A Tradition of Excellence

For over a century, families have learned to expect compassionate, dignified and affordable service from Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Homes.

Today, our caring staff is dedicated to the needs of the community with services designed to assist families in making thoughtful decisions about memorialization planning.

Joshua Van Houten
Funeral Director/ Owner

Josh grew up on the family farm outside of Battle Creek, Iowa. Josh is the son of Douglas and Debbie Van Houten of Battle Creek.  Graduating in 2001, Josh went on to further his education at Western Iowa Tech Community College before transferring to Mortuary College at Kansas City Kansas Community College, where he earned a degree in Mortuary Science. Josh and Christie purchased Christensen - Huffman Funeral Homes in August of 2013, and are delighted to be back home to serve their hometown communities.  Josh is an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Battle Creek. He is involved in Ida Grove Kiwanis, Iowa Funeral Director Association, Pheasents Forever, Whitetails Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, Volunteer Fire Fighter on the Ida Grove Fire Department, and bowls on a Mens League on Tuesday nights at the Ida Grove Bowling Alley.  He enjoys fishing, hunting, camping, playing cards, bowling, going to coffee, watching his brother Justin trap shoot, and spending time with his family.

Christie Van Houten
Owner / Preplanning Consultant

Christie is a hometown native of Ida Grove & Battle Creek, Iowa. She graduated from Battle Creek Ida Grove High School and continued her education in Ag Business at Western Iowa Tech Community College. She is the daughter of Kendall (Margaret) Zobel of Galva, Iowa and late Betty Zobel of Ida Grove. She is the granddaughter of Victor and the late Lois Zobel of Ida Grove and Jancie and the late Leo Cooper of Odebolt. Christie and Joshua have two children, Sophia Rose and Wyatt John who are the light of their lives. She enjoys running the office at the funeral home and helping families at their time of need. Her hobbies are: scrap booking, crocheting, fishing & hunting with her Dad, camping, singing, attending her daughters swim meets, and spending time with family.

Heidi Beck
Office Manager / Monument Secretary
Heidi lives in Ida Grove with her husband, Bryan and their two children, Taylor and Myles. Heidi was a high school business teacher for 20 years before joining the Christensen-Van Houten staff full time in June of 2017. She is a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Doug Van Houten
Monument Specialist

Doug Van Houten, the father of our funeral director Josh, is our Monument Specialist. He will provide expert service in designing memorials or private mausoleums, lettering and cleaning. During your time of need, Doug will work closely with you and your family to help choose just the right memorial for your loved one.


Beth Vogt
Mortuary Science Student
Beth was raised on a farm in Dow City, Iowa and graduated from Denison High School in 2004. Beth began her interest in funeral service at the age of 10 when she began singing for funeral services. After many years of public and social service work, Beth decided to follow her dream to become a funeral director. She currently resides in Dow City with her partner, Mitch, and bonus-kiddo, Ada. Beth is a member of the Dow City United Methodist Church and an active member of the community. She looks forward to completing her education in mortuary science in October 2023 and working full-time with the communities we serve.
Terry Lovett
Funeral Home Assistant

Terry has lived in the Ida Grove area for many years. He worked for 50 plus years for Culligan Water Conditioning. He is a faithful member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church of Ida Grove and is active on the Ida Grove Fire Department.  

Tony Bennett
Funeral Home Assistant
Kenneth Streck
Funeral Home Assistant
Kenny was born and raised in the Ida Grove area, he farmed for many years before serving as manager of the Rural Electric Cooperative. He has been a faithful employee of Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Homes since 2002, is a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, and an active member of McNamara-Moore Post No. 61 of the American Legion.
Pam Porter
Visitation Attendant
Pam is from Odebolt where she works full-time at Odebolt Nursing & Rehab Center. She is a life-long resident of Odebolt and enjoys helping on visitations. She is a member of Arthur Evangelical Free Church and enjoys time spent with her many nieces and nephews.
Bill Dreessen
Funeral Home Assistant
Bill lives in Odebolt with his wife, Susan. He served in the United States Air Force for 16 years, then farmed northwest of Wall Lake for many years. In his retirement, he became an automobile salesman for Beckman Motors in Odebolt. Bill joined the staff of Christensen-Van Houten Funeral Homes in 2008. He is a lifetime member of Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Wall Lake.
Jason Schmidt
Maintenance Director
BriAnne Hemer
Funeral Director - Part Time
BriAnne was born and raised in Humboldt, IA. Graduating in 2006, BriAnne attended Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge and then attended Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny where she received her Degree in Mortuary Science in 2009. BriAnne moved to Odebolt in the fall of 2009. BriAnne and her husband Colby are the parents of a daughter, Bristol. BriAnne is a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Odebolt. BriAnne works full-time for Dresselhuis & Heidenreich Law Firm in Odebolt and helps with the funeral home part-time. BriAnne enjoys spending time with her family, golfing, and camping.