
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Robison, Harold
Mark Wilson
B: 1955-06-22
D: 2017-08-16
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Wilson, Mark
Clifford Test
B: 1942-09-08
D: 2017-08-15
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Test, Clifford
Ezra Carnell
B: 2017-05-09
D: 2017-08-14
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Carnell, Ezra
Robert Stevens
B: 1950-12-21
D: 2017-08-12
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Stevens, Robert
Edith Dennis
B: 1922-07-22
D: 2017-08-10
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Dennis, Edith
Michael Fiedler
B: 1957-12-18
D: 2017-08-10
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Fiedler, Michael
Danny Vinson
B: 1931-07-05
D: 2017-08-09
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Vinson, Danny
Katie Griffith
B: 1929-03-11
D: 2017-08-09
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Griffith, Katie
Matthew Brown
B: 1975-05-24
D: 2017-08-09
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Brown, Matthew
Florence Closson
B: 1928-10-11
D: 2017-08-09
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Closson, Florence
Josephine Pena
B: 1946-09-06
D: 2017-08-08
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Pena, Josephine
Brandon Richey
B: 1980-03-07
D: 2017-08-06
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Richey, Brandon
Kenneth Sprinkle
B: 1959-09-17
D: 2017-08-06
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Sprinkle, Kenneth
Helen Westbrook
B: 1930-11-14
D: 2017-08-06
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Westbrook, Helen
Thomas Thomas
B: 1915-02-26
D: 2017-08-05
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Thomas, Thomas
Dennis Lewis
B: 1943-07-17
D: 2017-08-04
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Lewis, Dennis
Bree Davis
B: 1973-07-14
D: 2017-08-03
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Davis, Bree
Carol Rector
B: 1930-12-06
D: 2017-08-03
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Rector, Carol
Ronald Munson
B: 1943-08-27
D: 2017-08-01
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Munson, Ronald

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1501 W. Lexington Ave.
Independence, MO 64052
Phone: 816-252-7900
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Why Have A Service?

A funeral or memorial service is much more than a way to say goodbye; it's an opportunity to celebrate the life of someone special. We provide personalized and meaningful services which are customized to your family's needs.

A service is also one of the most important events in a family's history and should never be just a "cookie cutter" or a "one-size-fits-all" type of experience.

Today, a service can be as unique as the individual who is being honored. From simple touches like displaying personal photographs, to creating events around a favorite pastime, our services can reflect any aspect of an individual's life and personality. 

As part of our professional services, we offer a custom-made DVD tribute, comprised of 25-30 of your favorite photos.  Displayed in the funeral home on our large state-of-the art monitors and tastefully located television sets, this has become the most popular option we have ever offered families, and is frequently a high point at the visitation or service. 

Music plays a large role in most services and we have upgraded our sound systems at both the Speaks Suburban and Carson-Speaks chapels to provide enhanced aural capabilities, with sub-woofers and great highs, creating the perfect balance in sound quality.

How can we start to think about a personalized service at Speaks?

The following are questions you can use to help you further personalize a service:

  • What did the person like to do?
  • What was the person like as an individual?
  • What was the person like as a professional?
  • Was the person spiritual?
  • Was the person proud of their heritage?

For additional ideas on personalizing a funeral, please visit with one of our funeral directors.

What did the person like to do?

Often, people have hobbies that become more than just a casual pastime. Their activity could have been as much a part of who they were as their smile. Why not showcase that important part of their life during the funeral?

Incorporating a hobby can be as simple as:

  • Displaying items used for their hobby; e.g. sports equipment, gardening tools, or collections.
  • Personalizing the casket or urn with a symbol of their hobby.
  • Displaying trophies or awards they won.
  • Creating a picture board or presentation featuring pictures of them engaged in their hobby.
  • Having someone speak about the person's passion for the hobby.

By adding these or other personal touches to a funeral, the service becomes a reflection of the person's life and personality.

What was the person like as an individual?

One way to enhance a funeral is by bringing a piece of the person's personality to life. Consider what made that person special, what made them who they were? Then find ways to link their individuality to traditional aspects of a funeral service.

As an example, an avid cowboy or cowgirl may want to ride off into the sunset one last time. Tasteful ways to honor their wish include:

  • Using a covered wagon rather than a hearse
  • Having their saddle and riding equipment displayed
  • Playing western music
  • Having their horse walk in the procession
  • Having a barbecue after the service

Other themes you may want to consider:

  • Military honors for a member of the armed forces
  • Tailgate party for a sports enthusiast
  • Harley-Davidson rally for the Harley owner

What was the person like as a professional?

Many people take great pride in their career. Perhaps they dedicated a lifetime to a profession that was more than just a job. If this holds true for your loved one, you may want to consider ways to include their professional life into their funeral service.

Following are two examples of how you could incorporate a profession into a service:

For a teacher:

  • Have the choir or band from the school perform during the visitation or service.
  • Encourage students to write essays about the person, which could be displayed.
  • Invite a past student to speak at the service.

For a fire person/police officer:

  • Incorporate any honors or traditions that their department has established.
  • Use fire trucks or police vehicles in the procession.
  • Have bagpipers play at the visitation or service.
  • Display their uniform and equipment.

Was the person spiritual?

Most people have some sense of spirituality in their life, even if they rarely attend church. Often those values are from the very core of who the person was in life. Therefore, you may feel it is important to incorporate the individual's sense of spirituality into their funeral service.

Following are ideas on how to incorporate spirituality into a funeral service:

  • Hold the service at the person's church.
  • Have someone read excerpts from a key religious publication (i.e. Bible, Koran, etc.).
  • Decorate the funeral home with symbols of the person's faith.
  • Have the person's cremated remains scattered at a place of spiritual significance to them.
  • Read a prayer that touches on their key beliefs.
  • Include sacred music from the religion in the service.