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/ Office Manager

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 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.

BriAnne Hemer
Funeral Director
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.
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.
Nolan Warnke
Funeral Director Assistant
Nolan is the son of Brett and Linda Warnke. He is a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, enjoys sports and outdoor activities, and maintaining his Jeep. He is currently going into his second year of Moturary Science at DMACC in Ankeny, Iowa.
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.
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.  



Photo coming soon!

Ty Warnke
Car and Lawn Attendant

Ty is a Junior at Odebolt-Arthur-Battle Creek-Ida Grove High School and is the son of Brett and Linda Warnke. He is a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church. He like running cross country, playing basketball, and golfing. Ty enjoyes doing yardwork and maintaining the cars at the funeral homes.


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.
Ethan Zobel
Car and Lawn Attendant

Ethan is a Junior at OABCIG High School. He is the son of Shannon and Anne Zobel of Battle Creek, Iowa. Ethan enjoy tinkering on farm equipment and participating in school sports.

Heidi Beck
Office Assistant
Bio and Photo Coming!!
Linda Cross
Office Assistant
Photo and Bio Coming Soon!
Kris Bender
Certified Preplanning Counselor
Kris has been helping families communicate about end of life plans for over nine years. She takes pride in taking a difficult subject and creating an environment through education and passion to ensure great communication between individuals and family members. She received her accreditation through the National Funeral Directors Association.

Kris was raised in Lake City, Iowa. She and her husband Scott have two children, Blake and Brooke. They have lived in Spencer Iowa for the past 17 years where they enjoy being active in their church, schools and community.