History & 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.

Our History

Our History

Our funeral home was established in 1921 when W. Harry Christy moved to Sioux City and opened a funeral home in the Morningside area. Mr. Christy operated the funeral home until 1961, during which time he also opened a second funeral home located on the west side of town.

In 1961, Sherman Larson purchased the funeral homes and operated them until he retired in 1983. In 1983, Terry Smith and Scott Hockenberry purchased the funeral homes from Mr. Larson. Many additions were added to the building during this time to provide a large, modern facility for the community. Mr. Smith and Mr. Hockenberry were also able to purchase the McCulloch Funeral Home in Moville, Iowa, in 1988, and the Berkemier Funeral Home in Sioux City in 1996. The west side location was closed when the Berkemier location was purchased. In 2007 the Berkemier Chapel was completely remodeled. New selection rooms were added and the chapel has been completely redone.

In 1998, Mr. Smith acquired the entire business and became the sole owner. The name has changed through the years, starting with W. Harry Christy Funeral Home; to Christy Funeral Home, to Christy, Smith and Hockenberry Funeral Homes, to the present name of Christy-Smith Funeral Homes. The year 2006 has provided us with another area of expansion when the Larkin Northside Funeral Home was acquired. This allows us to provide all of our services to another neighborhood in our city.

In 2000, we opened the Family Resource Center in a building adjacent to the funeral home. The resource center is a facility with many modules providing ideas and products for families to help them plan their funeral as a true remembrance service for their loved one. We have an extensive lending library located in this building consisting of a collection of books and audio tapes on death, bereavement and other losses. The resource center also houses our community room where families are able to have funeral lunches after their service; the room is also available to the community for a wide variety of uses.

In 2002, we opened the Christy-Smith Crematory to provide another service to our community and to be of service to the funeral directors in the surrounding area. In 2003, we purchased property adjacent to the funeral home to provide much needed parking for both facilities.

Our Valued Staff

  • Daniel  Eckhoff

    Daniel Eckhoff Owner / President / Funeral Director

    Dan Eckhoff is the Owner and President of the firm along with his wife Kelly. He is a native of Minnesota and a graduate of Windom Area High School. He completed his undergraduate work at Gustavus Adolphus College. While attending Worsham College of Mortuary Science he was employed with Robert J. Smith Funeral Homes in Chicago. After graduation from Worsham College, he became employed at Behrens Mortuary in Rapid City, South Dakota. Dan joined the Christy-Smith family for a year in 1997 and then returned to Rapid City to pursue a management position with Behrens Mortuary. After spending two years in the Black Hills, Dan returned to our firm in August of 2000 and purchased the business in 2012. He has one son and two daughters.

  • Kelly Eckhoff

    Kelly Eckhoff Co-Owner / Vice President

    After marrying, Dan Eckhoff, the Owner and President of Christy Smith, Kelly is now working with him in the funeral homes. Together they own and manage Christy-Smith, Berkmeier and Larkin Funeral Homes to keep it a family owned business here in the Siouxland area.
    Prior to joining Christy-Smith Funeral Homes, Kelly worked for MCI Communications for over 20 years doing various sales, marketing and training for the corporation all over the country. When it closed she went back to school to get a degree in surgical technology and had the privilege of working intra-operatively for 6 years before going to UnityPoint Health and working in the marketing and contracts area for Siouxland PACE. Kelly graduated from Sioux City's Bishop Heelan Catholic High School and has attended Mt. Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, IA, Briar Cliff University right here in Sioux City and most recently Western Iowa Tech Community College for the AA in Surgical Technology.
    She is happy to join her husband in the company and looks forward to keeping it a solid cornerstone in the community for funeral service along with aftercare.

  • Brian D. Fritz

    Brian D. Fritz Funeral Director

    Brian D. Fritz grew up south of Humboldt, SD and graduated from West Central High School in Hartford, SD. He went on to graduate from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD and then from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mortuary Science. During his time in the Twin Cities, Brian was employed at a Mortuary in St. Paul, MN.
    Brian has been a licensed Funeral Director for 20 years, primarily in the Sioux Falls area. He was a partner within an employee owned funeral corporation and was the manager of a funeral home in Wyoming before returning to Sioux Falls.
    Brian is a licensed Funeral Director in multiple states, and was also past District President of the South Dakota Funeral Directors Association.
    He and his wife, Joelle, have two children and one granddaughter.

  • Dana Goodell

    Dana Goodell Funeral Director

    Dana Goodell joined Christy-Smith Funeral Homes on a semi-regular basis in the summer of 2016 He is a 1988 graduate of Dallas Institute of Funeral Service and has served families in the Sioux City area since that time. In addition to being a great asset to our company, he is employed as the Sales and Education Director for a family owned funeral supply company. He has been married to his wife Lorna since 1979 and they have one son.

  • Kathy Yoder

    Kathy Yoder Director of Healing Services

    Kathy Yoder grew up on the edge of a small Midwestern town where birds on telephone wires gossip shamelessly, cornfields whisper secrets on the wind, and a summer's day isn't complete until you pick warm strawberries from your Grandmother's garden and make at least one mud pie.
    This atmosphere encouraged Kathy's dreams of a life filled with words, doodles and, most importantly, faith. Kathy has been writing a weekly faith column for the Sioux City Journal for 12 years. The Religious Communicators Council awarded her the national Wilbur Award for her writing. She has also written for various periodicals and is the author of several books. Kathy writes from her every day experiences in a way that brings to light the faith struggles we all encounter and also the incredible joy that living a life of faith can bring.
    Kathy is a full time chaplain for UnityPoint: St. Luke’s. She divides her time between the hospital and PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly). With a Master’s degree in English, art and mass communication, Kathy uses her various skills and talents to minister to others. She has written extensively about grief and the mourning journey. Having experienced many losses in her life, she writes and speaks from her own experiences as well as from research.
    Kathy has worked with many people who are in the midst of a loss journey.
    A former Children’s Ministry Director, Kathy’s church commissioned her for ministry when she became a chaplain. She is also a seminary student working on a master’s degree in divinity with emphasis in pastoral care and counseling.
    Kathy’s husband, Dave, passed away in 2009 from cancer. They have one son, Ethan, who is a mortuary science student hoping to become a funeral director. In her spare time, Kathy loves to spend time with her family and friends. She’s also an avid reader. She once took a personality test which revealed that she is an interesting combination of an introvert who loves people.

    “What an honor and a privilege to help others on their grief journey,” Kathy says. “Each journey is unique. Each person grieves in their own way. But there are some similarities in everyone’s journey. We are not alone. There is hope.”

  • Melissa  McKenna

    Melissa McKenna Administrative Assistant

    Melissa McKenna moved to Sioux City in 2005. She has attended classes at USD in Vermillion, SD and Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon, IA, focusing on business courses. She comes to Christy-Smith with an administrative and insurance background. She and her husband, Jon have a son and a daughter. Melissa enjoys reading and spending time with her family. She is happy to have the opportunity to work with the Christy-Smith Funeral Home family.

  • Angie  Higgins

    Angie Higgins Resource Center

    Angie Higgins is a resident in Sioux City with her husband, Tim and 3 children. Before starting at Christy-Smith Family Resource Center, Angie owned a daycare for 21 years in her home. Angie enjoys being part of the Christy-Smith family

  • Connie  Doscher

    Connie Doscher Office Assistant

    Connie J. Doscher is a native of Lake Mills, Iowa, graduating from Lake Mills Community School. Connie also graduated from La' James School of Cosmotology in Mason City, Iowa in 1972. She owned a beauty salon in the Morningside area for 20 years before joining the Christy-Smith Funeral Homes in August of 2007. Connie has two children and two grandchildren.

    Connie is the office assistant at the Christy-Smith Larkin Chapel.

  • Carl Weil

    Carl Weil Funeral Attendant

  • Frank Ostrihonsky

    Frank Ostrihonsky Funeral Attendant

  • Rich Ellison

    Rich Ellison Funeral Attendant

  • John Kluver

    John Kluver Funeral Attendant

  • Rhonda Ostrihonsky

    Rhonda Ostrihonsky Funeral Attendant

  • Donna Roeschke

    Donna Roeschke Funeral Attendant

  • Nathan Jenkins

    Nathan Jenkins Intern Funeral Director

  • Peggy Reed

    Peggy Reed Funeral Attendant

  • Nancy Quitt

    Nancy Quitt Funeral Attendant

  • Carlie  Smith

    Carlie Smith Office Assistant / Funeral Attendant