Our staff's commitment to you

Our staff is committed to providing support, compassion, information, and direction as needed to all members of our community, their families, and friends who are dealing with loss and grief.

 

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India Rader Stroope Chairman of the Board india@raderfuneralhome.com

India is the daughter of the late LeRoy and Bennie Rader, the founders of Rader Funeral Home. Kilgore has been India’s home her entire life with the exception of her college years. After the death of her son Mark and husband Vernon Mitchell in 1976, she became active in the management of the funeral home. Now she and her son J. Mitchell continue the family tradition that her father, LeRoy, began in 1938. India does volunteer and community work and serves as an Elder with the First Presbyterian Church, Kilgore. But her first love is sharing time with her five grandchildren.

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J. Mitchell Funeral Director in Charge jmitchell@raderfuneralhome.com

Known by one and all as “J”, he is the son of India Rader Stroope and the late Vernon Mitchell. He was born on May 6, 1960 at Laird Hospital, Kilgore. J is a 1978 graduate of Kilgore High School, and graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas and the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. He has three children, Phillip, Britt and Margie and one granddaughter Addison India Mitchell. Like his mother, J is an Elder at the First Presbyterian Church. He enjoys cooking, boating and fixing up old jeeps.

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Meleah Canon Office Manager meleah@raderfuneralhome.com

Meleah is a Kilgore native and a 2009 graduate of Kilgore High School. She went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, and then continued her education and received a Masters from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Meleah married Kevin Canon in 2016 and together they enjoy traveling, cooking, gardening, and spending time with their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Ralph and Ginger Snap.

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Chris Norris Funeral Director chrisnorris@raderfuneralhome.com

Chris has been a licensed funeral director with Rader's for many years. The son of the late C.L. Norris and Ruby Whiteside, he was born in Marshall, Texas and grew up in Kilgore. After graduating from Kilgore High School and Kilgore College, Chris attended and graduated from the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service. He is past President of the East Texas Funeral Directors Association and past Board Member of the Texas Funeral Directors Association. Chris enjoys spending time with family and friends, hunting, fishing, boating, and ATV trail riding .

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Chris Hachtel Funeral Director chrishachtel@raderfuneralhome.com

Chris has been a member of our staff since August 2007. He was born in Denton, Texas and grew up in Jacksboro, Texas. Chris is a graduate of Kilgore College and Dallas Institute of Funeral Service where he recieved his Funeral Director and Embalmer License. Chris married Monica Burkett Hachtel of Kilgore in 2005. He and his wife Monica have two children, Jacob and Maddox. He and his family attend Christ the King Catholic Church. He enjoys cooking, hunting & outdoors and spending time with family.

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Stephen Wright Funeral Director stephenwright@raderfuneralhome.com

Stephen joined our staff as an apprentice funeral director after completing school at Dallas Institue of Funeral Service in 2011. He completed his apprenticeship with us and became a full time director in 2012. He is a 1989 graduate of Kilgore High School. Prior to being a funeral director he was a LVN for 13 years and practiced in the field of long-term care. He is married to Jennifer Harris and they have a blended family of four children and two grandchildren, Michael (Bonnie, Parker & Hadley & Bevyn ), Logan, Leah Montandon and Canaan Wright. He and his family attend Grace Creek Church in Longview. He enjoys singing, cooking, fine dining and his children's sporting events and traveling.

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Kristi Green Funeral Director kristi@raderfuneralhome.com

Kristi has been a member of our staff since November 2015. She was born and raised in Snyder, Texas. She and her daughters, Chelsey and Audrina moved to Kilgore in October 2014. She received her associate degree in Applied Science, Mortuary Science, in June 2010 from Amarillo College. She and her daughters are excited to call Kilgore home. She enjoys movies, outdoors, traveling, and spending time with her daughters.

 

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Birney Westbrook Funeral Assistant

Birney joined our staff in 2014. He and his wife Jonell live in Longview. He enjoys watching and attending sporting events and traveling with his wife and family. They attend the Longview Church of Christ where they are very active and he is an Elder.

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Kyler Tinkler Funeral Assistant

Kyler Joined our staff in 2018 as an assistant. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Finance at the University of Texas at Tyler. Kyler is a novice pilot and enjoys taking flying lessons, and spending time fixing up motorcycles.

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Debbie McCubbin Evening Visitation Hostess

Debbie was born in Hamilton Ontario, Canada. She has been a Real Estate agent for 38 yrs. And a member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority for 37 yrs. Debbie is married to Rex McCubbin and they have 3 children and 2 grandsons, they attend Christ the King Catholic Church in Kilgore, Texas. Debbie was named First Lady of Kilgore for 2018.  She loves traveling; reading, and spending time watching her grandsons play soccer.

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Linda K. Ballard Evening Visitation Hostess linda@raderfuneralhome.com

Linda went to work for the funeral home on a part-time basis after she and J Mitchell discussed the need for a "week or two" of extra help as an evening hostess. That was over seven years ago. Today Linda is still providing service to the community and to Rader Funeral Home. She has one son who lives in Oklahoma, and three grandsons she 'oversees the raising of' at her home here." Linda works full time as a staff writer and ad representative for the Kilgore News Herald. "It has been an honor to work with this family and the many families that have crossed our doorstep over the years." She said. "Once you step through our doors, you become part of our family."

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Mary Lynn Latham Evening Visitation Hostess marylynn@raderfuneralhome.com

Mary Lynn is a Kilgore native. She attended local schools, graduating from Kilgore High School, and later from the Longview School of Vocational Nursing. After becoming a Licensed Vocational Nurse, she went to work for Good Shepherd Hospital. Mary Lynn made a career change in 1979 when she joined a local bank in their bookkeeping department. She and her husband regularly attend Stone Ridge Baptist Church and enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading and crocheting.

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Carolyn Landry Housekeeping

Carolyn has been with Rader over 20 years. She started her cleaning buisness in 1993, which has flourished in serveral directions over the years.

She enjoys cooking for family, friends and likes to challenge herself by entering various contests. 

She and her husband, Daniel, married in 2016. Since he is new to Texas they have many adventures now, just not enough spare time. 

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John Hardy Prearrangement Consultant

John Hardy was born and raised in Kannapolis, North Carolina. He earned a Theology Degree from Rocky Mountain Bible College. Mr. Hardy has been a funeral pre-arrangement specialist and family services consulate for 20 years. He enjoys helping families arrange meaningful funeral services ahead of time of need. The families that John visits with enjoy peace of mind knowing their thoughtfulness is a gift of love to their family plus saves them money. Mr. Hardy has a wife of 43 years, two children, and two grandchildren. He enjoys cooking and gardening. John has served as pastor of two Baptist churches. He and his wife Sarah have enjoyed hosting services in several senior assisted living homes in the past.

India Rader Stroope

Chairman of the Board
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India is the daughter of the late LeRoy and Bennie Rader, the founders of Rader Funeral Home. Kilgore has been India’s home her entire life with the exception of her college years. After the death of her son Mark and husband Vernon Mitchell in 1976, she became active in the management of the funeral home. Now she and her son J. Mitchell continue the family tradition that her father, LeRoy, began in 1938. India does volunteer and community work and serves as an Elder with the First Presbyterian Church, Kilgore. But her first love is sharing time with her five grandchildren.

J. Mitchell

Funeral Director in Charge
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Known by one and all as “J”, he is the son of India Rader Stroope and the late Vernon Mitchell. He was born on May 6, 1960 at Laird Hospital, Kilgore. J is a 1978 graduate of Kilgore High School, and graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas and the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. He has three children, Phillip, Britt and Margie and one granddaughter Addison India Mitchell. Like his mother, J is an Elder at the First Presbyterian Church. He enjoys cooking, boating and fixing up old jeeps.

Meleah Canon

Office Manager
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Meleah is a Kilgore native and a 2009 graduate of Kilgore High School. She went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, and then continued her education and received a Masters from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Meleah married Kevin Canon in 2016 and together they enjoy traveling, cooking, gardening, and spending time with their two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Ralph and Ginger Snap.

Chris Norris

Funeral Director
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Chris has been a licensed funeral director with Rader's for many years. The son of the late C.L. Norris and Ruby Whiteside, he was born in Marshall, Texas and grew up in Kilgore. After graduating from Kilgore High School and Kilgore College, Chris attended and graduated from the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service. He is past President of the East Texas Funeral Directors Association and past Board Member of the Texas Funeral Directors Association. Chris enjoys spending time with family and friends, hunting, fishing, boating, and ATV trail riding .

Chris Hachtel

Funeral Director
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Chris has been a member of our staff since August 2007. He was born in Denton, Texas and grew up in Jacksboro, Texas. Chris is a graduate of Kilgore College and Dallas Institute of Funeral Service where he recieved his Funeral Director and Embalmer License. Chris married Monica Burkett Hachtel of Kilgore in 2005. He and his wife Monica have two children, Jacob and Maddox. He and his family attend Christ the King Catholic Church. He enjoys cooking, hunting & outdoors and spending time with family.

Stephen Wright

Funeral Director
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Stephen joined our staff as an apprentice funeral director after completing school at Dallas Institue of Funeral Service in 2011. He completed his apprenticeship with us and became a full time director in 2012. He is a 1989 graduate of Kilgore High School. Prior to being a funeral director he was a LVN for 13 years and practiced in the field of long-term care. He is married to Jennifer Harris and they have a blended family of four children and two grandchildren, Michael (Bonnie, Parker & Hadley & Bevyn ), Logan, Leah Montandon and Canaan Wright. He and his family attend Grace Creek Church in Longview. He enjoys singing, cooking, fine dining and his children's sporting events and traveling.

Kristi Green

Funeral Director
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Kristi has been a member of our staff since November 2015. She was born and raised in Snyder, Texas. She and her daughters, Chelsey and Audrina moved to Kilgore in October 2014. She received her associate degree in Applied Science, Mortuary Science, in June 2010 from Amarillo College. She and her daughters are excited to call Kilgore home. She enjoys movies, outdoors, traveling, and spending time with her daughters.

 

Birney Westbrook

Funeral Assistant
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Birney joined our staff in 2014. He and his wife Jonell live in Longview. He enjoys watching and attending sporting events and traveling with his wife and family. They attend the Longview Church of Christ where they are very active and he is an Elder.

Kyler Tinkler

Funeral Assistant
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Kyler Joined our staff in 2018 as an assistant. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Finance at the University of Texas at Tyler. Kyler is a novice pilot and enjoys taking flying lessons, and spending time fixing up motorcycles.

Debbie McCubbin

Evening Visitation Hostess
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Debbie was born in Hamilton Ontario, Canada. She has been a Real Estate agent for 38 yrs. And a member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority for 37 yrs. Debbie is married to Rex McCubbin and they have 3 children and 2 grandsons, they attend Christ the King Catholic Church in Kilgore, Texas. Debbie was named First Lady of Kilgore for 2018.  She loves traveling; reading, and spending time watching her grandsons play soccer.

Linda K. Ballard

Evening Visitation Hostess
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Linda went to work for the funeral home on a part-time basis after she and J Mitchell discussed the need for a "week or two" of extra help as an evening hostess. That was over seven years ago. Today Linda is still providing service to the community and to Rader Funeral Home. She has one son who lives in Oklahoma, and three grandsons she 'oversees the raising of' at her home here." Linda works full time as a staff writer and ad representative for the Kilgore News Herald. "It has been an honor to work with this family and the many families that have crossed our doorstep over the years." She said. "Once you step through our doors, you become part of our family."

Mary Lynn Latham

Evening Visitation Hostess
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Mary Lynn is a Kilgore native. She attended local schools, graduating from Kilgore High School, and later from the Longview School of Vocational Nursing. After becoming a Licensed Vocational Nurse, she went to work for Good Shepherd Hospital. Mary Lynn made a career change in 1979 when she joined a local bank in their bookkeeping department. She and her husband regularly attend Stone Ridge Baptist Church and enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading and crocheting.

Carolyn Landry

Housekeeping
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Carolyn has been with Rader over 20 years. She started her cleaning buisness in 1993, which has flourished in serveral directions over the years.

She enjoys cooking for family, friends and likes to challenge herself by entering various contests. 

She and her husband, Daniel, married in 2016. Since he is new to Texas they have many adventures now, just not enough spare time. 

John Hardy

Prearrangement Consultant
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John Hardy was born and raised in Kannapolis, North Carolina. He earned a Theology Degree from Rocky Mountain Bible College. Mr. Hardy has been a funeral pre-arrangement specialist and family services consulate for 20 years. He enjoys helping families arrange meaningful funeral services ahead of time of need. The families that John visits with enjoy peace of mind knowing their thoughtfulness is a gift of love to their family plus saves them money. Mr. Hardy has a wife of 43 years, two children, and two grandchildren. He enjoys cooking and gardening. John has served as pastor of two Baptist churches. He and his wife Sarah have enjoyed hosting services in several senior assisted living homes in the past.