Staff

Our dedicated staff are here to provide support, compassion, and information to help you through your journey of grief and the celebration of your loved one’s life.

 

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Bobby Dean & Ruth Wood Founders and Funeral Directors

Bobby Dean and Ruth Wood are the founders and owners of Walnut Lawn Funeral Home, Ltd. - DeGraffenreid-Wood-Crematory. In 2014, Bobby Wood celebrated his 50th anniversary in the funeral profession as a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He is the oldest practicing licensed mortician in the Springfield area. Bobby began working in the funeral business as a young teenager for the local funeral home owner in Hartville, MO. This experience led to his life-long calling of ministering to families in the funeral profession. He attended Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, and while attending college and driving ambulance for a local ambulance company, he met his wife, Ruth, who was attending St. John's School of Nursing. Ruth is a registered nurse graduate of St. John's School of Nursing and a licensed funeral director who has worked diligently beside Bobby to manage the funeral home business affairs and care for grieving families. In 2011, Ruth received her 50 Year nursing certificate. The newlyweds moved to Dallas, Texas, for Bobby to attend and graduate from the Dallas Gupton-Jones Institute of Mortuary Science. The couple returned to Missouri to eventually open their own funeral home in Hartville, MO, Wood Funeral Home. They raised their three children in the family funeral home; all three of their children, Herb, Ruth Ann, and Malinda, are also licensed funeral directors who have careers in air conditioning/refrigeration maintenance and education, respectively.

Bobby and Ruth are members of the Battlefield First Baptist Church, Battlefield, MO. Bobby and Ruth have been active in their community through different organizations including Bobby as a Abou Ben Adhem Shriner, Rotarian, and member of the Masonic Lodge. Both have been active with Lion's Club and Eastern Star. Bobby is a past president of Missouri Funeral Trust.

Even though the funeral profession has been Bobby and Ruth's life work, they enjoy spending time with their family, cheering on their four grandsons in their various sporting and horse events, fishing, and raising and showing horses with a few world champions to their credit that they have bred and raised.

Both Bobby and Ruth are well-respected servants in the funeral industry where families have entrusted them to take care of generations of loved ones with "Tender Moments- Tender Care" with their "Family Serving Your Family."

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Dr. Ruth Ann Wood-Humiston Second Generation Owner, Funeral Director, Pre-need Counselor, Certified Crematory Operator, and Insurance Agent

Ruth Ann Wood-Humiston, daughter of Bobby and Ruth Wood, is a second generation funeral director/pre-need counselor and owner of Walnut Lawn Funeral Home. She brings a wealth of experience in her background as an educator, business owner, and as a licensed funeral director of over 25 years to her position as second generation owner of Walnut Lawn Funeral Home. She is a Certified Crematory Operator through the National Funeral Directors Association.

Ruth Ann has a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in special education from the University of Missouri-Columbia; Specialist and Master’s degrees in educational administration from Missouri State University; and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Drury University with a double major in psychology and elementary education, and a minor in music. Ruth Ann began working alongside her parents in the family-owned funeral home at a very young age. Along with her experience in the funeral profession, Ruth Ann also has extensive experience as a teacher,college professor, school administrator, and as a business owner, founding and currently owning Little Angels Learning Academy, an accredited and award-winning early childhood program in southwest Springfield, Missouri.

Ruth Ann makes her home in the Springfield area with her two sons. She is a member of Ridgecrest Baptist Church. Her family enjoys all types of sports, raising and showing horses, fishing, and traveling. She also enjoys singing and playing the piano, gardening, and theater.

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Mike Ward Funeral Director, Pre-Need Counselor

Mike Ward has been compassionately serving families in Southwest Missouri as a funeral director and pre-need counselor since 1977. Born in Pensacola, Florida, Mike grew up in St. Louis, where he graduated high school. He is a 1973 graduate of Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with minors in business and English. Mike was married to the late Debbie"Pettit" Ward, and they have three sons, Clinton, Jason, and Joshua,and three precious grandchildren: Dylan,Nora, and Finley. He enjoys camping, raise gardening, and attending fall festivals.

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Sheila Barcomb Funeral Director, Pre-Need Counselor

Sheila Barcomb is a licensed funeral director and pre-need counselor with Walnut Lawn Funeral Home.
She has worked several years in SW MO in the funeral business.  Sheila has a BS in Communication from Drury University, Springfield, MO.  Sheila also worked several years as a legal assistant/paralegal.  Her community involvement includes serving as Commissioner for Planning and Zoning for the City of Nixa, Missouri; and has been a volunteer and served on the planning committee for Day at the Range, SCIL Outdoor Adventure Fair for individuals with disabilities.

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John and Cathy Veach Licensed Funeral Directors/Embalmer

John and Cathy Veach joined Walnut Lawn Funeral Home part-time in July of 2018 to assist with visitations, funerals, and other needs to help our funeral home better serve our families. They retired and moved to Springfield, MO, to enjoy being closer to family, after owning and operating Bibb-Veach Funeral Homes in Bowling Green, MO, beginning in January of 1987. John attended Central Missouri State University and graduated from Forest Park Mortuary College in St. Louis, Missouri. He has been a licensed embalmer and funeral director for over thirty years. Cathy attended MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. She has been a licensed funeral director since 1976. John and Cathy are involved in serving their community through their church and various civic organizations. They are members of the National Funeral Directors Association and the Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association. They have two sons, Jason and wife Regan, and Josh and wife Rashele. They are the grandparents of Carter Veach and Anna Veach, the children of Jason and Regan.

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Jessica Turner Apprentice Funeral Director

Jessica Turner grew up in the Springfield area and has been in the funeral business for over 20 plus years.  She is currently completing her degree in mortuary funeral science.  Jessica has one son Evan.  In her spare time she enjoys going to her son's sporting events and time with family.

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Claudia Rose Houseman Student Funeral Director / Embalmer

Claudia Rose Houseman is a senior at Southern Illinois University, majoring in Mortuary Science and Funeral Services.  She is completing her internship at Walnut Lawn Funeral Home, and then her embalming apprenticeship, achieving a dual license as a funeral director and embalmer in both Missouri and her home state of Illinois.  In her free time, she enjoys butterfly taxidermy, and vinyl music collecting. 

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Rick Ford Administrative Assistant

Springfield native Rick Ford joined Walnut Lawn Funeral Home in 2015 as an administrative assistant. With several years of servitude to the funeral, cemetery and monument industry to his credit, we look forward to have his wealth of knowledge and experience to our team. While born in the Springfield area, Rick has ventured out to other areas of the country and enjoyed experiences he has seen. Rick and his daughter Taylor are both graduates of Hillcrest High school, and look forward to what the future brings. Rick is passionate about technology, and enjoys learning about various topics, reading, history and the arts.

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Jeanie Kendrick Funeral Attendant

Jeanie Kendrick joined Walnut Lawn Funeral Home in 2013 as a funeral attendant and hostess. She is a retired elementary school teacher, teaching in the Republic School District for 37 years. She is also a real estate agent alongside her daughter with Laney Homes.

Jeanie is married to Steve. They are active members at Ridgecrest Baptist Church. She has 4 children, 6 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. Jeanie diligently assists our families with a friendly confidence. Our families are so appreciative of her caring service.

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Ken and Linda Elliott Funeral Attendants

Ken and Linda Elliott are funeral assistants at Walnut Lawn Funeral Home. They are wonderful caring hosts for friends and family members of those we serve through their work assisting with funerals and visitations.

Ken and Linda are active members of Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri.Ken sings bass with the Hosea Bilyeu family. Linda is a retired LPN.

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Greg Brewer Funeral Attendant

Greg Brewer joined Walnut Lawn Funeral Home in July 2018 as a part-time funeral assistant. He has many years of assisting in a funeral home setting dating back to 1968. Greg is active in his church. He loves helping people through their trying time and works to give them the best service.

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Stephen M. Whisler Funeral Attendant

Stephen M. Whisler joined Walnut Lawn Funeral Home as a funeral attendant to help support families during their times of loss.  He brings a wealth of experience to his duties as a funeral attendant as an ordained minister and deacon, serving as the Minister of Senior Adults for Second Baptist Church in Springfield, MO, Director of Estate Planning for Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri, and Development Officer for Missouri Baptist Children's Home, Springfield, MO.  Additionally, Stephen has an extensive background in community involvement as a volunteer for Cox Hospital, Ozarks Trails Council with the Boy Scouts of America, and city councilman.  He also has a background in music, and enjoys singing with a local group on a weekly basis.  Stephen is married and enjoys spending time with his family. 

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Allen Herrell Funeral Attendant

Allen Herrell serves as a funeral attendant with Walnut Lawn Funeral Home.  He is a successful local business owner, as well has been called to support families who are grieving and assist with their loved ones who have passed away.  Allen is married to Kim, and they are raising three sons.  He is involved with his boys' activities and church. 

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Larry D. Griffin Funeral Attendant

Larry D. Griffin is a funeral assistant with Walnut Lawn Funeral Home.  Prior to joining the professional team at Walnut Lawn and moving to the Springfield area with his family, Larry was a funeral assistant at a funeral home in Joplin, MO.  He is a retired minister.  His wealth of knowledge and experience are immeasurable as he serves grieving families.   

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Brandi Jones Funeral Attendant

Brandi Jones is a funeral attendant with Walnut Lawn Funeral Home.  Brandi, her husband, and two children reside in Willard, MO.  Her family enjoys hunting and fishing, and she loves a good book.  Brandi has been in the nursing field for over 8 years.  She has also worked as a Forensic Investigator for two years before joining the Walnut Lawn Funeral Home team.   Brandi enjoys learning new things. She believes life is too short to be unhappy and you should always do what you love.  

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Robert Willis Funeral Attendant

Robert Willis is a funeral attendant with Walnut Lawn Funeral Home.   For many years, he has worked alongside the funeral home team as a ride captain of the Patriot Guard Riders; the Patriot Guard Riders help to honor veterans and first responders for their service.  Robert is a veteran of the United States Army where he was a communications expert and paratrooper.  He is active in the community with various organizations including MDA and his church.   Robert is also a member of the masonic lodge.  He is a native of Canton, MO, and graduated with a bachelor's degree from Culver-Stockton, and a master's degree in business from Missouri State University.  

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Heather Haynes Funeral Attendant

Heather Haynes is a funeral attendant with Walnut Lawn Funeral Home.  She grew up in Indiana and moved to Springfield in 1994.  She is a proud single mother of a son who is currently attending college in Dallas, Texas.  Heather has been in the medical field for 20 years with national certification in phlebotomy.  She enjoys cross-fit, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.  Heather has lots of compassion for people and enjoys being there in the time of need.  

Bobby Dean & Ruth Wood

Founders and Funeral Directors
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Bobby Dean and Ruth Wood are the founders and owners of Walnut Lawn Funeral Home, Ltd. - DeGraffenreid-Wood-Crematory. In 2014, Bobby Wood celebrated his 50th anniversary in the funeral profession as a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He is the oldest practicing licensed mortician in the Springfield area. Bobby began working in the funeral business as a young teenager for the local funeral home owner in Hartville, MO. This experience led to his life-long calling of ministering to families in the funeral profession. He attended Missouri State University in Springfield, MO, and while attending college and driving ambulance for a local ambulance company, he met his wife, Ruth, who was attending St. John's School of Nursing. Ruth is a registered nurse graduate of St. John's School of Nursing and a licensed funeral director who has worked diligently beside Bobby to manage the funeral home business affairs and care for grieving families. In 2011, Ruth received her 50 Year nursing certificate. The newlyweds moved to Dallas, Texas, for Bobby to attend and graduate from the Dallas Gupton-Jones Institute of Mortuary Science. The couple returned to Missouri to eventually open their own funeral home in Hartville, MO, Wood Funeral Home. They raised their three children in the family funeral home; all three of their children, Herb, Ruth Ann, and Malinda, are also licensed funeral directors who have careers in air conditioning/refrigeration maintenance and education, respectively.

Bobby and Ruth are members of the Battlefield First Baptist Church, Battlefield, MO. Bobby and Ruth have been active in their community through different organizations including Bobby as a Abou Ben Adhem Shriner, Rotarian, and member of the Masonic Lodge. Both have been active with Lion's Club and Eastern Star. Bobby is a past president of Missouri Funeral Trust.

Even though the funeral profession has been Bobby and Ruth's life work, they enjoy spending time with their family, cheering on their four grandsons in their various sporting and horse events, fishing, and raising and showing horses with a few world champions to their credit that they have bred and raised.

Both Bobby and Ruth are well-respected servants in the funeral industry where families have entrusted them to take care of generations of loved ones with "Tender Moments- Tender Care" with their "Family Serving Your Family."

Dr. Ruth Ann Wood-Humiston

Second Generation Owner, Funeral Director, Pre-need Counselor, Certified Crematory Operator, and Insurance Agent
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Ruth Ann Wood-Humiston, daughter of Bobby and Ruth Wood, is a second generation funeral director/pre-need counselor and owner of Walnut Lawn Funeral Home. She brings a wealth of experience in her background as an educator, business owner, and as a licensed funeral director of over 25 years to her position as second generation owner of Walnut Lawn Funeral Home. She is a Certified Crematory Operator through the National Funeral Directors Association.

Ruth Ann has a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in special education from the University of Missouri-Columbia; Specialist and Master’s degrees in educational administration from Missouri State University; and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Drury University with a double major in psychology and elementary education, and a minor in music. Ruth Ann began working alongside her parents in the family-owned funeral home at a very young age. Along with her experience in the funeral profession, Ruth Ann also has extensive experience as a teacher,college professor, school administrator, and as a business owner, founding and currently owning Little Angels Learning Academy, an accredited and award-winning early childhood program in southwest Springfield, Missouri.

Ruth Ann makes her home in the Springfield area with her two sons. She is a member of Ridgecrest Baptist Church. Her family enjoys all types of sports, raising and showing horses, fishing, and traveling. She also enjoys singing and playing the piano, gardening, and theater.

Mike Ward

Funeral Director, Pre-Need Counselor
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Mike Ward has been compassionately serving families in Southwest Missouri as a funeral director and pre-need counselor since 1977. Born in Pensacola, Florida, Mike grew up in St. Louis, where he graduated high school. He is a 1973 graduate of Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with minors in business and English. Mike was married to the late Debbie"Pettit" Ward, and they have three sons, Clinton, Jason, and Joshua,and three precious grandchildren: Dylan,Nora, and Finley. He enjoys camping, raise gardening, and attending fall festivals.

Sheila Barcomb

Funeral Director, Pre-Need Counselor
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Sheila Barcomb is a licensed funeral director and pre-need counselor with Walnut Lawn Funeral Home.
She has worked several years in SW MO in the funeral business.  Sheila has a BS in Communication from Drury University, Springfield, MO.  Sheila also worked several years as a legal assistant/paralegal.  Her community involvement includes serving as Commissioner for Planning and Zoning for the City of Nixa, Missouri; and has been a volunteer and served on the planning committee for Day at the Range, SCIL Outdoor Adventure Fair for individuals with disabilities.

John and Cathy Veach

Licensed Funeral Directors/Embalmer
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John and Cathy Veach joined Walnut Lawn Funeral Home part-time in July of 2018 to assist with visitations, funerals, and other needs to help our funeral home better serve our families. They retired and moved to Springfield, MO, to enjoy being closer to family, after owning and operating Bibb-Veach Funeral Homes in Bowling Green, MO, beginning in January of 1987. John attended Central Missouri State University and graduated from Forest Park Mortuary College in St. Louis, Missouri. He has been a licensed embalmer and funeral director for over thirty years. Cathy attended MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. She has been a licensed funeral director since 1976. John and Cathy are involved in serving their community through their church and various civic organizations. They are members of the National Funeral Directors Association and the Missouri Funeral Directors and Embalmers Association. They have two sons, Jason and wife Regan, and Josh and wife Rashele. They are the grandparents of Carter Veach and Anna Veach, the children of Jason and Regan.

Jessica Turner

Apprentice Funeral Director
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Jessica Turner grew up in the Springfield area and has been in the funeral business for over 20 plus years.  She is currently completing her degree in mortuary funeral science.  Jessica has one son Evan.  In her spare time she enjoys going to her son's sporting events and time with family.

Claudia Rose Houseman

Student Funeral Director / Embalmer
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Claudia Rose Houseman is a senior at Southern Illinois University, majoring in Mortuary Science and Funeral Services.  She is completing her internship at Walnut Lawn Funeral Home, and then her embalming apprenticeship, achieving a dual license as a funeral director and embalmer in both Missouri and her home state of Illinois.  In her free time, she enjoys butterfly taxidermy, and vinyl music collecting. 

Rick Ford

Administrative Assistant
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Springfield native Rick Ford joined Walnut Lawn Funeral Home in 2015 as an administrative assistant. With several years of servitude to the funeral, cemetery and monument industry to his credit, we look forward to have his wealth of knowledge and experience to our team. While born in the Springfield area, Rick has ventured out to other areas of the country and enjoyed experiences he has seen. Rick and his daughter Taylor are both graduates of Hillcrest High school, and look forward to what the future brings. Rick is passionate about technology, and enjoys learning about various topics, reading, history and the arts.

Jeanie Kendrick

Funeral Attendant
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Jeanie Kendrick joined Walnut Lawn Funeral Home in 2013 as a funeral attendant and hostess. She is a retired elementary school teacher, teaching in the Republic School District for 37 years. She is also a real estate agent alongside her daughter with Laney Homes.

Jeanie is married to Steve. They are active members at Ridgecrest Baptist Church. She has 4 children, 6 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren. Jeanie diligently assists our families with a friendly confidence. Our families are so appreciative of her caring service.

Ken and Linda Elliott

Funeral Attendants
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Ken and Linda Elliott are funeral assistants at Walnut Lawn Funeral Home. They are wonderful caring hosts for friends and family members of those we serve through their work assisting with funerals and visitations.

Ken and Linda are active members of Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri.Ken sings bass with the Hosea Bilyeu family. Linda is a retired LPN.

Greg Brewer

Funeral Attendant
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Greg Brewer joined Walnut Lawn Funeral Home in July 2018 as a part-time funeral assistant. He has many years of assisting in a funeral home setting dating back to 1968. Greg is active in his church. He loves helping people through their trying time and works to give them the best service.

Stephen M. Whisler

Funeral Attendant
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Stephen M. Whisler joined Walnut Lawn Funeral Home as a funeral attendant to help support families during their times of loss.  He brings a wealth of experience to his duties as a funeral attendant as an ordained minister and deacon, serving as the Minister of Senior Adults for Second Baptist Church in Springfield, MO, Director of Estate Planning for Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri, and Development Officer for Missouri Baptist Children's Home, Springfield, MO.  Additionally, Stephen has an extensive background in community involvement as a volunteer for Cox Hospital, Ozarks Trails Council with the Boy Scouts of America, and city councilman.  He also has a background in music, and enjoys singing with a local group on a weekly basis.  Stephen is married and enjoys spending time with his family. 

Allen Herrell

Funeral Attendant
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Allen Herrell serves as a funeral attendant with Walnut Lawn Funeral Home.  He is a successful local business owner, as well has been called to support families who are grieving and assist with their loved ones who have passed away.  Allen is married to Kim, and they are raising three sons.  He is involved with his boys' activities and church. 

Larry D. Griffin

Funeral Attendant
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Larry D. Griffin is a funeral assistant with Walnut Lawn Funeral Home.  Prior to joining the professional team at Walnut Lawn and moving to the Springfield area with his family, Larry was a funeral assistant at a funeral home in Joplin, MO.  He is a retired minister.  His wealth of knowledge and experience are immeasurable as he serves grieving families.   

Brandi Jones

Funeral Attendant
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Brandi Jones is a funeral attendant with Walnut Lawn Funeral Home.  Brandi, her husband, and two children reside in Willard, MO.  Her family enjoys hunting and fishing, and she loves a good book.  Brandi has been in the nursing field for over 8 years.  She has also worked as a Forensic Investigator for two years before joining the Walnut Lawn Funeral Home team.   Brandi enjoys learning new things. She believes life is too short to be unhappy and you should always do what you love.  

Robert Willis

Funeral Attendant
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Robert Willis is a funeral attendant with Walnut Lawn Funeral Home.   For many years, he has worked alongside the funeral home team as a ride captain of the Patriot Guard Riders; the Patriot Guard Riders help to honor veterans and first responders for their service.  Robert is a veteran of the United States Army where he was a communications expert and paratrooper.  He is active in the community with various organizations including MDA and his church.   Robert is also a member of the masonic lodge.  He is a native of Canton, MO, and graduated with a bachelor's degree from Culver-Stockton, and a master's degree in business from Missouri State University.  

Heather Haynes

Funeral Attendant
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Heather Haynes is a funeral attendant with Walnut Lawn Funeral Home.  She grew up in Indiana and moved to Springfield in 1994.  She is a proud single mother of a son who is currently attending college in Dallas, Texas.  Heather has been in the medical field for 20 years with national certification in phlebotomy.  She enjoys cross-fit, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.  Heather has lots of compassion for people and enjoys being there in the time of need.