Providing Des Moines, Iowa funeral planning services, the Iowa Funeral Planning team consists of experienced, compassionate funeral planning experts who are committed to providing you with affordable and total funeral planning options. Honoring the memory of your loved one and providing peace to the survivors begins by working with a trusted team, like our group of five funeral directors and two funeral assistants, who have decades of combined funeral planning experience. Find out more about our staff by reading below or contacting us.

Funeral Directors

Blair Overton

Blair A. Overton has been a licensed funeral director since 1992. He was raised in Traer, Iowa, and was a 1986 graduate of North Tama High School. Blair continued his education at the University of Iowa and graduated with a degree in economics in 1990. He received his education in mortuary sciences at the New England Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. While in Boston, Blair worked full time for the J. S. Waterman & Sons Funeral Home. Upon his graduation in 1991, he received the Fredrick J. Walker, Jr. Award for the highest academic average and the Founders Award for most promise of outstanding contribution to funeral service. Blair has owned and operated funeral homes in Traer, Dysart, Vinton, and Waterloo, Iowa. Most recently, he has been overseeing the greater Des Moines area firms, which include the Merle Hay Funeral Home and Chapel Hill Gardens, Sunset Memorial Gardens and Chapel, Brooks Funeral Care, the Tonini Funeral Home, and the Cremation Society of Iowa. Blair and his wife Whitney have three sons, Alexander, Tyler, and Ryan. Blair and his family make their home in Johnston, Iowa.

Lissa Belle

Born and raised in Valley Junction (old west Des Moines), Lissa went to WDM schools and her children attended the same schools she did. Lissa and her husband have six kids, three boys and three girls, and three granddaughters. Lissa went to mortuary school at Des Moines Area Community College and did her internship in northern Iowa. She was very thankful to receive a full-time position at Merle Hay as the Family Service Counselor and as a licensed funeral director.

Lissa spends most of her free time with her family, and in the summers, they try to make it up to their cabin on Spirit Lake as much as possible. Lissa enjoys reading and being outside, and she also loves animals of all kinds. Lissa and her husband have three Boston Terriers named Sophie, Pearl and Jake.

Jason Henderson

Jason Henderson has been a licensed funeral director since 2007. He was raised in Waukee, Iowa and graduated from Waukee High School. He attended the mortuary science program at DMACC and graduated in 2006.

Jason lives in West Des Moines with his son, Noah, and is an avid supporter of Liverpool Football Club. In his free time, Jason enjoys playing soccer and attending concerts.

Seth Williams

Seth grew up outside of Gladbrook, Iowa and graduated from Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School in 2000. He was a biology major and religion minor at Simpson College. Following graduation in 2004, he attended and graduated from the DMACC Mortuary Science Program and has been a licensed funeral director since 2007, working for Merle Hay Funeral Home and Brooks Funeral Care since 2010.

Seth’s family consists of his wife Kristin, and children Sydney and Turner. He enjoys spending time with them outdoors, and encouraging his kids in their activities at school and church. Seth is an avid Iowa State Cyclones and Chicago Cubs fan.

Seth was recently appointed to the Iowa Board of Mortuary Science and looks forward to helping ensure Iowa has quality funeral directors who do their best to serve their communities.


Tracie Hicks

Tracie Hicks has been employed with Iowa Funeral Planning since 1988 and is involved with the day-to-day operations of the funeral homes and cemeteries. She graduated from Dexfield (Redfield) High School in 1983 and then attended the University of Northern Iowa, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration in 1987. Tracie resides in Redfield with her husband Matt. They have one daughter.

Rachel Almlie

Rachel has been the voice of Merle Hay Funeral Home for more than 11 years.

Music is a passion she shares with family and friends, often attending band gigs in the Des Moines area. Rachel and her husband Wayne enjoy their century-old home in the Drake neighborhood.

Beth L Higgins

Beth is the receptionist for Brooks Funeral Care and the Cremation Society of Iowa. She is a longtime resident of Des Moines, with a small detour in South and North Carolina. Beth graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree and she also took accounting classes from Des Moines Area Community College. Beth is a Member of P.E.O. Her free time is spent with family and friends, and she enjoys gardening, crocheting, reading and the great outdoors.



The goal of the funeral specialists at Iowa Funeral Planning is to provide our clients with accessible, comfortable and friendly funeral home and cemetery locations throughout the greater Des Moines area. Whether you are hosting a visitation prior to a traditional burial service or are remembering your loved one with photographs and other mementos accompanying his or her cremation urn, our four area funeral home locations provide modern, fully furnished, and soothing settings for your family, friends and other guests. Two of these funeral homes, Merle Hay Funeral Home and Brooks South Town Chapel, are also located next to some of the most-beautiful and -spacious cemeteries in central Iowa, Chapel Hill Gardens and Sunset Memorial Gardens, which offer a convenient and memorable environment for your memorial event.

Brooks Funeral Care

Brooks South Town Chapel And Sunset Memorial Gardens

Chapel Hill Gardens