Our Valued Staff

We have years of experience caring for families, from all walks of life. Each family comes to us because they know we are leaders in our profession, dedicated to excellence in service, and have the highest integrity.

  • Phil  Thorne

    Phil Thorne

    Phil Thorne is the President of Thorne-George Family Funeral Homes, Inc. A Bedford area business owner and retired Pastor after over 30 years of ministry, Phil and his wife Amy went into a partnership with their daughter and son-in-law and became the owners of Ferguson-Lee Chapel in Bedford and Queen-Lee Chapel in Shoals.

    In November of 2017 they purchased Burkholder Funeral Chapel. The Thorne's believe in helping people through the most difficult days of their lives and have committed to being a part of Jackson County.

    In addition to their daughter Abby, they also have two other children and three grandchildren that all live in Bedford.

    They enjoy living on their small mini-farm where they have Dexter cattle, mini-donkeys, goats, chickens and a horse in addition to three dogs and a cat.

    They look forward to serving the needs of the families of Seymour.

  • Buddy  Fletcher

    Buddy Fletcher, Managing Director

    Buddy has been serving families for over 30 years. He graduated from the Mortuary Science program at Cypress College in 1984. He has served as a licensed funeral director, embalmer and managing director.

    Buddy believes giving back to the community is very important. He has served on the board of directors for the chamber of commerce as well as the RTA Hospice Advisory Board. He has been active in the Lions Club, serving two terms as president. He also served as president in the Rotary Club.

    Buddy is very compassionate about funeral service. He considers it an honor to assist families in the community during their most critical time of need. His goal is to create a personal and meaningful tribute for your loved one. Buddy joined the staff at Burkholder Chapel in February 2018. He is excited to be part of the Thorne-George Family Funeral Homes group because of their family-first attitude and desire to continually improve ways to serve families.

    Buddy and his wife, Amy, have been blessed with six children. They cherish every moment spent with their family. Together they enjoy attending Seymour Christian Church, serving the community, traveling, visiting family and friends and many outdoor activities.

  • Brooklyn  Brown

    Brooklyn Brown

    Brooklyn was born and raised in southern Indiana. She graduated from Bloomington High School South in 2018.

    Brooklyn is a member of Seymour Christian Church and active in their young adult ministry. She has a heart for special needs children and plans to attend college in the fall to study Special Education.

    Brooklyn joined the staff at Burkholder Funeral Chapel in August 2018 and lives at the funeral home with her parents, Buddy and Amy Fletcher.

  • Karen  Metz

    Karen Metz

    Karen has been a resident of Jackson County most of her life; she graduated from Immanuel Lutheran School and Seymour High School. She then went on to graduate from a technical college in Missouri.

    She was married to Stan Metz for 43 years, with whom she had three sons and one grandson. Before retiring in 2010, she was the officer manager of the Jackson County Health Department. She began working at the Health Department in 1983 and held several positions throughout her time there.

    She is now a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church at Dudleytown where she serves as Sunday School Superintendent and is active with various groups and committees. She is also a board member of Mental Health America of Jackson County and volunteers at Clarity Pregnancy Services.

    Karen has worked as a part-time employee of Burkholder Funeral Chapel for the past three years.

  • Bud  Nieman

    Bud Nieman

    Born and raised in Seymour, Indiana. Life long member of Immanuel Lutheran Church.

    Married to Joyce Mullikin for 53 years, with two sons, Scott, a dentist in Columbus, Ohio, And Matt, Youth Director, at Immanuel Lutheran Church.

    Graduated from Brownstown High School. Attended Concordia Teachers College and Sullivan Business College.

    Retired from the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., and was co-owner of Seymour Tire.

    Has been employed at Burkholder Chapel since 2011.

  • Debbie  Risser

    Debbie Risser

    Debbie has been a resident of Seymour for 35 years. She grew up in Delaware County near Muncie and graduated from Cowan High School. At Ball State University, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychological Sciences and Social Work. She obtained her certification from Butler University in Paralegal Studies.

    Debbie and her husband, Mark, have a daughter and son-in-law, Maggie and Andrew Keller. They reside in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Andrew is a student at Concordia Theological Seminary and Maggie is an elementary school music teacher for DeKalb County Schools.

    Currently, she works part-time as a substitute teacher and school cafeteria assistant for area schools. Debbie is a member of Peace Lutheran Church where she serves as a Sunday school teacher and on various committees. She has also been a 4-H leader for 11 years for the Leftovers 4-H Club.

    Debbie has worked part-time at Burkholder Funeral Chapel since January of 2015.

  • Steve  Ward

    Steve Ward

    Steve has lived in Seymour for over 35 years. He and his wife have four children and nine grandchildren.

    Steve has been employed at Dicksons Gifts for over 30 years. His grandfather was a lifelong funeral director at Criswell's Funeral Home in Ada, Oklahoma.

    Steve enjoys serving the people of this community at Burkholder Funeral Chapel. He has worked at Burkholder Funeral Chapel for about two years.

  • Emily  Von Fange

    Emily Von Fange

    Emily Von Fange has lived in Seymour her entire life and is a life-long member of Immanuel Lutheran Church.

    She attended Immanuel Lutheran School, Seymour High School, and Ivy Tech Community College Columbus. There, she earned her Associate of General Studies degree and became active in various student societies.

    She will be attending the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in the fall to earn her Bachelor of Mortuary Science.

    She has worked at Burkholder Funeral Chapel since June of 2017 and will return after completing her degree.