About Us | Ledford Family Funeral Homes

History & Staff

Our Story

Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.

Walker-Nadler-Fuller Funeral Homes - History

Walker-Nadler-Fuller Funeral Homes - History

The history of Walker-Nadler-Fuller Funeral Home started in 1856.  Henry W. Winkler and his brother, Julius F. Winkler, opened Winkler Furniture Company and an undertaking service in Lexington.  This was four years after the famous Saluda disaster, the worst steamboat catastrophe in Missouri River history.  The explosion of the steamboat, Saluda, carrying Mormons westward toward Utah, left at least 135 dead, mostly unidentified.  There was no formal undertaking business in Lexington at that time, so local churches gathered and buried the dead.  The Winkler brothers, Henry and Julius started the funeral service and it remained in the Winkler family until 1943, known as the Winkler Funeral Home.  The funeral home is located at 1720 South Street in Lexington.  The furniture factory opened by the original Winkler brothers sat just east of the present funeral home.  This factory not only made caskets, but a line of fine furniture and trim which became very popular throughout this part of Missouri.  Later, a second Winkler generation took over the furniture and funeral business.  They were Albert and Oswald Winkler, sons of Julius F. and Henriette Winkler.  They managed a retail furniture store in downtown Lexington, the furniture factory and the undertaking business until about the turn of the century.  Later, E.J. Fegert, a nephew of Oswald and Albert Winkler, assumed the funeral operation and served as it’s president until his death in 1935.  During Mr. Fegert’s years as head of the Winkler funeral business, his two uncles died, Albert Winkler in 1924 and Oswald Winkler in 1929.  Following the death of E.J.  Fegert in 1935, Karl Winkler, son of Albert Winkler, assumed as manager until his death in 1940.  In 1943, Forest Tempel bought the home, changing its name to Tempel Funeral Home.  Forest Tempel’s first wife was Katherine Winkler.  In 1960, the funeral home was sold to Harold Walker and Walter Vaughn and the name was changed to Vaughn-Walker Funeral Home.  In 1968 Mr. Walker bought Mr. Vaughn’s interest in the business and Kenneth Nadler joined the Walker Funeral home, later becoming part owner in 1972.  Ten years later, in 1982, Kenneth Nadler became the sole proprietor of the funeral home.  In October of 2003, Steven Fuller purchased the funeral home from Kenneth Nadler.  Steven relocated to Lexington from Columbus Junction, Iowa, where Steven had worked for 22 years at the Stacy-Lewis funeral home, while managing the last 12 years.  In 2010, Austin Ledford joined the funeral home.  After working with Steven for 8 years, Austin & Christy were given the opportunity to take over ownership, and they did so in February 2019.  They will strive to continue the excellent service the funeral home has provided to this community and fulfill the funeral home tradition.  Our family caring for yours.

Ralph O Jones Funeral Home - History

Ralph O Jones Funeral Home - History

The Ralph O. Jones Funeral Home has been a part of the Lafayette County for approximately 150 years. First known as Chris Wagner & Sons, it began in the Mount Hope Community, located just south of Odessa, in the mid 1800's. The family owned business offered a variety of services including milling cabinets, furniture and undertaking.

In 1878, the railroad came to Odessa and offered new possibilities for Lafayette County. Later that year, Chris Wagner brought his business, which he still operated with his sons, to Odessa. The small company operated in a building near the new railroad tracks, located at the corner of Main Street and Second Street.

Ben Blincoe and his sons, Clifton and Horace, bought the business from the Wager family in 1902 and founded Blincoe & Sons. They continued all facets of the company, undertaking, cabinet making and furniture at 101 South Main Street. Shortly there-after, downtown Odessa suffered a large fire and the one-story building burned. However, the Blincoe family re-built, replacing the small building with a large, modern two story building which became known simply as the "Blincoe Building", to Odessans.

Tragedy struck the Blincoe family in 1953 and 1954 when Ben, Horace and Clifton all passed away within months of each other. Ralph O. and Irene O. Jones bought the furniture store and undertaking business from Mrs. Myrtle Blincoe in 1954 and continued operation out of the Blincoe building. On January 2, 1958 they moved the undertaking business and their six small children to the current location at 306 South Second Street. The home already had a rich history, built in 1906 by County Commissioner Judge Tom Gann for his private residence.

In 1988, Ralph O. Jones passed away.  Mrs. Irene O. Jones sold the business to their son, Larry P. Jones and his wife, Carole. They raised their two children while remodeling the funeral home in three stages and expanding the parking lots.

Steven E. Fuller purchased the Ralph O. Jones Funeral Home from Larry P. and Carol J. Jones in August 2009. Larry Jones is still currently working at the funeral home as a part-time funeral director.  Steven owned Walker-Nadler-Fuller Funeral Home in Lexington, a nearby town, and has been a funeral director for over 38 years.  In October 2010, Austin and Christy Ledford relocated to Odessa, so Austin to take the Managing Funeral Director position at Ralph O Jones Funeral Home.  After working with Steven for 8 years, Austin was given the opportunity to take over ownership of the funeral home.  Austin and Christy Ledford became owners in February of 2019.

The Ralph O. Jones Funeral Home is not just a building, it's a continuation of a Lafayette County tradition.  Family owned, operated, and community-centered. We don't just work here we live here. This is where our history was and where our future will be.  Our family caring for yours.

Meet Our Staff

Members of the local community make everything that happens possible.
Together, we make this place amazing.

Austin and Christy Ledford

Austin and Christy Ledford

Owners
Kelly Geringer

Kelly Geringer

Walker-Nadler-Fuller Funeral Home, Office Manager
Cindy  Morton

Cindy Morton

Ralph O. Jones Funeral Home, Office Manager
Steven  Fuller

Steven Fuller

Funeral Director, former owner of Walker-Nadler-Fuller Funeral Home and Ralph O. Jones Funeral Home
Larry  Jones

Larry Jones

Funeral Director and former owner of the Ralph O. Jones Funeral Home
Robert  Simmons

Robert Simmons

Funeral Assistant
Rocky  Morgan

Rocky Morgan

Funeral Assistant
Glenn  Barker

Glenn Barker

Funeral Assistant
Carita  Trent

Carita Trent

Funeral Assistant
Funeral Assistants not pictured are Don Coen and Margaret Kohlstaedt, as well as Janice Lynn, Walker-Nadler-Fuller Funeral Home, in-house Cosmetologist and Housekeeper.

Explore Our Locations

See where we are and find the place that best meet your needs.