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. 

In 2012, Daniel Eckhoff purchased the business in its entirety from Mr. Terry Smith, after having worked at the funeral home for 14 years.. Dan was the sole owner/president until 2016 when he married Kelly Hines-Eckhoff.  Now together they own and operate all the Christy-Smith locations.

Our Valued Staff

  • Daniel  Eckhoff

    Daniel Eckhoff Owner / President / Funeral Director

    I am the Owner and President of the firm along with my wife Kelly. I am a native of Minnesota and a graduate of Windom Area High School. I completed my undergraduate work at Gustavus Adolphus College. While attending Worsham College of Mortuary Science I was employed with Robert J. Smith Funeral Homes in Chicago. After graduation from Worsham College, I became employed at Behrens Mortuary in Rapid City, South Dakota. I 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, I returned to our firm in August of 2000 and purchased the business in 2012. I have one son and two daughters.

  • Kelly Eckhoff

    Kelly Eckhoff Co-Owner / Vice President / PreNeed Counselor

    After marrying, Dan Eckhoff, the Owner and President of Christy Smith, I am now working with him in the funeral homes. Together we own and manage Christy-Smith Morningside, Berkmeier and Larkin Funeral Homes to keep it a family owned business here in the Siouxland area.
    I am a licensed pre-planning counselor who is ready and able to handle any questions you may have about pre-planning your own services, a loved one's, or about a pre-plan you may already have.
    Prior to joining Christy-Smith Funeral Homes, I worked for MCI Communications for over 20 years doing various sales, marketing and training for the corporation all over the country. When it closed I 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. I graduated from Sioux City's Bishop Heelan Catholic High School and have 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.
    I am happy to join my husband in the company and look forward to keeping it a solid cornerstone in the community for funeral service along with aftercare.

  • Brian D. Fritz

    Brian D. Fritz Funeral Director, Marker/Stone Specialist

    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.

  • 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.

    Dana has recently attended and presented at the Fountain National Academy International Embalming and Reconstructive Surgery Conference for Professional Embalmers and Funeral Directors held at the Fountain National Academy in Springfield, Missouri. The conference included many experts in the field of embalming and reconstructive surgery in the funeral industry from around the world. Attendees received more than 18 hours of specialized training in areas of embalming and reconstructive surgery.

  • Jessica Swedlund

    Jessica Swedlund Funeral Director

    Jessica Swedlund is from Sioux City and graduated from East High School. She attended Morningside College where she received a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She then attained her Mortuary Science Degree from DMACC, during that time she began working at Christy-Smith Funeral Home.

  • Angie  Higgins

    Angie Higgins Administrative Assistant/Family 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

  • Kerry Gill

    Kerry Gill Administrative Assistant

    Kerry Gill resides in Sergeant Bluff with her husband, Jerry. They have 2 grown sons. Kerry is a retired military veteran with over 34 years of service with the 185th Air Refueling Wing, Iowa Air National Guard. Kerry is a key fixture with Christy-Smith Funeral Homes, working directly with families on services and many other components for the families.

  • 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 three grandchildren.

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

  • John Kluver

    John Kluver Funeral Attendant

  • John Yaneff

    John Yaneff Funeral Attendant

  • Lonnie Gustafson

    Lonnie Gustafson Funeral Attendant

  • Peggy Reed

    Peggy Reed Funeral Attendant

  • Nancy Quitt

    Nancy Quitt Funeral Attendant

  • Dawn Woodford

    Dawn Woodford Funeral Attendant

  • Carl Weil

    Carl Weil Funeral Attendant

  • Kristin Schoenherr

    Kristin Schoenherr Hostess

    Kristin resides in Sioux City with her husband. She is employed with the Sioux City Community School District. She enjoys working part time at Christy-Smith Funeral Homes. Kristin has 2 children, 2 step-children and 1 grandson.