Southeast MO cemeteries under new ownership, management - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southeast MO cemeteries under new ownership, management

L to R: Mitchell Kester, Mamie Kester, Teresa Birk and Dale Birk. (Source: Murphy Business of Cape Girardeau) L to R: Mitchell Kester, Mamie Kester, Teresa Birk and Dale Birk. (Source: Murphy Business of Cape Girardeau)
SCOTT COUNTY, MO (KFVS) -

Three cemeteries in Sikeston and Morley, Missouri are under new ownership and management.

The cemeteries, Sikeston Memorial Park; Sikeston Garden of Memories and Forest Hills Memorial Gardens, were previously owned and managed by Teresa and Dale Birk of Birk Enterprises of Missouri, LLC, are now owned and managed by Mamie and Mitchell Kester of Joshua One Nine, LLC.

The Kesters live in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

The transaction was facilitated by Murphy Business of Cape Girardeau.

The Birks took over the properties in late 2007 after they were abandoned by a previous owner. They have spent the last eight years rebuilding the pre-need trust accounts so that they are now fully funded, and assuring the community that their investments in burial services made over the years will be honored.

"Dale and I have done what we set out to do," Teresa Birk said. "These cemeteries are an important part of the community and we wanted to make sure they were stable and secure before we passed the torch. The employees, who will all stay in place, are top-notch and the Kesters are the perfect family to serve as owners and managers going forward."

The Kesters said they were attracted to the business because it provides such a valuable service to families in their time of need and sorrow.

"Mamie and I didn't set out to own cemeteries - we set out to buy a business that was close to home, provided a valuable service, had a strong staff already in place and made sense financially," Mitchell Kester said. "The cemeteries happened to fit that profile. We couldn't be more pleased to continue the great work of the Birk family for many years to come."

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