Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors is made up primarily of funeral service professionals with many years of dedicated service to their communities. They understand the challenges facing funeral home owners today and the decisions that they make are based on finding a balance between the needs of our policyholders, the funeral homes we serve, our employees and sales professionals, and the Company itself.
Mr. Adams has served on the board of directors since 1995. He is the former owner of Adams Funeral Homes in Ralls, Crosbyton, and Lorenzo, Texas. Mr. Adams is dedicated to seeing Funeral Directors Life become the leading provider of preneed services in the nation and preserving the value of traditional service. He enjoys serving on the board and getting to know Funeral Directors Life employees. Mr. Adams is a member the Ralls First Baptist Church, the Emma Masonic Lodge in Ralls, and the Crosbyton Masonic Lodge. He serves on the board of directors of Crosbyton Clinic Hospital as well as the White River Municipal Water District. Mr. Adams was a Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. He attended Texas Tech University and is a graduate of the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science.
Darrell Rains is a distinguished Director of our Directors Investment Board and has been since 1988. As a member of the board, he has watched the remarkable growth of Funeral Directors Life in the years since its inception, and he is amazed at the progress that has been made, even with the ups and downs in the industry. He is proud to work toward the Company's mission to be the best, most-respected provider of service to the funeral industry. Darrell lives in Austin with his wife Sherry where they moved upon retirement to be closer to their children and grandchildren. The Rains have 3 children and 5 grandchildren: Laura is married to Brian Johnson and their son is Zachary, 11 years old. Julie is married to Jay Prater and they have 2 children; Judson, 8 and Ainsley, 9. Reagan is married to Jessica Anisman and they have two children; Lucinda, 3 years old, and Archie 1 year. Darrell was born and raised in Snyder, TX. He is a graduate of the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science, a licensed funeral director since 1966 and the former owner of Rains-Seale Funeral Home in Ballinger, TX, which he operated for 33 years. He was Director at Large of the NFDA, President of the West Texas Funeral Directors Association, President of the TFDA, and a member of several civic organizations. He and Sherry have been married 46 years and belong to the Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin.
Mr. Cypert has served on the board of directors since 1989. He is the owner and President of Bell-Cypert-Seale Funeral Home in Snyder, Texas. Mr. Cypert is pleased to be an active member serving on the board. He feels that the funeral industry is an important part of the American way of life, and he is pleased that Directors Investment Group and Funeral Directors Life are leaders in the industry. He has served as the President of the West Texas Funeral Directors Association, is a member of the Lions Club and has served on the Snyder Chamber of Commerce Board. Mr. Cypert attended Southwestern State College in Weatherford, Oklahoma and also served three years in the United States Army Security Agency. Mr. Cypert is a graduate of the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science.
Mr. Harper became a member of the board of directors in 2008. He was born and raised in the funeral business, and became a licensed funeral director in 1986. Mr. Harper feels that funeral service is a ministry to others and that as a funeral director, he is able to help a family carry some of the burden of grief during a time of need. Mr. Harper is pleased to see this sense of service to others transcending to Funeral Directors Life through our "Helpers of People" programs. He is a former board member of the West Texas Boys Ranch. Mr. Harper is a graduate of Angelo State University and of the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science.
Mr. Edwards has served on the board of directors since 1985. He is former owner-operator of Edwards Funeral Homes in Ranger, Strawn, and Eastland, Texas, and continues to be associated with their operation. His mission with Funeral Directors Life is to be the best, most-respected provider of service to the funeral industry. Mr. Edwards graduated from Matador High School and later went on to attend Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer and past president of the Ranger Chamber of Commerce and Ranger Lions Club. Mr. Edwards continues to be an active member of the Strawn and Gordon Lions Clubs.
Kasi Welch Baker
Mrs. Baker was elected as a board member in 2014. She is a 3rd generation funeral director and co-owner of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Homes with her father Tommy Welch, who is also a member of the board. Mrs. Baker enjoys being able to serve families and considers her job a ministry to others. She loves being a part of the board and grew up learning and observing the value of Funeral Directors Life. She has become a loyal fan of what the company does and what it stands for. Mrs. Baker has served as the past president of the West Texas Funeral Directors Association and as a past board member of the Texas Funeral Directors Association. She is a graduate of Texas Tech University. During her tenure there, Mrs. Baker was president of the Kappa Delta sorority. She went on to graduate from Amarillo College of Mortuary Science, and now lives with her husband, Brad, daughter Ellery and son Rowan in Midland, Texas.
Mr. Seale has served on the board of directors for Directors Investment Group, Inc. (DIG) since its inception, holding a seat as a member of the Executive Committee. He serves as the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of DIG and its subsidiaries, including Funeral Directors Life. In addition, Mr. Seale currently sits on the board of directors of Passare, Inc., the Community Bank of Snyder, and the Abilene Youth Sports Authority. He is a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and is a graduate of Baylor University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Mr. Seale grew up in the funeral service profession as the son of a funeral director, the late Bill Seale, who served as a funeral director for over 57 years. Bill Seale was the co-owner of Bell-Cypert-Seale Funeral Home in Snyder, Texas, and he was the co-founder of Funeral Directors Life. Mr. Seale is passionate about inspiring employees, sales professionals, and clients to succeed in all aspects of life, from their spiritual lives, to their personal lives, to their business and work life. He is also committed to serving funeral directors and clients by providing them with valuable services and excellent products through DIG and its subsidiaries.
Leslie Branon Montz
Mrs. Montz joined the board of directors as an associate director in 2015. She is a 4th generation funeral director and embalmer, and she owns and operates Branon Funeral Home in Lamesa, Texas. Her grandfather, Tom Branon, was one of the founders of FDLIC, and her father, Mike Branon, served on the board for over 25 years. As a member of the board, Mrs. Montz's goal is to continue to provide the best service for the funeral industry and to assist other funeral homes in growing and succeeding in a rapidly changing marketplace. Mrs. Montz is a member of the Epsilon Chapter of Pi Sigma Eta, an honorary funeral service fraternity, the National Funeral Directors Association, and the Texas Funeral Directors Association. In addition, she is a licensed insurance agent specializing in prearranged funerals. Mrs. Montz earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Arts and Technology in Interior Design in 2004 from Texas State University-San Marcos. She later attended the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service where she earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Service in 2007. She lives with her husband Richard, who is also a funeral director, in Lamesa, TX.
Mr. France has served on the board of directors since 2002. He is dedicated to making Directors Investment Group (FD's parent company) and its subsidiaries the best in the industry, and the best they can be. Mr. France began his work with Funeral Directors Life as a consultant in 1982 and later joined the company as a Vice President and Chief Actuary in 1990. Mr. France has been a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries since 1978 and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries since 1979. He has also served on the board of directors of the Texas Association of Life & Health Insurers. Mr. France graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in mathematics. He and his wife, Terry, live in Austin, Texas and have two children and four grandchildren.
Mr. Lemons has served on the board of directors since 1988. He is a former owner and President of Lemons Funeral Home in Plainview, Texas, Wood Dunning Funeral Home in Plainview, Texas, and Wallace Funeral Home in Tulia, Texas; in addition, he is the former Secretary and Treasurer of Parklawn Memorial Gardens in Plainview, Texas. Mr. Lemons was proud to serve his community before retiring and now continues to serve families by ensuring that Funeral Directors Life is providing the best possible products and services. Mr. Lemons served as the past President of the Panhandle Funeral Directors Association, as a board member of the Texas Funeral Directors Association for two terms, and as a member of the Selected Independent Funeral Homes (formerly National Selected Morticians). Mr. Lemons was named the Texas Funeral Director of the Year in 1996. He graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor's degree in Business.
Pat has served on the Board of Funeral Directors Life since May 2019. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s degree in Mortuary Science, and in 2019, he was honored to be recognized as Alumnus of the Year by the University of Minnesota, Program of Mortuary Science. Pat has been a licensed mortician and funeral director in Minnesota since 1979 and is a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) and a Certified Crematory Operator (CCO). He has served on many boards throughout his career, including the Executive Board of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) and has served twice as Minnesota's representative to the Policy Board of NFDA. Additionally, Pat is a former president of the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association (MFDA) and a past member of the MFDA Service Corp. Board of Directors. In 2003, he was presented the Helen Keller Sight Award from the Minnesota Lions Eye Bank. Furthermore, Pat is also a former president of the Sauk Centre Area Chamber of Commerce, served as the Chamber representative on the Sauk Centre Economic Development Authority, and was a member of the advisory board of Saint Michael's Home Care and Hospice. Pat and his wife Sue moved to Sauk Centre, MN in 1984 when Pat became the manager of the Schad Funeral Home. In August 1993, Pat and his wife Sue purchased that business and the Pattons worked alongside each other for 26 years as co-owners of Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services with four locations in central Minnesota. In December 2019, they sold their funeral homes to their long-time funeral director, Linda Holm, a Sauk Centre native. In retirement, the Pattons will continue to reside in Sauk Centre and spend the winters in The Villages, Florida.
Mr. Hamil has served on the board of directors since 1998 and currently holds a seat as a member of the Executive Committee. He became a licensed funeral director in 1986 and owner of Hamil Family Funeral Home in Abilene, Texas in 2005. His passion is to help his community in times of need when death occurs in the family. He feels it is more than simply a job…that being a funeral director is a calling to help one's fellow man. He is honored to serve on the board of directors and proud to be a part of completing the mission of this Company. Mr. Hamil is a member of the West Texas Funeral Directors Association, the Texas Funeral Directors Association, and the National Funeral Directors Association. He is a graduate of the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science.
Mr. Welch has served on the board of directors since 1988 and currently holds a seat as a member of the Executive Committee. Mr. Welch is currently the co-owner and President of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home in Big Spring and Midland and of Gilbreath Funeral Home in Stanton, and Trinity Memorial Park in Big Spring, Texas. Mr. Welch's mission is to see that Directors Investment Group continues to grow and to be a viable company that serves the funeral industry. He believes that one of the most important things that he does as a funeral service provider and as a board member is serve families to the best of his ability. Mr. Welch is a member of the Academy of Professional Funeral Practitioners, the Texas Funeral Directors Association, the National Funeral Directors Association, and a member and former board member of the International Order of the Golden Rule. Mr. Welch also served as past President of the West Texas Funeral Directors Association. He attended Stephen F. Austin University and has an Associate's degree in Science at Howard College. He subsequently graduated from the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science.
Since 1983 - Emeritus Director
Mr. White has served on the board of directors since 1983. He is the 3rd generation of the White family to own and operate funeral homes. He is the President of White's Funeral Homes in Weatherford, Mineral Wells, Springtown, and Azle, Texas and the owner of two cemeteries. Mr. White enjoys being a part of Directors Investment Group (FD's parent company) and its board and representing the needs and interests of funeral service professionals. In 2009, Mr. White was recognized by the Texas Funeral Directors Association for 50 years of service in the funeral industry and in 2012, he was honored as the North Texas Funeral Director of the year. Mr. White received his Bachelor's degree in Banking and Finance from the University of North Texas. He is also a graduate of the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science.
Since 1990 - Emeritus Director
Mr. Kelly has served on the board of directors since 1990. He now serves as an Emeritus Board member. Prior to retirement, he served as funeral director and co-owner of Hubbard-Kelly Funeral Home in Odessa, Texas. Mr. Kelly is committed to continuing to serve families by providing the best service and products in the industry through Funeral Directors Life and its sister companies. Mr. Kelly attended Tarleton State University and Baylor University. He is a graduate of the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science in Dallas, Texas.