Ancestors of the Royer family have lived in eastern Jackson County since 1870, and because of this, Kenneth Royer wanted to help keep the area economy going. He helped establish several local businesses including a hardware store, a grocery store, a nursing home, a community center, and a senior center. Kenneth and his wife, Lois established Royer Funeral Home in 1959. The Oak Grove facility still sits on the original site at 15th and Broadway in Oak Grove. At the time it was built, it was located at the very southern edge of the city limits. The building was remodeled in 1968, 1991 and again in 2000.
Kenneth Royer graduated from St. Louis School of Mortuary Science in 1946 and the University of Kansas City with a Bachelor of Arts in 1948. He went on to get his Masters in Education in 1952. He taught school in Oak Grove and then in Kansas City for many years. Kenneth worked at several Jackson County funeral homes before establishing Royer Funeral Home in Oak Grove. He received his 50-Year Certificate of Service in the Funeral Profession from the Missouri Funeral Directors Association on June 2, 1998. Kenneth died on January 10, 2002.
Kenneth’s youngest son, F.M. Pete Royer grew up in Oak Grove and graduated from Oak Grove High School in 1968. He attended college at the University of Missouri at Columbia and graduated in 1972. He graduated from the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science in 1973. After serving an apprenticeship in Kansas City and managing a funeral home in Springfield, Colorado, Pete returned to Oak Grove in 1977 to become a partner with his father. He has been the Treasurer and Sexton of Oak Grove Cemetery Association since 1980. Pete began the Oak Grove Monument Company in 1986. In 2007, a crematorium was added at the Oak Grove location because cremation has become a widely accepted and economically preferred option. The name Valley Crematory was chosen since Oak Grove is situated within Sni Valley.
Construction on the Grain Valley facility began in spring of 1996. It was licensed by the state of Missouri on April 1, 1997 and held its Grand Opening on July 1, 1997. The 6500 square foot building is located on the north side of AA Highway one mile west of Buckner-Tarsney Road. An endowed cemetery named Valley Memorial Gardens was also established at that time and is located directly in back of the funeral home. The first two gardens developed contain 1500 available lots: 750 lots in the upright monument garden and 750 in the memorial garden (flat grass markers). There is also a cremation garden to be used for burial of cremains or scattering of ashes. Future plans include a crematory, a columbarium, a mausoleum, and a veteran’s memorial. Plants, trees, shrubs, and benches are located throughout the gardens.
Pete and his wife, Barbara, who obtained her Funeral Director’s license in 1988, are currently managing both facilities. Assisting at Royer’s Grain Valley is Holly A. McCullough, who is the receptionist and office manager. Holly is the Royer’s daughter and she will be glad to assist in any way and give a tour of the facility to anyone who is interested.
The newest member of our business family is Timothy M. Stone. Tim grew up in Marshall, MO, and graduated from Marshall High School in 1992. He graduated from Kansas City Kansas Community College in 1999 with an A.A.S. in Mortuary Science. Tim completed the National Board Exam in 1999 and served his apprenticeship in Marshall, MO. He has been a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer since 2002.
Royer’s also has its own crematory on site. Valley Crematory was established in January of 2007 and is located behind the Oak Grove facility. It was named Valley Crematory because it serves the Sni Valley and Grain Valley areas, and now Blue Springs.
In September of 2008, the property at 205 SW 17th Street in Blue Springs was purchased and became the third facility operated by the Royer’s. Named Royer-Hays Funeral & Cremation Services, this facility serves the families in the Blue Springs area. Scott L. Hays was a partner in this facility. He grew up in Slater, MO, and was a second-generation funeral director/embalmer. He had managed the Grain Valley facility for 6 years before the opening of Royer-Hays in Blue Springs. Only two short months after opening, on November 2, 2008, Scott was killed in a one-vehicle accident in dense fog. The facility will remain “Royer-Hays” in his memory.
Our goal in funeral service is to provide a comforting atmosphere and helpful service to families during one of the most difficult times in their lives. We offer our assistance with arrangements for funerals, burials, cremations, cemetery lots, and monuments. We also offer pre-planned funeral arrangements. Please let us know if we can ever be of assistance to you.