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.
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 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.