Staff

Our dedicated staff members 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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Chris Highsmith Owner

Chris Highsmith has been in the funeral busines for over 36 years. A 1979 graduate of Welch High School, attended NEO A & M college and the Dallas institute of Funeral Service. He graduated from Dallas Institute of Funeral Service in 1987. Raised on a farm, he enjoyed playing sports, rodeoing and hunting. Chris began working in the funeral industry as a maintenance man, and quickly realized he wanted to pursue a career in the profession. He has a genuine love of serving families in need and the passion grows stronger to serve with each day. Chris is excited to be of service to the Pryor Community and will bring the highest level of service and professionalism. His wife Vicki is a retired payroll accountant for KAMO power and now works with Chris, handling all accounting and bookeeping.

His children are Cameron Dennis in Ohio, along with a granddaughter Walela; Haley Chenoweth and husband Casey of Miami, and son Hunter Highsmith of Broken Arrow; and favorite pet "Zoey" a yellow lab. 

Chris and Vicki love working and provide a family atmosphere for their employees and the families they serve. If you don't know them, we encourage you to!

 

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Clarissa Yates Manager/Funeral Director-Embalmer/PreNeed Adviser clarissa@stephens-key.com

Clarissa has been around the funeral service industry her entire life. Her grandfather, the late Gene Jones, owned Jones Funeral Home in Locust Grove where her parents, Clara Key and the late Tim Key, grew up and graduated from high school. When she was 4, her father attended mortuary school and became a licensed funeral director/embalmer and when she was 10, her parents opened Key Funeral Home in Pryor. She knew from a very young age that she would like to follow in her parents footsteps, so at the age of 16, while still attending Pryor High School, she began her funeral director/embalmer apprenticeship under her father.

 

After graduating from Pryor High School in May of 1991, she left Pryor for Dallas, Texas where she attended the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. After graduating in 1992,  at age 18, she passed her state and national board exams and at that time, she was the youngest licensed funeral director and embalmer in the state of Oklahoma. Clarissa moved back to Pryor where she began working full-time alongside her parents at Key Funeral Home. 

 

In 1998, she married  Jeff Yates and moved to Shereveport, Louisiana where they lived for two years. Jeff and Clarissa moved back to Pryor in 2001 and this has been their home since. They have one son, Zak, who is now a young adult who lives and works in Pryor.

 

Clarissa's father died in 2005 after a long battle with type 1 diabetes, but she, Jeff and her mom continued owning and operating Key Funeral Home. In 2014, her mom retired and sold the business to Rick and Gloria Stephens at Stephens Memorial Chapel in Pryor, which then became Stephens-Key Funeral and Cremation Care. Clarissa worked for Rick and Gloria for two years then left to pursue other interests.

 

In January 2020, Clarissa began working at Stephens-Key again, as a funeral director, office manager and preneed sales person. She is now manager of Stephens-Key.

 

Funeral service has and will always be a part of her life; she is grateful for the daily chance she has to make a difference in someone's life as they navigate through caring for ailing loved ones, preparing for their transition and then helping them plan a fitting tribute to celebrate their life. In a time where lives are often too busy she still believes encouraging people to celebrate a life lived. 

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Tasha Martin Office Administration/Funeral Assistant tasha@stephens-key.com

Tasha was born in Vinita and raised in Pryor, where she graduated from Pryor High School in 1991. She has one, young adult daughter, Maggie, and they live in Pryor. Tasha has worked in the banking industry for the last 10 years and decided to join Stephens-Key in April. We are excited to have her as part of our work family.

Tasha's role is to assistist Clarissa in all office administation duties and also serve as a funeral assistant when needed. She has prior funeral experience from working with Clarissa at Key Funeral Home in years past. She is a valuable addition to our staff.

In her personal time, she loves to cook, travel, spend time outdoors, go shopping, loves to read and spend time with her friends and family. 

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Parker Ballard Funeral Assistant parker@stephens-key.com

Parker began working with the Stephens-Key family in 2021. He is a currently a teacher and coach for Locust Grove Public Schools and holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration. Parker has a servant's heart and has enjoyed working in the funeral industry so much so that he has enrolled in the fall semester at Dallas Institute of Funeral Service where he will be studying for his funeral director/embalmer license. Parker is often times the first person that families will have contact with when he is making and assisting with death calls at our local hospitals and homes. He is an excellent ambassador for Stephens-Key and loved by the families we serve. We are grateful he has chosen to be part of our work family.

In his personal time, Parker is the father to a precious four year-old daughter, Koy. He loves horses, has a mowing business and loves to spend time with friends listening to live music and traveling.

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Rick and Gloria Stephens Founders

Rick and Gloria Stephens opened Stephens Memorial Chapel in November of 1996. Over the years they served many of the families in our community with love, care and compassion. In November of 2014, they acquired Key Funeral Home in Pryor and renamed the business Stephens-Key Funeral and Cremation Care . They continue to live and be involved in the local community as well as enjoying retirement on the lake and spending time with friends and family. We are proud to continue their business with the care and compassion they showed the families they served over the years. 

Chris Highsmith

Owner
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Chris Highsmith has been in the funeral busines for over 36 years. A 1979 graduate of Welch High School, attended NEO A & M college and the Dallas institute of Funeral Service. He graduated from Dallas Institute of Funeral Service in 1987. Raised on a farm, he enjoyed playing sports, rodeoing and hunting. Chris began working in the funeral industry as a maintenance man, and quickly realized he wanted to pursue a career in the profession. He has a genuine love of serving families in need and the passion grows stronger to serve with each day. Chris is excited to be of service to the Pryor Community and will bring the highest level of service and professionalism. His wife Vicki is a retired payroll accountant for KAMO power and now works with Chris, handling all accounting and bookeeping.

His children are Cameron Dennis in Ohio, along with a granddaughter Walela; Haley Chenoweth and husband Casey of Miami, and son Hunter Highsmith of Broken Arrow; and favorite pet "Zoey" a yellow lab. 

Chris and Vicki love working and provide a family atmosphere for their employees and the families they serve. If you don't know them, we encourage you to!

 

Clarissa Yates

Manager/Funeral Director-Embalmer/PreNeed Adviser
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Clarissa has been around the funeral service industry her entire life. Her grandfather, the late Gene Jones, owned Jones Funeral Home in Locust Grove where her parents, Clara Key and the late Tim Key, grew up and graduated from high school. When she was 4, her father attended mortuary school and became a licensed funeral director/embalmer and when she was 10, her parents opened Key Funeral Home in Pryor. She knew from a very young age that she would like to follow in her parents footsteps, so at the age of 16, while still attending Pryor High School, she began her funeral director/embalmer apprenticeship under her father.

 

After graduating from Pryor High School in May of 1991, she left Pryor for Dallas, Texas where she attended the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. After graduating in 1992,  at age 18, she passed her state and national board exams and at that time, she was the youngest licensed funeral director and embalmer in the state of Oklahoma. Clarissa moved back to Pryor where she began working full-time alongside her parents at Key Funeral Home. 

 

In 1998, she married  Jeff Yates and moved to Shereveport, Louisiana where they lived for two years. Jeff and Clarissa moved back to Pryor in 2001 and this has been their home since. They have one son, Zak, who is now a young adult who lives and works in Pryor.

 

Clarissa's father died in 2005 after a long battle with type 1 diabetes, but she, Jeff and her mom continued owning and operating Key Funeral Home. In 2014, her mom retired and sold the business to Rick and Gloria Stephens at Stephens Memorial Chapel in Pryor, which then became Stephens-Key Funeral and Cremation Care. Clarissa worked for Rick and Gloria for two years then left to pursue other interests.

 

In January 2020, Clarissa began working at Stephens-Key again, as a funeral director, office manager and preneed sales person. She is now manager of Stephens-Key.

 

Funeral service has and will always be a part of her life; she is grateful for the daily chance she has to make a difference in someone's life as they navigate through caring for ailing loved ones, preparing for their transition and then helping them plan a fitting tribute to celebrate their life. In a time where lives are often too busy she still believes encouraging people to celebrate a life lived. 

Tasha Martin

Office Administration/Funeral Assistant
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Tasha was born in Vinita and raised in Pryor, where she graduated from Pryor High School in 1991. She has one, young adult daughter, Maggie, and they live in Pryor. Tasha has worked in the banking industry for the last 10 years and decided to join Stephens-Key in April. We are excited to have her as part of our work family.

Tasha's role is to assistist Clarissa in all office administation duties and also serve as a funeral assistant when needed. She has prior funeral experience from working with Clarissa at Key Funeral Home in years past. She is a valuable addition to our staff.

In her personal time, she loves to cook, travel, spend time outdoors, go shopping, loves to read and spend time with her friends and family. 

Parker Ballard

Funeral Assistant
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Parker began working with the Stephens-Key family in 2021. He is a currently a teacher and coach for Locust Grove Public Schools and holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration. Parker has a servant's heart and has enjoyed working in the funeral industry so much so that he has enrolled in the fall semester at Dallas Institute of Funeral Service where he will be studying for his funeral director/embalmer license. Parker is often times the first person that families will have contact with when he is making and assisting with death calls at our local hospitals and homes. He is an excellent ambassador for Stephens-Key and loved by the families we serve. We are grateful he has chosen to be part of our work family.

In his personal time, Parker is the father to a precious four year-old daughter, Koy. He loves horses, has a mowing business and loves to spend time with friends listening to live music and traveling.

Rick and Gloria Stephens

Founders
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Rick and Gloria Stephens opened Stephens Memorial Chapel in November of 1996. Over the years they served many of the families in our community with love, care and compassion. In November of 2014, they acquired Key Funeral Home in Pryor and renamed the business Stephens-Key Funeral and Cremation Care . They continue to live and be involved in the local community as well as enjoying retirement on the lake and spending time with friends and family. We are proud to continue their business with the care and compassion they showed the families they served over the years.