site image

Our Staff


We invite you to discover who has made Preble Memory Gardens Funeral Center the ultimate provider of creating healing experiences in the community. This section contains the heritage, vision, and the people behind Robert L. Crooks Funeral Center's reputation of quality, sincerity, and trust.

Our staff is comprised of dedicated and licensed professionals with the experience to answer all your questions regarding our services. Please feel free to contact any of our staff members at any time.

Robert L. Crooks

Robert L. Crooks

Bob has been a continual part of funeral service since 1974. A 1974 graduate of Ashland College with an Associate Degree in Biology, he entered into funeral service in June of that year in his hometown of Niles, OH. After graduating from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in 1977, he earned his funeral director and embalmers licenses from the State of Ohio.

In 1982, Bob continued his career with Rogers Funeral Homes, Inc in New Lebanon and Trotwood, OH serving there until 1997. A father of 4, grandfather of 7, Bob and wife Margaret have called New Lebanon home since 1982.

In 1997, Bob's career moved to the funeral home at Preble Memory Gardens in West Alexandria. In September of 2002, he went into partnership with Dan Appenzeller and Doug Rauch and began operating and managing the Robert L. Crooks Funeral Center at Preble Memory Gardens.


Charles D.

Charles D.

Originally from Akron, CO, Dan began his career as a cemetery sales person in 1971 in Kansas City, MO. Dan and wife Caralynn moved to Brookville, OH in 1975 and are parents to 4 children numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Preble Memory Gardens Cemetery opened in 1970 and Dan and Caralynn assumed ownership in 1981. Dan's vision extended beyond the cemetery and he built a funeral home on the premises in 1989, adding a community center, meeting rooms and offices several years later. The funeral home operated under another funeral home's license until 2002 when he and business partners Robert L. Crooks and Douglas K. Rauch opened the Robert L. Crooks Funeral Center at Preble Memory Gardens. Dan and wife Caralynn, retied at the end of December 2020.  We wish them nothing but the best of the retired life.


Stefanie Price

Stefanie Price

A Preble County native, Stefanie joined the staff of Robert L. Crooks Funeral Center at Preble Memory Gardens Cemetery in July 2012 as the Administrative Assistant.  Stefanie is married to Phil and they have 2 married children and 7 grandchildren.  Stefanie is very active in the community.


Derek and Eshelle Bales

Derek and Eshelle Bales

Derek grew up in Middletown and moved to Preble County in 1996 while working for Hueston Woods State Park.  He then was a Corrections Officer at the Preble County Jail where he met Eshelle, who was also a Corrections Officer.  They married in 2001. 

After 10 years of service at the Sheriff’s Office, Derek decided a change was needed and in 2009, he started classes at Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science where he was a Lab Assistant and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2010. After completing a yearlong Apprenticeship in Fostoria, Ohio, Derek became a licensed funeral director and embalmer and worked at Rogers' Funeral Home in New Lebanon and Trotwood.

In September 2016, he and Eshelle purchased the R.C. Nein and Sons Funeral Home in Camden, Ohio. 

Derek and Eshelle Bales became the owners of the Preble Memory Gardens Funeral Center and Cemetery at the end of December 2020.  

 

Telephone: 1-937-839-4476

Email: 


In this section

About Us

Our Staff

Why Choose Us

Contact Us

Testimonials

© 2021 Preble Memory Gardens Funeral Center. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy